WA mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has pressed the button on $9m investment that could result in multibillion-dollar magnetite project in the Yilgarn region shipping high-grade iron ore products to India. Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting will take 30 per cent
stake in the Mt Bevan magnetite project west of Leonora under an agreement with joint venture partners, the Indian Government controlled Legacy Iron and junior explorer Hawthorn Resources.
Hancock can then boost its holding to 51 per cent by sole funding pre-feasibility study. The company announced on Thursday that its subsidiary Atlas Iron had been appointed as the manager of the joint venture project and would conduct the study. The deal, which comes after Hancock began due diligence over Mt Bevan in November, follows days after the signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation agreement. Legacy is 90 per cent owned by the Indian Government’s National Mineral Development Corporation.
Hancock chief executive Garry Korte said the project offered an excellent opportunity for Hancock and could provide options for additional higher grade, lower impurity iron ore products. The trend has seen host of juniors dust off mothballed magnetite projects, particularly in the Yilgarn region east of Perth.