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The Karara Iron Ore Project is an 8mtpa Magnetite processing plant located approximately 220 kilometres south-east of Geraldton in Western Australia.
Primary and Secondary crushers crush Run of Mine (ROM) ore to a product size below 60mm. The broken ore reports to a Coarse Ore Stockpile (COS) for downstream processing, with the capability of holding more than 500kt of crushed ROM.
Ore is reclaimed from the COS by a conveyor and into a parallel train of two High-Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR). The HPGRs are responsible for reducing the ore to less than 4mm.
The material from the HPGRs is pumped in dense slurry form to the first stage of magnetic separation, where a high magnetic field removes non-magnetic material to a tails stream, with the concentrate continuing to the primary grinding plant.
The primary grinding plant, consisting of four balls mills, further grinds the ore slurry for subsequent stages of magnetic separation. This process includes fine grinding to a particle size of less than 50µm and results in the production of a concentrated magnetite stream with a grade of ~58%.
Final upgrading occurs in the flotation circuit, with the concentrate filtered to below 10% moisture. At this stage of the process, a saleable concentrate is produced, with a grade of 65% Fe.
The operation filters a majority of plant tailings for dry stacking. This process maximises water recovery and minimises the operation’s environmental footprint.
Karara’s rail spur and dedicated ore trains convey the iron concentrate to a purpose-built ship loading facility at the Port of Geraldton.