The Highland Plains Phosphate Project has a JORC Code (2004) compliant Inferred Resource of 53 million tonnes at 16% P2O5. A subset of this resource at Western Mine Target Zone (WMTZ) consists of shallow high grade mineralisation which outcrops in places. The WMTZ has an Inferred Resource of 14 million tonnes at 20% P2O5.
POZ Minerals has conducted substantial amounts of drilling and other work at Highland Plains with proposed solutions for beneficiation demonstrating higher grades.
The Company is currently targeting the production and sale of up to 3 million tonnes per annum of beneficiated rock phosphate from Highland Plains, to be transported by slurry pipeline to a barging facility in the Gulf of Carpentaria for export.
Extensive flotation test work has resulted in a quality grade of 32.3% P2O5 at 76% recovery from the coarse and fine fractions.
Groundwater test work (pump testing) was very positive with the best bore resulted in flows of approximately 15 litres/second from shallow depths which indicates potential yields of at least 25 litres/second with the maximum rate not determined due to capacity limitations of the pumping equipment. Initial fauna and flora fieldwork surveys have also been completed.
To the west of Highland Plains are areas of significant phosphate exploration potential. These areas lie along the prospective Cambrian-Proterozoic contact which also hosts the Highland Plains deposit. Targets include a geomorphic embayment which appears similar to the Highland Plains embayment and represents an excellent drilling objective and is on granted leases with drill-ready permitting.
The Highland Plains deposit is only 68km west of the Century zinc mine which utilises a slurry pipeline to the coast; the open pit production at Century has recently ceased. One possible solution to greatly reduce the capital requirements needed to develop Highland Plains is to utilise the Century infrastructure.
POZ Minerals has conducted an independent scoping study for a slurry pipeline transport solution to the coast for the Highland Plains phosphate. This study indicated a 3 million tonnes per annum slurry pipeline would deliver operating (OPEX) costings of between only A$2.06 to $3.69 per tonne (pipeline operating costs only).
At Port Karumba there are existing port facilities including a slurry de-watering system, bulk storage and barging jetty. This infrastructure was used for the export of the Century zinc concentrate and is now on care and maintenance.
The Company is actively seeking partners for this project which is 100% owned by POZ Minerals.