The exploration industry has long recognised the existence of weakly magnetic, lateritic material and palaeochannel systems containing iron-rich material. The principle iron-rich mineral component of these landform systems – maghemite – has been viewed as a nuisance by the geophysical fraternity, but Eastern Iron is turning some of these facts to it’s advantage. The magnetic property of maghemite offers two very important advantages that were recognised by Eastern Iron: the palaeochannels that contain maghemite can be identified and precisely located using aeromagnetic data; and the iron bearing material can be quickly and easily upgraded onsite using a low cost magnetic beneficiation process. Eastern Iron has conducted an extensive drill program and now believes it has discovered a regionally extensive pisolitic iron occurrence which represents an uncemented form of Channel Iron Deposit (CID), a new iron deposit style, or “NSW-CID”. Importantly, NSW-CID occurs as a shallow free-digging gravel without the goethite cement and does not require drill, blast and stripping operations as it does in the Pilbara.
How much is there, how does it occur, what is it’s quality, has it a market and what is the ratio of questions answered to new questions discovered?
Peter Buckley first became interested in iron and steel growing up in Wollongong NSW. His grandfather worked at coke ovens in Dapto and his father was an electrician on the “flying gang” that serviced the BHP iron ore import jetties at the Port Kembla works. Peter’s geological career has included study with Paul Ashley at UNE in Armidale, Honors with Paul and Ian Plimer at Olary in SA, Gold exploration with Plutonic and Homestake as well as a stint with the Geological Survey of NSW at Broken Hill and Maitland head office. Peter is currently MD of Eastern Iron and Exploration Manager of PlatSearch NL
Eastern Iron (ASX Code: EFE)