BPL has built a substantial portfolio of Heavy Mineral Sands (HMS; titanium & zirconium) projects within the world-class Murray Basin. BPL’s Mineral Sands business model involves applying low capex/low opex mobile, modular mining technology to develop and operate multiple smaller mining operations across a broad project area.
BPL currently has largest tenement holding in the Murray Basin with exploration titles covering approximately 7,300km2 in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Additional tenement applications and potential project acquisitions under review will continue to position the Company to take advantage of improving market conditions.
The Company’s tenements are favourably located near key infrastructure and contain multiple parallel mineralised strandlines which persist up to 15km in strike in some areas with 5–20m of overburden.
Collection of extensive historical exploration data (including results from 60,000 drill holes for 2 million meters of drilling in NSW, VIC, and SA) has supported detailed prospectivity analysis and area selection which highlighted several opportunities along strike from the Company’s established NSW tenements and in the proven HMS districts of north-western Victoria. The project areas are close to essential infrastructure — including work force and transportation networks.
The Company is entering a new era of Murray Basin HMS exploration targeting multiple high-grade shallow strandline deposits with high value mineral assemblage. The next stage of BPL’s exploration workplan will see the recently acquired tenement areas undergo historical data validation and geological modelling as was applied to the Jaws and Gilligans deposits in NSW. That work led to the estimation of Inferred resources of 113 Mt at 1.8% heavy mineral (HM) at a cut-off of 1% HM (10th August 2017).
The exploration strategy also involves the drill testing of high priority targets followed by a review of exploration priorities considering critical economic parameters (including deposit size and location, heavy mineral grade, mineral assemblage, depth of overburden). Industry standard technical studies will evaluate project economics.
Market confidence remains high with sustained Titanium pigment price increases in past 18 months.
Heavy Mineral Sands Exploration
Murray Basin Minerals have acquired substantial Ouyen-Hopetoun district tenement holdings in 2018 following a significant relinquishment of exploration ground by Iluka Resources Ltd over the period 2012–2014, corresponding with the conclusion of mining at the Kulwin strandline deposit, and commencement of production at the Woornack–Rownack–Pirro deposits (Figure 2).
Progressive reduction in the extent of tenements held by Iluka Resources Ltd has culminated in that company continuing to hold the larger known undeveloped strandlines including the Adaptordie, Anomaly B, Archer, Bells, Boulka, Cyclops, Mittyack, Nunga West and Wagnut deposits. BPL’s EL6585 covers the area immediately surrounding these deposit and contains significant additional HMS mineralisation including the Borongie (East & West), Gypsum, Tempy, Cyclops South/Anomaly G, and Aries strandlines.
Ouyen (VIC) District Targeting
BPL has commenced district-scale targeting and target ranking in Ouyen district in Victoria, a proven mineral sands district which hosts large current and recently ceased HMS mining operations including Kulwin and Woornack–Rownack–Pirro (WRP) of Iluka Resources Ltd.
Open-file raw line data from the 1998 Ouyen–Nowingi aeromagnetic survey has been processed with TargetMap™, a proprietary pattern recognition filter (Figure 2) by Vector Research Pty Ltd and revealed potential along-strike extensions of known deposits and other subtle magnetic anomalies that have not been drill tested (Figure 3). Lineaments have been ranked for prospectivity using factors such as strong magnetic response, strike length, and the presence of anomalous shallow (<20m depth) HM intercepts in drill traverses and nearby drill-holes. Of 43 magnetic features of interest, 13 high priority drill targets have been identified for focused aircore drilling. High priority drill targets including an area of shallow HMS mineralisation along strike to the southeast of the Kulwin, and Rownack, Woornack and Pirro (WRP) deposits where mining has now ceased (Figure 3).