Australia’s Metallica Minerals has announced that the Joint Venture Committee for the Urquhart Point Heavy Mineral Sands mine, which will produce zircon, rutile and ilmenite, has completed the selection process and appointed South African headquartered Consulmet as the preferred Engineering Contractor for the Project. Consulmet is a specialist engineering group focused on fast-tracked design and construction of mineral processing plants.
Subject to signing a formal commercial agreement (and FIRB approval of the Joint Venture which is expected in late August 2014) Consulmet will execute a fixed price turnkey contract to commission the HMS concentrator plant on site at Urquhart Point, 3km west of Weipa, on Queensland’s Cape York Peninula.
The Joint Venture is between Metallica’s wholly owned subsidiary Oresome Australia Pty Ltd and a private Chinese investor
Consulmet was first established in 1993 and focused its primary business activities on the provision of metallurgical test-work services to the mining and mineral processing industries. These services soon expanded to incorporate project engineering and management services to capital equipment suppliers of metallurgical processing equipment. Several successful test-work projects were completed in the Zambian copper belt and South African mines together with project management services locally and internationally up to 1996.
During the period 1996 to 2000 Consulmet consolidated its service provision activities and focused on trading in consumer commodities expanding this aspect to achieve business stability. With a series of strategic alliances formed, Consulmet now offers a full and diversified range of products and services including engineering design, manufacturing, fabrication, installation, project management and spares and logistics services.
In September 2008 Consulmet expanded into extractive metallurgy with the establishment of Consulmet Metals. Also in 2009, Consulmet established its Australian operation, which completed its first major project in 2010.
Consulmet focuses on providing a competitive range of innovative niche mining technologies, and process engineering services, for the mining and mineral processing industries. Clients include both junior and major mining companies as well as explorers in the pursuit of diamonds, gold, iron ore, coal, ferrochrome and other heavy minerals in developed and developing regions. It has successfully installed production ready mineral processing plants in numerous parts of the world including Australia, Africa, Europe, North and South America.
URQUHART POINT PROJECT
Urquhart Point is within the Cape York Mineral Sands Project, which consists of ten granted Exploration Permits for Minerals (EPM’s) and nine EPM Applications (EPMA’s), covering approximately 2,500km2. Exploration on the project is targeting rutile and zircon in sand dunes and strandlines along the coast line.
The project is located 5km south west of Weipa. The Mining Lease and Mining Lease Application cover approximately 372 ha. EPM15268 surrounding the Mining Leases covers a further nine kilometres of coastline still to be tested.
The project is at an advanced stage with major milestones completed. Oresome is currently in negotiations for partnerships, funding and off-take for the project development as well as exploration funding on the regional exploration tenements. Subject to the finalisation of funding the projects pre-construction works can commence within two months, with the project commencing production within one year after that.
In June 2014, Oresome announced that a positive Feasibility Study had been completed by IMC Mining with the following key results:
• Estimated NPV 10% is AU$4.9M, IRR is 69%
• Supports economics for a 5 year mine life based on current ore reserves
• Project capital required ~$6.5M with a one year payback period from start of operations
• Simple shallow (<3m) dry sand mining (240,000 ore tonnes per annum) and conventional wet gravity separation plant operation to produce a heavy mineral concentrate for sale
• Proved and Probable Ore Reserve estimated by IMC is 1.18Mt at 9.5% Heavy Minerals (HM), 8% oversize and 1% slimes. The HM mineral assemblage is estimated to be 11.7% zircon, 13.6% rutile and 13.1% ilmenite. The HMS Reserves are between 1.5-2m in thickness
In May 2013, the Resource for the Urquhart Point Project was further upgraded. The updated JORC 2012, Urquhart Point Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource using a 2% COG (May 2014):
In late 2013 an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and has since been approved. The project has received final permitting and an Environmental Authority (EA).
Oresome has been committed to working closely with the Traditional Land Owners, the Wik and Wik Way People and is pleased that Native Title has been determined and Native Title freehold granted. Landowner Compensation Agreements are in place for the Project.