The resource at Bauxite Resources’ Felicitas deposit in the Darling Range of Western Australia has been ugraded. It now contains 147.9 million measured, indicated and inferred tonnes, up from the previous 127.5 million tonnes.
The Felicitas resource is within the Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures with Yankuang Resources. It is on a small number of large private landholdings about 60km northeast of Perth and 10km from the town of Wundowie. The resource is less than 5km from existing rail infrastructure providing a direct link to Fremantle/Kwinana Port about 120km away.
The resource increase of 20.4 million tonnes has resulted from the inclusion of an additional 1421 drill holes, completed on a nominal 80 metre x 80 metre grid pattern. The resource now extends over a strike length of 16.5km and mineralization remains open to the south with the potential for the resource to be further increased with samples from about 940 holes awaiting analysis.
More than 90 million tonnes of refinery grade bauxite has been identified, a critical milestone for the undertaking by the JV of a bankable feasibility study into the viability of an alumina refinery in Western Australia. The Felicitas resource upgrade adds to the global resource base that Bauxite Resources and its joint venture partners have defined within the Darling Range.
The costs of the feasibility study, when undertaken, will be borne 90% by Yankuang, with Bauxite Resources funding the remaining 10%. Subject to the feasibility study results, the joint venture will design and build a refinery, with Bauxite Resources funding 9% of construction costs and receiving 30% of the alumina end product.
Bauxite Resources new chief executive officer Peter Canterbury says, “The company’s recent upgrades have created a very large localized bauxite resource similar to the other bauxite deposits used to supply Alcoa’s and BHP Billiton’s Western Australian refineries, the largest alumina producing region in the world. The very high alumina to reactive silica content and the ability to process this gibbsitic bauxite at low refining temperatures make it very efficient bauxite to refine and is why Darling Range alumina refineries are in the lowest quartile cost producers in the world.
“We believe the resources are now of a sufficient size, quality and location that they can support the development of increased alumina refining capacity in Western Australia as well as the development of plans for shipping of bauxite out through existing rail and port facilities.”