Sherwin Iron has announced it has reached an agreement with Darwin Port Corporation to use East Arm Wharf facilities to export its iron ore from the company’s Roper River mine site.

Territory Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Adam Giles, said the signing of the agreement was a major milestone that could see the port utilised for the next 20 years.

The company has announced it expects to produce in excess of 200 million tonnes of ore from the Roper site.

The company proposes to initially export 1 million tonnes of bulk ore through East Arm Port, increasing up to 3 million tonnes annually.

“While non-binding, the agreement will progress negotiations between the two parties to develop formal land leases and usage contracts required so work onsite can begin to construct the necessary facilities to allow stockpiling of materials,” Mr Giles said.

Sherwin Iron executive director Rod Illingworth said it is expected that shipments of iron ore from the company’s Roper River mine can commence this year through East Arm Wharf facilities with suitable agreements put into place with Darwin Port Corporation.

Mr Giles said currently about 2 million tonnes of dry bulk minerals from Territory mines are exported through East Arm Port each year for markets in China and the Roper River Iron Ore project has the potential to double these volumes for Darwin Port.