The West

IOH to save cash for asset development
IOH to save cash for asset development

Iron Ore Holdings is no longer considering acquiring new assets, preferring to conserve its $98 million cash balance for the development of its own assets.

Speaking at the company's annual meeting yesterday IOH managing director Alwyn Vorster said the company had previously flagged the potential acquisition of new projects, but the company would focus its attention on developing its own Pilbara iron ore assets instead.

"I believe the phase of the industry we are moving into is that the low hanging fruit is gone. I believe only quality assets and quality people will rise to the top in the next two years," he said.

Mr Vorster confirmed yesterday's _WestBusiness _ report that the company is seeking to develop new port infrastructure in the Pilbara, but is still weighing up a potential development at Cape Preston against a smaller barging operation at its nearby Mardie deposit.

With a pre-feasibility study due within weeks on the development of an 8mtpa operation from IOH's Bungaroo South project, Mr Vorster said IOH's focus was on development of a supply chain to allow it get its iron ore to market.

The company on Tuesday declared a maiden probably reserve for Bungaroo South of 92.4 million tonnes, grading an average 57.6 per cent iron.

"About nine months ago the board decided we could not develop Bungaroo South on the basis of being 100 per cent at the mercy of the potential Anketell development," he said.

"So we decided to commence a pre-feasibility study on a completely independent supply chain."

Mr Vorster said the company was still in discussions with the State Government over support for a new port, which could include a 20mtpa facility at Cape Preston which could also be made available for the use of other iron ore hopefuls in the region. Iron Ore Holdings shares closed yesterday at 81¢, up 4.5¢.

The West Australian

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