Arrow Minerals has completed its initial mapping program conducted over the Simandou North Iron Project in Guinea, immediately identifying the full stratigraphic promise of the historic Guinean Simandou Range.

Led by exploration manager Mamadouba Yansane, Arrow Minerals’ (ASXL AMD) geological team, reportedly undertook first pass reconnaissance geological mapping to outline the distribution of the iron hosting stratigraphy within the Simandou project area.

The initial focus was to examine the zones directly associated with elevated magnetic responses identified in previous aeromagnetic data with the mapping program a good opportunity for the team to visually verify and determine the distribution of potential high-grade iron zones.

The geological map produced by the field team highlighted the presence of the full Simandou Range stratigraphic sequence previously detailed by Rio Tinto back in 2005.

A real eyeful

Arrow Minerals asx amd
Pic: Supplied

Arrow says in the first pass, Mamadouba’s team visually identified three lithological units with significant potential to host high-grade iron.

  1. Siliceous haematite – the distribution of this unit throughout the project area confirms the potential for significant haematite bodies to occur. Haematite is the most important of the Simandou iron ores.
  2. Goethite-haematite – these are two primary iron ore minerals with goethite forming via weathering of haematite. This is considered an important indication of the presence of iron bearing stratigraphy.
  3. Canga – a ferruginous laterite consisting of fragments of iron formation cemented with limonite, which is generally proximal to subsurface iron bearing units. Canga can form a valuable ore in its own right.

In a note to the exchange, Arrow says three lithological units described above are based on visual mineral composition estimates made by Arrow Exploration Geologists in the field.

While there’s evident excitement on the ground, Arrow added a rider to the release warning the reader:  “that no quantitative petrographical analysis has been conducted to verify these lithological descriptions… Further and no inference should be drawn as to the grade associated with each lithological unit as no assays are reported.

Sitting very pretty

That said… the location of the three high potential iron bearing lithologies – Siliceous haematite, Goethite-haemaitie and Canga – apparently compare rather favourably with the historical geophysical data and imagery.

This spatial association between geology and geophysics “adds a level of confidence” in the targeting techniques being used by Arrow.

In parallel to the ongoing field work, Arrow says it has just secured raw historical airborne magnetic survey data flown in 2007 at no cost – a massive saving in both time and money.

The data has already been handed on to the independent Australian based geophysical company that specialises in iron exploration, Mira Geoscience for reprocessing using cutting-edge geophysical software packages including 3D inversion technology.

Managing Director, Hugh Bresser says Mira will work through an iterative multi-stage modelling program, utilising the newly acquired geological information to improve the understanding and modelling of the target areas.

First up – modelling the shallow, high potential target zones and to get started with the large high-grade iron zones for initial drill testing early this year.

A world class high-grade hotspot

The Simandou North Iron Project lies at the northern end of the celebrated Simandou Range and forms an extension of the stratigraphy that hosts ‘one of the largest undeveloped high-grade iron deposits in the world.’

These include Winning Consortium’s (WCS) Block 1 & 2 with a reported measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource of 1.8 billion tonnes at 65.4% Fe.

As well as Rio Tinto Simfer’s (Simfer) Simandou Project Block 3 & 4 with a total measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate of 2 billion tonnes grading 65.5% iron.

The timing couldn’t be better

Arrow’s focus has been on developing and delivering economic mineral deposits in West Africa, and currently holds a full third of the  beneficial rights in the Simandou Iron Project.

AMD says it also has a clear road map to extend these rights to 60.5% within 24 months.

Managing Director, Hugh Bresser says his team aims to ‘systematically advance the Simandou North Iron Project over the coming months.

“The focus right now is to identify areas of high-grade iron within the project area and realise the potential value released through the major infrastructural upgrades, rail and port, underway in the region.”

Last year, the government of Guinea, Simfer and WCS created ‘La Compagnie du TransGuineen’ a JV Company which will co-develop a mega transport project including the construction of the 670km “TransGuinean” railway, extending from the Simandou Ranges to Forécariah on the coast where the deepwater port and ship loading infrastructure will be built at Morebaya.

This $US15 billion major capital investment is set to deliver shared purpose infrastructure to the area and is expected to be completed by December 2024, enabling commercial production from mines in the area by 2025.

Just 10 days ago, the Guinean government, Rio Tinto, Chinalco, Winning Consortium Simandou and Baowu Group, signed up a term sheet for the financing, development, construction and operation of the rail and port infrastructure for the multi-purpose and multi-user infrastructure project.

Bresser says that the continued combined commitment between Government and Industry was highly encouraging.

“To implement this major capital project provides confidence to Arrow that the infrastructure will be present to enable Arrow to potentially establish itself as a major West African mining company.

“Simandou North Iron Project allows Arrow to participate in the development of an area where, until now, mineral wealth has been locked up due to infrastructural constraints.”

Now the only question seems – which high-grade iron to hit first.



This article was developed in collaboration with Arrow Minerals (ASX:AMD), a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.