A maiden JORC inferred resource of 1.5 billion tonnes has been announced by the Japanese and Australian owners of the Mutooroo magnetite project west of Broken Hill and just inside South Australia’s border with New South Wales.

The estimate comes as the project’s joint venture partners, Minotaur Exploration and Sumitomo Metal Mining Oceania, also announced that they expect to complete Mutooroo’s current scoping study early next year.

The JORC estimate, for the Muster Dam deposit, is within the Exploration Target of between 2.4 billion and 4.0 billion tonnes at Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) rates of between 14.5% and 16% iron, calculated independently by consultants, Hellman and Schofield and first announced by the joint venture in May this year.

Muster Dam is contained within a sequence of magnetite rich deposits which stretch almost 40km in length across the tenement which is part of the broader Braemar Iron Formation, a regionally extensive sequence of magnetised sedimentary siltstones

The resource milestone follows the completion by Minotaur, as joint venture operator and manager, of 49 reverse circulation holes for 13,031 metres, and 10 diamond holes for 2883 metres, to a depth below surface of 300 metres, along a 6km length of the Muster Dam deposit at Mutooroo.

The estimate comprises an inferred resource of 1.5 billion tonnes @ 15.2% iron DTR magnetite at a nominal 10% DTR magnetite cut off, with a head grade of 18.2% total iron. The mineralized sedimentary package contributing to the resource has widths of between 200 and 400 metres.

Minotaur’s managing director Andrew Woskett says the resource for Mutooroo is directly comparable to Carpentaria Exploration’s nearby Hawson’s project, just 25km away. “We are moving rapidly to completion of a scoping study and believe this is now very much an emerging asset.”

He says work had now started on preliminary design work to define an appropriate processing route for Mutooroo’s mineralization. Ongoing test work continues to reinforce Minotaur’s belief that Mutooroo has potential to produce magnetite concentrates containing high iron (69.8%), acceptable silica and extremely low levels of deleterious elements.


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