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New heavy minerals for Image Resources

ASX-listed Image Resources has tabled a timely resource update on seven of the eight projects recently acquired in Western Australia’s historic Eneabba mineral sands mining district, located 275 kilometres north of Perth.

The total mineral resources for all seven stands at 199 million tonnes grading 2.8 per cent total heavy minerals with 5.5 million tonnes of contained heavy minerals.

Importantly, of the total heavy minerals, a respectable 84 per cent are valuable heavy minerals and the dear duo zircon and rutile combine to form a further 19 per cent.

According to Image, the price of zircon and rutile has risen about 40 per cent since the start of 2021, even the price of the less valuable ilmenite is looking handsome with a 50 per cent rise over the same period albeit from a lower base.

Notably, the Eneabba tenements are considered accessible by dry mining techniques and effectively more than triple Image’s current dry mining resources from 85 million tonnes to 284 million tonnes, according to the company.

The welcome acquisition also effectively double the company’s contained heavy minerals portfolio in dry mining resources from 5.5 million tonnes to 11 million tonnes.

In addition, Image also holds the Bidaminna, Titan, Telesto and Calypso resources that it plans to dredge mine. The dredge minable resources combine to equal a further 293.2 million tonnes grading 2 per cent total heavy minerals for 5.8 million tonnes of contained heavy minerals

The company also highlights mineralisation across the tenements is as shallow as the surface in some places, presenting a low overall average strip ratio.

In January of this year, ASX-listed Sheffield Resource handed over its keys to its Eneabba tenements to Image for $24 million in cash. The purchase was a strategic and timely bolster to the producer’s inventory as Image expected to exhaust its current reserves in approximately 3.8 years’ time, at its processing rate of 3.5 million tonnes per annum.

The excluded eighth project associated with the acquired package remains outstanding pending approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board. The company says mineral resources for the project will be reported separately following the successful acquisition.

With a substantial base of respectable feed, it appears Image could sustain its producing operations for quite some time. The company’s bottom line should benefit as the price of what is coming off the production line also continues to track north.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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