Magnetite Mines to enlist green iron vision 

Magnetite Mines (ASX:MGT) will register an expression of interest with the South Australia government as a supply chain partner to develop a hydrogen-based direct reduction iron (DRI) plant. 

The $25.59 million market capitalisation company will seek to align industry partners for the formation of a Green Iron Hub at Port Pirie to be supplied with magnetite concentrates from its Razorback Iron Ore Project, 240km from Adelaide  in South Australia.

Magnetite is currently progressing the development of a high-value, long life operation with an initial 5 million tonne per annum, expandable to 10Mtpa, in response to the global steel industry’s requirements for both increased production and lower carbon emissions. 

These are the same factors underpinning the opportunity being sought by the South Australia government.

The government plans to establish the DRI plant before the end of the decade. 

Chief Executive Officer Tim Dobson says: “There is today a unique opportunity for the state of South Australia to take advantage of its world leading renewable energy credentials, its considerable magnetite resource endowment, and its plans to produce green hydrogen at scale, creating a new green iron and steel industry that will secure the state’s economic future.

However, without magnetite concentrate production, there can be no green iron and steel production, hence the development of a reliable supply of premium-grade magnetite concentrates is the essential first step to creating a green iron and steelmaking industry in South Australia.

It is this opportunity that is driving Magnetite Mines’ plans to produce DR-grade iron ore concentrates just 240km from Adelaide, with the potential to export from the Upper Spencer Gulf both domestically and internationally and in doing so support the rapid transition to green iron and steel production.”

On 27 February 2024, the South Australia premier Peter Malinauskas announced the state government will officially begin its search for partners to kickstart the state’s green iron and steel industry, cementing its position as a green iron powerhouse. 

The expressions of interest process is scheduled to begin in June this year, seeking involvement from businesses to jointly investigate the development of the DRI plant. 

A commercial de-risking study will be the ‘crucial’ first step in using the state’s natural endowment of quality iron ore to provide green iron to the world. 

Findings from the study will help determine the specialised industrial precincts and supporting infrastructure required to de-risk investment in green iron and steel in the state. 

It will also guide the government’s support and participation in partnerships, both with industry and Commonwealth, to attract investment into the sector. 

South Australia premier Peter Malinauskas says this is the state’s opportunity to construct a new industry to deliver exactly what the world needs to continue decarbonisation

“The world needs steel, and as it seeks to decarbonise, it will increasingly need green iron and steel. 

To that end we have what the world wants and needs. We have the key ingredients for a DRI plant in the Upper Spencer Gulf – an unrivalled resource of magnetite, and soon, a supply of renewable hydrogen, produced using our spectacular wind and solar resources.”

Magnetite Mines is an iron ore company focused on developing magnetite iron ore resources in the ‘highly prospective’ Braemar iron region of South Australia. 

The company has a wholly owned mineral resource of 6 billion tonnes of iron ore and is developing the Razorback Iron Ore project to meet accelerating market demand for premium iron ore products.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Magnetite Mines
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.