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Dry screening operations at the Riley iron ore mine. Image: Venture Minerals.

Venture Minerals has started commissioning for its wet screening plant at the Riley iron ore mine in Tasmania.

The milestone will allow Venture to complete its first iron ore shipment this quarter.

Company managing director Andrew Radonjic said the plant commissioning puts Venture on track to ship its first load of iron ore amid positive market conditions.

“Venture’s Riley development team has successfully commenced commissioning of the plant. Achieving this milestone of the installation schedule for the Plant, keeps the first iron ore shipment on track for this quarter,” he said.

“The recent record iron ore price makes it a perfect time for the company to transform from explorer to producer.”

Venture has now entered the equipment commissioning phase at the processing plant with electrical installation and piping nearing completion.

The company has erected 100 per cent of its structural steel,  with its mechanical installation now complete.

Venture stated the outlook for iron ore for the remainder of 2021 is strong due to Chinese demand and supply concerns from Brazil.

Iron ore prices reached record highs on May 10 at $US230.56 ($294.52) per tonne.

According to Fitch Solutions, iron ore prices will rally before settling in the second half of 2021.

“We believe prices will likely grind lower during the second half of 2021 as supply improves and demand growth slows. We have also raised our 2022 forecast from $US100 per tonne to $US130 as prices will start next year from a higher base,” Fitch Solutions stated.

The Riley iron ore mine has an indicated resource of two million tonnes at 52 per cent iron ore.

Venture is expected to employ more than 100 people at the mine and provide $100 million for the economy within its two-year mine life.