THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Sundance Resources has increased the high‐grade hematite Resources at the company’s Mbalam project in Central Africa by 49 per cent to 775.4 million tonnes grading 57.2 per cent iron.
According to Sundance over 95 per cent of the updated Resource is in the Indicated category, which it claims further underpins the strength of the development of Stage One of the project.
Stage One has already established the project at 35 million dry tonnes per year (Mdtpa) for 10 years from a previously announced Ore Reserve of 352 million tonnes at 62.4 per cent iron with low impurities of five per cent silica, 2.6 per cent alumina and 0.09 per cent phosphorus.
The company revealed it has also defined a maiden resource of 1.4 billion tonnes of Itabirite mineralisation at 35 per cent iron at the Nabeba deposit in the Republic of Congo in addition to 2.3Bt of Itabirite it has previously announced at the Mbarga deposit in the Republic of Cameroon.
This brings the Mbalam project’s total high‐grade Hematite and Itabirite resources to 4.49Bt.
Location of Nabeba Northwest and Nabeba South deposits in relation to the Nabeba deposit. Source: Company announcement
“The size of the high‐grade hematite resource clearly demonstrates the potential of this project,” Sundance Resources CEO and managing director Giulio Casello said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Combined with our exploration target of a further 90 to 150 million tonnes of high-grade hematite and also considering the other areas within our tenements that are yet to be explored, we are confident of approaching one billion tonnes of high‐grade, which further demonstrates that Mbalam is a world‐class iron ore asset.
“The maiden Itabirite Resource at Nabeba is consistent with our previously announced exploration targets and confirms the long life potential of these deposits with total Resources of 4.5 billion tonnes.”
Sundance was able to increase the global JORC‐Code compliant Mineral Resources for the Mbalam iron ore project due to the following reasons:
– Addition of the Nabeba Northwest deposit (50.3Mt at 52.8 per cent Indicated resources);
– Addition of the Nabeba South deposit (9.9Mt at 57.3 per cent iron Indicated resources);
– Re‐interpretation of the Main Nabeba and Mbarga deposits based on additional drilling information (accounts for an increase of approximately 80Mt of Resources); and
– A relaxation of previous chemistry ‘cut‐off’ and ‘cut‐over’ restraints as a result of the Enhancement Study (accounts for an increase of approximately 115Mt of high-grade Resources).
Sundance identified the relaxation of previous chemistry constraints to be significant in that previous resource estimations have applied various iron cut‐offs inside defined mineralised domains and then had further restraints placed for silica and alumina to ensure a premium quality resource was provided to the Ore Reserve Estimation process.
The company indicated work carried out on its Enhancement Study has so far is demonstrated its Ore Reserve process can handle lower quality specifications and still produce a high-grade product by use of in‐pit scheduling and blending.
This has enabled Sundance to optimise the Resource to present maximum tonnes for the Ore Reserve Estimation process while also allowing use of the upgraded plant already within the company’s Definitive Feasibility Study to treat more resource tonnes.