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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Macarthur Minerals Limited (ASX: MIO) (TSX-V: MMS) (the “Company” or “Macarthur”) is pleased to update shareholders on a very active second quarter 2020. The Company has continued its primary focus on the delivery of key infrastructure and resource outcomes with the ongoing development of the Company’s flagship, Lake Giles Iron Project (“Project”)
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The market has responded well to the significant progress the Company has made over the past quarter and this has been reflected in the increase in both the share price and trading volumes over recent weeks. The Company’s securities traded on the TSX-V in Canada over the past 3 months have ranged between C$0.15 to $0.46 and on the ASX in Australia over the same period, A$0.13 to $0.44, breaking through 50 and 200 moving day averages recording a new 52 week high
Macarthur Minerals recently announced the updated Mineral Resource estimate for the magnetite deposits at its Lake Giles Iron Project in Western Australia in a news release dated 12 August 2020 (see full release here)
The updated Mineral Resource estimates incorporated the recent infill drilling at the Moonshine magnetite deposits that culminated in an increase in the size of the Mineral Resources including resource category upgrades to now include Measured and Indicated resources. Approximately 30% of the Moonshine resource is now classified as Indicated with approximately 7.5% classified in the Measured category. A supporting NI43-101 Technical Report will be filed with Canadian regulators on SEDAR at www.sedar.com within 45 days of the upgrade announcement
The Company recently appointed Jonghyun (Richard) Moon as the Company's new General Manager, International Sales & Marketing. Richard brings over 20 years of experience to the role and previously held roles at Hyundai Steel Company of Australia, Glencore International, and POSCO in international iron ore and commodities sales, as well as marketing and mining investment
Macarthur has appointed RCR Mining Technologies (“RCR MT” or “RCR”) to provide an engineering solution for rail wagon and unloading infrastructure for the Lake Giles Iron Project. RCR will examine the potential of rail transport and unloading infrastructure that has been successfully used in Scandinavian magnetite operations for years. The engineering concept will employ a ‘Helix Dumper’ unloading system and Helix Dumper wagons that are owned and developed by Kiruna Wagon in Sweden. RCR MT hold an exclusive licence to develop the Helix system in Australia and, in combination with Kiruna Wagon, it has the ability to produce the specialised Helix Dumper wagons in Western Australia
South Australia has a significant and continuous history of iron ore mining, commencing in the late 1800s to provide hematite flux for the Broken Hill smelting operations. The first smelting of iron ore to produce pig iron occurred in 1873 from the Mount Jagged deposit, located 52 km south of Adelaide. Deposits of iron ore in the Middleback Range, northern Eyre Peninsula, first provided ore for the Australian steel manufacturing industry in January 1915 with an interstate shipment of ore to steelworks in Newcastle, New South Wales. Mining of Middleback Range deposits continues through to the present day as the major supply of iron ore to Australia’s largest integrated steelworks at Whyalla. Whilst hematite has historically been the mainstay of South Australia’s iron ore production, the mining of magnetite commenced in the mid 2000s as the principal source of iron ore for the Whyalla steelworks (Talbot, Rowett and Abbot 2004)
The potential for significant magnetite resources has long been recognised in South Australia, but it was not until the mid 2000s that these were seriously considered as a new and viable source of iron ore for the global market. In the mid 2000s significant changes occurred in the iron ore market when product pricing changed from fixed contract to spot-market pricing and the demand for iron ore rapidly expanded, principally due to activity in China. Since then a resource base totalling 15.9 Bt of magnetite ore has been defined across three regions in the state with potential to significantly extend this (Table 1; Fig. 1). In 2015 Geoscience Australia reported that magnetite represented 44% of our nations ‘economically demonstrated resource’ base of iron ore resources (Geoscience Australia, pers. comm. 2017). South Australia’s economically demonstrated resource of magnetite ore currently totals over 6 Bt. Complementing the expanding magnetite resource base and related commercial feasibility work on these deposits, the South Australian Government’s magnetite plan aims to maximise the opportunities for the state in line with increasing global demand for magnetite. Production has commenced at two deposits (Iron Magnet and Cairn Hill), with several others at the advanced feasibility and financing stage
The iron oxide mineral magnetite as Fe3O4 has a mass percent of 72.36% Fe and 27.64% O and typically occurs as a natural ore containing 15–40% Fe. Historically hematite direct shipping ore (DSO) has been the preferred source of iron ore globally, with significant resources located on several continents, including Australia in the Hamersley Range, Western Australia. DSO as its name implies is mined, crushed and blended, requiring minimal or no beneficiation. High-grade hematite DSO ore reserves (current benchmark grade set at >62% Fe) are being steadily depleted. Australia’s hematite iron ore resources as of 2009 are forecast for exhaustion in 130 years (Yellishetty et al. 2012)
Magnetite ore has a prolonged history of use as a source of iron ore, in particular, in historically important iron and steel producing countries such as the USA, Canada, Russia, Sweden and China. Magnetite ores require varying degrees of processing and beneficiation to produce an iron ore suitable for steelmaking purposes, ultimately contributing to higher production costs. Magnetite concentrates typically range between 65 to 70% Fe and are increasingly being sought as a preferred feedstock for steelmaking, particularly those concentrates with low impurities. Steelmaking using magnetite has lower environmental impacts and this too is increasing demand for magnetite concentrate. Magnetite concentrate is also being sought to blend with and upgrade lower grade iron ore. The Chinese market represents a significant component (~40%) of global iron ore demand for steelmaking and is showing preference for both iron ore and steelmaking operations that meet higher environmental standards
Much of South Australia’s magnetite ore is characterised by a unique combination of metallurgical characteristics including relatively soft ore and/or large grain size which results in concentrates with comparatively lower input costs, higher iron grade and lower levels of deleterious impurities
Global iron ore production in 2015 was ~2 Bt of which 28% was magnetite (CRU cited in Department of the Premier and Cabinet 2017, p. 7). Global production of crude steel was ~1.7 Bt (World Steel 2018) of which 50% was produced by China, having risen from ~15% of world steel production in 2000 (Holloway, Roberts and Rush 2010). Australia produced ~27 Mt of magnetite concentrate production in 2017, with South Australia contributing over 2 Mt of this
Hematite and magnetite, the two predominant iron ores, require different processing routes. High-grade hematite direct shipping ores (DSOs) generally only require crushing and screening to meet the size requirements of lump (typically between 6 and 30 mm) and fines (typically less than 6 mm) products. Low-grade hematite ores require additional beneficiation to achieve the desired iron content, but the comminution of these ores still generally only involves crushing and screening, which is not particularly energy-intensive. Conversely, fine-grained magnetite ores require fine grinding, often to below 30 μm, to liberate the magnetite from the silica matrix, incurring greater costs and energy consumption. The comminution energy consumption could be over 30 kWh/t, an order of magnitude higher than for hematite ores. However, with the depletion of high-grade deposits and strong demand for steel, a greater number of low-grade deposits are being developed
To operate viably and sustainably, there is a need to reduce costs and energy consumption, particularly of the energy-intensive grinding required for low-grade magnetite deposits. This chapter reviews current iron ore comminution and classification technologies and presents some examples of flowsheets from existing operations. New trends and advances in comminution technologies are presented and discussed, particularly with regard to the impact on energy, operating, and capital costs
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