IMX's interest in the Cairn Hill Mine is held through a Joint Venture with Taifeng Yuan Chuang International Development Company Limited in which IMX holds a direct 51% interest. The Cairn Hill Mine is located 55 kilometres south-east of Coober Pedy in South Australia, the Cairn Hill Mine commenced production in December 2010.
Nameplate capacity is 1.7 million tonnes per annum of a highly marketable premium quality magnetite-copper DSO product. In each of 2011, 2012 and 2013,annual production has exceeded nameplate capacity.
The Cairn Hill Mine is a straight forward, contract mining and crushing operation. The crushing circuit consists of mobile primary and secondary crushing units with a product stacker, with ore crushed to a sub 40mm product.
A typical cross-section through Cairn Hill Pit 1, showing the mined pit as of October 2013, and the proposed final design.
From the Cairn Hill Mine, ore is trucked 58 kilometres to the Rankin Dam rail siding, where it is loaded into specially designed open-top containers on a train, for the 879 kilometre journey to Port Adelaide. At Port Adelaide, the ore is stockpiled in containers and then loaded directly onto the ship through an innovative rotating containerised ore loading facility.
IMX Resources won the Business SA 2013 Mining and Energy Export Award for outstanding international success in the production of extractive minerals. The company was recognised largely because of the innovative "rotainer" export solution that IMX developed some years ago with export partner Flinders Ports. The export solution resulted in IMX becoming the first new iron ore exporter in SA in over 100 years and has seen several other companies follow in our footsteps.
Cairn Hill produces sufficient ore to allow for two full shipments per month. Cairn Hill ore is sold to China where its relatively high copper value and the soft, coarse grained quality of the ore make it highly desirable to a range of customers.
Road train in transit to Rankin Dam Rankin Dam rail sliding and loading facility
Train line Port Adelaide ship loading
Based on the current life of mine, shipments from Cairn Hill are forecast to cease in February 2015. The Company is evaluating a Phase 2 development which has the potential to extend the life of operations at Cairn Hill for 12 to 15 months. Phase 2 is located immediately adjacent to the current mining operation at Cairn Hill and contains an Indicated Mineral Resource of 3.77Mt at 47.8% Fe for 1.8Mt of contained metal and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 4.60 Mt at 45.8% Fe for 1.8Mt of contained metal. The existing equipment, haul road and rail and port infrastructure are suitable for mining this resource.
There is potential for a Phase 2 development of Cairn Hill involving mining resources located immediately adjacent to the current mining operation. In order to be economic, material from the Phase 2 resource needs to be upgraded by dry magnetic processing following an additional stage of crushing. Existing equipment, haul road, and rail and port infrastructure currently used at Cairn Hill are suitable for a Phase 2 development. Evaluation of the development of Phase 2 is well advanced, with cost estimates and discussions with potential customers to be finalised during early 2014. It is expected that a decision will be made by the end of the March quarter 2014.
As an important element of efforts to maintain ongoing operations at Cairn Hill beyond the first quarter of 2015, a DSO hematite exploration program commenced in December 2013. An initial round of detailed ground gravity surveys over 15 prospective areas in order to identify their potential for hematite has been completed, with a follow-up ground gravity program planned to further define drilling targets. It is anticipated that drilling of any such targets will occur during the March quarter 2014. Any discovery of economic DSO hematite at Mt Woods would have the potential for near-term production utilising the road, rail and port infrastructure currently used by at Cairn Hill.
2. ASX news release 10 August 2011
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