Steeple Hill Iron Project - (E28/1672, E28/1766) - S.H.I.P.
The Steeple Hill Iron Project was discovered by FairStar in July 2008. The project is located in Western Australia's eastern goldfields and is 100% owned by the Company.
The Company has undertaken comprehensive exploration programs at the project:
- rock chip sampling
- geological mapping
- aero-magnetic survey
- drill programs
The exploration programs have been designed to determine the extent of the mineralised zone at the project and allow the estimation of a Resource in accordance with the JORC code and subsequent Reserve.
The project is located approximately 100km east of Kalgoorlie in close proximity to major rail infrastructure, with the heavy quality Trans Australian Railway passing 24 km south of the project area. FairStar believes the project has the potential to produce Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) with grades >60% Fe.
Steeple Hill iron mineralisation
There are three types of iron material present at Steeple Hill. Outcropping and concealed magnetite/goethitic-hematite Banded Iron Formations (BIF), canga, iron scree and hematite rich alluvial gravels. These are all being considered for iron potential.
The whole suite of exploration processes of rock sampling, mapping and airborne magnetic surveys has provided the basis of the understanding of the geology and iron mineralisation present at Steeple Hill. This knowledge identified deposits of hematite rich gravel in creek banks, which led to a successful pitting program which was also used to define drill targets to test for concealed goethite hematite mineralisation on the eastern side of the Steeple Hill Syncline. The company embarked on an initial intensive drill program over a 200 x 200 m grid over the target area. This resulted in 450 holes and proved the extent of the mineralisation. Further analyses of the samples demonstrated to FairStar that the extent of the deposit had not been determined and a further drilling program of 216 holes was conducted in November/December 2010.
Initial pitting of detrital hematite gravels showed favourable thickness and, with sieving, yielded high grades. While the drilling also yielded good results (see tables below) for intersected magnetite BIF, the current priority is on the hematite detrital exploration and stage one development. The magnetite BIF would potentially be ore for a stage three operation; after the hematite/goethite - hard rock mining.
The detrital hematite gravels have the best potential for a low capital cost mine operation with the shortest development timeframe. This is because the detritals are shallow, loose, and the ore can be concentrated and sorted via simple sieving and density methods to produce a dense concentrate DSO product on low cost, high iron content. There is no requirement for drill and blast at Stage 1 of Steeple Hill Iron Project.
In the December 2010 quarter, a 216 hole second drill program defined the ore body further, with the deposit extending over a larger area than expected. This ore body continues to remain open to the south-west and north-east; requiring further drilling work to be done. FairStar is heartened by the growing dimensions of the Steeple Hill ore body.
The maiden Indicated Resource Estimate in accordance with the JORC code by independent consultants AMC Consultants was released in September, 2010. Based on a 10% cutoff the ore body provided for, 93Mt of mineralised alluvials, with a hematite concentrate recovery of 18%, for 18Mt of DSO hematite product. The grade of the product was estimated as 58.4% Fe, 7% SiO2, 6% AlO2, 0.01% P and 1.6% LOI. AMC revisited the data and because of the low cost of production AMC are confident of an economically mineable orebody at lower recovery cutoffs.their calculations demonstrate that at a 7% cutoff the hematitic gravel alluvials increase to 121Mt at 16% recovery, providing FairStar Resources 19Mt of hematite concentrate at the same grade. At 5% cutoff, the total of hematitic gravel alluvials increases to 131Mt at 15% recovery, or 19Mt of hematite concentrate at the same grade.
FairStar is confident that a 5 or 7% cutoff is realistic, given that mining will be a simple gravel pit operation, without need for blasting, and will involve simple processing to liberate and concentrate the hematite material. Metallurgical testwork is also underway to evaluate ways of upgrading the hematite concentrate further.
|Hole Number||From Depth||To Depth||Width||Fe%||SiO2%||Al2O3%||P%||LOI%|
|Hole Number||From Depth||To Depth||Width||Fe%||SiO2%||Al2O3%||P%||LOI%|
Project Status - January, 2011
- The ore body remains open to the South-west and North- east, and is expected to extend at least a further 1km in the south
- From the December, 2010 drilling, 458 mineralised samples were collected for screening, washing dense media separation and Fe suite analysis by XRF. Results are pending.
- Environmental surveys, soil characterisation, hydrology, and noise studies have been completed paving the way for the issue of the Mining Lease over the Steeple Hill tenement area.
- Metallurgical test work is underway investigating methods for further upgrade of the hematite product.
- The application for a Mining Lease over the mineralised area has been submitted and is expected during March 2011.
The Company is focused on fast tracking the development of an alluvial iron oxide mining operation at the Steeple Hill Project. It is intended to provide mining, processing and transport cost data to AMC Consultants in the March 2011 Quarter to enable the estimation of a Probable Reserve in accordance with the JORC code from the Indicated Resource.
The Company is initially pursuing the alluvial operation (in preference to a hard rock project) due to its lower extraction cost, shorter timeframe to commencement of mining and ease of treatment. The aim of the alluvial project is to allow FairStar to quickly and economically become a producer of export grade hematite.
A hard rock hematite and goethite mining operation at the Steeple Hill Project will be considered as a second phase operation at the project by the Company.
The Company's ongoing exploration program at Steeple Hill continues to confirm the project's potential to host a significant iron oxide deposit. It plans to fast track the development of a mining operation, with production scheduled to commence in 2011.
Jurangie Hill - September 2009 Quarterly and the December, 2009 drilling alluded to the potential of large magnetite deposits at Steeple Hill. The Company being aware of the high cost of magnetite drilling has earmarked the mining of magnetite from Steeple Hill as the third stage after detritals and hard rock mining. The "big picture" of the three stage development
Detritals or Alluvials are loose grains of minerals or rocks that have been eroded from rocks and deposited in valleys over time. The alluvials are not cemented and can be mined by excavators without drilling and blasting. The particles are of varied sizes and can be removed from the soil by a simple shaking screen, washed and then separated by density and spiral methods into a dense concentrate to produce a direct shippable, low cost, high iron-content product.
The tenement lies within the Norseman-Wiluna greenstone belt of the Archaean Yilgarn Craton. The regional stratigraphy comprises mafic volcanics overlain by felsic volcanics which underlie fine-grained slates with local banded iron-formation. Minor ultramafic flows and gabbro sills are locally prominent along the mafic-felsic volcanic contact.
The regional syncline (Steeple Hill Syncline) occupies the centre of the tenement (E28/1672). In detail it is a complex structure and is inferred from a fold hinge outlined by banded iron formations (BIFs).
The tenement geology is structurally complex, consisting of north to north-west trending Archaean greenstone terranes with moderately magnetic Banded Iron Formation (BIF) horizons, mafic and ultramafic meta-volcanics and intrusives and weakly to moderately magnetic felsic volcanics. In the eastern part of the tenement north-south trending ridges of chert crop out with associated laterite and a large granitoid (interpreted) intruding the rocks of the eastern portion of the tenement.
The sedimentary rocks in the tenement outcrop poorly apart from cherts and banded iron formations, which stand out as ridges with pronounced scree slopes. The remaining poorly exposed sediments are silty, fine grained pelites possibly with some tuffaceous component. An east-north-easterly striking mafic to ultramafic dyke, informally known as Celebration dyke, passes from west to east in the southern part of the tenement. Additionally, a north east striking negative magnetic lineament with no apparent expression on-ground runs from the Randall Siding to Mount Charnleigh, passing through the tenement.
Alluvial/detrital hematite gravels have been mapped over an extensive area within the tenement.