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Positive Feasibility Study Results for Lake Giles Iron Project

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Positive Feasibility Study Results for Lake Giles Iron Project






Macarthur Minerals Limited (ASX: MIO) (TSX-V: MMS) (OTCQB: MMSDF) is pleased to advise that it has completed a Feasibility Study for the Company’s high grade magnetite Lake Giles Iron Project. The results confirm that the project is economically viable under long-term iron ore price forecasts.


The Feasibility Study confirms an economically viable project producing 3 million tonnes per annum (dry basis) of high-grade magnetite concentrate over a 25-year mine life. The project will leverage off access to existing regional rail and port infrastructure and deliver a premium concentrate (66% Fe) product with low impurities. The Feasibility Study underpins a maiden Mineral Reserve of 237 million tonnes as reported to the market on 15 March 2022. (See announcement here). The Feasibility Study NI43-101 Technical Report will be released to the market within 45 days of the maiden Mineral Reserves announcement.


The Company will now proceed with post study optimization work, project development approvals and advancing project finance.



  • Feasibility Study completed for a 3 Mtpa (dry basis) magnetite mining and processing operation. (Feasibility Study report to be released within 45 days of the maiden Mineral Reserve announcement dated 15 March 2022).
  • Feasibility Study supports a maiden Mineral Reserve of 237Mt for a 25-year mine life.
  • Production of high-grade magnetite concentrate targeting 66.1% Fe with minimal impurities suitable for pellet feedstock.
  • Initial capital investment of USD 569m (AUD 801m) with mine pre-production capital of USD 43.8m (AUD 66.1m)
  • All-in C1 operating costs of USD 71.74 / dmt (AUD 101.05/ dmt).
  • Positive project economics with Pre-tax NPV of USD 579m (AUD 816m) a 13% IRR and Post-tax NPV of USD 315m (AUD 443m).


The Feasibility Study developed the following optimised ‘go-forward’ project scope and design. These components are presented in greater detail in the Annexure of this release.


Scope Description
Geology Banded Iron Formation (BIF) magnetite mineralisation comprising Mineral Resources classified as Measured – 53.9 Mt, Indicated – 218.7 Mt, and Inferred – 449.1 Mt, reported above a 15% DTR cut-off grade.
Mining Open pit mining of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of the Moonshine and Moonshine North magnetite deposits. Mining rate approximately 9.68 Mtpa ore at an average LOM strip ratio of 2.6:1. Nine-month pre-strip stage with production over approximately 25 years.
Metallurgy and Process Plant Definition of a flow sheet comprising conventional crushing and grinding (HPGR, ball mill and Vertimill), magnetic separation, followed by reverse flotation to reduce silica in the final concentrate. Concentrate production of 3 Mtpa (dry basis) with a size range of P80 38 micron.
Road Haulage Road haulage by contract operator utilising side tipping trucks from site to a rail siding 93km south of the Project, along a private sealed haul road.
Rail Haulage Rail siding to be constructed south of the Project adjacent to the open access Eastern Goldfields Railway. Rail haulage to be undertaken by contractor responsible for provision of rolling stock.
Port & Shipping Concentrate to be shipped from the Esperance Port in southern Western Australia using cape class vessels. Base case assumes Port operations will be managed by the Southern Ports Authority via the existing iron ore rail unloading circuit and ship loader. A new concentrate storage shed is to be constructed to hold approximately 260kt of product. Product is sold on a FOB basis with the offtake partner responsible for shipping.
Power Stationary power demand of approximately 40MW from a standalone microgrid comprising a combination of LNG gas reciprocating engines, solar array and battery energy storage system (BESS) with renewable penetration of 33%.
Water Project water to be sourced from local paleochannel aquifer. Processing to be conducted with saline bore water with final concentrate wash in desalinated water to remove chloride and alkali metals.
Tailings Mineral processing will include a coarse dry stream to be co-located with mine waste and wet tailings to be pumped to a tailings storage facility. Water is to be recovered from tailings and pumped back for processing use.
Support Facilities Supporting site infrastructure includes a permanent accommodation village and airstrip for FIFO workforce.
Mine Closure and Rehabilitation Mine closure has been costed for incremental closure of mining areas with final closure and remediation of non-project areas at the end of the mine


The Feasibility Study confirms the commercial viability of the Project to produce 3 Mtpa (dry basis) of high-grade magnetite concentrate over a long mine life of 25 years from Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves. The key production and financial outcomes are presented in the following table.


Ore mined 236.6 Mt  
Waste mined 624.9 Mt  
Total mined 861.5 Mt  
Strip ratio 2.64  
Concentrate produced 74 Mt  
Concentrate iron grade 66.1  
Plant recovery 31%  
Financials AUDm USDm
Sales revenue 12,614 8,956
Operating Expenses 8,116 5,672
Initial Capital Expenditure    
Construction capex 801.1 568.8
Mining overburden pre-strip 61.6 43.8
Total initial capital 862.7 612.5
Future Capital Expenditure    
Sustaining capital 203 144.1
Deferred capital – Tailings 39.8 28.3
Capitalised non-operational waste mining 355.7 252.5
Total future capital 598.0 424.6
Closure Expenditure    
Closure and rehabilitation 58.2 41.3
Total Operating Cash Flows 3,625 2574
Taxes & Royalties    
Tax paid 873 620
Royalties 631 435
Valuation AUDm USDm
NPV (6%) Pre-tax 816 579
NPV (6%) Post-tax 443 314
IRR Pre-tax 13.0%
IRR Post-tax 10.1%


A detailed summary of the Lake Giles Iron Project Feasibility Study is set out in the Annexure to this release.


Andrew Bruton, CEO of Macarthur Minerals commented:


“Macarthur is pleased to be able to provide the market with a summary of the key outputs from the Feasibility Study for the Lake Giles Iron Project. The Feasibility Study has been undertaken and successfully concluded amidst the challenges of Covid-19 impacts, and these results confirm that the Lake Giles Iron Project is economically viable under long-term iron ore price forecasts.


The Company will now proceed with post study optimization work, project development approvals and advancing project finance.”


Competent / Qualified Person Statement


Mineral Resources:

The Mineral Resources for the Lake Giles Iron Project disclosed in this press release have been estimated by Mr. David Williams, BSc (Hons), a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Mr Williams, an employee of CSA Global Pty Ltd and Independent Qualified Person, has reviewed and approved the above technical information relating to the Mineral Resource estimates contained in this release, in the form and context in which it appears.


Mineral Reserves:

The information in this report relating to Mineral Reserves is based on information compiled by Stephen Craig, a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Craig is a full-time employee of Orelogy Consulting Pty Ltd. Mr. Craig has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as an independent Qualified Person as defined by NI43-101. Mr Craig consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears.


Company profile

Macarthur is an iron ore development, and lithium exploration company that is focused on bringing to production its Western Australia iron ore projects. The Lake Giles Iron Project mineral resources include the Ularring hematite resource (approved for development) comprising Indicated resources of 54.5 million tonnes at 47.2% Fe and Inferred resources of 26 million tonnes at 45.4% Fe; and the Lake Giles magnetite resource of 53.9 million tonnes (Measured), 218.7 million tonnes (Indicated) and 997 million tonnes (Inferred). Macarthur also holds 24 square kilometre tenement area iron exploration interests in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In addition, Macarthur has lithium brine Claims in the emerging Railroad Valley region in Nevada, USA.


Posted March 21, 2022

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