THE DRILL SERGEANT: Iron Ore Holdings (ASX: IOH) has announced a maiden Probable Ore Reserve estimate of 92.4 million tonnes at 57.6 per cent iron for the initial mining development of Bungaroo South, which will be the main source of ore for the company’s Buckland project in Western Australia.
Buckland project – potential infrastructure options. Source: Company announcement
The Ore Reserve is based on an updated Bungaroo South JORC Mineral Resource of 248 million tonnes following an extensive infill drilling campaign, in which a total of 140 holes were drilled.
The new Mineral Resource estimate includes 180 million tonnes at 58 per cent iron.
IOH said the ore has relatively low silica and alumina levels compared to other deposits in the region.
The Buckland project covers all the activities associated with the potential development of an approx. 8 million tonnes per annum Bungaroo South mine, a dedicated 180 kilometre private haul road and a small scale barging facility at or near to IOH’s Mardie tenement on the Pilbara coast.
The company is continuing infill drilling across the Bungaroo South deposit while progressing a Feasibility Study.
It expects to deliver a further upgrade of the existing Inferred Mineral Resource to Indicated Mineral Resource status which should, in turn, support future increases to the Ore Reserve estimation.
A mine study completed by mining consultancy, Snowden indicates Channel Iron Deposit (CID) orebody can be mined from multiple areas in close proximity to a crush & screen facility.
A Western pit and two Eastern pits (with another pit at Dragon to follow in the future) can be developed without major impact on the creek system.
The study also identified Bungaroo South as having a relatively simple orebody with a low waste material strip ratio, which can be mined using conventional drill and blast methods allowing a potentially low cost operation.
“The mine study and Ore Reserve estimation are key components of the Buckland Project Pre- Feasibility Study which is due to be completed within the next six weeks,” Iron Ore Holdings managing director Alwyn Vorster said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“IOH is confident that the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study will confirm the technical and economic viability of the Buckland project.”