A Bankable Feasibility Study ("BFS") is underway, which considers two technical options for Wonarah's development; the traditional wet acid process ("WAP") and the IHP kiln based patented technology ("IHP"), owned by JDCPhosphate Inc. ("JDCP") of Florida. The study represents an extension of the work that was undertaken for the Direct Shipping Ore ("DSO") feasibility study in 2010.
The BFS will update, extend and/or validate the earlier studies and initiate new studies for aspects of the project that were not required in earlier evaluations, such as tailings storage. Investigations will cover the full range required for preparation of a BFS, the major elements of which will include:
-- Approvals-- Environmental and Social-- Geology and Resources-- Mining and Reserves-- Beneficiation-- IHP-- Tailings Storage Facility-- Project Logistics-- Surface Hydrology-- Hydrogeology, Water Supply and Water Balance-- Marketing-- Financial AnalysisA technical decision on the development route for the project will be takenin mid-2013.1. Wet Acid ProcessThe production of high-analysis granular phosphate fertilisers, such as DAPand MAP, near the township and regional centre of Tennant Creek, whichprovides natural gas, rail and highway connections, and its socialinfrastructure. The process entails:-- Mining-- Beneficiation to 30% P2O5 on site-- Slurry pipeline transport of beneficiated rock to Tennant Creek-- Reaction with sulphuric acid to produce phosacid-- Filtration to remove gypsum-- Concentration of acid through condenser to MGA (54% P2O5)-- Ammoniation of phosacid and granulation, introduced to produce DAP/MAP - high nutrient value products2. Improved Hard ProcessThe production of high-value superphosphoric acid ("SPA") on site utilisingthe IHP. Minemakers owns 3.2% (post recent dilution) of JDCP, and additionalnews on JDCP is presented below under the header, "JDCPhosphate Inc. -Florida Demonstration Plant". Through its investment in JDCP, Minemakers hasexclusive rights to the IHP in Australia until 2019. The IHP entails:-- Mining-- Beneficiation to 15-20% P2O5-- Grinding with petroleum coke and silica-- Pelletisation-- Roasting in a ported rotary kiln-- Delivery of a phosphorus rich gas-- Hydration process-- Superphosphoric acid production at a contained 70% P2O5 - a very high nutrient product
Both alternatives will likely require some beneficiation of the mined phosphate rock. Diamond drilling to obtain samples for testwork was completed during the June 2012 Quarter, and samples were freighted to Adelaide where they have been crushed, assayed and composited in preparation for various tests.
The testwork programme relating to the IHP has been largely completed with testwork results indicating that a satisfactory feed product for the IHP plant can be produced using simple crushing and attrition, which removes unwanted clays from the ore.
Confirmatory testing using the optimised conditions will be undertaken early in the March 2013 Quarter together with screening testwork on the silica sand which overlies the deposit and which will be required as one of the inputs into the IHP feed.
It is anticipated that all testwork in relation to the IHP will be complete early in the March 2013 Quarter.
INCREASED AND IMPROVED RESOURCE POSITION
Previous resource estimates released in November 2011 resulted from exploration targeting higher grade areas suitable for DSO phosphate rock production. Delineation of high grade bodies requires relatively close spaced drilling for resource estimation at even the Indicated confidence level.