AUSTRALIAN miner Iron Road has announced a half a billion tonne resource upgrade at its Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP) in South Australia.
The total mineral resource, which covers the Murphy South, Boo-Loo and part of the Rob Roy areas, now stands at 2.6bt grading 16 per cent iron, 54 per cent silicon dioxide, 13 per cent aluminium oxide and 0.08 per cent phosphorous.
Iron Road believes the upgrade, which is part of an ongoing drilling program, demonstrates the size, scale and potential long-term production life for the project. In 2009, Coffey Mining established a global exploration target of between 2.8bt and 5.7bt of magnetite gneiss grading between 18 per cent and 25 per cent iron at the project.
Managing director Andrew Stocks said the company expected to add more to the resources at Central Eyre in the near future.
“Given our success in bringing in bringing in our exploration targets to minerals resources in the past, we have increasing confidence that we will repeat this success across our global resource,” he said.
“Looking at our long-term vision, we ultimately expect to define enough resources to produce a billion tonnes of high-quality concentrate for export from the CEIP operations, over a very long life.
“This will more than underpin the capital requirement to get this unique and special operation into production.” A definitive feasibility study for the project, together with a prefeasibility study, demonstrated that the mineral resource could be readily upgraded to a high-quality concentrate grading 67 per cent iron.
The prefeasibility study confirmed the viability for a 12.4 million tonne per annum operation but Iron Road is assessing the possibility of increasing annual production to 20mtpa.
CEIP comprises a large, low strip ratio and low variability magnetite deposit that will be mined using standard conventional open pit mining methods.