NSL Consolidated has produced the first saleable beneficiated iron ore during the commissioning of the phase one Kurnool iron ore dry separation plant in India and is on track for its first sales revenue by the end of the June quarter.
A beneficiated iron ore grade of 58 per cent was achieved on a dry separation circuit and further process optimisation will continue. NSL said this was a significant milestone for the company, which is aiming at a phase one initial steady production rate of 200,000 beneficiated tonnes per annum from Kurnool. Currently, 58 per cent iron ore sells domestically at the mine gate for about
US$90 per tonne.
The company said that given the strength in both demand and pricing of the domestic iron ore market, it was likely it would prioritise domestic ex-gate sales ahead of export opportunities. NSL expects saleable grades of up to 58 per cent iron ore to continue and small-scale volumes to increase as it progressively ramps up the commissioning process during the remainder of the first half of this year.
The Kurnool stockyard is a 12-acre industrial site within the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Adjacent to NSL’s existing Kuja iron mine, the stockyard will source iron from the nearby Mangal mine. The phase two wet beneficiation plant process will be brought into operation in late 2012, with completion and sales in the first half 2013. The plant will be capable of producing final product grades of between 58 and 62 per cent iron, with the capacity of an additional 200,000tpa.
Perth-based NSL, which is the only foreign company to own and operate iron ore mines in India, said phase one was continuing on time and on budget.
By Helena Bogle