Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) is sending its first shipment of iron ore to the new Utah Point port from its mines at Wodgina and Pardoo in the northwest of Pilbara, Western Australia.
The company has been stockpiling ore at the Utah Point port for the first shipment via the panamax bulk carrier Bergen Max, beginning early this month.
The Atlas Iron Managing Director David Flanagan said that the Utah Point port was central to the company’s plan to increase production to an annual rate of 6 million tonnes by Christmas. By 2012 the company hopes to ramp up the annual production to 12 million tonnes.
Mr Flanagan said that Utah Point is the first truly multi user port in the Pilbara region where miners other than majors can export their products. He said it was a momentous day for Atlas, its shareholders, staff and the Pilbara community in general.
Most of the iron ore exported from Australia heads to Asian nations such as China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Atlas Iron has shipped about 1.2 million tonnes of iron ore via other berths in Port Hedland in the last financial year.