Cyclone Metals’ recruits ex-Rio veterans to develop large scale magnetite production in Canada
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Cyclone Metals is building a crack team to drive the development of its flagship Block 103 project, appointing metallurgist Paul Vermeulen as general manager of technology and steel markets.
In April, Cyclone Metals (ASX:CLE) acquired the Block 103 project in Canada’s Labrador Trough — one of the largest magnetite iron ore belts on earth and the only one which benefits from open access rail and port infrastructure.
Magnetite projects normally cost a lot more to build than hematite projects due to the need to process lower grade ore into a concentrate.
However, the magnetite concentrate is typically super-high grade Fe meaning it captures a significant premium over the 62% Fe benchmark and is much better suited for low carbon emissions steelmaking. Many industry experts believe that magnetite concentrates are now more economically attractive than hematite ores because of increasing carbon taxes and the structurally higher energy costs.
In June, Cyclone defined a monster 7.2 billion tonne mineral resource at 29.2% total Fe for its Block 103 magnetite project. In September Cyclone started an extensive metallurgical test work program on bulk sediment samples, to demonstrate that a high quality 69.5% Fe magnetite concentrate can be easily produced. The Company claims that it will be able to procure bulk samples of magnetite concentrate to steel clients, as early as February 2024.
In line with its strategy to integrate mining and steel making, Cyclone has appointed Paul Vermeulen as general manager of technology and steel markets. Vermeulen is a highly credentialled metallurgist who has worked both in the iron ore and steel making industry.
Vermeulen will be responsible for developing high-value and low -arbon steel products and managing all technical studies spanning the ferrous value chain – everything from mineral resource definition to steel production.
His previous operational roles include Blast Furnace Manager at Iscor South Africa (now Arcelor-Mittal), where he managed one of the largest blast furnaces in the southern hemisphere. He also worked for five years at Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) as principal technical marketing, where he played a key role in developing high value iron ore products for steel mills, including the benchmark Rio Tinto ‘Pilbara Blend’.
It follows the appointment in April of chief executive officer Paul Berend, former Rio-Tinto GM business development and former GM Corporate strategy of Arcelor – the largest steel producer in the world.
“Paul Vermeulen is one of the very rare metallurgists who has a complete and expert understanding of the full ferrous value chain – from the ore in the ground to steel production,” Berend says.
“His appointment illustrates our strategy to fully integrate our future operations with European and Middle Eastern steel mills who will benefit the most from our products.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Cyclone Metals, 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.