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The Frances Creek iron ore mine at Pine Creek in the Northern Territory can mark down 2011 as a pivotal point in its existence as it was the year it commissioned a new multi million dollar iron ore beneficiation plant and changed ownership to Chinese mining company, Noble Group.

Re-opened Frances Creek Mine Achieves early Milestones

Since the Frances Creek Mine began production again in May 2007 it has achieved some memorable milestones, such as:

• Made its first iron ore shipment out of the Darwin port to China in September 2007, just four months after starting production

• Re-optimisation of the mine in August 2010 resulted in a iron ore reserve increase of 50 percent thereby increasing the life of mine to beyond 2014

• New beneficiation plant installed in 2011

• Acquired by multi-national China based Noble Group (parent company to Territory Iron Limited) in 2011

The Frances Creek Mine takes in an area covering 619 square kilometres with the main iron mineralisation covering a distance of approximately 30 kilometres. Between 1967 and 1974 there were 50 known deposits with 13 being mined at that time, mainly at the southern end of the mineralisation zone from which six million tonnes were produced. Resources and reserves at the end of 2010 had indicated and inferred resources standing at 9.9 million tonnes producing 58.1 percent iron and probable reserves of 5.8 million tonnes at 57.9 percent iron. The mine is capable of handling two million tonnes of iron ore a year. The Frances Creek deposit consists of haematite with some limonite and goethite all of which is exported to Asia, predominately China.

New Beneficiation Plant Adds Value to Frances Creek Mine

In January 2011 the then owner of the Frances Creek Mine, Territory Resources Limited, commissioned the new $4.3 million iron ore beneficiation plant. It was an immediate success when tested with a 800,000 tonne stockpile with a grading of 51 percent iron. This was beneficiated to 60 percent iron to be sold as fines. The new plant had a feed rate of 130 tonnes per hour with a designed 55 percent mass recovery. The plant was soon treating 80,000 tonnes of scalp feed producing 44,000 tonnes of high grade fines a month.

The beneficiation plant was both designed and manufactured by South African firm Consulmet and constructed on site by Territory Resources own staff. All was completed within budget and on time. The plant comprises a prep-screen section with dense media and spiral gravity separation.

Mine Originally Closed by Cyclone Tracy Damage

The original Frances Creek iron ore mine had been closed in 1974 as a result of damage caused by Cyclone Tracy. It remained closed for 33 years before it was re-opened again by Territory Resources in 2007. The re- opening of the mine required an agreement to be reached with the land's traditional indigenous owners. This agreement resulted in royalties being paid to the traditional land owners as well as a guarantee that training, mentoring and work would be made available at the mine for local aboriginal people to benefit from. There were 12 indigenous workers signed on in the first year of production.

Update- July 2014

Territory Iron, announced it would be closing the Frances Creek Mine near the town of Pine Creek by November of this year.


Noble Group

Established in 1987 with over 140 locations and Head Quarters are in Hong Kong. Noble Group provide agricultural and energy products, metals and minerals. The have various projects including Australia, Indonesia and Europe. Projects include Iron Ore and Refined metals traded include copper, tin, more


Noble Group
Level 1 658 Church Street
Richmond, VIC 3121

building 5, level 1, 658 church street
richmond, VIC 3121


Phone03 8199 6100
fax07 1234 5678

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