Drilling at the Macarthur Iron Ore Projects in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia.
Drilling at the Macarthur Iron Ore Projects in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia.

MACARTHUR Minerals is continuing with feasibility study planning for the Ularring Hematite Project in the Yilgarn iron ore district of Western Australia. The company is also continuing a process with the assistance of external advisors to secure a strategic investment partner to facilitate development of the project.

Any initial working capital investment would enable Macarthur to complete a feasibility study and contribute to the project’s working capital. A budget, schedule and work plans have been developed for the study.

The plans include further water exploration drilling and pumping along with design work for haul road, mine, process plant, camp/s, power, water and rail siding. Plans also include consolidation drilling and resource update, mine planning and geotechnical studies, and sample drilling for process plant bulk test work program.

The study work also includes metallurgical test work for a simplified circuit and the generation of a bulk sample for marketing and offtake negotiations, along with rail access negotiations.

In the ongoing test work program 11 priority sites have been blasted and excavated with the ore being sampled. Following an ore characterization study completed in January 2014, a further round of test work was aimed at testing lower to middle grade material from the four ore groups identified as being viable for the stage 1 beneficiation process (groups A, B, C and I). A total of 26 sites were selected, where bulk samples of around 100kg each were extracted from trenches, penetrating at least 1 metre into the ore body.

None contained a suitable grade of ore group I close to the surface that may be extracted from surface trenches. The majority of group I is at depth and will be sampled later. Six priority 1 and five priority 2 sites were selected, representing a variety of grades for ore groups A, B and C.

Macarthur continues the development of management plans required to meet conditions set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the approval from the Western Australian Government. A gravity survey was conducted over five tenements during July 2014. The sites overlie a palaeochannel system and results of the survey will be used to identify suitable targets for water exploration.

The company has been encouraged by developments regarding expansion of the Multi User Iron Ore Facility (MUIOF) at the Port of Esperance. On May 7, 2014, the Western Australian Government announced Yilgarn Esperance Solution Limited (YES), as preferred proponent for the expansion. YES is a consortium led by Asciano, an integrated transport and logistics service provider. Macarthur has an MoU with Asciano to negotiate a haulage and export agreement which includes Macarthur having annual export capacity of 4 million tonnes.