Boonanarring on course for November start to commissioning

Mineral sands from Boonanarring (heavy minerals in black).

Image Resources’ development of the Boonanarring minerals sands project in Western Australia has reached its final quarter following completion of the project’s open cut mine and processing facility.

The Boonanarring project is 80km north of Perth and contains high-grade deposits of zircon and rutile (a titanium dioxide mineral often used as a white pigment and in welding rods).

At the end of August 2018, the project was 75 per cent complete following completion of a wet concentration plant (WCP) and associated infrastructure. Wet commissioning using the WCP is scheduled for a November 1 start.

Construction of the open cut mine was led by Hitachi 1800 and Cat 785 trucks throughout April and May and the last of the overburden is now being removed.

Final components of the project’s slimes thickener and flocculent unites arrived in early September and have now been installed. Likewise, important components for the ore feed preparation plant (FPP) arrived and were installed in the same period.

An admin office has been delivered to the site and is commissioned for the end of September.

Boonanarring hosts JORC resources of 43.8Mt at 5.6 per cent heavy minerals (HM) and 20.7 per cent combined zircon and rutile.

In accordance with its bankable feasibility study, Image is to produce heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) from the site at a volume of around 220,000t/y for shipment to China via the Port of Bunbury.

This figure is broken down by 60,000t of zircon (increasing to 70,000t/y in 2019–20), 130,000t/y of ilmenite (titanium-iron ore), 5,000t/y of rutile and 3,000t/y of leucoxene.

Boonanarring received a market valuation of $235 million in June, up 19 per cent from November 2017.

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