Sino Iron’s processing plant is where we transform the magnetite ore into high quality, premium magnetite concentrate. This is the heart of our operation at Sino Iron.

Before the ore arrives at the processing plant via the conveyor, it’s already been reduced down at the in-pit crushers to roughly the size of house bricks. Through the beneficiation process, it will now be crushed further to allow the magnetic separators to draw out the magnetite. We have six lines of processing equipment working in parallel, with each line made up of an autogenous grinding mill, ball mills, and magnetic separators.


Our milling lines

Every 24 hours, around 180,000 tonnes of ore are fed into the six milling lines’ autogenous grinding mills (AG mills), which are the largest grinding mills in the world. Each mill measures about 12m in diameter and has an internal volume of 1,220 cubic metres. As the AG mill turns, the ore crushes against itself and breaks apart.

From the AG mills, the ore travels to the primary magnetic separators where the iron is drawn away from the waste material before it’s screened and fed into the ball mills.

The ball mills are also the largest of their type – they have an internal volume of around 650 cubic metres and inside them are 800 tonnes of steel balls. This is how the ore is further pulverised until it’s a fine powder and from here it’s put through the secondary magnetic separators and de-sliming elutriation columns.


The in-pit crushers

We have four in-pit crushers, each standing seven stories high and able to crush more than 4,000 tonnes of ore an hour – these are the largest in-pit crushers in Australia.

The crushers deposit the ore onto one of two overland conveyors, each 1.7km in length, which transports the ore up to the coarse ore stockpile at the processing plant.

Thickening and dewatering

During the milling and separating process, the ore is mixed with water. In order for the ore to be efficiently pumped to the port area and prepared for export, the concentrate is thickened into a slurry form before it makes the 30km journey to the dewatering station at Cape Preston. Here, excess water is removed and the final product is stockpiled, ready for loading and shipping.

Water is recycled and returned to the concentrator area circuit, while waste is sent to Sino Iron's massive tailings storage facility.

Facts and Figures

  • Four in-pit crushers from Germany – the largest installation in Australia, with capacity to crush more than 4,000 tonnes of ore per hour per unit.
  • The conveyor carrying crushed ore from the mine to the concentrator area is 2.4m wide and 1.7km long.
  • Sino Iron uses largest AG mills in the world, at 12.2m in diameter and 11m long with 28MW gearless motors.
  • The ball mills, the second stage grinding equipment, are 7.9m in diameter and 13.6m long, each with two 7800 kW motors.
  • 52 magnetic separators are used in each of the processing lines.
  • Two concentrate thickeners, each 45m in diameter and four tails thickeners each 90m in diameter.
  • Four dewatering buildings, each containing seven press filters.
  • Each press filter has a design capacity of 154 tonnes of concentrate per hour.



Project Milestones