25/03/2008 - 14:40

Atlas targets 120 to 180 million tonnes of Pilbara iron ore

25/03/2008 - 14:40

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Atlas Iron has set a target of 120 to 180 million tonnes of Pilbra iron ore, after previously reporting its Pilbara tenements were prospective for a total of 30 to 40 million tonnes.

Atlas Iron has set a target of 120 to 180 million tonnes of Pilbra iron ore, after previously reporting its Pilbara tenements were prospective for a total of 30 to 40 million tonnes.

The update follows the identification of several new areas of outcropping iron enrichment as Atlas engineers investigate a 10MTPA DSO project with the capacity to upgrade to 15MTPA.

 

The full company annoucement is pasted below:

Atlas Iron Limited is pleased to report on continued exploration success from its tenements, located between 75 and 150 kilometres from Port Hedland in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Recent geological mapping and surface sampling has highlighted exploration targets with combined potential for 120 to 180 million tonnes of iron ore grading 57 to 60% Fe.

During recent mapping and sampling the Company's geologists have identified several new areas of outcropping iron enrichment. These areas are typically delivering ore grade mineralization in surface samples (57 to 63% Fe) and range in size up to approximately 2,000 metres by 100 metres and 500 metres by 660 metres.

The program comprised a total of 144 surface samples (57 point and 87 traverse samples). Individual traverse sample lengths varied from 19 to 91 metres and were collected by geologists targeting representative true width and strike length. The prospects discovered have subsequently been ranked for drilling later this year.

Of a total of 144 surface samples, 120 returned results above 55% Fe with only 10 samples returning results below 50% Fe. Maximum individual value returned was 63.6% Fe with the longest traverse results returning 660 metres averaging 58.3% Fe, 4.66% SiO2, 2.73% Al2O3, 0.067% P and 8.40% LOI. The average of the 87 traverses samples was 47 metres long at 58.7 % Fe, 4.47% SiO2, 1.95 Al2O3, 0.07 % P, 8.51 LOI

Atlas remains on target to commence exporting of iron ore in October 2008, from deposits discovered and drilled out at Pardoo using the same exploration methods ie. geologists first identify the largest and best outcrops and then test them with drilling (1,400 holes for 93,000 metres completed to date). Given the past success of exploration exceeding previous targets, the company remains optimistic that ongoing drilling during 2008 will deliver significant resource upside and a rapidly growing production profile over the years ahead.

Atlas previously reported it's combined Pilbara tenements were prospective for a total of 30 to 40 million tonnes of Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) grading 57 to 60% Fe which was sufficient to support a startup operation of 6 million tonnes per annum. The revision to an exploration target of 120 to 180 million tonnes grading 57 to 60% Fe represents a fourfold increase and a major growth opportunity for the Company.

In response to these recent discoveries, Atlas has commenced conceptual studies into a larger project centered on Abydos. Atlas' engineers are now investigating a 10MTPA DSO project with the capacity for upgrade to 15MTPA.

"Atlas has a history of getting our exploration targets right. These look like major discoveries and if our assumptions are correct they have the capacity to make us Australia's 4th largest iron ore exporter," commented David Flanagan, Atlas' Managing Director.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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