Magnetite back in vogue as Macarthur sets course for production
Once considered the poor cousin to hematite, magnetite is back in vogue with iron players who are finding it hard going to consistently discover more hematite deposits. Big players like Mineral Resources and others have recently turned their attention to magnetite, clearly frustrated at the rate of discovery of more economic hematite resources.
Macarthur Minerals recently spun out its precious and battery metals assets to focus on its magnetite iron ore projects that boast estimated post beneficiation grades up to a stellar 69 per cent iron. Importantly Macarthur has locked in a reliable life of mine offtake partner with a 10-year binding agreement recently signed with mega-miner and mineral trader Glencore International A.G.
Macarthur is laser focused on commercialising its iron ore projects and is making serious headway towards completing a bankable feasibility study that it plans to wrap up by the end of March. The company’s flagship asset is its 100 per cent owned Lake Giles iron ore project, comprising the Moonshine magnetite prospect and also the Ularring hematite prospect that has already been approved for development.
Macarthur looks to have consolidated a serious magnetite iron ore asset with close access to a reliable port. Its true value however lies in its ground-breaking offtake agreement with global juggernaut Glencore. With a bankable feasibility study due out by the end of the month, it is game on now for this magnetite developer.
Aurizon just the ticket to get Macarthur on the move
Aurizon has agreed to transport up to 500,000 tonnes of direct-shipment ore (DSO) per year for Macarthur Minerals, between Kalgoorlie and Kwinana in Western Australia. The rail haulage agreement will allow Macarthur to accelerate plans at its 54.5 million tonne Ularring hematite resource, with matching port access the next goal for the developing miner.
Macarthur chief executive officer Andrew Bruton detailed the significance of the deal.
“This agreement has the potential to increase Macarthur’s overall access to rail haulage capacity and enhances the foundations for the company’s ambitions to commence iron ore exports as soon as possible,” Bruton said.
The agreement has increased Macarthur’s access to rail haulage to almost one million tonnes over the next 12 months, plus up to 2.1 million tonnes over the next four years.
“With continued diligence, resolve and respectful engagement with key stakeholders, we remain very optimistic that it is now not a matter of if, but when, the company will finally conclude the balance of necessary arrangements that will enable it to commence moving and exporting iron ore products,” Bruton said.
The agreement also complements Macarthur’s similar agreement with Pacific National for the rail haulage of 400,000 tonnes per year. The additional tonnage will be sourced from GWR Group’s Wiluna West iron ore project under a mine-gate sale agreement.