Maiden Pilbara resource for Alien

AIM-listed Alien Metals has reported a maiden 10 million tonne iron ore resource for its Hancock project in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
Maiden Pilbara resource for Alien Maiden Pilbara resource for Alien Maiden Pilbara resource for Alien Maiden Pilbara resource for Alien Maiden Pilbara resource for Alien

Alien Metals' Hancock project in the Pilbara, Western Australia

Tom Hoskyns

The inferred resource of 10.4 million tonnes at 60.4% iron includes 7.8Mt at 60.1% at the Sirius Extension target, 1.5Mt at 61.2% at the Ridge E target and 1.1Mt at 61.9% Fe at the Ridge C target.

The three targets form part of the Western Ridges prospect.

"With only a quarter of the Western Ridges targets tested to date, we believe there is considerable scope to grow the DSO [direct shipping ore] resource over the next 6 months," Alien CEO and technical director Bill Brodie Good said.

Good told MNN sister site Mining Journal the recent iron ore sell-off had not impacted the company's plans.

"From very initial high level scoping study review work, we are very confident the economics of this project will be very low with a very small capex to get started, along with the high quality of the ore and, more significantly, the upside potential of the tenement to host substantially more DSO grade material in the ridge systems," said Good.

"We feel that the current iron ore price will level out soon to a more acceptable level and high demand for the DSO grade material will continue as there is still huge growth in the pipeline, hence the need for quality raw materials."

Good said Alien had started initial concept studies, which were "extremely positive for having a very competitive breakeven cost even with the current dip in the iron ore price, especially if you factor in the location of the project, the very low capex needed, with no railway or port building needed or even huge pre-strip requirements".

Hancock is one of two tenements that sit within the Hamersley project, which borders licences held by Fortescue Metals Group, Hancock Prospecting and BHP.

Alien paid £2 million in May to up its stake in Hamersley from 51% to over 90%. At the time it pointed to excellent drilling results and high iron ore prices "underscoring the rationale".

Despite the iron ore sell-off of the past few weeks, the market was clearly impressed by Alien's initial numbers for Hancock, with shares closing 8.1% higher at 0.84p.

Alien is capitalised at £26.6 million.