BC Iron delivers at Nullagine
Perth-based iron ore company, BC Iron Ltd has laid strong foundations for the development of its 100%-owned Nullagine Iron Ore Project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region with the announcement of a maiden resource estimate of 47 million tonnes grading 53.6% Fe (61.5% calcined Fe) for the Bonnie Creek Channel Iron Deposit (CID).Significantly, the resource includes outcropping, high-grade Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) comprising 28 million tonnes grading 57.4% Fe (65.1% calcined Fe) offering the potential for the rapid development of a low Capex/Opex operation at Nullagine to deliver early cash flow.The JORC Code compliant resource estimate – encompassing the Coongan and Outcamp Well deposits – comes just 15 months after BC Iron’s listing on the Australian Securities Exchange and represents a major step forward for the Company. The resource falls at the top end of the previously announced exploration target for these deposits of 20-30 million tonnes of DSO material. The large lower grade CID zone allows for flexible blending options at a time of high iron ore prices.BC Iron’s Managing Director, Mike Young, said the definition of an initial resource of this size represented a major achievement for the Company, underpinning the current Scoping Study on the development of a 3Mtpa DSO operation at Nullagine.“The definition of an initial resource just 15 months since our ASX listing represents a great team effort, and is testament to the commitment and professionalism of our people,” Mr Young said. “The resource significantly repositions the Company and provides a strong foundation for our growth strategy and plans to move to development and cash flow as rapidly as possible,” he said.“Our strategy has always been to focus on defining high-grade DSO and to leverage off our unique locational advantages in terms of proximity to existing infrastructure by developing a mining operation as soon as possible,” Mr Young added.“The fact that the high grade ore defined to date is at surface and has very low impurities means that we can get a DSO operation off the ground in a relatively short space of time and with modest capital outlay – which gives us a strong competitive advantage, particularly in the current high-cost environment in the resource sector,” he said.“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding support and cooperation we have had from the Traditional Owners in the Nullagine area, the Palyku People, who have worked closely with us. We look forward to building on this strong relationship in the future.”The Nullagine Project is strategically located directly northeast of Fortescue Metal Group’s (Fortescue) Chichester Iron Project including Cloud Break and Christmas Creek, and is relatively close to the open access railway line currently under development by Fortescue between Chichester and the dedicated iron ore berths at Port Hedland, 260km to the northwest.The proximity to Fortescue’s operations is of even greater consequence given the fact that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed with Fortescue facilitating negotiation over bulk commodity transport options including rail haulage, port handling and ship loading services to BC Iron, with an agreed rate of up to 5 Mtpa DSO.