Since 1965 Savage River Mines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pickands Mather International, operated an open-cut magnetite mine at Savage River west of Waratah and a pellet plant and loading facility at Port Latta on the northwest coast. PMI, after examining a number of options, decided to cease operations on completion of their current pit mining plan, with open-cut operations ceasing in April 1996 and all stockpiled ore being treated by the end of 1996.
Australian Bulk Minerals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, took over the Savage River lease in March 1997. A $110 million refurbishment program was undertaken to allow the production of ore to commence in November 1997. The mine and proceesing plant have recently been sold to Grange Resources Limited.
Magnetite concentrate is pumped from the mine site to the pellet plant via an 85 km long pipeline. The operation was originally designed at 2.5 million tonnes/year of pellet production but after restructuring in 1990 initially operated at 1.5 million tonnes/year.
Production of crushed ore from the Savage River open cut in 2009/2010 totalled 1.6 million cubic metres, with 2.39 million tonnes of pellets being produced at Port Latta.
Resources at May 2010 totalled 306 million tonnes @ 52.3% recoverable magnetite.
Employment at June 2010 was about 580 people.