The Jack Hills iron ore mine in WA’s mid-west region currently produces about 2 million tonnes per annum of premium grade iron ore lump and fines per year.
The mine is owned by Crosslands Resources, of which Murchison Metals and Mitsubishi Development (a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation Japan's largest general trading company) each own a 50 per cent share.
Crosslands began mining at Jack Hills in November 2006, with the first shipment of ore made in February 2007. Latest figures have shown mining to be occurring at a rate of 1Mtpa and shipping in excess of 1.8Mtpa with grades exceeding 64 per cent for lump and 61 per cent for fines ores. Annual production from Jack Hills to June 30, 2011 was reported at 358,000t.
The Jack Hills range is a syncline of Archaean age meta-sedimentary and meta-igneous rocks about 35km long and up to 7km wide. The Archaean granite gneiss complex that makes up much of the Yilgarn shield surrounds this greenstone belt. The Jack Hills greenstone belt shows an increase in metamorphic grade to the west and in places has a high enough grade for garnet to develop. Within this belt, unlike other major WA greenstone belts, pelitic and psammite meta-sediments predominate with quartz-mica schists and phyllites containing chlorite, green muscovite and iron oxides.
Ore from Jack Hills is crushed and screened on site, before being trucked 640km to a storage and transfer facility at the Port of Geraldton. High-grade lump and fines are then loaded and shipped to customers primarily in China and Korea.
The direct shipping ore mineral resource at Jack Hills currently stands at 96.6Mt (at a 50 per cent cut-off grade), at an average grade of 59.1 per cent, while the beneficiation feed ore stands at 435Mt.
Crosslands is targeting a substantial expansion of annual production at Jack Hills.
Operating. In August 2011 it was announced that the Environmental Protection Authority of WA recommended approval of the proposed Jack Hills expansion project. The EPA determined that the proposed mine expansion to increase production at the Jack Hills mine from the current 1.8Mtpa to over 20Mtpa of iron ore concentrates, could be managed to meet the EPA's objectives, subject to various conditions.