Macarthur Minerals Limited (ASX:MIO) (CVE:MMS) shares have been responding well to the strong progress achieved so far this year, particularly with the flagship magnetite strategy at Lake Giles Iron Project in Western Australia.
It has seen an increase in both the share prices and trading volumes of its securities traded on the Canadian and Australian stock markets.
Its share price in Canada ranged between C$0.15 to C$0.46 over the past three months and on the ASX in Australia over the same period, it traded between A$0.13 to A$0.44, breaking through 50 and 200 moving day averages before recording a new 52-week high of A$0.50 on August 14.
On the ASX on Thursday, August 20, shares rose as much as 4.5% to A$0.47.
Executive chairman Cameron McCall said: “The iron ore price has remained strong during the second quarter, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, trading between US$82.05 and US$127.05 for 62% iron and this price stability is creating momentum in the global iron ore industry.
“The company’s core focus will remain on delivering a high-grade, low-impurity magnetite fines product at its Lake Giles Iron Project which will target Asian steel mills that are focused on producing high-quality steel products, enhanced furnace efficiencies, reduced consumption of coking coal and improved environment emissions standard.
“Macarthur continues to be singularly focused on bringing its flagship Lake Giles Iron Project into production.
“As an emerging producer of high-grade iron ore, Macarthur has a unique opportunity to implement a different approach with the development of one of the first new-generation magnetite mines in Western Australia.
“By developing a project that leverages the natural advantages that our high-grade, low impurity product can provide, we are confident we can achieve this target Macarthur’s Lake Giles Iron Project will aim to be very much at the fore of a new global iron ore future that values more sustainable steel products that are derived from responsible mining practices, with the highest focus on safety and with a commitment to respecting the environment and indigenous interests.”
Macarthur will actively advance, with its key partners, its core iron ore assets in Western Australia.
This includes advancing talks with key stakeholders to finalise the route to market through to Esperance Port and continuing to advance the current feasibility study.
It will also continue to work closely with its joint venture partner, Fe Limited (ASX:FEL), to advance the exploration of its high-quality lithium, gold and base metal tenements in the Pilbara region.
The company also continues to monitor and assess the potential for opportunities to transition to early revenue-generating DSO iron ore operations.
With the current strength and stability of the global iron ore market, Macarthur is examining project opportunities that have potential to generate early revenue flows, including a possible acceleration of development of the Ularring Hematite Project at Lake Giles.
The company, through its appointed corporate advisors EAS Advisors LLC, continues to progress financing and/or strategic partnering discussions in parallel to the confirmatory work being completed on the feasibility study.
Macarthur has sufficient resources in the appropriate categories to progress its feasibility study, which is a vital component in the ongoing financing discussions.
Moonshine magnetite resource upgrade
Last week, Macarthur Minerals updated the mineral resource estimate for the magnetite deposits at the Lake Giles project, which incorporated the recent infill drilling at the Moonshine magnetite deposits that culminated in an increase in the size of the mineral resources.
About 30% of the Moonshine resource is now classified as indicated with around 7.5% classified in the measured category.
A supporting NI43-101 technical report will be filed with Canadian regulators.
Macarthur has appointed RCR Mining Technologies to provide an engineering solution for rail wagon and unloading infrastructure for the Lake Giles project.
RCR will examine the potential of rail transport and unloading infrastructure that has been successfully used in Scandinavian magnetite operations for years.
It has also appointed Jonghyun (Richard) Moon as its general manager, international sales & marketing.
His primary focus will be on identifying and developing opportunities for strategic partners to invest in the Lake Giles project.
Commercial Track Access
The company believes Arc Infrastructure’s indicative track access pricing proposal is the most substantial step forward for the project in a decade towards securing fully contracted rail paths on the Kalgoorlie to Esperance rail line.
This proposal delivers the level of certainty on the below rail component that Macarthur requires to underpin its feasibility study and provides a clear pathway for the development of a commercial track agreement.
Haul road and rail-siding applications
Macarthur has lodged applications with the WA Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety to develop a 93-kilometre haul road to a proposed rail siding adjacent to the Perth to Kalgoorlie rail line.
This will enable the transport of magnetite iron ore from the Lake Giles project to the proposed new unloading infrastructure at Esperance Port and have the potential to support early revenue direct shipping ore mining operations via Kwinana Port, subject to port capacity.
Other iron projects
The company has applied for an exploration licence at the Treppo Iron Project, about 30 kilometres west of the Lake Giles project, and once this is granted, it plans to start exploration, which includes drilling hematite targets that have been mapped to date.
It is developing a program of field mapping and rock chip sampling to understand the prospectivity for iron ore across the Mt Jackson Iron Project, which comprises two granted Exploration Licences (E77/2542 and E77/2543) about 35 kilometres west-northwest and 38 kilometres southwest of the Treppo Iron Project.
Data from a fixed loop electromagnetic (FLEM) survey conducted in July 2020 across several high priority targets at the Hillside tenements are being processed and interpreted.
Macarthur is also seeking interested parties to further explore the Strelley Gorge and Tambourah tenements in the Pilbara region, WA.
The Strelley Gorge tenement (E45/4735), adjacent to the Abydos iron ore project that has been mined by Atlas Iron Ltd (ASX:AGO), is prospective for DSO iron ore, while the Tambourah tenement (E45/5324) is also prospective for iron ore, having intersected iron ore in historical drilling by Atlas Iron.
Reynolds Springs project
Macarthur is seeking interested parties to further explore its 210 unpatented mining claims at the Reynolds Springs Lithium Brine Project in the Railroad Valley, Nevada, USA.
Analysis of geochemical soil sampling found up to 405 ppm lithium.
The company has continued its highly productive “business as usual” focus over the last quarter.
It, however, noted that COVID-19 travel restrictions which remain in place within Australia may impact on the timing for completion of certain components of the feasibility study.
However, at this stage, it does not anticipate these impacts will materially extend the target date for the commencement of commercial mining operations.