Donald Mineral Sands (DMS)

Project and Mineral Separation Plant, Murray Basin

The deposit Donald Project is one of the largest known zircon and titanium resources in the world with a current updated total mineral resource estimate of 5,710 Mt, of mineral sand at an average grade of 3.2% HM. Measured Mineral Resource estimate for the Donald Deposit doubled to 715Mt @ 4.3% HM compared to 2014 estimate of 340Mt @ 4.3% HM, both at 1% HM cut-off.
This mineral resource estimate was prepared by AMC Consultants who were engaged in October 2015 and incorporated drilling results from the 2015 drilling campaign. The Mineral Resource estimate is reported in accordance to JORC Code 2012.

AMC Reports:
  • Resource Estimate for RL2002 Donald Mineral Sands Deposit – March 2016
  • Resource Estimate for RL2003 and 2006 Donald Mineral Sands Deposit – March 2016
  • Resource Estimate for MIN5532 Donald Mineral Sands Deposit – March 2016
Mineral resource at 1% HM Cut-off
Report Classification Tonnes  (MT) % HM
AMC resource estimate for MIN5532 DMS deposits Measured 372 4.5
Indicated 75 4.0
Inferred 7 3.5
Total  454 4.4
AMC resource estimate for RL2002 DMS deposits Measured 343 3.9
Indicated 833 3.3
Inferred 1,595 3.4
Total  2,771 3.4
AMC resource estimate for RL2003 & 2006 DMS deposits (now RL2003) Measured    
Indicated 1,903 2.8
Inferred 584 2.9
Total  2,487 2.8
  Total  5,712 3.2
Mineral resource where VHM data is available at 1% HM Cut-off
Report Classification Tonnes  (MT) % HM
AMC resource estimate for MIN5532 DMS deposits Measured 264 5.4
Indicated 49 4.9
Inferred 5 4.2
Total  317 5.3
AMC resource estimate for RL2002 DMS deposits Measured 185 5.5
Indicated 454 4.2
Inferred 647 4.9
Total  1,286 4.8
AMC resource estimate for RL2003 & 2006 DMS deposits (now RL2003) Measured    
Indicated 668 4.9
Inferred 155 4.0
Total  823 4.8

Project Status and Approvals

In 2018 1,100t run of mine (RoM) material was excavated for the purpose of geotechnical and metallurgical testing to determine pit wall stability of material in dry and wet zones, overburden and ore.  In addition to this testwork, assessments of material placement, rehabilitation and the post backfill environment condition monitoring all formed an important step in progressing the DMS Project Work Plan.

In July 2019 the RoM material was processed into a final HMC product for the development of marketing samples and long term global off take agreements.  This process was conducted using advanced technologies in fine grain processing concepts.  A piloting program including metallurgical analysis as stage one is complete.  Stage two piloting is anticipated to be developed offshore where the HMC will be processed into final products.

DMS completed the basic design works for mining, metallurgy and tailings in January 2015, providing DMS with the information required to transition into the final stages of feasibility designs prior to detailed phases of execution.

In 2016 and 2017 focus shifted to increasing efficiency and effectiveness of processing methodologies, refining engineering design, mine planning and scheduling, defining infrastructure requirements, and native vegetation studies and assessments.

 - Environmental Effects Study: The Donald project completed the Environmental Effect Statement (EES) process and was granted approval in November 2008.

 - Mining Licence: The project subsequently went on to be granted a Mining Licence (ML5532) in 2012.
 - Cultural & Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) was approved in 2014.

 - Export Licence was granted in 2016. 

 - Radiation Licence has been granted.

 - A draft Work Plan has been submitted to the relevant Victorian Gevernment Department and a final draft will be submitted when all details of the final stages of the project development are completed.


Astron’s project definition statements are advancing with both the Senegal and Donald projects. Project and Engineering teams are currently advancing the Definitive Feasibility study for the Donald project in the Murray Basin Victoria.

Project milestones are continuing with Environmental, Engineering design, Infrastructure and operational preparedness activities.


Donald Mineral Sands (DMS) Project status:
Detailed Engineering and Definition Stage.

In 2019 DMS excavated a 1,000t run of mine (RoM) bulk sample of ore which was used for Wet Concentrator piloting works in 2020 using a purpose built 1:121 scale plant constructed in accordance with designs compiled during feasibility studies.  The resultant 24t of Heavy Mineral Concentrate (HMC) produced will be utilised for future test work and sales samples.

DMS are currently undertaking Rare Earth's floatation test work, preliminary results have indicated recoveries of up to 97% CeO2 and work is ongoing.

Further work around production and financial models, air and noise studies, rehabilitation program, Ore Reserve statement, logistics, risk profiling, project execution planning and infrastructure agreements will continue through the 2021 financial year. 

Senegal Mineral Sands Project status
Infrastructure planning & collaborative land access stage.

With several infrastructure contracts awarded, works await the acceptance and detailed collaborative access structure which will benefit both Astron's Senegalese subsidiary Senegal Mineral Resource (SMR) and the local villages through resource sharing, community development and social enterprise opportunities.

China processing status
Rebuild well underway.

Astron's new MIneral Separation processing plant has been successfully commissioned and is capable of processing up to 150,000tpa of ilmenite material for use as a high-quality feedstock for chlorination markets with TiO2 production plants in China.

Final stage commissioning of our Micro-agglomeration plant in Yingkou is underway, where expected monthly production volumes of up to 3,000t.

Testing and research and development facilities continue to be developed and upgraded.


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