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The Savage River iron ore mining operations in Tasmania are located in two distinctly different locations. The open cut mine itself, along with its concentrator plant, is located high up in the rugged North West Coast mountains 100 kilometres south west of Burnie, where it is in continuous operation throughout the year amid almost continuous rainfall, that averages almost 2,000 mm a year.

Slurry Pipeline Takes Iron 83 Kilometres to Port Latta for Pelletising
and Exporting

The pelletising plant and ship loading facilities are at Port Latta on the North West Coast, 70 kilometres north west of Burnie. The mine and the coastal operations are linked by means of a 229 mm slurry pipeline that takes the concentrate slurry 83 kilometres across the rugged landscape from the mine concentrator to the Port latter pelletising operations. It takes 14 hours for the slurry be pumped from the mine to the Port Latta pellet plant.

Savage River Separates Pits at Mine Site
Access to the Savage River Mine is via a sealed road from Burnie that climbs to 350 metres above sea level through dense rainforest. Both the mine and concentrator is located in the Savage River Valley, the Savage River itself flowing through the mine site to eventually discharge into the Pieman River further downstream that eventually empties into the wild Southern Ocean as it continually pounds the rugged West Coast of the Island.

Three Open Pits Make up the Savage River Mining Operation
The Savage River Mine consists of three open pits known as the South, Central and North pits. All three are oriented in a north south direction spread over the distance of a four kilometre strike length. The three pits are separated by zones of thin or low grade mineralisation. However, an exploration licence is held by the company, Grange Resources, over nearby Long Plains, further to the south, that is also highly mineralised with high grade magnetite. The North Pit is separated from the Centre Pit by the Savage River that has been left untouched to allow the river channel to be retained. The three pits average between 100 and 150 metres in depth and plans are in-hand to deepen them to a depth of 250 metres.

The mining activity at Savage River involves the use of hydraulic excavators and off highway rear-dump trucks. Drilling and blasting is carried out ahead of excavation to prepare the ground for mining. All blast holes within the ore body are subjected to grade control sampling along with any selected holes around the periphery.

Iron Discovered at Savage River in 1887
Magnetite was discovered at Savage River in 1887. In 1965 a company called Savage River Mines Limited was formed as a result of a joint venture partnership being formed between American and Japanese interests. The mine operated as an open cut for the next thirty years under Picklands Mather and Company (PMI). An open pit was developed along with a concentrator and town for the workforce and their families to live in, along with the pipeline to Port Latta on the coast. Production began in 1966 with the iron being sold to Japanese steel mills. In fact over the next 20 years 45 million tonnes of pelletised iron was shipped out of Port Latta with annual production reaching 2.4 million tonnes. In 2000 Ivanhoe acquired all of ABM's shares in Savage River and in early 2005 disposed of its interests to Stemcor Holdings. The project at this time was expected to be mined out by 2009. However, a 2006 study showed that the life of mine could be extended to 2023 and investors were sought to work towards this achievement. In 2007 a group of Chinese shareholders in ABM formed a company SMAPL which Grange Resources acquired a 90 percent interest in in 2009. The remaining 10 percent of ABM remains in the hands of Stemcor.

Grange Resources

Owning The Savage River magnetite iron ore mine in Tasmania and having a majority interest in magnetite development project at Southdown near Albany in WA, Grange Resources are a proven and reliable producer of iron ore.


Grange Resources
Level 11, 225 St Georges Terrace
Perth, WA 6000

PO Box 7025 Cloisters Square
Perth, WA 6850



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