Billionaire's Australia iron ore mine set to ship first cargo
* Roy Hill mine receives its first cargo vessel
* $10 bln mine last of the mega-projects as boom goes bust
* Outlook for iron ore mkt remains bleak as China demand slows
By James Regan
SYDNEY, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Australia's Roy Hill iron ore mine is set to ship its first cargo, marking the start up of the last of the mining-boom era mega projects in Australia.
The $10 billion development has been led by Gina Rinehart, one of the world's wealthiest women, whose fortune comes from mining the rust-red northwestern Australian outback.
"This is a truly momentous occasion as we receive the first vessel alongside the Roy Hill wharf and the first of our high grade product is loaded for the steel mills of Asia," Rinehart said in a statement on Tuesday.
The project, financed with $7.8 bln in funding from export credit agencies and commercial lenders, has been dogged by concerns over its timing, with a surge in new iron ore mines already waning as the Roy Hill mine took shape.
Iron ore prices have slumped more than 75 percent since construction of the mine began four years ago in partnership with South Korean steelmaker POSCO, Japan's Marubeni Corp and Taiwan's China Steel Corp. Continuación...