The Maldorky iron ore deposit lies approximately 26 km south of the Barrier Highway and the Transcontinental Railway, 300 km east of Port Pirie and one hour drive southwest of Broken Hill. It was discovered by Havilah geologists during 2010 as the result of drilling a prominent magnetic anomaly associated with poorly outcropping Braemar Iron Formation. Following completion of 51 drillholes and demonstration of good continuity of mineralisation, a JORC Indicated Resource of 147 million tonnes of 30.1% Fe at a cut-off grade of 18% Fe was estimated.
The deposit owes its existence to thickening of the iron formation horizon under the combined influences of extreme shearing and drag folding at this particular locality. Overburden is generally thin to absent and the orebody is typically at least 100 metres thick over most of the area.
Havilah has built a 3D geological model of the Maldorky orebody, which shows it to be a thick, largely horizontal slab of massive iron ore as shown below.
Based on a resource block model, a 3 stage open pit mine was designed by a consultant mining engineer using sophisticated open pit optimisation software. This mine design has a low life-of-mine waste:ore ratio of 0.19 due to the flat nature of the orebody and the minimal volumes of internal waste.
The favourable mining economics for the Maldorky deposit, the above average grade (compared with other Braemar region iron ore deposits) and positive logistical factors prompted Havilah to apply for a mining lease. The mining lease application has been accepted by the Department for Energy and Mining, pending finalisation of a Native Title Mining Agreement that is currently in progress.
The project has a continuous, heavy duty rail link to the Spencer Gulf ports of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie (and Port Waratah and Port Kembla in the east).
Test work on Maldorky iron ore samples showed that the targeted product grade of 65% Fe can be achieved for a 40% product yield and an overall 85% Fe recovery with conventional processing methods.