Macarthur Minerals Ltd (ASX:MIO) (CVE:MMS) (OTCQB:MMSDF) is set to become ‘the green iron ore company’ with its Lake Giles Iron Project in Western Australia to be at the fore of a new global iron ore future that values more sustainable steel products derived from responsible mining practices.
At Lake Giles, Macarthur will have the highest focus on safety and with a commitment to respecting the environment and Indigenous interests.
High-grade, low-impurity magnetite fines
Macarthur Minerals president and executive chairman Cameron McCall said: “The iron ore price has remained strong, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, trading above US$100.00 for 62% iron and this price stability is creating momentum in the global iron ore industry.
“The high-grade 65% iron market is still commanding a strong premium in the global markets as China continues to seek lower steel industry emissions whilst also optimising its production efficiencies with premium feedstocks of iron ore.
“The company’s core focus remains on delivering a high-grade, low-impurity magnetite fines product at its Lake Giles Iron Project targeting Asian steel mills focused on producing high-quality steel products, enhanced furnace efficiencies, reduced consumption of coking coal and improved environment emissions standards.
The project continues to advance, with the filing of a NI 43-101 technical report for the project’s magnetite mineral resource in October, alongside the completion of conceptual engineering design work for a proposed ‘Helix’ dumper rail unloading solution at the Esperance Port.
An updated mineral resource estimate incorporated recent infill drilling at the Moonshine magnetite deposits that culminated in an increase in the size of the resources, including resource category upgrades to now include measured and indicated resources.
Route to market
Macarthur and Arc Infrastructure will shortly begin the next phase of discussions necessary to complete this essential component of the route to market for a commercial track access.
Arc has proposed a clear pathway for the development of a commercial track agreement, which will provide sufficient below rail network paths between the planned rail siding and the Port of Esperance.
The proposal also delivers the level of certainty on the below rail component that Macarthur requires to underpin its feasibility study.
Macarthur has also 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 to transport magnetite iron ore from Lake Giles to the proposed new unloading infrastructure at Esperance Port.
The proposed rail siding will also have the potential to support early revenue direct shipping ore (DSO) mining operations via Kwinana or Esperance ports, subject to port capacity.
Macarthur has been engaging with above rail service providers in respect of rail haulage services for its magnetite, as well as opportunities for its hematite iron ore products.
It is assessing its above rail options and will advance rail haulage discussions over the coming months.
Macarthur has continued to work with RCR MT to develop an engineering solution for rail wagon and unloading infrastructure for the Lake Giles Project at Esperance Port.
If the rail unloading solution is given the go-ahead by the port, then it could also support the establishment of manufacturing jobs to support local construction of the Helix Dumper Wagons in WA.
Early revenue opportunities
Macarthur continues to 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, it is examining project opportunities that have potential to generate early revenue flows including a possible acceleration of development of its Ularring Hematite Project at Lake Giles.
Progress financing/strategic partnering
Through its New York corporate advisors EAS Advisors LLC, the company continues to progress financing and/or strategic partnering discussions in parallel to the feasibility study.
It recently appointed Jonghyun (Richard) Moon as general manager, International Sales & Marketing to identify and develop opportunities for strategic partners to invest in the project.
During the quarter, the company successfully completed its convertible note offering with a 100% uptake on conversion, announced an equity finance facility available to $20 million and the closing of a $6.25 million private placement.
COVID-19 impact can be minimised
The company has continued its highly productive 'business as usual' focus over the last quarter despite the fluid COVID-19 travel restrictions within Australia.
Changes in travel restrictions may impact on the timing for the completion of certain components of the feasibility study, but it noted that the feasibility study is well underway and at this stage, it is confident any potential for delays can be minimised.
Pilbara region tenements
The company is compiling technical information created on its gold and lithium tenements in the Pilbara region of WA, prior to formally seeking new venture partners to further explore these areas.
Fixed loop electromagnetic (FLEM) survey data is being interpreted and will be made available to prospective joint venture partners.
The survey was conducted in July 2020 across several high priority targets generated from the SkyTEM electromagnetic survey in 2018 and drilling in late 2019.
Reynolds Springs Lithium Brine Project
Macarthur is seeking interested parties to further explore the Reynolds Springs Lithium Brine Project in the Railroad Valley, Nevada, US.
It holds 210 unpatented mining claims covering a total area of 17 square kilometres.