JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Following the 2011 drilling programme, joint owners of the Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) project, New Millennium Iron (NML) and Tata Steel on Thursday said the measured and indicated resource of the project had increased by 17.8%.
The drilling focused on upgrading existing resource estimates for the project to comply with the Canadian National Instrument (NI) 43-101 standards. The drilling consisted of 40 exploration holes for a total of 2 km, resulting in a 28% increase in the indicated and 43% increase in the inferred resource estimates, when compared with the current resource estimates.
Of the total of 85.1-million tons in the new estimate, about 21.1-million tons are in the proven and 43-million tons are in the probable reserve categories, containing an average grade of 59.2% iron on a dry basis, as well as an additional 10.3-million tons of inferred resources at an average grade of 58.3% iron.
"This notable increase of NI 43-101-compliant resources gives Tata Steel Minerals Canada the option to potentially increase mine life or consider a higher production rate,” NML CEO Dean Journeaux said in a statement.
NML added that the mine plan it is developing could further enhance the proven and probable reserves.
TSMC, which is 80% owned by Tata Steel and 20% owned by NML, is the owner and project operator of DSO.
Based on the 2011 drill results of deposits Kivivic 1C, Kivivic 5 and Kivivic 2, TSMC intends to carry out additional in-fill reverse circulation drilling in deposits Kivivic 1C, Kivivic 5, and Kivivic 2, to increase the mineral resources and upgrade to the measured and indicated category, and exploration drilling in the Leroy 1 deposit.
The aim of drilling in the Leroy 1 deposit is to convert the historical resources to NI 43-101-compliant resources.
Meanwhile, TSX-listed Labrador Iron Mines reported a new NI 43-101-compliant resource had been identified at its Knob Lake deposit, while it had also increased the size of its Houston deposit.
The new mineral resource estimate for its Knob Lake deposit of 5.7-million tons at an average grade of 54.2% iron in the measured and indicated categories represents a significant increase over the previous historical Iron Ore Company of Canada estimate of four-million tons at an average grade of 48.4% iron in the inferred category.