Venture Minerals Limited (ASX: VMS) is celebrating its first commercial shipment of iron ore from its Riley Iron Ore Mine near Tullah, shipped from the Port of Burnie in Tasmania, Australia.
The first shipment, comprising of 45,632 tonnes of iron ore with an average grade of 57.3% Fe from the Riley mine, will be transported to a discharge port in China as designated by Venture’s off-take partner Prosperity Steel, one of the largest iron ore traders in the world. Venture will receive approximately A$5.1 million in the next fortnight under its offtake agreement.
“Our inaugural shipment marks a significant milestone for Venture Minerals and is the culmination of considerable efforts by all stakeholders to successfully establish a resource base, secure environmental and transportation approvals, processing plant construction, commencement of mining and ore hauling and now first commercial iron ore shipment,” Managing Director, Andrew Radonjic, said.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the Federal, Tasmanian State and Local Governments for their continuing support and recognition of the Riley Iron Ore Project, as well as the Company’s flagship Mount Lindsay Tin-Tungsten Project.
“We are looking forward to ramping up our operations at Mount Lindsay with Tin at record prices, so that we can continue to provide long term employment in Tasmania’s Northwest; make significant contributions to Tasmania’s economy; and develop the Mount Lindsay ESG compliant EV Metal/Critical Minerals Tin-Tungsten mine.
“The mine will supply environmentally sustainable EV Metals/Critical Minerals in a globally recognised Tier One ESG hub, which provides superior environmental outcomes to the large majority of the world’s tin that is sourced from high-risk ESG jurisdictions.”
Recently, 62% Fe iron ore prices have declined significantly from highs of over US$230 per tonne to the current price of US$106 per tonne.
This decline has coincided with an increase in the discount rate for Riley’s 57% Fe grade ore, from a market rate of 10% used in the company’s 2019 Feasibility Study, to the current market rate of 30%.
The company, together with the broader market, also continues to experience a volatile shipping market, largely due to congestion in Chinese Ports, together with COVID-19 and political impacts, all of which have culminated in shipping rates tripling from US$18 per tonne since the Feasibility Study to around US$54 per tonne.
In responding to the market conditions outlined above, Venture is completing a full review of operations at the Riley Iron Ore Mine, to identify cost efficiency measures to offset some of the external market volatility beyond the company’s control.
Although the company believes that some of the external pressures in the market will likely only be temporary, Venture believes the best course of action is to temporarily suspend mining operations to preserve the reserve base while the company works through potential cost efficiencies and assesses the broader market volatility.
During this period Venture will retain the Riley Mining Team so that when market conditions improve, the Company can recommence operations immediately.
For further information please visit: https://www.ventureminerals.com.au/