An initial resource has been announced at Bauxite Resources’ Ceres deposit within its emerging Williams bauxite project in Western Australia, increasing the company’s total global bauxite assets by 12%. The company says the new deposit is estimated to host an inferred 15 million tonnes @ 40.9% alumina and 3% silica, bringing its total resource base to 139.5 million tonnes @ 40.1% alumina and 2.7% reactive silica.
The 3500 hectare Ceres deposit is part of the company’s joint venture with HD Mining & Investments, of which HDM is hoping to obtain a 40% interest. It extends across private farmland about 20km to the north of the Williams project and 150km southeast of Perth. The site is within 35 kilometres of existing rail and road infrastructure which connects to Albany port about 270 kilometres away.
The current deposit estimate is based upon drill programs completed in late 2011, over 7923 metres from 3017 holes. It is made up of a bauxite horizon of up to 8 metres thick. The company says the Ceres resource has encouraging available alumina to reactive silica ratios, which is a desirable characteristic for alumina refining.
The total extent of the deposit will be defined after an additional drill program has been completed. Following this a bulk sampling program is planned to provide material for bulk density, ore characterization, beneficiation and metallurgical test work. This test work is aimed at determining the opportunity to improve the removal of excess detrimental materials, principally quartz and reactive silica, thus upgrading the available alumina component of the ore.
Bauxite Resources is the largest tenement holder in the Darling Ranges with approximately 24,000sqkm of ground. This area in south-west Western Australia is acknowledged as the largest producing alumina region in the world supplying almost a quarter of global production.