IMX Resources (ASX: IXR) has lifted the tonnage at its wholly owned Snaefell iron ore project in South Australia to 569 million tonnes at 27.1% iron, using an 18% iron cut-off, of Inferred Resources.
Snaefell is located just 12 kilometres from IMX's already producing Cairn Hill iron ore and copper mining operation, close to existing transport infrastructure.
The entire upgraded resource averages over 27% iron, which demonstrates the consistency of the magnetite mineralisation.
At Snaefell, the magnetite iron ore mineralisation extends for 2.7 kilometres and is open along strike and at depth.
Managing director Neil Meadows said Snaefell has exceeded IMX's expectations and is a significant and growing asset in the company's portfolio of iron ore projects.
"Its location, in close proximity to the Cairn Hill mine and existing transport infrastructure, makes Snaefell a key component of IMX's South Australian magnetite growth strategy," he said.
"The coarse grind size at which magnetite separation can be achieved is of particular significance to the value of this resource."
Davis Tube Recovery metallurgical testwork produced magnetic concentrates of 65% iron readily achievable at a coarse grind size of 200µm (unoptimised) with very low levels of impurities.
This coarse, high grade concentrate will be suitable as direct feed to ironmaking sinter plants eliminating the need to pelletise this material.
Testwork completed to date has also produced high mass yields to a first stage dry magnetic concentrate at coarse crushing sizes.
These results indicate the potential to exploit this resource utilising a smaller than typical processing facility requiring significantly lower overall water and power inputs relative to other existing magnetite processing flowsheets.
The upgraded resource block model will now be optimised as part of a Scoping Study which is expected to be completed in 2012.
Diamond core drill planning is also underway to test the depth extent of the Snaefell mineralisation, and to obtain further core samples for ongoing metallurgical testwork.