Donald 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 Mineral Sands project will commence stage 1 on Mining Licence 5532 (MIN5532), later progressing to two Retention Licence areas, RL2002 (MIN5532 is within RL2002) and RL2003, which combined cover an area of 42,636 hectares or 426km2. MIN5532 is 2,784 hectares or 28km2. 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 1,500 hectares.
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.
Infrastructure, including roads, rail, and an intermodal freight hub are close. Port facilities, already used for the import and export of mineral sands products, are available at the Port of Portland.
Astron’s mineral sands resource in Victoria encompasses two deposits: Donald (RL2002, which encompasses MIN5532) and Jackson (RL2003). The development of Astron’s Donald Mineral Sands project will follow a two stage process. Stage 1, located on MIN5532, followed by Stage 2, which will occur on RL2002. The Jackson deposit area, located on RL2003 is available for subsequent development.
In total, the project is one of the world’s largest, undeveloped heavy mineral sands resources, demonstrating attractive assemblage characteristics in term of zircon, which is the most valuable of the mineral sands products.
The deposit has been subject to extensive close-spaced drilling, and JORC 2012 compliant Resource and Ore Reserve estimation. Drilling programs were completed to determe the across strike widths ahead of infill drilling to zone in on a detailed and economical mine path.
Drilling and sampling continued in 2016, when sonic drilling targeted the identified start-up area for to obtain a run of mine sample for metallurgical testing purposes, and for defining the known finer <38µ valuable heavy minerals (VHM). A consistent percentage of VHM was verified at 6% of the total heavy minerals content.
Rehabilitated land on the site of the DMS bulk sample test pit.