GINDALBIE Metals Ltd has deferred the expected completion of the bankable feasibility study for its Karara iron ore project by six months to August 2007 but is still aiming to commence production by late 2009. Managing director Garrett Dixon said the deferral was a joint decision by Gindalbie and its Chinese joint venture partner, Ansteel. The delay in completing the feasibility study was attributed to three factors: an increase in the size of Gindalbie’s magnetite deposit, located south-east of Geraldton; delays in obtaining ore samples for pilot plant testing; and Ansteel reviewing its preferred off-take specifications. “The real driver has been the increase in the resource,” Mr Dixon told WA Business News. Gindalbie also disclosed that several key elements of the engineering and detailed design process will be undertaken in China following discussions with Ansteel. Mr Dixon said Ansteel would take over the design of the concentrator, which would supply feedstock for Ansteel’s pellet plant in China.“It has turned into a real joint venture,” he said Engineering firms Thiess and Promet Engineers have been undertaking the feasibility study to date. Gindalbie also disclosed that it has not settled on its preferred power supply for the project, nor its preferred shipping arrangement at Geraldton port. The company previously announced that engineering plans for a new shiploader and berth were due to be concluded in January. Gindalbie also announced that its phase one Karara hematite project would be considered as part of the much larger Karara magnetite project.
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