Donald Rare Earth & Mineral Sands Project
The Donald and Jackson deposits are located near Minyip in regional Victoria, 50km from the regional centre of Horsham, which 300km from Melbourne. The tenement and resource area encompasses a total of 426km². The land planned to be used for mining activities is mainly cleared, and used for dryland cropping and grazing. The mining operation will be situated close to existing water, power, road and rail infrastructure.
The Donald Rare Earth & Mineral Sands project will commence Phase 1 on Mining Licence 5532 (MIN5532) which covers 28km². Mining will later progress to two Retention Licence areas, RL2002 (MIN5532 is within RL2002) and RL2003. The combined area of all mining licenses totals 426km².
The land to be used for mining and concentrating activities is mostly privately owned, freehold land, mainly cleared of native vegetation and used for cropping and livestock production. Astron owns several properties both on and off the Mining Licence area with a total area of 15km².
The proximity to local communities and larger regional centres ensures that fly-in-fly-out workers will not be used. Astron commits to drawing a significant part of its workforce from the local community.
The mining operation will be situated close to existing water, power, road and rail infrastructure. Port facilities, already used for the import and export of mineral sands products, are also available.
Astron’s mineral sands resource in Victoria encompasses two deposits: Donald (RL2002, which encompasses MIN5532) and Jackson (RL2003). The development of Astron’s Donald Rare Earth and Minerals Sands Project will follow a two phase process; Phase 1 activities are located on MIN5532, and Phase 2 will occur on RL2002. The Jackson deposit area on RL2003 is available for subsequent development.
In total, the project is one of the world’s largest, undeveloped heavy mineral sands resources. The project demonstrates attractive assemblage characteristics with high amounts of zircon, which is the most valuable of the mineral sand products. The Resource also represents a critical source of rare earth elements.
The deposit has been subject to extensive close-spaced drilling which concluded in 2022. This work formed the bases of JORC 2012 compliant Resource and Ore Reserve estimations. Aircore drilling defined the known finer +20-38um valuable heavy minerals and xenotime content, and sonic drilling targeted the identified start-up area to obtain a run-of-mine sample for metallurgical testing purposes.
Rehabilitated land on the site of the DMS bulk sample test pit.