Donald Rare Earth & Mineral Sands Project
The Donald Rare Earth & Mineral Sands Project represents an important new source of global supply at a time of growing demand and challenged supply, with the maturing of established production sources and a lack of new projects coming online. Donald represents a Tier One deposit in terms of scale, with an expected mine life of at least 58 years and the value of mineral assemblage, notably the rare earth and zircon content.
The Donald Rare Earth and Mineral Sands Project has a total Mineral Resource of 5.8 billion tonnes of ore, at an average heavy mineral (HM) grade of 3.2%. The Project consists of the Donald and Jackson deposits. Within the Donald deposit area (MIN5532 and RL2002), there are Ore Reserves of 825 million tonnes (Mt) of ore, with an average HM grade of 4.5%. This equates to an approximate, in-situ ore body of 37Mt of heavy minerals, including 6.6Mt of zircon, 10.5Mt of ilmenite, 10.5Mt of higher titanium content products of rutile and leucoxene, as well as a significant rare earth element component of 724kt.
Ore Reserves & Mineral Resources
The Donald Rare Earth and Mineral Sands Project is a globally significant, Tier 1 source of mineral sands, with considerable contents of in-situ titanium dioxide, zircon and rare earth elements.
The Donald Rare Earth & Mineral Sands project is located in regional Victoria and encompasses a total tenement area of 426km2. The area is mainly cleared land used for cropping and grazing and is located close to supporting infrastructure.
The Donald and Jackson deposits are WIM style heavy mineral sands accumulations, amenable to a staged, long life mining operation.
Evaluation & De-Risking
The Donald Rare Earth and Minerals Sands Project has been subject to detailed evaluation over many years, with all main regulatory approvals completed or well advanced.
Astron is committed to making a positive contribution to the community, economy and environment in Minyip and the surrounding area.
Phased Development Approach
Key Activities for 2023
Donald Rare Earths & Mineral Sands Project
Execution of off-takes & secure agreements for REEC & HMC products
Submission of Mining Work Plan
Further community consultation
Final Investment Decision (FID)
Ilmenite ore and filter press with seperation spirals in the background
Mining, Concentrating, Mineral Separation & Rehabilitation
Mineral sands mining involves four main stages: mining, wet concentration, mineral separation and rehabilitation. Mining can be performed either by dry mining methods (employing scrapers, dozers and excavators, typical for dunal deposits) or a wet mining process (employing floating dredges, typical for large unconsolidated deposits).
The Donald Project will utilise an open-pit dry-mining operation where ore and waste will be mined using excavators and trucks. Mining activities will be undertaken by a mining contractor. Run of Mine (ROM) ore will be stockpiled at the Mining Unit Plant (MUP) and fed via front end loader into the MUP where it will be scrubbed, screened, slurried and pumped to the Wet Concentrator Plant (WCP) for processing into HMC product. The MUP is designed to be relocated as it moves along the designated mining path. The average strip ratio over the life of the mine is 2.2:1 (1.6:1 for Phase 1).
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