Heemskirk tin project gets mining lease

Stellar Resources has been granted a Mining Lease to Stellar’s wholly owned subsidiary Columbus Metals over the Heemskirk tin project.

“Granting of an ML is a major step forward for Stellar’s Heemskirk tin project, the Zeehan community and for mining in Tasmania,” said Stellar’s managing director Peter Blight.

“The ML reflects the Tasmanian Government’s confidence in Stellar’s tin development proposal and provides the company with secure tenure over tin and other metallic minerals for a minimum of 12 years. The long-dated nature of tenure is also important for attracting finance to the project.”

Heemskirk Tin Project Stellar Resources owns 100 per cent of the Heemskirk tin project, which has a JORC Mineral Resource of 6.35mt at 1.13 per cent tin or 72,000t of contained tin. Heemskirk, located in west Tasmania, is the highest grade and best located undeveloped tin project listed on the ASX, claims the company.

The Mineral Resource comprises three closely spaced tin deposits (Queen Hill, Severn and Montana) located northwest of Zeehan. Stellar is planning a fast-start underground development beginning with the Lower Queen Hill deposit and followed sequentially by development of the Severn and Montana deposits.

Under a fast-start strategy, it is expected that first ore production could occur within 6-9 months of decline commencement. Ore processing is expected to be undertaken in a standalone modular plant. This strategy also provides the opportunity to commence production at low capital cost. The modular nature of the processing plant would allow for subsequent expansion depending on the rate of mine development.

Under the fast-start scenario, total direct employment in the first stage of the Heemkirk operation should be up to 70 people. However, upon full expansion of the mine, employment in all aspects of the operation should rise up to 180 people.

The Mining Lease covers an area of 560 hectares over Crown Land. It confers the following rights to Stellar’s subsidiary Columbus Metals Limited:

  • to carry out mining operations in the lease area in accordance with the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995;
  • to mine tin and all other metallic minerals within the lease area;
  • staged provision of security deposits in accordance with a schedule of defined activities from exploration and feasibility (stage 1), to construction (stage 2) to operation (stage 3); and
  • and a term of 12 years ending on 1 January 2029.

All conditions of the ML can be met through the existing schedule of activities planned by Stellar. There are no minimum expenditure commitments.

Next Steps
Subject to funding, Stellar plans to advance the Heemskirk tin project through the following definitive feasibility study (DFS) work program:

  • 9,000m of diamond drilling to convert Mineral Resources to an Ore Reserve;
  • metallurgical testing to optimise the process flow sheet and confirm recovery/product quality;
    completion of a development proposal and environmental management plan (DPEMP) to achieve environmental clearance; and
  • completion of mining and plant studies to a definitive feasibility study (DFS) level. Once drilling commences, the DFS program is expected to be completed within 15 months.

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