Development of Astra Resources’ iron sands project in Cagayan has been witnessed by the company’s new chief operations officer. Brett Gorman’s visit to the Philippines project last month coincided with the final lodgement of required paperwork to establish Astra’s first phase of dredging along the Cagayan River.
The project covers 12km of the river and ocean with mining operations forecast to produce 135 million tonnes of iron sands.
Brett Gorman says all the necessary documentation has been lodged with the authorities and the company is now waiting to receive final approval to proceed from the Governor. “This is the final permit required to start on site operations for the Cagayan river project.
“One must remember that this project is not only going to be a profitable venture for Astra and its shareholders but it is also providing a community service by clearing the mouth of the Cagayan river which has yearly flooding due to the shallow waters leading out to the ocean, these floods cause massive property damage and loss of life,” he says.
Astra will begin the process of securing additional mining areas to add to the project, with the company exploring suitable MPSA sites located off the coast. Exploration programs in the area have shown a total measured resource of almost 2 billion tonnes, an indicated 5.93 billion tonnes and a further inferred 23.4 billion tonnes all at a grade of 62.8% iron.
Astra says it has a number of buyers such as Kunming Gongxin Trading lining up to purchase the iron sands from the site.
“This will be a high yield and high return venture for Astra. Not only is the natural resource in abundance but there are also ample export facilities in the form of Port Irene, which is currently shipping iron sands to Asia for existing mining companies, operating in the area,” says Brett Gorman.
Once the final notice to proceed has been received Astra will fund the establishment and operation of the Cagayan project through a bond that is close at hand, with the company aiming to have the site ready for exporting iron sands in the first half of 2013.