Mineral Resources (MinRes) and Hexagon Resources have launched a feasibility study at their McIntosh graphite joint venture in the East Kimberley, Western Australia.
Hexagon approved the proposed JV in May, giving MinRes the opportunity to earn a 51 per cent share in the McIntosh project by managing and funding the development costs to commercial production.
The JV partners expect to execute the agreement in August and to complete the feasibility study by October 2019 when they will decide if mining will go ahead.
MinRes has approved an initial budget for a 12,000m drilling program to start next month as first “on-ground” work for the feasibility study. The drilling work is scheduled for completion in October 2018.
“The JV partners are working together to maintain the project development momentum while project management transitions to MinRes,” the companies said in a joint statement.
“Hexagon employees have been closely involved in the current planning program and will likely remain involved in key technical areas such as geology, resource delineation and field logistics, as well as ongoing participation in the Native Title negotiations.”
The drilling program will test the resource potential of new targets east of the known resource, confirm and upgrade existing targets and resources to generate around 17t of core samples for metallurgical test work.