TEST work results for Carpentaria Exploration’s Hawsons Iron Project demonstrate the project’s potential to produce highest quality pellet feed at very competitive costs, satisfying the premium end of the processed iron market. The results also support the company’s cost targets as being within the first quartile of global processed iron costs.
The Hawsons Iron Project is on the border of South Australia and New South Wales, not far from a rail line to Port Pirie.
High value processed iron products such as high grade pellet feed and pellets are a significant and irreplaceable component of modern and efficient steel making. The pellet feed and pellet market differs to the unprocessed iron ore fines and lump market, attracting significant premiums to reflect the value of such products to the steelmaker.
Located just 60km from Broken Hill, Hawsons is a world-class ore body with a unique soft ore and favourable access to existing rail, road, port and power infrastructure, offering the potential to become a long lasting source of premium iron. The project is underpinned by inferred and indicated resources of 1.8 billion tonnes at 15% mass recovery for 263 million tonnes of concentrate grading 69.7% iron.
Hawsons’ technical director and experienced magnetite processor Ray Koenig says, “The latest test work again demonstrates that the Hawsons material is unique, with unusually low energy usage returned repeatedly in grinding test work, and that a product of unusually high purity can be produced.”
Carpentaria’s managing director Quentin Hill says, “High value processed iron products are generally expensive to produce and are currently sourced from Brazil, Canada and northern Europe. In contrast, Hawsons has significant cost advantages due to its unique characteristics, as well as being closer to customers in China, South-East Asia, India and the Middle East. Combined with the product’s relative scarcity and growing demand from steelmakers, these features further boost Hawsons’ attractiveness.”
Carpentaria is gathering market feedback from customers concerning the final product mix, including the potential for producing Direction Reduction (DR) pellet and pellet feed and/or high grade blast furnace pellet and pellet feed.
The Hawsons joint venture (Carpentaria 60%, Pure Metals 40%) is undertaking a bankable feasibility study based on the low-cost, long-term supply of a high-grade, ultra-low impurity iron concentrate to a growing premium iron market.
The project’s soft rock is different from traditional hard rock magnetite and allows a very different approach to typical magnetite mining and processing challenges. The soft rock enables simple liberation of a premium product without complex and expensive processing.