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The Spinifex Ridge iron ore open cut mine, 170 kilometres east of Port Hedland in Western Australia, is owned by Moly Mines Limited, which has giant Chinese conglomerate Hanlong Resources Limited as its major shareholder.

Mining Lease at Spinifex Ridge Originally Taken up for Molybdenum- Copper Mining
The mining lease on which the company is mining iron ore at Spinifex
Ridge was originally obtained for the mining of molybdenum-copper and although the copper mine, which is only 500 metres from the iron ore deposit, is ready for production, it is currently on care and maintenance awaiting more favourable financial conditions. In the meantime the Spinifex Ridge hematite open pits are producing their planned one million tonnes of iron ore a year.

Spinifex Ridge Mine Contains Four Open Pits
The pits currently producing iron ore at Spinifex Ridge are the Gallifrey, Dalek, Auton North East and the Auton open cuts. Over 155 diamond drills holes to a total length of 10,000 metres have resulted in a maiden resource of 7.3 million tonnes of ore being discovered to date grading at 59 percent iron.

Spinifex Ore Trucked to Port Hedland for Exporting to China
The iron ore taken from the Spinifex Ridge open pits is trucked to Utah Point at Port Hedland where it is loaded onto ships for exporting to China. The first shipment from Port Hedland reached the Chinese port of Qingdao in January 2011 on the ship MV Father Neptune. This first shipment contained 54,500 wet tonnes of iron ore fines graded at 59.1 percent iron. In the September quarter of 2011 the Spinifex Ridge Mine shipped 257,267 wet tonnes, in three shipments, out of Port Hedland. This was a 20 percent increase over the previous quarter for that year.

All Spinifex Ridge Production Achieved by One Shift
Throughout the initial stages of production at Spinifex Ridge both the mining and crushing operations were carried out by only using a day shift workforce. This single shift has been able to keep ahead of the shipping schedule that was set at over 0.9 million wet tonnes for the 2011 calender year. The mine has, to date, produced more than two million tonnes of iron ore from the Spinifex Ridge deposits.
Iron ore at Spinifex Ridge is mined by blasting surface rocks to allow access to the below the ground deposit. Large haulage trucks are then used to take the ore to the crushing plant where it is crushed to various sizes. The size depends on a specific customers requirements. Following crushing the ore is loaded onto the trucks for transportation to Port Hedland where it is exported to overseas smelters. Most of the iron ore would finish up in blast furnaces and steel mills where it is manufactured into steel and iron through a process of smelting and refining.

Spinifex Ridge Hematite Becomes Either Iron or Steel
Once the Spinifex Ridge hematite iron ore is smelted in blast furnaces it becomes known as pig iron. This is obtained by feeding the ore, along with coke, through the top of the furnace at the same time heated air is blasted into the bottom to create a temperature of about 2000 degrees Celsius. As the coke and iron ore fall towards the bottom of the furnace the iron ore becomes a mixture of molten metal and slag. These products find their way to the bottom where the slag settles on top of the denser molten iron. Once the iron is recovered and cooled it is called pig iron because it is not pure iron owing to it containing up to five percent carbon at this stage. Further smelting and refining is required to produce pure iron that is known as wrought iron, or steel.

Moly Mines

Moly Mines Limited is a mining company that owns The Spinifex Ridge iron ore open cut mine located 170 kilometres east of Port Hedland in Western Australia.The mining lease on which the company is mining iron ore at, Spinifex Ridge, was originally obtained for the mining of molybdenum-copper. more


Moly Mines
46-50 Kings Park Rd
Perth, WA 6005

PO Box 8215
Subiaco East, WA 6008



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