Diversified resources company Mineral Resources (MinRes) has announced its plans to shut the iron ore operations at the Yilgarn Hub in Western Australia by 31 December 2024.

Following the completion of an extensive assessment of the viability of the Yilgarn iron ore operations’, MinRes confirmed that the continuity of the Yilgarn Hub is not financially feasible beyond the end of this year.

The Australian company will cease Yilgarn Hub iron ore shipments by the end of 2024.

Factors causing the closure of the Western Australian iron ore operation include the limited remaining mine life across five operating mines over 220km.

Besides, the substantial capital costs and lead time needed to develop new resources to ensure continuity of supply are also adding to the shutdown of the Yilgarn iron ore hub.

MinRes said that the Yilgarn iron ore operations will wind down in a phased manner over the coming six months.

The Yilgarn Hub is expected to ship up to four million wet metric tonnes by the end of this year. Following this, the mining operations will transition into care and maintenance from early 2025.

The shutdown of the Yilgarn Hub will affect nearly 1,000 employees. MinRes plans to work with them on redeployment opportunities across the company’s other operations.

Currently, MinRes has approximately 800 vacancies across the business, with more expected to open in the coming months, especially with the ramp-up of the Onslow iron project.

The company has also planned for the redeployment of its fleet, consisting of five diggers, 28 trucks and 25 pieces of ancillary equipment, across its other business.

During the ramping-down period, MinRes will assess future options for its Yilgarn Hub assets, encompassing rehabilitation or disposal.

MinRes said that exploration drilling and environmental studies focused on hematite and magnetite targets will continue into 2025.

Mineral Resources managing director Chris Ellison said: “This prudent but difficult decision was not taken lightly and follows years of investment to extend the life of our operations in the Yilgarn.

“With our investment across Western Australia, we have almost 800 vacancies and will redeploy as many of our people as possible to other MinRes operations, including to our low-cost, long-life Onslow Iron project.”