Image extends high grade mineral sands zone at WA mine
Heavy mineral sands miner, Image Resources, has continued its extraordinary run at the flagship Boonanarring project located north of Perth, lengthening the very high-grade core of mineralisation a further 1.4km to the north.
Recent assay results from close-spaced drilling over the northernmost Block A heavy mineral, or “HM”, deposit at Boonanarring have confirmed that the high-grade mineralisation extends over the entire strike length, meaning the company has now defined the valuable “core” over 5.4km north to south.
The recent drilling threw up some excellent intersections too, with 5 metres grading 64.7% HM from 46m down-hole, 3m @ 65.8% HM from 51m and 2m @ 78.3% HM from 48m, being recorded in separate drill holes.
Image is currently mining high-grade HM mineralisation from Block C further south.
The latest results form part of a wider ongoing definition drilling campaign at the project, aimed at re-assessing the mineral resources and ore reserves for Boonanarring, after significant increases in grade and tonnage were reconciled during mining earlier this year.
The company has ascertained that the mine project area contains an ultra high-grade strand line or core that had not been previously delineated before open-cut mining commenced.
Image has since developed a very profitable mining and processing operation at Boonanarring, which ramped up to full production way ahead of schedule earlier this year.
The current ore reserves for Boonanarring stand at 19.9 million tonnes grading 7.2% HM content, outlining just how valuable the eastern strand’s mineralised ore grades have been to the project’s already attractive economics.
Image’s infill drilling program extends across the eastern strand of Blocks A, B, C and D at Boonanarring – over 9km from north to south – and will allow Image to fully update its resource and ore reserve position in the December quarter of 2019.
The company’s Boonanarring project is one of the highest HM grade, zircon-rich, mineral sands projects in Australia, with construction completed in May 2018.
The plant was commissioned in November last year, with the first production in early December and ramp-up to full-scale production achieved a month later.
First revenue was receipted in January and the operational performance exceeded budget during the first two quarters of this year, off the back of higher revenues and lower costs, directly attributable to the HM ore grades being above forecast and guidance.
Image’s product is in high demand too, with the Perth-based company signing additional sales agreements with its existing Chinese offtake partners back in May.
This week’s revelation that the Block A HM ore grades are likely to eclipse the original ore reserve numbers should enable the company to continue achieving positive cash flows, sustain profitability and allow it to self-fund exploratory and resource development drilling moving forward.
Total ore reserves for the combined Boonanarring and nearby Atlas projects are tabled at 29.3 million tonnes grading 7.5% HM.
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