A maiden inferred bauxite resource has been determined at a tenement in central Queensland that Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) intends to acquire. The Toondoon mining lease, southwest of the company’s Binjour project, hosts a resource of 3.5 million tonnes which the company believes is suitable for it to conclude purchase agreements.
The resource was determined following investigative drilling carried out as part of ABx due diligence on the lease area 25km south of Mundubbera and 155km southwest of Bundaberg port. The company also believes the resource will enable it to commence early production to supply the buoyant bauxite market, which is currently seriously short of this type of gibbsite bauxite.
Toondoon may be a fast-track route to commencement of the large Binjour bauxite project 115km southwest of Bundaberg export port.
ABx CEO Ian Levy says, “The discovery of a good bauxite deposit on this granted long-term mining lease is one of the final jigsaw pieces in establishing the first modern bauxite business in Australia since the 1960s. Production from this mining lease may commence early and kick-start the large Binjour project several years earlier than we previously thought.”
A gibbsite-rich bauxite layer, 1 to 7 metres thick, totalling 5 million tonnes has been discovered beneath a shallow layer of soil and overburden red clay at Toondoon. Fourteen holes totalling 186 metres were drilled and revealed a consistent, continuous deposit and enabled estimation of an inferred resource.
Ian Levy says it is common to commence operations based on zones that contain DSO bauxite which can be exported directly and to stockpile the bauxite that requires screening for processing in later years. About 50% of the Toondoon bauxite meets DSO grades and requires no upgrade.
The ABx bauxite project areas in central Queensland are supplied with power, water, communications and transport infrastructure, near well-serviced industrial centres and near two efficient export ports that operate year-round without seasonal interruptions.
ABx has the potential to create significant bauxite developments in three states - Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. Its bauxite deposits are favourably located for direct shipping of bauxite to both local and export customers. The company has established a virtual data room in response to approaches made since its declaration of three state-significant projects in September 2012.