1 May 2014
Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said the first high-grade ore was produced on Wednesday.
“We have commenced mining of high-grade material and we are very proud of that,” he told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia function in Perth.
Roy Hill is Australia’s biggest mining construction project and employs more than 3,000 workers.
When completed it is hoped it will produce 55 million tonnes of iron ore a year.
Mr Fitzgerald said Roy Hill was spending $10 million-a-day to build the mine and associated rail and port development.
He said the first tracks for the railway line would be laid from the middle of next month.
In March the company signed a multi-billion dollar finance deal to build the $10 billion project.
It took Roy Hill more than two years to arrange finance for the project with 19 commercial lenders and five credit export agencies.
Mr Fitzgerald said predictions that no more large resources projects would be built in Australia were premature.
However, he said big, integrated mining projects may face problems getting approved.
“I think there will be significant difficulties in having projects as independent as ours and the size of ours,” he said.
“However, I don’t think greenfields projects per se will stop.”
He also weighed into the debate about upcoming cuts to the federal budget.
Mr Fitzgerald said last month’s approval of the Roy Hill project finance by commercial lenders was based on tax concessions for miners remaining in place.
“The speculation that the diesel fuel rebate might be reduced or removed is obviously going to reverberate about some fairly influential and significant institutions around the world,” he said.
“I think that is a point which we need to remember when we set policies, we need to make sure that the easy target isn’t the target chosen.”
Roy Hill is majority owned by Mrs Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting.
Courtesy of ABC News
1 May 2014