PACIFIC Bauxite has completed formal agreements to acquire a 50% interest in Au Capital Mining which holds two bauxite projects in the Solomon Islands. The primary target is Nendo Bauxite Project in Temotu province of the country’s east with the arrangement also covering Choiseul project in the north.

The company, which was recently renamed from Iron Mountain Mining, has conducted initial exploration on Nendo which has confirmed extensive bauxite mineralisation.

Pacific is targeting high-quality bauxite amenable to direct shipping and low-cost development. It says there is strong public support for project activities, aided by ongoing community engagement and awareness.

Au Capital holds 100% of the projects and is now in partnership with Pacific to explore and potentially develop the two projects. Pacific is manager/operator of the projects.

The acquisition has been subject to extensive due diligence, including exploration and a condition precedent that Nendo has the capacity to host a minimum 8 million tonne bauxite resource at greater than 45% total alumina and less than 5% total silica.

Pacific’s comprehensive auger drilling and pit sampling program at Nendo has identified the presence of widespread high-quality bauxite mineralisation over a large area of uplifted paleo-limestone in the western part of Nendo Island, confirming the project as a quality asset prospective for direct shipping tenor (DSO) bauxite. The main target area defined by this work is about 12km by 2km and remains open to the east within similar terrain.

Average sampling results include 41.21% alumina and 1.7% silica for laboratory tests and 43.35% alumina and 4.22% silica for field XRF tests. Results show the tenor of alumina content is fairly consistent.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the company immediately started field work, including auger drilling in higher grade areas for the purpose of delineating a maiden JOCR resource estimate as well as trenching to validate auger sampling methodology and the identification of new areas favourable for bauxite mineralisation.

The immediate future for bauxite looks promising, supported by speculation that a boom period for bauxite is imminent driven by demand from China. Pacific Bauxite believes there is good potential to identify and develop a low capital cost, DSO bauxite mining operation at Nendo, which potentially offers a simple and very cost effective pathway to development and production.