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Vietnamese steelmaker Hoa Phat Group has acquired the Roper Valley iron ore project in the Northern Territory.

According to Hoa Phat Group, the Roper Valley iron ore project has an estimated 320 million tonnes of reserves with a four-million-tonne-per-year mining capacity.

Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved the deal with the steelmaker, which hopes to purchase additional iron ore mines in Australia.

Hoa Phat Group stated the company is looking for Australia to supply 50 per cent of its iron ore for a total of 10 million tonnes per year.

“After a period of searching and preparing, Hoa Phat Group has firmly set its first step into the world largest iron ore supply market,” the company stated.

“The group is also studying to buy some Australian coking coal mines in the future to gradually become self-sufficient in this important production material.”

Roper Valley was previously owned by Northern Territory Iron Ore, a subsidiary of United Arab Emirates company Al Rawda Resources.

In February Al Rawda sold the project to Dragon Resource Investment for an undisclosed amount.

Northern Territory Iron Ore stated that Roper Valley has a mine life of more than 20 years.

On Tuesday, iron ore reached $US208.67 ($268.72) per tonne, marking its return to above $US200 per tonne.

Australia’s iron ore achieved a record annual export revenue of $116 billion in 2020, which made it the first commodity to break $100 billion in a boom year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Iron ore reached a record $US230.56 per tonne in May shortly after it first moved past the $US200 per tonne mark.