Australian explorer Legacy Iron Ore has received the backing of one of India’s major iron ore and bulk commodity companies. NMDC has invested almost Aus$19 million in Legacy’s Mt Bevan project where exploration has resulted in a JORC compliant resource of 1.6 billion tonnes @ 30.2% iron (with a 25% iron cut-off grade).

Mt Bevan is about 100km west of Leonora in the central Yilgarn region of Western Australia. It’s considered to hold significant potential for the definition of substantial DSO hematite and magnetite iron resources that are located close to existing road, rail and port facilities.

Metallurgical work undertaken in 2011 also demonstrates the potential to fast track Mt Bevan with low strip ratios, coarse grind size, low silica and average concentrate grades in excess of 69% iron.

A follow up 7000 metre drill program is set to commence soon and include further metallurgical test work. The company hopes a substantial increase to resources will be realized on the back of the exploration target of 250-300 million tonnes at Mt Alexander and the unexplored Eastern BIF which extends for about 20km within the project area.

Legacy is NMDC’s first foreign acquisition, with the company stating it intends to use Legacy as a first step to acquiring other Australian mineral assets. The Indian government-owned NMDC also wants to establish a $200 million line of credit to Legacy, to fund further exploration and development.

The investment means Legacy now has a platform to develop into a significant iron ore and bulk commodity company, and is in a strong position to fast track further exploration and mining studies at Mt Bevan. This should also assist in promoting an outcome with joint venture partner Hawthorn Resources with a 40% interest after Legacy’s farm-in.