NSL Consolidated has doubled the exploration target at its AP14 magnetite project in Andhra Pradesh state to up to 377 million tonnes of magnetite. The previous target range was between 62 and 125 million tonnes of magnetite at grades ranging from 20% to 50% iron.
The upgrade has been announced after further geological and metallurgical test work was conducted at the site. There is also potential for a high grade core of Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) quality enriched magnetite of up to 10 million tonnes @ between 55% and 65% iron within the site.
The AP14 project covers 280 acres in the Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, about 200km northeast of the state capital of Hyderabad. The target mineralization within the project site consists of banded magnetite quartz, which covers between 50% and 70% of the project area. Historic mining operations are evident with small pits present across the site.
In January, the state government recommended the project for Central government approval in Delhi. NSL says the next step in the approvals process is the granting of the mining lease by the Central government, which will then allow the company to begin exploration drilling.
“We hope to undertake this drilling in the first half of 2013,” says NSL managing director Cedric Goode. “NSL is actively looking to develop the AP14 project and we have commenced a number of key activities to minimize lead times for ongoing exploration.”
This work includes completion of field exploration of about 5500 metres of combined diamond core and RC drilling, which remains subject to the Central government approval.
NSL will engage a metallurgical lead consultant to drive the sample testing, data analysis, process flow sheet development and initial engineering design for the process plant. The company is also negotiating long term marketing strategies with several offtake partners.