Mount Ida Magnetite Project
Jupiter Mines has defined an Inferred Resource over the Central Zone of the Mount Ida Magnetite Project of 1.85 billion tonnes with a head grade (15% Fe cut-off) of 29.48% Fe, 45.88% SiO2, 1.10% Al2O3, 0.074% P, 0.201% S (ASX announcement 8/1/2013).
On the 4 September 2012 an increased resource estimate for Mt Ida of 1.23 billion tonnes at 29.79þ was announced, indicating the potential for a robust, long-life operation, which would underpin the Mount Ida Feasibility Study, which was due for completion by Q3 2013. The Study was based on annual production of 10 million tonnes a year of beneficiated magnetite grading +68 per cent Fe. It was also stated that all work streams on the Mount Ida feasibility study were due for completion by December 2012, with the feasibility study to be delivered by Q2 2013.
However, on November 8th 2012, Jupiter froze further expenditure on the Project, mainly due to the increasing cost environment indicated by the preliminary estimates of the Mount Ida Feasibility Study. This identified higher capital and operating costs than those contained in the 2011 Scoping Study. In light of these estimates, taken together with the depressed iron ore prices and strong exchange rate environment at the time, the Jupiter Board concluded that it was in the best interest of the Company and its shareholders to freeze expenditure on the project until market conditions improve and uncertainty in delivering key infrastructure to enable the export of magnetite concentrate is removed.
Recommencement will be subject to improving market conditions and a port solution being secured.
Nonetheless, the Mount Ida Magnetite Project now has a significant magnetite resource with the Feasibility Study components well advanced.
Geology & Resources
The banded iron formation (BIF) magnetite mineralisation in the Central Zone is approximately 3km long and over 1.5km wide. A total of 465 holes, comprising 99,308 drill metres, have been drilled in the Central Zone region since 2008. The drill hole coverage in the defined resource area is on a nominal spacing of 100m x 100m. During the 2011/2012 year, Mount Ida's infill drill programme was completed over the Central Zone. It comprised of 202 RC and diamond drill holes, for a total of 67m357 meres. A total of 327 RC holes (75,521m) and 20 diamond core holes (5,958m) were used to prepare resource estimates.
Mount Ida Drill Hole Location Plan
The magnetite BIF units in the Central Mount Ida zone plunge at approximately 20 degrees to the NNE and dip 30-40 degrees to the ENE. Drill data modelling has delineated some ten magnetite BIF lodes in the central area. The drilling has intersected several flat-lying and sub-parallel BIF units, with the deepest being approximately 340m below the surface. The average unit thickness is approximately 40m, but in places intercepts exceeding 100 m have been encountered. Oxide mineralisation is generally present from surface to a depth of approximately 50 metres and is dominated by hematite, goethite and magnetite. The magnetite extends from within 50 metres of surface to 300 metres in vertical depth.
Jupiter also completed an additional 43 RC drill holes for a total of 12,646 meters, along a further 4kms of strike to test the continuity of the northern and southern extensions to the Mount Ida Central lodes. Geological modelling has commenced over these areas and resource modelling will be undertaken following the completion of the Mount Ida Central Zone resource re-estimate. This modelling enabled a maiden Inferred Resource estimate to be completed over an additional 4km strike length of the Mount Ida BIF.
After expenditure on the Mount Ida project ceased in November 2012, the main focus during the March 2013 quarter was the finalisation of reports, and closing out of baseline surveys and project impact assessment studies.
Baseline surveys and reports initiated prior to November 2012 have now been finalised with the information gathered for the Mount Ida project used to also assist in establishing a regional context for the environmental impact assessment of the Mount Mason project submissions.
No further studies have been initiated on the Mount Ida project.
Having completed the resource estimation for Mt Ida in 2012, extensive drill hole rehabilitation program was completed in September 2012, with over 320 drill hole sites and associated sumps rehabilitated, collection and disposal of bagged drill hole samples, and the rehabilitation of over 36 kilometres of tracks.