Mount Mason DSO Hematite Project


The Mount Mason high-grade hematite mineralisation is located approximately 12km NW from the Mount Ida magnetite project. It has the potential to be a low cost start-up, near term project with a short payback period and strong positive cash flows. It is envisaged that the proposed Mount Mason project, upon completion, would lead to mining at the Mount Ida magnetite deposit.

Geology and Mineral Resources

Hematite mineralisation at the Mount Mason Project is associated with Banded Iron Formation (BIF) and has been mapped over an area of 600m x 200m.  The mineralised zone within Jupiter’s lease is bound to the north and south by WNW and NNW trending faults.  Weathering associated with the northern fault has resulted in a substantial body of massive to bedded hematite.  The hematite is formed by the alteration of magnetite BIF to hematite by fluid movement associated with the interpreted northern fault zone.

Since completion of a scoping study in May 2011, Jupiter has carried out additional drill programmes that enabled the Company to report the following updated Mineral Resource Statement at a cut-off grade of Fe>55% (ASX announcement 30/1/2012):

Classification

Tonnes

Fe%

SiO2%

Al2O3%

P%

S%

CaO%

MgO

%

LOI%

Measured

4,800,000

60.3

7.37

2.90

0.05

0.01

0.03

0.04

2.63

Indicated

1,080,000

59.4

10.41

3.47

0.06

0.01

0.03

0.05

2.55

Inferred

320,000

58.4

14.10

4.37

0.08

0.01

0.03

0.06

2.88

Total Measured + Indicated

5,900,000

60.1

7.92

3.01

0.05

0.01

0.03

0.04

2.62

 

Feasibility Studies

Following the completion of the positive scoping study, Jupiter completed a feasibility study on the project in Q2 2012. Mine optimisation and scenario analysis work continues on optimisation of the feasibility study. Work is also continuing on securing a Port solution.

It has been determined that a fines only product will be produced. This is reflective of the limited size of the project and will lead to a maximisation of the minable reserve. Pit design and mine scheduling are being undertaken on two scenarios;

- high grade fines product: 60.1% Fe using a silica cut-off grade of 10%; or

- lower grade product: 58.2% Fe using silica cut off of 15%.

The higher silica cut-off grade will increase the minable reserve. Analysis of optimum mining production rates has been  undertaken at 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 Mtpa. During Q2 2012, mine optimisation analysis evaluated throughput rates at varying silica cut-off grades, indicating  the potential for a technically and financially robust project.

Mine Planning

During Q2 2012, mine optimisation also evaluated throughput rates at varying silica cut-off grades. Work to date indicates the potential for a technically and financially robust project.

During  Q3 2012 work also continued on optimising the mining costs.

In Q4 2012 the project was being advanced through to investment and production decisions by optimisation work being intensified for capex and opex and focussing on securing a logistics solution.

Process and Infrastructure

The crushing circuit design, which has the capacity to produce a fines product at 2.0 Mtpa operating on a day shift only basis, was completed during Q1 2012. Work was also completed on the non-process and supporting infrastructure components of the project.

In January 2012, the State Government announced that the Port of Esperance is to be expanded to cater for additional iron ore exports. The Government has committed to increase the export capacity by an additional 20 mtpa, and will seek private industry backing for the project. 

Engagement by the State Government with private industry commenced in Q2 2012 with the Port commencing the ‘market sounding’ process.  Jupiter fully participated and was active in progressing the Port expansion, not only for Mount Mason but also Mount Ida. Work still continues in regards to developing and securing a port solution. The focus is to export via Esperance; however the potential to export through Kwinana is also being evaluated.

In late March 2012, the Main Roads Department awarded John Holland the $100m contract to design and construct the Esperance Port Access Corridor.. This project will separate Port and Town traffic and is necessary for the capacity of the Port to be expanded. This project, which  commenced mid 2012, should  be completed by the end of 2013.

The focus for Jupiter for the remainder of 2012 and 2013 was on Feasibility Study optimisation and securing a port solution.

Environmental and Project Permitting

Project baseline survey reports were the focus for completion during the March 2013 quarter, followed by synopsis of survey data and commencement of drafting of approvals documentation.

The completion of the project baseline environmental surveys and associated reports leaves only pre-construction environmental clearance surveys for priority flora and fauna as a requirement prior to clearing for construction of the mine and associated infrastructure areas.

With the scale of the Mt Mason project currently proposed as a maximum 2 million tonne per annum throughput, approvals requirements are limited to the preparation of the following documents:

  • Federal Government EPBC Referral
  • Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Mt Mason Mining Proposal submission
  • Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Mt Mason Works Approval submission
  • DMP Mt Mason Project Management Plan
  • Mt Mason Native Vegetation Clearing Permit application
  • Yunndaga Siding Mining Proposal submission
  • Yunndaga Siding Native Vegetation Clearing Permit application
  • DMP Yunndaga Siding Project Management Plan
  • Menzies Shire Camp and Sewerage Treatment Facility Licence

During the March quarter, a presentation was made to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities (SEWPaC) on the potential environmental impact of the Mt Mason project upon ‘matters of national environmental significance’ as listed on EPBC Act notification lists.

In this instance one ’Vulnerable’  bird species ‘Leipoa ocellata’ or Malleefowl is encountered in the region, and as such it is a requirement to submit a report on its occurrence and a project management strategy to minimise any potential impacts on its population and distribution.

The EPBC Referral and supporting documents are in final draft stage and will be completed and submitted in the second quarter of 2013, with the Federal government assessment and advice also likely to be completed during this time.

Aside from the EPBC Referral, the Mt Mason Mining Proposal document has also been completed to final draft stage. Some additional supporting study documents e.g. noise, dust & vibration modelling, air quality and greenhouse emissions management are still to be finalised for inclusion.

The focus for the Mount Mason project in the coming quarter is to submit the remaining approvals documentation, particularly the Mt Mason and Yunndaga Siding Mining Proposals, and to concurrently undertake further stakeholder consultation, as required.

Submission and commencement of assessment by the DMP of the Mt Mason Mining Proposal was made mid 2013.

Mount Mason Site Infrastructure LayoutMount Mason Site Infrastructure Layout

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