Iron Road land sale makes room for desalination plant

The South Australian government has announced the location for a new desalination plant, as part of the Cape Hardy Industrial Port Precinct, with Iron Road (ASX:IRD) agreeing to sell land for the project.

According to the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), of which Iron Road is a member, this decision will form a key plank of the Northern Water project.

It is also a significant component of the State Prosperity Project, to provide more sources of water across northern and regional South Australia for critical mining operations.

Work will now continue on further developments, including a proposed multi-user port facility to facilitate iron ore and other potential bulk commodities, as well as Amp Energy’s green hydrogen and Advanced Fuels Precinct.

AMEC Chief Executive Officer Warren Pearce says the project is another step forward in opening up the Eyre Peninsula for greater development and new economic opportunities.

“AMEC has long been a strong supporter of the Northern Water project and Cape Hardy is the obvious choice for its location at Iron Road’s future multi-user port facility site,” he says.

“The project will unlock critical water supply required for several mines in the region and over time, to future hydrogen projects and the community at large.”

Pearce says access to water is a baseline requirement for the mineral and exploration and mining sector, adding that to see the long-term commitment from the state government is reassuring.

The development of a new Port on the Eyre Peninsula has one of AMEC’s main infrastructure priorities for many years and Cape Hardy has been the standout choice for its location, he adds.

“Securing water for the mines of today and the future is more important than ever, with demand set to increase as critical minerals and renewable energy projects come online and governments seek to transition to decarbonised economies and industries,” Pearce says.

Iron Road is proposing a significant new export facility on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula. The company has now secured sufficient land for a proposed deep water, 70Mtpa bulk export facility, capable of loading various size bulk carriers, including cape-size vessels. 

Iron Road says this would be the first port in South Australia to support cape-size vessels.

The company plans to export 20Mtpa of high quality iron concentrates for at least 30 years. After allowing for the initial CEIP requirement, an additional 50Mtpa of capacity would be available for third party users from inception of operations. 

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Written By Adam Orlando Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.