Hancock has Magnetite in its Sights
WA mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has pressed the button on $9m investment that could result in multibillion-dollar magnetite project in the Yilgarn region shipping high-grade iron ore products to India. Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting will take 30 per cent
stake in the Mt Bevan magnetite project west of Leonora under an agreement with joint venture partners, the Indian Government controlled Legacy Iron and junior explorer Hawthorn Resources.
Hancock can then boost its holding to 51 per cent by sole funding pre-feasibility study. The company announced on Thursday that its subsidiary Atlas Iron had been appointed as the manager of the joint venture project and would conduct the study. The deal, which comes after Hancock began due diligence over Mt Bevan in November, follows days after the signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation agreement. Legacy is 90 per cent owned by the Indian Government’s National Mineral Development Corporation.
Hancock chief executive Garry Korte said the project offered an excellent opportunity for Hancock and could provide options for additional higher grade, lower impurity iron ore products. The trend has seen host of juniors dust off mothballed magnetite projects, particularly in the Yilgarn region east of Perth.
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.