ASX-listed Hawsons Iron has advised that analytical work on an anticipated mineral resource estimate (MRE) update for the Hawsons iron project, near Broken Hill, has not been completed on time, owing to the cumulative delaying impact of wet weather, Covid-19 and additional time required to process the necessary data.
MD Bryan Granzien said on Thursday that independent geological experts, H&S Consultants, still required a few more weeks to complete this work and submit their report, which was now expected by the end of July.
“Our stated intention was to announce this update during the June quarter, and we have done everything in our power to meet that deadline.
“During our confirmatory drilling programme, we experienced several significant rain events on site. This, combined with Covid workforce impacts, saw us pivot swiftly to minimise delays by extending drilling shifts and laboratory processing to around-the-clock operations,” he said.
“We completed sufficient drilling, got the samples analysed and had the data sent directly from the laboratory to our competent person at H&SC, but the 3D modelling software has detected some logging calibration inconsistencies which now have to be assessed and rectified,” Granzien added.
A material mineral resource upgrade to 400-million tonnes was announced in October 2021, including a 9% increase in indicated resources to 132-million tonnes and an 18% increase in inferred resources to 268-million tonnes.
The exploration target published in the company’s maiden resource ASX announcement from December 2010 remains at six-billion to 11-billion tonnes.
The recent drilling programme has been designed to prove up sufficient tonnes within the highest confidence measured resources category to support the bankable feasibility study (BFS) and satisfy debt requirements to finance development of the company’s high-grade Hawsons iron project.
Granzien said the balance of work being undertaken for the BFS was unaffected and continuing at pace, including finalisation of product testing work and processing plant flow design which would be announced in the next few weeks.
He added the company had recently completed the current resource drilling programme on site and these additional samples would continue to be processed to add to the database, but were not necessary for the impending upgrade.
“Due to the rain delays and laboratory turnaround timeframes in what can only be described as a hot resources sector, the remainder of the borehole data captured will be incorporated into another updated MRE we expect to release prior to the end of the BFS,” Granzien noted.