The 110 km pipeline will transport iron ore from Aurox Resources’ Balla Balla mine site to Port Hedland.
The proposed pipeline, designed by Slurry Systems Engineering, will be 457 mm in outer diameter and a capacity of 10 MMt/a of magnetite concentrate.
The pipeline will be constructed as part of phase one of the site development, which will include the construction of a 6 MMt/a iron concentrate plant, 280,000 t/a titanium circuit and stacker/reclaimer infrastructure at Utah Point. Capital costs required to commence production in 2012 for phase one are currently $A1.3 billion.
Studies are underway to explore the ability to leave process water from the pipeline at Port Headland. If these are successful and the associated approvals are granted, this would remove the requirement for a water return line on the slurry pipeline.
Construction of the pipeline is expected to take approximately five months, and will begin construction in the winter months to correspond with the dry season in the Pilbara.
The underground pipeline, which is set to cost approximately $A200 million, will operate at a cost of $A1 per tonne of concentrate, which is cheaper than trucking.