THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Emerging bauxite exploration and development company, Australian Bauxite (ABx) has received laboratory and exploration results from drilling and surface exploration conducted at the company’s recently-consolidated 11 exploration tenements in Tasmania.
The tenements are situated in central Northern Tasmania and cover some 1,897 square kilometres.
ABx has completed 334 drill holes and 1,521 surface samples in Tasmania over the past 18 months, carefully assessing all results in order to define areas that may be suitable for a bauxite extraction and export project.
The assessments have been based on:
– Sufficient tonnages of thick, good quality low-silica, gibbsite-rich bauxite;
– Nearness to high-capacity transport routes linked to nearby mineral export ports; and
– Being as free as possible of socio-environmental constraints that might prevent investment in a new business in central Northern Tasmania.
As a result of its assessment, the company has decided to relinquish two outlying tenements with the intention of securing another two new tenements in areas of quarrying and cleared lands that contain bauxite.
One new tenement has been offered for grant with a further two applications pending.
Once the company has defined the best resources, it will commence a scoping study, earmarked for September with the anticipation of reporting on the tenements’ economic potential before the end of the year.
ABx Tasmanian bauxite tenements, drillhole locations (dots) and infrastructure. Source: Company announcement
The company has also flagged the early commencement of discussions with potential offtake customers early to ensure its Tasmanian investment situation is clearly understood.
ABx said that community consultation and expert advice has led to a greater level of confidence that bauxite extraction could be viable in several of these areas once sufficient resources are identified and required approvals obtained.
“Investing in Tasmania is only done after careful consideration of the risk-rewards situation based on expert advice,” Australian Bauxite chief executive officer Ian Levy said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“It requires an understanding of Tasmania’s special circumstances.
“We believe that with goodwill and common sense, Australian Bauxite can develop a viable project in Tasmania.”
ABx said it considered central Northern Tasmania to offer good infrastructure, with an operating rail line passing through the bauxite areas as well as heavy haulage highways.
Both the rail and road link directly to efficient operating mineral export ports at Burnie and Bell Bay that have spare port capacity.
Tasmania has a well-developed electric power grid based mainly on hydroelectric power and has ample water supplies in most areas.
Natural gas from the Bass Strait field is distributed throughout Tasmania and there are many well-established population centres throughout the region.