BCI Minerals plans sale of Pilbara iron ore assets

BCI Minerals' Pilbara assets.

Pilbara-focused junior BCI Minerals has launched a divestment process for its portfolio of iron ore assets in the Western Australian region.

The assets include Iron Valley, Kumina, Bungaroo South, Cape Preston East port rights and several other iron ore exploration tenements.

BCI’s iron ore portfolio is regarded as one of the largest Pilbara hematite resource bases outside of those owned by the region’s majors, including Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group.

The company said it had been approached by multiple parties expressing strong interest in acquiring its assets since the release of a JORC mineral resource estimate for the Kumina tenements in June.

“As a result, the board has resolved to undertake a formal process to explore the potential divestment of the entire iron ore asset portfolio,” the company said in an ASX announcement.

“This decision is aligned with BCI’s stated intent of developing a salt and potash business as the primary focus in the near term.”

The Kumina estimate included an inferred mineral resource of 78.3Mt at 59.1 per cent Fe at a 57 per cent cut off, or 115.2Mt at 58 per cent Fe at a 53 per cent cut off.

“Our overall iron ore tenement package rivals that of any other Pilbara junior, and this places BCI in a good position from which to participate in future transaction in the sector,” BCI managing director Alwyn Vorster said in June.

BCI is also advancing the Mardie salt and sulphate of potash (SOP) project in the Pilbara. It is aiming for annual production of 3.5Mt of industrial grade sodium chlorate salt and 75,000t of SOP from solar evaporation at Mardie once it is developed.

The company said funds from the iron ore divestment process would enable it to rapidly progress a Mardie definitive feasibility study and maintain 100 per cent ownership of the project through to a final investment decision later this year.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.