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Shree Minerals Looks At Acquisitions Upon NBR Iron Production

Shree Minerals (ASX:SHH) chairman Sanjay Loyalka has indicated that approval from the Australian Commonwealth Government for the Nelson Bay River Iron project (NYSE:NBR) project is expected soon.

Interestingly, he revealed the company is looking at making acquisitions once production commences at NBR.

Earlier this year the company gained Tasmanian State Government Approvals for mine development at the NBR Project, which included the grant of the Mining Lease and the Development Permit (including EPA approval conditions) under the relevant Tasmanian legislation.

The State approval conditions reflect the best practice environmental management commitments made by the company.

During the year, the company has upgraded its Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) resources and has announced its first Maiden Reserves along with the mine plan for first couple of years of DSO operation.

The DSO production process is simple and only requires crushing and screening. This confirms our belief that NBR project has the potential for early cash flows at low capex.

Requisite studies have been completed for the DSO phase to a bankable feasibility level. This confirms that NBR project can deliver returns to shareholders and benefits to a range of stakeholders, particularly those in the northwest of Tasmania.

The company has also announced the results of Pre Feasibility Study (NYSE:PFS) involving all stages of the project. The PFS delivered robust results, confirming the long-term value potential of the NBR project over a mine life of ten years.

Development of the project involves three stages:

The first stage is to develop a relatively shallow open cut mine to produce direct shipping grade hematite ore. This direct shipping ore (DSO) only requires crushing and screening to produce the DSO products.

Stage two involves the continuation of mining of the DSO to the north. Here the DSO is composed of lower grade goethitic-hematite, which is considered to have the potential to produce a commercial product by beneficiation (NYSE:BFO).

Stage three of the project involves the open cut mining of the deep magnetite orebody beneath the DSO resource cap. This magnetite ore will require processing to produce commercial grade magnetite products.

Earlier studies demonstrated that the magnetite ore could produce two products, a dense media magnetite (DMM) product, suitable for coal washery applications, or a blast furnace pellet (BFP) magnetite product.

Suppliers are few in number for the higher value DMM product and mining generally occurs on a small scale. This would suit the Nelson Bay Iron Project.

Drilling underway

A drilling campaign at NBR is underway to commence shortly with an objective to upgrade the iron ore (goethitic-hematite) resources to Measured & Indicated categories and to enable conversion of the entire DSO mine plan into Reserves as well as to increase the extent of DSO resources to develop a mine plan for DSO beyond current production schedule of 2 years.

Inflexion point

Shree's Sanjay Loyalka said the company is now at an inflection point. Upon NBR moving into production, there were plans to grow the company by acquisition of additional prospective mineral tenements in Australia and overseas.