Atlas Iron to export manganese ore
Perth, 12 March (Argus) — Perth-based iron ore producer Atlas Iron is to export manganese ore as part of its product diversification strategy which already includes lithium direct shipping ore.
It signed an agreement to buy up to 100,000t of mined and crushed manganese ore over a four month period. It will export the ore from its Utah Point bulk handling facility at Port Hedland in Western Australia.
Atlas has prepared its logistics chain to handle manganese lump at a low capital cost and without affecting its iron ore and lithium production. Subject to approvals and offtake arrangements, it will load manganese ore into dedicated holds of vessels chartered for iron ore, it said.
Earlier this month, the company signed an agreement with Sinosteel to export up to 1.5mn t of lithium direct shipping ore to China over 15 months.
The lithium ore comes from Pilbara Minerals, which is developing the Pilgangoora lithium project. First concentrate production is expected early in the second half of this year. Pilbara is selling direct shipping ore as a means of early cash flow while its increases output to steady state concentrate production.
Atlas is taking advantage of strong demand for both lithium and manganese direct shipping ore in Asian markets.