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Two new mining leases have been approved for the Iron Warrior and Iron Sultan iron ore mines in the Iron Baron mining area near Whyalla.

Iron Warrior is expected to export about 1.5 million tonnes a year of direct shipping ore.

Iron Sultan is expected to supply 600,000 tonnes a year of hematite ore for blending into the Whyalla Pellet Plant magnetite concentrate feed to help lower the cost of steelmaking.

The two mines are the first to be approved in the region since SIMEC Mining acquired the resource assets in the Middleback Ranges as part of GFG alliance's purchase of Arrium.

The Iron Sultan mine is required to develop a hybrid pellet feed for the Whyalla blast furnace, which will significantly lower steelmaking input costs. Existing infrastructure will be used to support the development of an open pit at Iron Sultan. Iron Sultan will support 16 direct jobs and a contractor work force of 130 people while up to 40 people are expected to be employed at the Iron Warrior operations.

Ore from Iron Warrior will be hauled by road to the existing Iron knight processing plant for blending and export through the Port of Whyalla.