West Pilbara CID - Catho Well, Trinity Bore, Cardo Bore, Upper Cane, Kens Bore, Jewel, Cochrane
Western Australia, WA, Australia
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The West Pilbara channel iron deposits (CID) occur as a cluster of interconnected NW-SE and NE-SW trending channels within a NNW-SSE elongated, 100 x 25 km zone, parallel to, and partially straddling, but mostly immediately to the west of, the western margin of exposed Hamersley Group Brockman and Marra Mamba iron formations, on a basement of Fortescue and Wyloo groups mafic volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Individual deposits, from south to north, include Catho Well, Trinity Bore, Cardo Bore, Upper Cane, Ken's Bore, Jewel and Cochrane. The Robe River and Mesa J channels are immediately to the NE of, and a continuation of this cluster, but over the Hamersley Group iron formation sequence.
See the Hamersley Basin Iron Province record for the regional setting.
These deposits occur both as exposed mesas with a hard cap and eroded margins, and as buried palaeochannels underlying uneroded cover. They represent a network of dendritic palaeochannels draining the western margin of the Hamersley Group in three main catchment systems. The northern of the drainage system exits into the Pannawonica river, downstream from the Robe River deposits, while the other two catchment systems exit into two parallel SW-flowing channels.
High grade CID, composed of vitreous goethite, goethite and rare haematite‐rich pisoliths, similar to that at Robe River, Mesa 'J' (see the separate Robe Rive record) is present over vertical thicknesses of up to 40 m. The preserved mineralised channels are 400 to 800 m wide and persist over lengths of 3 to 10 km.
The profile is as follows, from the surface (Australian Premium Iron JV, 2011):
Hardcap and hard CID zone - an upper goethitic hardcap layer that varies in thickness from 4 to 14 m;
Clay, mixed zone and basal clay - a mixed clay/mineralised zone that is ~20 to 35m thick, comprising a clayey upper zone that grades into a rich red/purple friable hematite lower zone and a basal clay;
Basal conglomerate or gravel;
Mineral resources, as at November, 2010 (Australian Premium Iron JV, 2011) were:
Measured resource - 209 Mt @ 57.8% Fe, 3.56% Al2O3, 5.29% SiO2, 0.079% P, 7.95% LOI.
Indicated resource - 392 Mt @ 56.2% Fe, 3.69% Al2O3, 6.30% SiO2, 0.065% P, 8.94% LOI.
Inferred resource - 86 Mt @ 55.4% Fe, 3.862% Al2O3, 6.85% SiO2, 0.061% P, 9.38% LOI.
TOTAL resource - 687 Mt @ 56.6% Fe, 3.67% Al2O3, 6.06% SiO2, 0.069% P, 8.69% LOI.
Individual deposits has resources as follows:
Ken's Bore East - 117 Mt @ 57.6% Fe; Catho Well - 98 Mt @ 55.0% Fe; Cardo Bore East - 49 Mt @ 57.90% Fe; Cardo Bore North - 8 Mt @ 56.80% Fe; Catho Well North - 6 Mt @ 55.1% Fe; Cochrane - 45 Mt @ 56.9% Fe; Jewel - 24 Mt @ 56.3% Fe; Ken's Bore - 153 Mt @ 56.8% Fe; Trinity Bore - 105 Mt @ 54.9% Fe; Upper Cane - 82 Mt @ 58.2% Fe.
The Australian Premium Iron JV (APIJV) (in 2013) was an unincorporated joint venture between two participants, Aquila Resources Limited and American Metals and Coal International Inc (AMCI). Both companies hold a 50% participating interest in the venture via wholly owned subsidiaries. The APIJV has JV and buy-in agreements on individual deposits with a range of other companies, including Red Hill Iron Limited, Cullen Resources Limited and Helix Resources Limited.
The project requires the construction of, or access to an existing, 280 railway line to the proposed Indian Ocean port of Cape Lambert, 40 km east of Karratha.
The same project also hopes to exploit the Hardey deposit, a Brockman iron formation bedded iron deposit, 120 km SE of the southern CID deposit, and 60 km WSW of Mount Tom Price. Measured + indicated + inferred mineral resources at Hardey, as at November, 2010 (API JV, 2011) were:
156 Mt @ 61.5% Fe, 2.45% Al2O3, 3.66% SiO2, 0.134% P, 5.43% LOI.
The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2012.
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
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