Joint venture partners Sumitomo Metal Mining Oceania and Minotaur Exploration have announced a massive increase in iron mineralization potential at the Mutooroo magnetite project in South Australia.

Mutooroo is 75km southwest of Broken Hill, and now boasts an additional 2.2 billion to 4.2 billion tonnes of magnetite mineralization at a Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) of between 15 and 18%. An inferred resource of 1.5 billion tonnes @ 15.2% DTR has also been established for the project’s Muster Dam deposit.

High quality magnetite concentrate with 70% iron content has been produced from DTR samples from several other deposits, reinforcing the quality of the concentrates previously reported from the Muster Dam deposit.

Japan’s Sumitomo holds a 59.1% stake in the project, while Australian-based Minotaur owns the remaining 40.9%.

Minotaur’s managing director Andrew Woskett says the new exploration target represents a significant increase in the magnetite potential at Mutooroo, with about 45% of the revised target tonnage coming from the Duffields 1 prospect. He says there is further potential remaining along strike in areas not included in the new exploration target.

“Significantly, recent drill results have improved confidence in the thickness and continuity of mineralization at Duffields 1, at potentially higher grades that at Muster Dam,” he says. “It is also noteworthy that the exploration target for the Duffields 1 prospect now exceeds the upper range of that previously estimated as an exploration target for the Muster Dam in May 2011.”