Multi-commodity, Papua New Guinea specialist Mayur Resources’ (ASX: MRL) has revealed plans to build a pilot plant at its Orokolo Bay Industrial Sands Project in Papua New Guinea next year with the support of a Chinese partner.
Mayur Managing Director Paul Mulder said the company’s staged development plans for Orokolo Bay remain firmly on track following the purchase of key plant equipment and mobile machinery.
The construction, commissioning and operation of the small‐scale bulk sampling pilot plant represents Stage 1 of our joint venture with China Titanium Resources Holdings (CTRH), who will invest up to A$25 million for a 49% stake in the Orokolo project.
Mr Mulder said the pilot plant will produce up to 100,000 tonnes of iron ore sands per annum to provide commercial scale test shipments of product to potential off takers.
“The commencement of this procurement and the associated JV site visit are important steps in the development of the Orokolo Bay Project,” Mr Mulder said.
“We also continue to work closely with the Mineral Resources Authority, Gulf Provincial Government and the local communities to bring this project into reality.”
In turn, the company will seek to convert its existing Letters of intent into binding long‐term offtake agreements for the planned full‐scale plant (as per Stage 2 of the JV agreement). Processing for the pilot phase will involve simple near surface sand extraction and mineral separation by low intensity magnets.
The inventory is now being delivered to CTRH’s facility in China ahead of shipment to PNG and includes:
- Process plant equipment including low intensity magnetic separators (LIMS)
- Mobile machinery including haul trucks, excavator and a wheel loader
Fabrication of the steelwork for the project has commenced in China and Mayur is due to undertake acceptance inspections in early February 2020.
Mayur and CTRH recently conducted a detailed site investigation trip to confirm the barging routes for access to and from the pilot plant via the Muro wharf and proposed Purari stockpile facility.
The visit included surveying each of the routes in an ocean‐going tug enabling the team to confirm bathymetric chart data and vessel routes. The trip also enabled the planning of the key site preparation activities that are due to commence in early 2020.
Mr Mulder said the project is a relatively simple, low impact sand mining operation, with no requirement for chemical processing, grinding or tailings dams.