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Image production jumps 18 per cent at mineral sands project

Updated: Apr 17

Image Resources is making its way through its heavy mineral content stockpiles at the company’s Boonanarring mineral sands project. Credit: File

Image Resources has lifted the heavy mineral content production from its Boonanarring mineral sands project north of Perth by 18 per cent during the March quarter, compared to the previous three-month period.

According to the company’s latest quarterly report, the production increase is due to higher ore grades, despite a decrease in the amount of ore tonnes processed.

Mining at Boonanarring is expected to wrap up by the end of this financial year when the company’s wet concentrator plant will be relocated to its nearby Atlas project that holds a deposit of 5.5 million tonnes at 9.4 per cent total heavy minerals (THM).

The company is well on its way to reaching its production guidance of 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes for the calendar year after reaching 45,700 tonnes in the first three months.

Heavy mineral content sales also increased by 7 per cent for the quarter with three shipments completed, despite port congestion that helped the company’s cash-on-hand balance rise $2.2 million to give it $56.6 million in the kitty at the end of March.

Image also saw operating and all-in sustaining costs per tonne of heavy mineral content sold drop by 24 per cent and 21 per cent respectively, which the company attributes to lower operating costs.

We are pleased to report another successful and profitable quarter of results, which is shaping up to be the penultimate quarter of HMC production for the Boonanarring project. Image Resources managing director and CEO Patrick Mutz

Boonanarring contains a JORC-compliant reserve of 1.2 million tonnes at 7 per cent THM with 22 per cent zircon in the heavy mineral mix. A third project under feasibility study is Bidaminna, 120km north of Perth, which forms part of Image’s multi-decade mine-life extensions to its existing Boonanarring mineral sands operation in the area.

Bidaminna is also being evaluated as a stand-alone, greenfield mineral sands project amenable to low-cost dredge mining, with a floating wet concentration plant to recover heavy mineral concentrate for sale or separation into final products. Image believes the results of its pre-feasibility study will soon be completed.

Just last month, the company upgraded its Bidaminna mineral sands project with a 7 per cent increase in JORC resources to 109 million tonnes and a whopping 15 per cent increase in grade to 2.5 per cent THM.

The percentage of valuable heavy minerals remains unchanged at 93 per cent of the operation’s total. However, individual mineral percentages have changed with ilmenite rising to 72 per cent of the THM, while the combined zircon and rutile content dropped marginally to 8.9 per cent and leucoxene fell to 12 per cent.

Image already has three shipments planned for the June quarter as it continues to wrap up its operations at Boonanarring and shifts its attention to production at Atlas.

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