Astute Metals NL

Substantial Mineral Resource Upgrade at Governor Broome Mineral Sands Project, WA

Updated Mineral Resources to underpin Scoping Study due in Q1 2024

Astute Metals NL (ASX: ASE) (“ASE”, “Astute” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce a significant upgrade of the Mineral Resources at its 100%-owned Governor Broome Heavy Mineral Sands Project in the South West of Western Australia.


Key Highlights

  • Substantial 18% upgrade in Governor Broome Project Measured and Indicated resource tonnes following successful in-fill drill programs.
  • Combined 93.4Mt of Resources now in the high- confidence Measured (28.4Mt) and Indicated (65Mt) Resource Categories
  • Latest Mineral Assemblage results demonstrate high-value mineralogy at the Jack Track Deposit, including:
    • Combined Jack Track-Jack Track East assemblage of 68% Primary Ilmenite, 14% Secondary Ilmenite, 4.5% Rutile, 10% Zircon, and 0.8% Monazite, for a 97% VHM content
  • Updated Mineral Resource Estimate and Mineral Assemblages to be incorporated in Governor Broome Project Scoping Study

Astute Executive Chairman, Tony Leibowitz, said:

“The completion of this Resource upgrade marks another key step forward in our value-realisation strategy for Governor Broome. Successful in-fill drilling programs completed earlier this year have resulted in a substantial uplift of the higher confidence Indicated and Measured categories. This means these Resources can be included in the upcoming Scoping Study and will ultimately be available for conversion to Ore Reserves. With this key resource upgrade now finalized, the data will be handed over to our consultants for inclusion in the Scoping Study – which remains on track for completion in Q1 2024.”

Background

The 100%-owned Governor Broome Heavy Mineral Sands Project is located in the mineral sands-rich coastal areas of the South West of WA. The Project is, by sealed road, located about 95km south of Busselton, 105km south of Iluka’s processing plant at Capel, and 135km from Bunbury Port and from Picton, where Doral Australia has a heavy mineral separation plant. The area is well serviced by electrical infrastructure with a 132kV line located just 5km to the north and a three-phase power line passing through the Project.

Resource Development

The Governor Broome Project has been systematically de-risked by Astute over a number of years. Recent work includes the successful separation of marketable zircon, ilmenite, zircon and monazite products from bulk sample testwork for the Jack Track (eastern) part of the Project1. This updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) has resulted in a substantial 18% upgrade in higher-confidence Measured and Indicated resources from a previous 79Mt of Indicated Resources to 28.4Mt of Measured and 65Mt of Indicated Resources. This update in Mineral Resources incorporates the results of Astute’s 502-hole air- core drilling programme that was carried out earlier this year, designed specifically to upgrade the category of Mineral Resources.

The upgraded resources are being included in the current Scoping Study, which is scheduled for completion in Q1 2024. The locations of the various Project deposits are shown on Figure 1, and a summary of the Project’s Mineral Resources is shown in Table 1. The deposits within R70/58, for which these revised resources are reported, are shown in Figure 2. Details of the various resources are given in Table 3.

Figure 1. Governor Broome Project tenements and Mineral Resources.

Figure 2. Resources within and adjacent to R70/58.

Table 1. Governor Broome Project Resources – at 2% HM lower block-cut-off grade2

Note that the above figures have been appropriately rounded. The Fouracres Resources estimated at a 3% Heavy Mineral (HM) lower block-cut-off grade Governor Broome and Jack Track Resources estimated at a 2% HM lower block-cut-off grade

Geology and Mineralisation

The Governor Broome Project mineralisation is hosted in unconsolidated beach sands occurring on the Scott River Coastal Plain. The geological character of the mineralisation is like that of other heavy mineral deposits occurring along the Swan Coastal Plain, which have a long history of mining and processing. The mineralisation is hosted in beach placer facies sediments of the Pleistocene aged Barlee Shore-line on the southward facing Scott Coastal Plain.

The host unit to the Jack Track Deposit mineralisation, and that of the other deposits in the eastern section of R70/58, is the Warren Sands, which do not contain significant clay.

A sub-surface Bunbury Basalt headland is present to the west of the Jack Track Deposit (see Figures 1 and 2). The characteristics of both the Warren Sands-hosted mineralisation and of the underlying Beenup Beds, are markedly different on either side of the headland. To its east, both the Warren Sands and the immediately unconformably underlying Beenup Beds of the Cretaceous Warnbro Group are very fine grained, as are the heavy minerals.

To the west the grain sizes are larger, with most of the mineralisation within R70/58 also being within the Warren Sands, but its lower portions are hosted within the Beenup Beds. The Beenup Beds sediments are of two main facies in the area: clayey sands and organic clays. The clayey sands contain medium- to coarse-grained, angular to sub-angular, unconsolidated quartz and minor feldspar grains. The clay content, which is variable, tends to increase downward. Generally, it contains between 1% and 8% of valuable HM. Common accessory minerals are garnet, pyrite, and fine coal fragments.

The mineralisation that has been reported as Mineral Resources is based upon a minimum heavy mineral content of 2% over a thickness of 2m and a maximum Slimes content of 20% in any one intersection.

Exploration

The Jack Track Tenement, R70/58, has been explored with air-core drilling by Metal Sands in 2007, Astro in 2012, by Iluka in 2015, and by Astro in 2022 and 2023. Those holes within R70/58, or marginal to it and within the vicinity of the modelled mineralisation, are summarised in Table 1. The holes used in these revised Jack Track Deposit resource estimations are listed in Appendix 2.


Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from Astute Metals NL, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

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