Commodities, Exploration/Development, Iron ore, News

South Australia’s 1.2-billion-tonne magnetite resource

South Australia magnetite

To accompany its graphite endeavours, Lincoln Minerals has revealed a 1.2-billion-tonne magnetite resource on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

The Green Iron project boasts a head grade of 25.7 per cent iron (Fe) and average Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) of 22.5 per cent. The average concentrate grade is 66.4 per cent Fe and 5 per cent silicon dioxide (SiO2).

Lincoln has held the Green Iron project since 2018, but the asset has taken a back seat to the development of the Kookaburra Gully graphite project.

A recent review conducted by Lincoln’s new management team, including chief executive officer Jonathon Trewartha, highlighted the potential to enter a partnership to develop the Green Iron project.

Lincoln believes it is in a strong position to commercialise Green Iron given the heightened interest in high-grade magnetite deposits amid the ‘green steel’ movement.

Previously completed studies contemplated production of between 3 and 10 million tonnes per annum of magnetite concentrate, considering all aspects of project development from pit to port.

As it advances the Green Iron project to a definitive feasibility study (DFS), Lincoln is looking for a partner to help fund and develop Green Iron to operational status.

“We believe there is substantial potential value in Lincoln’s 100%-owned Green Iron project, which in our view is currently not reflected in Lincoln’s share price, due to a lack of awareness by the market of the scale and attractiveness of previous study outcomes,” Lincoln director Julian Babarczy said.

“During the strong iron ore pricing environment of 2010–2012, the project attracted significant funding as well as strong engagement from major steel companies, however project advancement halted due to the retracement of iron ore prices in subsequent years.”

Trewartha believes the Green Iron project can be a key asset in a green steel future.

“Magnetite, with its environmental advantages, has emerged as an appealing option for sustainable, low carbon steel production,” he said.

“Lincoln’s Green Iron project, focused on producing a coarse-grind, high-grade iron ore concentrate, is expected to attract interest from potential steel producers, as has been the case with other peers in the region.”

The emergence of Lincoln’s Green Iron project comes after the South Australian Government recently announced it was keen to explore the development of a hydrogen-based direct reduction iron (DRI) plant.

The State Government said it was eager to partner with businesses to explore the venture, with findings to help determine industrial precincts and supporting infrastructure required to de-risk investment in South Australian green iron and steel.

“The world needs steel, and as it seeks to decarbonise, it will increasingly need green iron and steel,” South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said.

“We have the key ingredients for a DRI plant in the Upper Spencer Gulf – an unrivalled resource of magnetite, and soon, a supply of renewable hydrogen, produced using our spectacular wind and solar resources.

“This is our moment – an opportunity to build a new industry, to deliver exactly what the world needs, growing jobs and prosperity in our state.”

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