Mineral Resources announces Yilgarn Hub shutdown

By the end of this year, MinRes will have exported almost 45mt via the Port of Esperance and spent $4.2b running the Yilgarn operation.
By the end of this year, MinRes will have exported almost 45mt via the Port of Esperance and spent $4.2b running the Yilgarn operation.

Mineral Resources (MinRes) (ASX: MIN) will cease Yilgarn Hub iron ore shipments by the end of the year following a viability assessment that confirmed the site is not financially viable beyond 2024.

MinRes cites limited remaining mine life across five operating mines and significant capital cost and lead time required to ensure continuity of supply as driving factors in the decision.

Yilgarn Hub operations will safely ramp down over the next six months, with up to 4mwmt expected to ship by the end of 2024. Mining operations will then transition into care and maintenance from early 2025.

With the support of the WA Government, MinRes saved hundreds of jobs at Koolyanobbing that were set to be lost in 2018.
With the support of the WA Government, MinRes saved hundreds of jobs at Koolyanobbing that were set to be lost in 2018.

About 1,000 employees will be impacted by the shutdown. The MinRes Yilgarn Hub team will be prioritised for open positions and retraining.

MinRes managing director Chris Ellison says they will work with affected employees on redeployment opportunities across the Company’s other operations.

“This prudent but difficult decision was not taken lightly and follows years of investment to extend the life of our operations in the Yilgarn,” he said.

“With our investment across Western Australia, we have almost 800 vacancies and will redeploy as many of our people as possible to other MinRes operations, including to our low-cost, long-life Onslow Iron project.”

Five digger fleets, including 28 trucks and 25 pieces of ancillary gear, will be redeployed across the business. MinRes will consider future options for its Yilgarn Hub assets, including rehabilitation or disposal.

Exploration drilling and environmental studies focused on hematite and magnetite targets will continue into 2025.

This decision aligns with MinRes’ strategy to transition its iron ore business to low-cost, long-life operations, such as Onslow iron, which recently delivered its first shipment.

MinRes will disclose any financial impacts in its FY24 full-year results.