Queensland-based explorer Carpentaria Exploration has formed a joint venture with Maosen Australia to strengthen its position as a leading tenement holder in the Braemar Iron Province. The agreement gives Carpentaria the option of earning a 100% interest in the South Australian licence.
The tenement covers 20km of the highly prospective 200km-long Braemar Iron formation which hosts the company’s flagship $3.2 billion Hawson’s Iron Project south of Broken Hill as well as the nearby South Dam venture. The province is characterized by large deposits and very soft ore that provides for potentially low processing and mining costs.
Carpentaria says the tenement is close to existing transport infrastructure, with the national rail line and highway 45km to the northeast and Port Pirie 150km to the west, which bodes well for accelerated development of the project.
The company’s executive chairman Nick Sheard says the joint venture is a significant boost for its iron ore interests, and highlights Carpentaria’s position in Australia’s newest iron province as a first mover. “This new Braemar joint venture, together with the Hawsons Iron Project, South Dam and the Torrowangee EL in New South Wales, gives Carpentaria a combined 1182sqkm of tenement holdings and more than 81km of collective strike of the magnetite siltstone.
“Carpentaria will use its extensive knowledge of the Braemar iron formation to fast-track exploration, giving the opportunity to potentially develop a new iron ore project just 200km from a capital city and close to rail and port infrastructure.”
With only limited magnetite exploration on the tenement and no previous drilling, Carpentaria has planned a ground magnetic survey on which to base a drilling program designed to establish the key characteristics of the mineralization.
The joint venture terms require Carpentaria to pay Maosen $25,000 after completing 30 days due diligence. It can earn an 80% interest by completing a pre-feasibility study and making a further payment of $200,000 to Maosen, or a $1 million payment to earn 100% if Maosen elects not to contribute further. This option would result in Maosen reverting to a 1.5% net profit royalty, however it could elect to regain a 10% interest at the completion of a detailed feasibility study.
“This latest agreement demonstrates our intention to actively explore new projects in areas that allow for low-cost exploration, speeding the development process,” says Nick Sheard.
A maiden inferred resource estimate at the Hawsons project was announced in December 2010 detailing 1.4 billion tonnes at a magnetite Davis Tube Recovery grade of 15.5% iron and 220 million tonnes of contained iron concentrate.