Magnetite Mines has kicked off a drilling program aimed at collecting bulk samples for metallurgical testing to de-risk development of its Razorback iron ore project.

This program – an essential step in advancing the project – will test mineralisation contained in mining pit shells that represent early-year processing feed and includes near-surface oxidised mineralisation and deeper fresh rock mineralisation.

Magnetite Mines (ASX:MGT) notes that the drilling will initially target the Iron Peak deposit to provide up to 8,500kg of drill core material for detailed comminution, grinding, flotation and characterisation test work.

This testing will inform process design and engineering criteria for the processing plant and provide excellent coverage and delineation of early-year processing needs.

Taken together, it will provide further data to support optimisation of mining at the project, which could potentially improve returns and support project financing.

“Drilling at the Razorback Iron Ore Project represents an important next step towards realising the full potential of the processing flow sheet,” technical director Mark Eames said.

“The drilling has been designed to firstly test the metallurgical properties of the mineralisation spatially, and secondly, to improve resource geological understanding at the Iron Peak deposit.

“The Iron Peak deposit is a higher-grade, albeit lower-tonnage extension of the Razorback deposit and is currently included in the Mineral Resource estimate.

“However, further data density at this higher-grade deposit is required to fully realise its potential, with metallurgical and associated infill drilling helping to delineate this eastern extent of the deposit better.”


Further drilling

Following completion of metallurgical drilling, Magnetite will start infill and deposit extension drilling at both Iron Peak and Razorback to upgrade the JORC classification and improve geological modelling required at a definitive feasibility study level.

Drilling will occur at new drill sites positioned at intermediate points between previous drilling fence lines to improve resource and geological definition at these locations.

The logical extension of the resource, in particular at Iron Peak, is required to improve mining economics at this higher-grade prospect as demonstrated in exploration holes here.

Other work includes geotechnical drilling to test the physical rock characteristics of both the hanging and footwall of the proposed mining pit, groundwater exploration and dewatering, and exploration drilling.

This article was developed in collaboration with Magnetite Mines, 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.