Atlas gets nod for Mt Dove
Atlas gets nod for Mt Dove

Atlas Iron says it expects to begin production from its Mt Dove project before the end of the year after securing final environmental approvals for mining.

"Atlas will commence construction in early July with commissioning planned for December," the company said in a statement.

"Given the relative simplicity of the mining operation, Atlas expects to see production from the Mt Dove mine increase its north Pilbara production rate to 8mtpa in the March 2013 quarter."

Atlas said while the mine life of Mt Dove was only 15 months, the grade contribution would enhance the overall Atlas Pilbara blend ore.

The company has awarded construction and operating contracts, including crushing and screening operations, worth $66 million to MACA, which already carries out work at Atlas' Pardoo mine.

Atlas also announced interim approvals had been received for its Abydos mine and construction of temporary accommodation facilities in preparation for mining commenced in May.

Environmental approvals for Abydos are expected by September.

The company expects to award construction and operating contracts for Abydos by next month.

"With first production from the Abydos Mine targeted in the June 2013 quarter, Atlas' Pilbara production rate is expected to reach 10mtpa by June 2013," the company said.

Atlas also announced its Mt Webber project was on track to begin production by December 2013.

"Production at Mt Webber will start at a rate of 2mtpa and ramp up to its 6mtpa installed plant capacity over time.

With the addition of the Mt Webber project, Atlas' production rate is expected to grow to 12mtpa.

Atlas' managing director Ken Brinsden said Atlas' North Pilbara projects were characterised by relatively low capital expenditure and globally competitive operating costs, contributing to Atlas' ability to generate significant operating cash flows.

"As a result, the company is well positioned to fund its Pilbara growth objectives," he said.

Atlas shares were off three cents, or 1.52 per cent, to $1.95 at 8.40am while MACA shares were off two cents, or 0.94 per cent, to $2.10 in a broadly weaker market.

The West Australian

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