Akora Resources ramps up Bekisopa plans following resource and revenue projection upgrades

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By Colin Hay - 
Akora Resources ASX AKO Bekisopa DSO new MRE

Akora Resources (ASX: AKO) has added an extra 42% to its resource for the planned Bekisopa direct shipping ore (DSO) development in Madagascar.

Recent drilling and study work has increased Bekisopa’s mineral resource estimate to 7.88 million tonnes at 58.8% iron and highlighted the potential to significantly expand Akora’s iron ore opportunity.

The increase is expected to extend Bekisopa’s mine life to six years, with JORC-compliant resources expected to provide a significant uplift to recent scoping study financials.

Akora previously estimated that Bekisopa contained an inferred resource of 194.7Mt with the potential to produce a quality DSO product and a premium grade 67.6% iron concentrate suitable for direct reduced iron pellets for the steel industry’s accelerating decarbonisation.

Fast-track plans

The new results have also boosted Akora’s plans to fast-track the Stage 1 Bekisopa DSO project, which has already been identified as a robust opportunity through the scoping study results obtained earlier this year.

That study estimated Stage 1 could supply up to 2Mtpa of high-grade DSO and deliver an initial five-year revenue of around $842 million.

The upgraded MRE is part of the current phase aiming to move Bekisopa to a pre-feasibility study (PFS).

Improved economics

“The increase in shallow DSO tonnage at the Bekisopa project is expected to […] dramatically improve project economics,” Akora managing director and chief executive officer Paul Bibby said.

“Additionally, the strike length of mineralisation at Bekisopa has increased to 7km from 6km as we open up Bekisopa’s northern zone.”

“This upgraded DSO resource, which will be included in Bekisopa’s PFS currently in progress, is only drawn from around half of this 7km strike length.”

“Moreover, the PFS does not include any upside potential DSO tonnes from the company’s nearby Satrokala project, where a 10km magnetic anomaly has been identified.”

“Nor does the PFS consider the potential for a larger, longer mine life Stage Two where a high-grade +67% iron concentrate could be produced for the green steel market.”

“Further exploration success at either Bekisopa or Satrokala, both 100% Akora-owned, would significantly add to our initial DSO start-up plan and result in significantly improved study outcomes.”

Show of faith

Meanwhile, Mr Bibby has again demonstrated his faith in the project by outlaying just over $69,000 to increase his stake in the company.

Mr Bibby’s share acquisition comes shortly after Akora successfully concluded a new capital raising.

The two-part raising consisted of a placement that brought in $801,000 and an entitlement offer for $3m.