EXPLORATION and development group Sherwin Iron yesterday reached a milestone in its operations, having loaded its first China-bound shipment of iron ore at East Arm Wharf.

Mines and energy minister Willem Westra van Holthe met with executive from Sherwin Iron, as well as senior Traditional Owners to oversee the bulk sample being loaded.

“It is a momentous occasion to see the iron ore being loaded,” Mr Westra van Holthe said.

“This project will see the employment of up to 300 people when it is fully operational.

“The Territory Government is fully committed to doing whatever it can to see this project succeed.

“This is a proud day for Sherwin Iron, the Traditional Owners and the Territory Government.”

Sherwin Iron operate the Roper River Mine Site 475km south-east of Darwin and Mr Westra van Holthe said the project has stimulated significant economic activity in the region.

“Taking jobs, training, infrastructure and services to the bush is all part of the Country Liberal Government’s regional development agenda,” he said.

“I look forward to seeing the long-term benefits the mine site brings to the Roper Region.”

The project is expected to reach full production next year and at least 200 million tonnes of ore from the Roper River mine is expected to pass through East Arm over the project’s 20+ year lifespan.