BCI Minerals (ASX: BCI) has reported a maiden resource for its Kumina iron ore project in regional Western Australia, less than 12 months after acquiring the tenements that make up the project.
The Kumina A, E and J deposits, located approximately 100km south of Karratha and 50km north of BCI’s Bungaroo South deposit, host a combined inferred resource of 78.3 million tonnes at 59.1% iron (at a 57% cut-off), or 152Mt at 58% iron (at a 53% cut-off).
Average quality specifications include 59.1% iron, 2.9% aluminium oxide, 4.9% silicon dioxide, 0.10% phosphorus and 7.1% loss of ignition.
BCI said the maiden resource is based on insitu tonnes and grades, and therefore does not factor in the potential for grade and impurities to be improved through beneficiation.
The company will begin initial metallurgical testwork shortly to provide an indication of upgradability to more than 60% iron.
Iron-rich “forgotten tenements”
Acquired in 2017 from Mineralogy after two decades of ownership and minimal exploration work, the Kumina tenements comprise three granted exploration licences covering an area of approximately 480 square kilometres.
Known as the “forgotten tenements”, they are believed to host numerous channel iron deposit targets (CID) at Kumina A, high-grade bedded iron deposits (BID) at E and J, and associated detrital iron deposit (DID) mineralisation.
The tenements are considered highly-prospective for iron ore, with the potential to increase throughput of BCI’s Buckland project and enhance the value of its proposed “Buckland Blend” ore.
Multiple targets exist within the Kumina tenements, however drilling to date has only tested A, C, E and J, which were identified during first past reconnaissance and contained significant outcropping mineralisation.
The next phase of drilling will include target I – a complex faulted and folded area with widespread BID and DID mineralisation supported by positive rock chip results received in February.
BCI plans to conduct detailed geophysical and structural work in the coming months to increase the overall understanding of Kumina, firm up existing drill targets and identify new areas of interest.
Managing director Alwyn Vorster said Kumina presents BCI with considerable development potential and exploration upside.
“We have a promising group of deposits, including a significant tonnage of bedded iron mineralisation with a grade in excess of 59% iron and relatively low impurities, providing us with a credible ore source in the current iron ore environment,” he said.
“Kumina also has substantial exploration upside with many of its prospects being untested to date and we see that as an attractive standalone development opportunity.”
“Our overall iron ore portfolio rivals that of any other Pilbara junior and places us in a good position [moving forward] in this sector,” Mr Vorster added.
In afternoon trade, BCI shares remained steady at $0.14.