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P: 08 9429 8222 F: 08 9429 8266


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About: The massive iron ore project being carried out at the Hope Downs mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia is the result of exploration undertaken by Hancock Prospecting in 1992. To fully develop the project Hancock Prospecting formed a 50/50 joint partnership with Rio Tinto in 2005 and by November 2007 first production was achieved. Hope Downs is operated as a series of open pit mines exploiting the great Marra Marra iron ore deposit.

Hope Downs has its own Railway to the Port at Dampier
The Hope Downs open cut has a capacity to mine 30 million tonnes of iron ore a year. All of it being processed on site before being railed to the coast for shipping overseas. The Hope Downs ore is taken along a 30 kilometre spur line before it connects with Rio Tinto's own railway system servicing its other Pilbara iron ore mines. This line is known as the Hamersley and Robe River Railway. The spur line is known as the Lang Hancock Railway in honour of the founder of Hancock Prospecting, Lang Hancock.

Mine Site and Port Expansion Increases Output
The Hope Downs open cut iron ore mine is in the process of even further expansion at a cost of close to two billion dollars. The expansion will expand the Hope Downs 4 project and add another 15 million tonnes a year to the company's total iron ore production. It has also invested $US230 million on expanding the Dampier Port. This expansion has increased port capacity by another five million tonnes a year bringing its total capacity to 230 million tonnes annually. This investment is additional to the $US91 million spent on the port's expansion in 2010. that increased capacity then by five million tonnes a year to 225 million tonnes.

Financing Such a Large Project Proved Problematic
Hope Downs Iron Ore secured tenements over the ore body at the open cut site in 1992. In 1998 it secured the financial support of of Iscor, a South African company. Iscor eventually pulled out of the deal and a smaller player Kumba took on a partnership deal. Delays were caused when Kumba was taken over by Anglo, particularly when it became clear that Anglo had commitments with the South African Government that meant its main focus had to be with iron ore projects in South Africa.

Hancock Prospecting Finally Sealed the Deal With Rio Tinto
Things got moving when Kumba was replaced by Rio Tinto Iron Ore on July 1, 2005. Rio Tinto entered into a joint venture agreement with Hancock Prospecting on a 50/50 basis. As a result first production from the mine occurred in November 2007, after a set up cost of $1.3 billion, when the first train full of iron ore traveled the Lang Hancock and Hamersley and Robe River Railway to the port at Dampier. One year later, after the first Hope Downs mine proved so successful, it started on its second mine at the same site, Hope South. Hope Downs now had two giant mines exploiting the same ore body and 30million tonnes of iron ore is being transported to Dampier annually.

The Hope Downs Joint Venture employs over 500 people and is currently in the process of developing Hope 4 that has a resource of 364 million tonnes and a reserve base of 137 million tonnes. Hope 4 has the potential of doubling the current Hope Downs production.

Hancock Prospecting

Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd (HPPL) is an Australian company that is operating in the Pilbara and the iron ore sector.Founded by Lang Hancock in 1952 a progression of 10 iron ore mines have been developed from original Hancock discoveries, the first being Tom Price in 1966.The company is now led more


Hancock Prospecting
HPPL House 28-42 Ventnor Ave
West Perth, WA 6005

PO Locked Bag No 2
West Perth, WA 6872


Phone08 9429 8222
fax08 9429 8266

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