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Leading Practice Mining Acts Review - Statutes Amendment Bill released

South Australia's Magnetite Strategy aims to secure $10 billion of committed investment in iron ore projects within five years

South Australia is developing a Magnetite Strategy to guide and support the development of the state's vast iron ore resources for economic growth and the creation of jobs within the supply chain.

Goals of South Australia's Magnetite Strategy

More than 90% of South Australia's iron ore is magnetite located in several prospective areas of the state, stretching from the Eyre Peninsula to the Braemar province and the Far North.

Approximately 2 million tonnes of magnetite is mined each year from South Australia for domestic use and export while there are 15 magnetite projects in various stages of development.

Developing South Australia's Magnetite Strategy: Directions Paper

South Australia Magnetite Strategy Directions PaperA workshop involving participants from industry, the supply chain, local government and various sectors of State Government was held in May 2016 to discuss the development of a long-term magnetite strategy. The workshop identified challenges and opportunities across three key areas:

  • Comparative advantages of mining and processing magnetite in South Australia
  • Market considerations to meet future global demand
  • Stakeholder involvement - who needs to be involved

Feedback from the workshop has assisted with the development of the Developing South Australia's Magnetite Strategy: Directions Paper.

South Australian's are now asked to provide their feedback on the proposed strategy and approach outlined in Developing South Australia's Magnetite Strategy: Directions Paper (PDF 3.6 MB). That input will guide the development of the Magnetite Strategy. 

You can provide feedback via:

  • Email:
  • the YourSAy engagements website (copy on the YourSAy website will be available shortly)

Closing date for feedback is Friday 31 March 2017

If South Australia can capitalise on these deposits and increase the output of magnetite exported each year there will be significant opportunities for economic growth and jobs in the supply chain around this industry.

Why magnetite?

Global demand for steel and iron ore are expected to continue to grow with steelmakers looking to magnetite product as an alternative feedstock to complement direct shipping ore.

With future demand for magnetite concentrated within China, India and South East Asia, South Australia's Magnetite Strategy aligns to the South Australian government's international engagement strategies within these regions.

Our vision

To make South Australia the foremost global source of quality magnetite product for steel making.

Our purpose

To work with investors, explorers, research institutes, supply companies, landowners and remote and regional communities to identify international markets and potential buyer demand and develop a comprehensive Magnetite Strategy to maximise economic opportunities for South Australia.

Three key themes of the Magnetite Strategy

Government and industry are working together with key stakeholders and regional communities to develop a comprehensive Magnetite Strategy for South Australia. Proposed actions for the strategy include:

1. Supporting independent research to assess and identify South Australia's magnetite resource and its comparative advantages to global suppliers against our potential competitors in Australia and global players

2. Identifying international market demand and trends to determine potential export destinations for South Australian magnetite

3. Marketing South Australia's comparative advantages across the global supply chain for magnetite product to attract investment and become the global source of quality magnetite product

Opportunities for jobs and community growth

Aerial view of Arrium Mining operations, South Middleback Range
Aerial view of the concentrator (foreground) and crushing and screening (background) plants at Arrium Mining's South Middleback Range operations (photograph by Sean Kelly, courtesy of Arrium Mining).

South Australia has an opportunity to position itself as the foremost source of high-quality magnetite product for steelmaking. The state is a world-class exporter of mineral resources including hematite, copper, uranium and mineral sands.

We can plan now to capitalise quickly when resurgent demand for resources leads to the next inevitable upswing in the commodities cycles.

South Australia's Magnetite Strategy will help grow the mineral resources sector and provide jobs and growth in our regional and remote communities.

Operational mines and major projects in the pipeline

Owner Arrium Ltd Cu-River Mining Australia p/L Iron Road Ltd Magnetite Mines Ltd Havilah Resources Ltd Carpentaria Exploration Ltd
Name of mine/project Middleback Ranges (operating mine) Mt Woods Magnetite Project (operating mine) Central Eyre Iron Project (major project) Mawson Iron Project (major project) Maldorky Hawsons Project
Region Eyre Peninsula Far North Eyre Peninsula Braemar Braemar Western NSW
Total resource 179 million tonnes 569 million tonnes 4.5 billion tonnes 2.7 billion tonnes 147 million tonnes 1.8 billion tonnes
In situ Fe grade (%) 35% 27.1% 15.5% 18.2% 30.1% 15%
Projected concentrate Fe grade - DTR (%) 67% 68.5% 67% 67% 67% 70%
Projected production rate (million tonnes per annum) 1.8 Mtpa (current) 0.9 Mtpa (current) +4.5 Mtpa(projected) 21.5 Mtpa 25 Mtpa 2.4 Mtpa 10 Mtpa
Life of mine (years) 10 years 20 years 25 years 25 years 26 years 26 years
Major infrastructure required Existing Existing Railway, deep sea port Slurry pipeline, floating port Haul road to rail line port Slurry pipeline to rail line Port Development

Where to from here?

  • Feedback on the Directions Paper is due Friday 31 March 2017
  • Further workshops and targeted feedback from key stakeholders to identify actions and refine the Magnetite Strategy will be held during February 2017
  • A marketing and communications plan will be developed and released in April 2017
  • Implementation of the Magnetite Strategy will begin during May 2017