Fortescue Metals has announced a massive 72% resource increase at its North Star magnetite deposit as it considers joint ventures on the project.
The announcement from the miner sees its resource jump by 880 million tonnes to 2.12 billion tonnes at a grade of 31.6%.
It has a total measured resources of 102 million tonnes, an indicated resource of 671 million tonnes, and 1.342 billion tonnes of inferred resources.
Fortescue says it has also identified further prospective magnetite deposits in its tenement which it will add to its magnetite portfolio in the future.
"To put North Star into context, with over 2 billion tonnes of resources it is one of the largest magnetite deposits in Australia," the company states.
"When compared with Glacier Valley (the total project area known as Iron bridge), it contains more than 3.2 billion tonnes, which would rank in the top ten of the largest magnetite deposits in the world."
The miner went on to say that is considering partnering with third parties, and will structure the development on a non resource basis to its balance sheet.
While Fortescue remains focused on its DSO hematite iron ore business, it stated that "the company sees potential to deliver shareholder value through aligning its magnetite interests with strategic partners to assist in the development and financing of such projects".
It has begun feasibility studies at site, and forecasts a potential mine life of 20 years.
The studies are scheduled for completion in the March quarter of this year.
Fortescue’s latest announcement takes its total JORC resource to 12.188 billion tonnes of iron ore, consisting of 8.952 billion tonnes of hematite and 3.236 billion tonnes of magnetite.