Murray Basin Heavy Mineral Sands Expansion Plans Confirmed
- Three new tenements granted giving BPL the 3rd largest tenement portfolio in the Murray Basin, NSW after industry leaders Iluka Resources and Cristal Mining
- Multiple, shallow, mineralised strandlines identified comprising high value heavy mineral assemblages
- Quality of strandline targets sufficient to enable resource estimation prior to commencement of field activities
- BPL aims to establish a portfolio of high grade, low tonnage deposits across the Murray Basin, ideal for processing by mobile plant technology
- BPL aims to become a significant heavy mineral sands producer
- Market confidence improving after Zircon and Titanium pigment price increases in past 12 months
Trangie Johnston commented:
"The expansion of BPL's tenement portfolio is based on an extensive, proprietary data compilation and prospectivity analysis within the world-class Heavy Mineral Sands province covered by the Murray Basin. The recently granted tenements contain high value mineralised strandlines that will support resource estimates without the need to conduct field activities. The immediate aim is to define combined Mineral Resources of 100Mt in shallow, high-grade deposits. BPL is strategically placed to take advantage of improving HMS market conditions."
100% OWNED PROJECTS - MURRAY BASIN HEAVY MINERAL SANDS PROJECT
EL's 8308, 8309, 8310, 8558, 8559 & 8560
Murray Basin Minerals Pty Ltd, a wholly owned BPL subsidiary, is pleased to announce the granting of three new tenements known as Central Para (EL8559), Tararra (EL8558) and Budgeree (EL8560). The tenements are located between Broken Hill and Mildura (see Figure 2 in the link below). Combined with six exploration licences already owned wholly or in joint venture, BPL holds the third largest tenement portfolio in the Murray Basin after industry leaders Iluka Resources Ltd and Cristal Mining.
The new tenements cover shallow, high-grade HMS strandlines similar in mineralogy but physically distinct to those already identified at the Copi North and Magic deposits. The Copi North and Magic deposits, which comprise Mineral Resources of 14.2 Mt at 6.6% total heavy mineral (THM) and 15 Mt at 3.7% THM respectively, are owned in joint venture with Relentless Resources Limited (RRL).
The expansion of BPL's interests in the Murray Basin is the result of extensive data compilation and prospectivity analysis undertaken in recent months by the Company's expanded exploration and management team. This analysis of publicly available data has equipped BPL with a unique proprietary database comprising approximately 13,000 drill holes and 550,000 metres of drilling. The database reflects a total exploration replacement value of approximately $20 million (drilling and assay only) in today's terms. Ongoing data analysis is currently being directed at the eastern and southern sectors of the Murray Basin.
Detailed assessment of the new tenement areas has indicated existing drilling will support Mineral Resource estimation with modelling currently focussed on three priority targets:
- Jaws (EL8559): The Jaws strand is characterised by a shallow, well-developed foreshore horizon comprising medium - coarse mineral sands persistent over some 17km strike. The strand is approximately 200m wide and 6m thick with cover between 9 - 39m.
- 500 (EL8310): The 500 strand comprises a coarse, high-value mineral assemblage defined over 10km and up to 75m wide. The mineralisation is shallow with an average 18m of overburden intersected during historical drilling.
- Gilligans: The Gilligans strand is located approximately 6.5km south of the 500 strand with extensive mineralisation occurring up to 350m wide and over 15km of strike. Overburden is variable though averages 22m shallowing at the peripheries.
The above strandline targets all occur within a radius of 20km, supporting the Company's exploration and project development strategy; targeting the establishment of a sustainable pipeline of high grade, low tonnage deposits amendable to processing through mobile plant equipment.
50% OWNED PROJECTS - HMS JOINT VENTURE
EL's 8311, 8312 & 8385
Joint Venture between Broken Hill Minerals Pty Ltd (BHM), a wholly owned subsidiary of BPL and Relentless Resources Limited (RRL).
BPL's ASX announcements of 8 February 2017, 18 April 2017 and 10 May 2017 provide details of a dispute with RRL regarding the HMS Joint Venture. The dispute is scheduled for hearing in the Supreme Court of NSW in late February 2018.
RRL has recently sought to include BPL's 100% owned tenements subject of the Murray Basin Heavy Mineral Sands Project in the dispute. That claim and the initial dispute will be vigorously challenged by BPL. Senior counsel has been engaged to protect the Company's interests in all the projects.
In the interim period until the hearing in February 2018, BHM has passed the management of the day-to-day implementation of activities on the HMS Joint Venture tenements to RRL (although BHM retains its full 50% voting rights at the management committee level, so it's rights to set the programmes of work remain unaltered). This outcome allows BPL to focus on exploring its 100% owned Murray Basin Heavy Mineral Sands Project in a time and manner of its choosing and to advance a number of other advanced, value adding acquisitions that are under consideration.
BPL plans to conduct additional drilling during 2017 on other mineral sands prospects within the 100% owned Murray Basin Heavy Mineral Sands Project. The immediate aim is to define combined Mineral Resources of 100Mt in shallow, high grade deposits.
BPL's strategy is to investigate the feasibility of mining these resources using dry mining techniques and mobile treatment plants. Multiple operations could be feasible if sufficient resources are identified in different locations. The Company's ability to undertake this work is enhanced by the knowledge gained in recent years on BPL's other projects in the Murray Basin.
The market outlook for HMS, including zircon and titanium dioxide, shows signs of improving. While some prices remain low, producers have been matching production to demand, reducing stockpiles and shutting operations to better match supply and demand. Titanium dioxide prices have increased since 2015, and that trend is expected to continue. The zircon market has remained steady with recent price increases announcement by Iluka.
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About Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd
Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd (ASX:BPL) is an Australian exploration company focussed on the discovery and development of strategic mineral resources across two primary geographical areas; the Murray Basin Region (Heavy Mineral Sands) and the Broken Hill Region (industrial, base and precious metals, including the Thackaringa Cobalt & Base/Precious Metal Project).
Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd