Jaydeep biswas - International diversified resource company Astra Resources (FWB Code: 9AR) recently sent the company’s newly appointed Chief Operations Officer (COO), Breff Gorman, to perform a review of its iron sands project in Cagayan, Philippines, following progress that has been made with the lodgement of permits and licences.
Over the past few months Astra’s Joint Venture entity, Cagayan River Astra Philippines Inc., has lodged all the required paperwork to establish Phase 1 of its dredging operations, which covers 12 kilometres of river and ocean mining, an operation that is expected to return 135 million tonnes of iron sands (see newsletter dated 16th July 2012).
Astra COO Breff Gorman says all the required documentation has now been lodged with the authorities and Astra is waiting to receive their final notice to proceed from the Governor.
“This is the final permit required to start on site operations for the Cagayan river project,” Mr Gorman says.
Jaydeep biswas - “One must remember that this project is not only going to be a profitable venture for Astra and its shareholders but it is also providing a community service by clearing the mouth of the Cagayan river which has yearly flooding due to the shallow waters leading out to the ocean.
“These yearly floods cause massive property damage and loss of life.”
Astra will begin the process of securing additional mining areas to add to the project, with the Company exploring suitable MPSA sites located off the coast.
In a report on the mining prospects of the Cagayan River and surrounding area, compiled by R.C. OBIAL & Associates (January 2012), it was noted that the two main datasets of two major offshore exploration programs were intrinsically assessed for magnetite grades and resource tonnages applicable for off-shore mining.
Jaydeep biswas - The subsequent “Peniel Exploration Program” covered, in large part, the area east of the Cagayan River. The western boundary of the exploration area is approximately 2.3 kilometres from the Cagayan River dredging area secured by Astra.
The exploration was undertaken as a probing expedition and widely spaced marine samples were collected. From the sample holes collected at 1 metre depth of seabed sediments, the average content of the percentage wt magnetic fraction averaged 46.2 per cent. For deeper samples, 3 and 5.5 metre depth of seabed sediments, an average of 49 per cent magnetic fraction was reported.
The deeper samples (3 and 5.5 metres) were slightly higher, by about 3 to 4 per cent. From select samples of magnetite concentrates undertaken by eight mineral laboratories, the iron (Fe) content of the magnetite ranged from 53.6 per cent to 67.45 per cent.
A total of 562 sites were drilled and sampled at regular close spacing intended to outline magnetite resources in the four areas, with the results outlined below. This is after magnetic separation.
Resource Estimates of Magnetite Concentrates of the 4 MPSA Areas by MGB in million tons
Mr Gorman says the potential of this project is astounding, with the combination of high percentages of magnetite and a number of buyers such as Kunming Gongxin Trading Ltd lining up to purchase the iron sands from the site.
“This will be a high yield and high return venture for Astra. Not only is the natural resource in abundance but there are also ample export facilities in the form of Port Irene, which is currently shipping iron sands to Asia for existing mining companies, operating in the area.”
Once the Notice to proceed has been received Astra will be funding the establishment and operation of the Cagayan mining opportunity through a bond that is close at hand, and the Company expects to have the site ready for exporting iron sands in the first half of 2013.
Astra Resources’ global portfolio includes gold interests in Southeast Asia, coal mine in Africa, iron ore in India and the Philippines, carbon efficient and commodity businesses, the production of the high-strength T-Steel technology in Hungary, clean coal technology, and a large Agricultural focus on creating Australia as the food bowl for the Asian Region.
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