Hawsons Iron has upgraded the mineral resource for its namesake iron ore project in NSW by an additional 84 million tonnes, further solidifying the operation in the process.
This amounts to a 21 per cent increase in the Hawsons mineral resource and includes a maiden 54Mt in the measured category, while indicated resources jumped from 132Mt to 193Mt. Total concentrate has increased from 400Mt to 484Mt.
The upgrade was the result of the company’s 2021–22 infill drilling campaign, with a further upgrade expected in the September quarter to report on results from outstanding drilling samples.
Hawsons Iron managing director Bryan Granzien said the resource upgrade further de-risked the project in the eyes of lenders.
“The combined measured and indicated resource of 247Mt sets up the BFS (bankable feasibility study) for the ore reserve estimation to satisfy project lenders that there is sufficient high-grade material to confidently meet targeted minimum concentrate production of 20Mtpa (million-tonnes-per-annum),” he said.
“This upgrade is significant because having these mineral resources in the higher confidence measured and indicated categories is necessary for the BFS and finalising our project financing package.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the outcome, which now sets the scene for getting on with the next stage of the BFS, including completion of our detailed mine design and engineering.”
In June, the Hawsons Iron board endorsed the larger of the two development options for the project, which will see the company focus solely on developing the 20Mtpa option it initially outlined in February, in place of the previously proposed 10Mtpa pathway.
Granzien said that no further drilling was required to support the BFS and any additional work would be undertaken at Hawsons’ discretion.
“This upgraded mineral resource estimate will now be used for discussions with potential project financiers and as the basis for all our ongoing technical work,” he said.
“However, we also expect to announce a further mineral resource upgrade by the end of the September quarter to report on the results from the outstanding drilling samples which are being analysed by Bureau Veritas and added to the drillhole database.
“Moreover, the process plant’s expected performance and ability is projected to achieve a 70 per cent Fe (iron) product.”
June also saw Hawsons Iron execute a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Flinders Ports, which would see the latter finance, construct, own and operate a new port at Myponie Point in South Australia.
Hawsons Iron aims to develop an underground slurry pipeline to connect the project with Myponie Point.
The company also recently inked a two-year option agreement to purchase three blocks of land at Myponie Point.
Under the agreement, Hawsons Iron will have the right to purchase the three blocks of land totalling 1000 acres for $14 million at any time within two years of the execution date.
Hawsons Iron was trading at $0.37 at the time of writing (11.00am AEST July 27) with a market capitalisation of $274.19 million.