Rogetta iron ore project is a greenfield open-pit iron ore mine being developed by Forward Mining. Located approximately 30km south of Burnie, near Hampshire, Australia, it is the biggest iron ore mine being developed in Tasmania in the last 50 years.

Forward Mining received environmental approval for the project in June 2018 and expects to start construction in 2019. The project is estimated to require an investment of $100m.

It is expected to produce one million tonnes (Mt) of magnetite iron ore concentrates a year, over its estimated mine life of eight years, starting from 2020.

The project is expected to create 200 jobs during construction and 100 permanent jobs during the operational phase.

Rogetta iron ore mine geology

Rogetta iron ore project is based on the Rogetta North iron ore deposit located in the Kara mining district near Hampshire.

Rogetta iron ore project background

Forward Mining acquired the project in 2012 and renamed it as Rogetta iron ore project.

Rogetta iron ore project reserves

Rogetta iron ore mine is estimated contain 25.9Mt of iron ore resources grading 31.06% Fe. The resource estimate includes 11.6Mt of measured and 13.9Mt of indicated iron ore resources, at cut-off grades of 31.98% and 30.25%, respectively.

Mining and processing at Rogetta iron ore project

Rogetta will be an  open-pit mine involving drill-blast-haul operations. The mining fleet will comprise a dozer, an excavator, four rigid dump trucks for mining operations up to 60m below ground, and five articulated dump trucks for mining operations at depths beyond 60m below ground.

The mine pit will be dewatered with the help of dewatering bores or in-pit sumps.

The extracted ore will be hauled to the run-of-mine (ROM) pad situated on the edge of the pit, where it will be crushed in a mobile primary jaw crusher. The waste rock will be trucked to the waste rock dumps.

The crushed ore will be stockpiled before being sent to the on-site processing facility, where it undergoes magnetic separation for the production of iron ore concentrates.

The concentrates will be stockpiled before being trucked to the Burnie Port for shipping.

The tailings slurry from the processing plant will be fed to a tailings storage facility through a 3km-long tailing pipeline. An estimated 13.9Mt of tailings will be generated over the mine life.

Production from Rogetta iron ore mine

The project is forecasted to extract 19.3Mt of iron ore to produce 5.5Mt of concentrates over eight years of mine life, with peak production planned from second to sixth year of mining.

The average mining capacity of the project will be 6,600t of ore per day (tpd), while the peak capacity is expected to be 9,800tpd.

Infrastructure facilities for Rogetta iron ore project

The mine site will be accessed from the Ridgley Highway via Upper Natone Road and Rogetta Road. The Rogetta Road will be upgraded from Upper Natone Road junction to the processing facility with new 3.5m-wide travel lanes.

Water will be sourced from the nearby Blythe River, while rainwater harvesting is also proposed to meet the water requirement during dry seasons.

The mine is estimated require up to 10.5MW of electricity, which is planned to be supplied through a  22kV underground transmission line connecting the Hampshire substation.

The tailings storage facility, to be located 3km south of the open-pit, will occupy a surface area of 50ha and have crest height of 32m.

Two waste rock dumps (WRD) are proposed for the project - the 25ha Western WRD, which will be used as the main dump, and the smaller Northern WRD, which will be used to store potentially acid-forming material.

Other infrastructure facilities for the project include an administrative building, a workshop, a small packaged sewage treatment facility, and a water treatment facility.