Fortescue Metals Group has increased its total iron ore resource to11.42 billion tonnes after delineating two billion tonnes at its new Nyidinghu project.
The project, which is only 35 kilometres from Fortescue’s existing Cloudbreak operations, increased its inferred resources from 1.03 billion tonnes to 2.01 billion tonnes at a cut off grade of 52% Fe.
It is contained within an area of about 14 square kilometres, and has an expected strip ratio of less than 2:1.
The miner says that "this reinforces the importance and urgency of our studies on the options for the development of our next 100 million tonnes per annum capacity beyond 155 million tonnes per annum".
It goes on to say that there is the potential for low cost processing to upgrade the mineralisation types at Nyidinghu.
Fortescue expect "continued drilling to increase the resource size and category, which may ultimately add a further 400 to 500 million tonnes to the resources".
It expects to be in a position to announce indicated resources in the first quarter of next year.
The miner announced the deposit contained a billion tonnes of iron ore in February this year, after it begain drilling at the site in August 2010.
According to Fortescue, Nyidinghu means the youngest family member in the local Pilbara Aboriginal language.