JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – London- and Frankfurt-listed Bluejay Mining is set to bring into production the world’s highest-grade ilmenite project in 2019, feeding into the Greenland government’s target of opening five large-scale mines in the near term.
The first of these five mines, Aappaluttoq, opened last year and is providing gemstones. Bluejay is vying to be the next off the block, with its Dundas ilmenite project, which has a resource of 96-million tonnes at 6.9% ilmenite.
Bluejay is in the process of completing a preliminary feasibility study, which will be used for a final feasibility report that is due to be completed later in the year. The final feasibility study will form part of its exploitation licence, which the company still expects to have approved this year.
In a chairperson’s statement on Thursday, Mike Hutchinson said that Bluejay was confident that its product would be highly sought after, mainly because of its grade and the size of the deposit, but also because of the simple processing required.
“To refer to Dundas as a ‘mining’ play is arguably not representative of the methods that will be employed to extract the high-grade ilmenite. Given that mineralisation is visible to the naked eye, only a very simple extraction and processing method will be required, which aside from the positive cost implications, ensures low environmental impact,” said Hutchinson.
The location of Greenland will also provide the project with a cost benefit, as the Dundas ilmenite will be able to feed the European and North American markets, providing it with a cost benefit over producers based in Africa.
“With additional bulk sampling for offtake, as well as various civil and site works anticipated to be completed during 2018, we anticipate the completion of the various studies currently under way to allow for an exploitation licence to be lodged at the end of this field season. We continue to focus on the commencement of mining during 2019, which after just three years since the project was acquired will be a fantastic achievement,” Hutchinson said.
Besides the Dundas project, Bluejay also owns the Disko nickel/copper/platinum project, on the south-west coast of Greenland. The project has the potential to host mineralisation similar to the Talnakh nickel/ccopper sulphide mine of Norilsk Nickel in Russia.