Minotaur Exploration (ASX: MEP) has set its sights on up to a four billion tonne magnetite exploration target with Japanese joint venture partner Sumitomo Metal Mining Oceania Pty (TYO: 5713) at the Mutooroo Magnetite Project, west of Broken Hill in South Australia.
Technical consultancy group Hellman and Schofield Pty prepared the exploration target estimate using initial drilling, extensive 2D and 3D geophysical modelling assessment, and Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) rates of 14.5% to 16% using a nominal 10% DTR magnetite cut-off.
Test work has shown the potential for concentrates containing 68.8% iron with acceptable silica and low content of deleterious elements that illustrate the chemical consistency and quality for magnetite concentrates produced at Mutooroo.
Kicking off exploration is an extensive 15,000 metre campaign of reverse and diamond drilling, with the target a JORC Inferred Resource later this year.
The project’s deposits are also open at depth therefore providing scope for future depth extension to the estimate.
Mutooroo is located on tenement EL 3745 and 100 kilometres southwest of Broken Hill, with the tenements magnetite-bearing strata extending over a strike length of about 40 kilometres, and clustered primarily around the Muster, Duffields and Surrender Dam anomalies.
Minotaur will hold 40.9% of the joint venture, with Sumitomo 59.1%.
A consortium to build up infrastructure has been formed in the increasingly prospective Braemar Iron Formation that stretches across the border area of South Australia and New South Wales west of Broken Hill.
The alliance comprises companies at different mining stages in the region, including Carpentaria Exploration (ASX: CAP), Havilah Resources (ASX: HAV), Royal Resources (ASX: ROY), U308 (ASX: UTO) and Minotaur; alongside private companies, Sinosteel PepinNini Curnamona Management, Bonython Metals Group, Wentworth Metal Group.
Andrew Woskett, managing director of Minotaur is the spokesman.
The alliance has a common interest in the region requiring a major deep water port facility on South Australia’s Spencer Gulf located 150 kilometres west of the alliance area, plus power, water and transport infrastructure throughout Braemer.
Spokesman Woskett said that if all projects proceed to development, an investment mix of A$6 billion or more could be foreseen over the forthcoming decade bringing significant downstream opportunities to the involved regions.
Woskett said “the presence of iron mineralisation has been recognised since the 1960s but only in the past few years, with the impetus of higher iron ore prices, have explorers actively sought to define the province’s resources to the Australian JORC standard.”
The potential mineable deposits throughout Braemer have a potential for up to 20-40 billion tonnes magnetite, according to Alliance members.
Braemer stretches for approximately 250 kilometres from Peterborough in South Australia to Broken Hill in New South Wales.
Further, the alliance plans to work with the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) to ensure it delivers a consistent message to government.
In the short term, the alliance will work under the SACOME umbrella, until formalising its own corporate structure.