Mining – Burracoppin Magnetite Deposit
Establish a Mineral Resource at the Burracoppin Magnetite Deposit and build a mine to produce 1.6Mtpa iron concentrate for smelting into Pig Iron.
The Burracoppin Magnetite deposit is evidenced in airborne magnetic data to be 3 kilometres long. Metallurgical studies of core samples from 2 of 3 diamond holes drilled into the deposit indicate a high grade iron concentrate with low levels of impurities can be produced at a relatively coarse grind size (P80 -150 micron) (refer to ASX release 23/11/2012). Additional drilling is required to better understand the extent of the mineralisation.
Work is currently progressing to establish sufficient magnetite within the deposit to support about 20 years of pig iron production at the planned rate of 1Mtpa. The planned resource definition work is focussed in the region between the 3 drill holes where, as part of the work in establishing a Mineral Resource, an Exploration Target has been determined (refer to ASX release 12/02/2021).
The magnetite deposit is well positioned with existing open access infrastructure including, rail and port facilities.
An Exploration Target of 100 to 120Mt at a Davis Tube Recovery (“DTR”) grade of 25-35% to give 25 to 40Mt of magnetite concentrate with a 67 to 71% iron grade and a 1-4% SiO2 grade with low alumina, phosphorous and sulphur has been determined at the Burracoppin Magnetite deposit for the purpose of planning drill-out to JORC compliant resource (refer to ASX release 12/02/2021).
It should be noted that the potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Target is conceptual in nature, and there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource; it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.
An infill drill programme comprising 11 holes (3,740 metres) at the Exploration Target has been determined that may successfully achieve a target of 20 - 30Mt of iron concentrate product at Indicated Resource status.
Should the drilling and further metallurgical testwork succeed in establishing an Indicated Resource of sufficient size the next steps would involve expanding the work to Pre-Feasibility Study and potentially further extending to Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) followed by construction of mine and processing facilities to produce 1.6Mtpa iron concentrate for use as feed for the planned smelter.
CSIRO in research study of
Burracoppin Magnetite Deposit in WA.
A collaboration with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is investigating and trialling new ways to determine resource estimates that can rely more on geophysics than information solely from drill holes. The work has used previously drilled core to determine the physical properties (e.g., magnetisation and density) of the Burracoppin Magnetite deposit, and used those results to constrain a detailed 3-D magnetic/density model of the mineralisation (refer to ASX releases 26/05/2021, 11/01/2022 and 29/04/2022 ).
If shown to be successful, the work with CSIRO may lead to a new method of estimating a resource to JORC standards with far less drilling than is currently required, saving much expense and reducing ground disturbance. The project was made possible through CSIRO Kick-Start, an initiative that provides funding and support for innovative Australian start-ups and small businesses to access CSIRO's research expertise and capabilities.
CSIRO Lead Researcher for the project, Dr Jim Austin, was interviewed on the ABC Midwest & Wheatbelt Breakfast program which aired on 3rd May 2022. In the interview, Dr Austin discussed the work by CSIRO on the MagResource method under development at Burracoppin.