Ferrowest is actively pursuing two major iron related projects, the Yogi Iron Project and the Eradu MPI Project (detailed below) as part of a ‘value adding’ strategy to produce merchant pig iron in the Mid West Region of Western Australia. Both projects are based around the Yogi iron ore deposit, located 14km east of the town of Yalgoo and 233km east of the port and town of Geraldton.
The Company has also recently acquired the rights to earn a 60% interest in the Yalyirimbi Iron Project, a haematite project located in the Northern Territory on a 787Km2 Exploration Licence. This project will play a key role in the development of the Company’s iron plans by providing a low capital cost, cash generating business that can be brought into operation relatively quickly.
Following the Company’s decision in late 2012 to diversify its project focus to include certain key minerals in addition to its cornerstone projects, it has also been actively building a portfolio of project opportunities in gold and base metals through its 100% owned subsidiary Urban Minerals Pty Ltd.
Strategically located exploration projects with gold and nickel potential have already been acquired in two highly prospective geological regions in WA - the Southern Cross greenstone belt and the Albany-Fraser orogen. Both regions host a number of significant deposits including current and historic mines.
The Yogi Mine Project
This project aims to mine magnetite iron ore and concentrate it on the mine site to produce 67%Fe magnetite concentrate at a rate of 4.5 million metric tonnes per annum. 3Mtpa of this product is to be exported through the proposed Oakajee deepwater port. Ferrowest will use the remaining 1.5Mtpa in the Eradu MPI Project.
There is currently a 572Mt Inferred Resource of magnetite at 27.5%Fe at Yogi with a target potential# of between 0.8 and 1.2Bt (25.5%Fe to 29.5%Fe) once fully explored.
The Eradu MPI Project
This project aims to produce seaborne traded merchant pig iron (MPI) at a rate of 1 million metric tonnes per annum in the physical form of iron nuggets at 96%Fe for export through the existing Port of Geraldton.
Ferrowest is the only company in Western Australia pursuing significant value adding to iron ore to produce MPI, with its higher margins, higher sale value (4 times the value of iron ore), and lower logistics requirements.
The MPI will be exported to quality electric arc steel manufacturers that require pure iron feedstock to average down contaminants introduced by scrap iron feed materials.
These two world class projects, located in Western Australia with its low sovereign risk, low cost energy, significant iron ore resources and existing infrastructure facilities for natural gas, water, transport and port facilities will ensure that Ferrowest will be a reliable and competitive exporter of high quality iron units for steel manufacturers in the Asian region and beyond.
Yogi also has the potential to host gold and base metals as part of the Yalgoo Greenstone Belt, and early exploration has shown positive indications, with exploration for gold and base metals ongoing.
The Yalyirimbi Iron Project
In March 2013 Ferrowest acquired the rights to earn a 60% interest in the Yalyirimbi Iron Project located in the Northern Territory on a 787Km2 exploration licence. The project has an Inferred Resource of 14.1 million tonnes of haematite at 27.1%Fe with an Exploration Target currently estimated at between 50 million and 70 million tonnes at between 25.1% and 29%Fe# . Early stage test work carried out at Yalyirimbi has demonstrated that with a crush to 1mm and gravity upgrading, a haematite fines concentrate of 63.5%Fe with 7.1% SiO2, 0.84% Al2O3 and negligible phosphorus can be produced.
The Yalyirimbi Iron Project will play a key role in the development of the Company’s iron plans by providing a low capital cost, cash generating haematite export business that can be brought into operation relatively quickly. Yalyirimbi will play a critical role in transforming the Company from explorer to producer ahead of the construction of the Yogi Iron Project and the Eradu MPI Project, whilst also defraying some costs.
# The Exploration Target is conceptual in nature as insufficient data exists to define a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in further Mineral Resource. The target potential is based upon calculations prepared by Ferrowest Limited with reference to current experience at Yogi and available data
The Marvel Loch Project
The Marvel Loch Project was acquired by Ferrowest following the successful acquisition of Urban Minerals Pty Ltd. The project consists of 12 granted tenements, considered to be highly prospective for gold and base metals, comprising 8 exploration licences and 4 prospecting licences. The project has a combined area of 156.4 km2 and is located close to the historic Marvel Loch mining area, 31km south of Southern Cross and 400km east of Perth in Western Australia.
The Lake Halbert East Project
The Lake Halbert East Project represents the first of the non-iron prospects identified by Ferrowest as part of its commodity and project portfolio diversification strategy. The tenement pegged covers an area of 16,800Ha and is located on the Albany-Fraser orogeny, 75km north-northeast of Esperance and approximately 50km east of the sealed Kalgoorlie-Esperance highway. The area is highly prospective for gold and nickel, hosting a number of significant deposits including the 5Moz Tropicana Gold Project and the recently discovered Nova Project.