According to The Australian Financial Review, the iron ore grade boost BHP expects from its multibillion-dollar South Flank project is unlikely to be the start of a broader grade improvement campaign in Western Australia, according to the company's iron ore asset president Edgar Basto.
BHP is expected to take an investment decision worth more than $US3 billion ($3.9 billion) on South Flank within four months, with the massive mine expected to increase BHP's average iron ore grade from 61 per cent to 62 per cent if approved.
The increased grade will come at a time of increasing demand from Chinese steel mills for higher quality raw materials, and South Flank will also increase the proportion of lump iron ore produced by BHP's iron division.
The mine could be in production by around 2021.
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