Discovery puts QLD on iron ore map

Eastern Iron drilling at Hawkwood, 250km north-east of Gladstone.
Eastern Iron drilling at Hawkwood, 250km north-east of Gladstone. Submitted

THE biggest iron ore deposit in Queensland has been found at Hawkwood, 250km northeast of Gladstone.

Eastern Iron Limited, an Australian iron ore explorer, said a discovery of this size is something new for Queensland, which is not known for iron ore resources.

“The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has released detailed results of a 1848-metre drilling program and the discovery of a magnetite iron ore exploration target tonnage estimated from the shallow drilling to date of the order of 300-400 million tonnes of iron-bearing gabbro with 20-25% contained magnetite,” Eastern Iron Limited technical director Peter Buckley said.

“Additional tonnage potential exists at depth and in a further five kilometres of untested magnetic anomaly.”

In a statement, the ASX said the magnetite mineralisation discovered by Eastern Iron is similar to other operating iron ore mines, such as Savage River in Tasmania, and magnetite of this type is a sought-after raw material for steel making within Australia and export markets such as China.

Iron ore would be a new addition to export facilities at the Gladstone port which currently accommodates major cargoes including coal, alumina, aluminium and cement and is the third largest bulk tonnage coal export port in Australia, but iron ore would be a new commodity.

“The Gladstone Ports Corporation have advised Eastern Iron that subject to environmental, community and commercial conditions being met there is available capacity for iron ore shipments of 1-2Mtpa from existing facilities with an additional 5-6Mtpa available as other planned expansions come on line,” Mr Buckley said.

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board chief executive Dr Ken King said the Eastern Iron ASX announcement provides an investor update for the project that could ultimately benefit Mundubbera for processing and Gladstone for shipment.

“Gladstone obviously has the potential to add value for this project both in the context of development support by local companies and through the logistic and port facilities that could ultimately be required, however, until the exploration program is complete these cannot be quantified,” Mr King said.

“The Eastern Iron project when proven has the potential to bring economic and employment benefits to the Gladstone Region.”

ASX Announcement

Recently completed preliminary reverse circulation drilling program confirms potential for large magnetite, iron ore deposit at Hawkwood Project.

19 drill holes completed for a total 1848m of reverse circulation drilling with intersections of up to 112m of magnetite-bearing gabbro (ferrigabbro).

The ferrigabbro includes bands of massive and semi massive magnetite with 2m drill composites assaying up to 35% Fe. The ferrigabbro is estimated to contain on average 20-25% vanadium-bearing titaniferous magnetite.

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