West Perth-based iron ore miner Murchison Metals Ltd has acquired two tenements from Austral Gold Ltd and Joytell Pty Ltd, to be known as the Rocklea Project, in the Pilbara iron ore region for a total cash consideration of $9 million.
West Perth-based iron ore miner Murchison Metals Ltd has acquired two tenements from Austral Gold Ltd and Joytell Pty Ltd, to be known as the Rocklea Project, in the Pilbara for a total cash consideration of $9 million.
The announcement is pasted below:
Murchison Metals Ltd is pleased to announce its first acquisition in the world-class Pilbara iron ore province.
In two separate agreements, Murchison has acquired E47/952 from Austral Gold Lt and iron ore rights on the adjoining E47/1153 from Joytell Pty Ltd for a total cash consideration of $9 million.
Murchison must also pay a $1 a tonne royalty to Joytell on any future production.
The two tenements, to be known as the Rocklea Project, total over 400 square kilometres and are considered to be highly prospective for channel iron deposit style mineralisation.
Up to 40 strike kilometres of prospective paleo-channel has been identified on the tenements from satellite imagery and geological mapping.
Located between the major iron ore mining towns of Tom Price and Paraburdoo, the Rocklea tenements are close to existing infrastructure that will facilitate exploration and potentially any future development activities.
The project is situated 50 km northwest of Paraburdoo and 30 km west of Tom Price.
Murchison Managing Director Trevor Matthews said he was extremely optimistic about the iron ore potential of the Rocklea Project and excited by the opportunity to secure such a promising land holding in the heart of the world's premier iron ore producing region.
"The opportunity represented by Rocklea is of such a scale that it justifies Murchison's entry into the highly prospective Pilbara region, especially given its ideal location close to existing facilities and excellent road and air access," he said.
The northern tenement at the Rocklea Project has previously been explored for iron ore by Jupiter Mines Ltd. Jupiter took 12 rock chip samples1 along the length of the paleo-channel that averaged: 54.9% Fe, 0.03% P, 5.7% SiO2, 3.4% Al2O3, 10.5% LOI or 61.3% Calcined Iron.
Jupiter followed up with 55 reconnaissance drill holes.
Six drill holes returned iron assays greater than 50% Fe with a maximum thickness2 of 10m.
Only a small component of the paleo-channel could be tested before the exploration program ended prematurely.
The southern tenement of the Rocklea Project has not previously been explored for iron.
Murchison recently visited the tenement and collected 10 rock chip samples from various locations along the full length of the paleo-channel within the southern lease.
The samples were 4 to 5kg in mass, were comprised of pebble to cobble size rocks, and were submitted to Ultra Trace Analytical Laboratories.
The results averaged: 56.0% Fe, 0.03% P, 5.1% SiO2, 2.3% Al2O3 10.5% LOI or 62.6% Calcined Iron.
To the north of Murchison's Rocklea Project, the same paleo-channel hosts Rio Tinto Ltd's 400Mt Beasley River Channel Iron Deposit3.
To the east, Ausquest Limited has had exploration success4 on the same paleochannel by drilling targets initially
identified by Hamersley Iron in the 1970s.
Murchison intends to rapidly advance all necessary environmental and heritage approvals and begin drilling in the second half of 2008.
Due to the preliminary state of exploration at the Rocklea Project there is currently insufficient data to define a Mineral Resource or to determine whether future exploration will result in the determination of a Mineral Resource.
Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, Murchison is a 50% shareholder in Crosslands Resources Ltd which is the owner of the Jack Hills iron ore project located in the mid-west region of Western Australia.
The remaining 50% of Crosslands is held by Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan's largest general trading company.
In addition, Murchison has a 50% economic interest in a new independent infrastructure business, Oakajee Port and Rail and is seeking to be awarded the right to construct new port infrastructure to service miners (including Crosslands) and other potential customers in the mid-west region of WA.
The remaining 50% economic interest in Oakajee Port and Rail is held by Mitsubishi.