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Australian Bauxite Ltd (ASX:ABX) Binjour Mine Underway Following Positive Bulk Sampling

Sydney, Australia, Nov 25, 2019 - (ABN Newswire) - Bauxite producer, Australian Bauxite Limited (ASX:ABX.AX - News) (HAM:A7B.HM - News) considers its Binjour Project located 115kms southwest of Bundaberg Port to be the best source of gibbsite-trihydrate (THA) metallurgical grade bauxite in Queensland.

Unlike other QLD bauxites, Binjour bauxite is ideal for low-temperature alumina refineries.

- ABx's bulk-sampling programs at Binjour QLD in 2019 have defined the optimum Mining Lease Application and clarified the mining-processing strategy for the project
- Results have confirmed that the project can operate at a bulk-scale mining and screening scale and achieve the required bauxite specifications

- A project summary and financial assessment will be reviewed by the ABx Board of Directors in mid-December. Progress of the Binjour project remains on schedule

- If ABx resolves to proceed, a Mining Lease Application will be lodged in early 2020

- Binjour project is fully-funded by ABx's marketing partner, Rawmin Mining of India which will also supply similar bauxite from its bauxite mines in India to the same customer that ABx will supply from Binjour. Seasonal synergies are achieved

- Both ABx and Rawmin intend to sell 0.5 to 1.5 million tonnes per year of gibbsite-rich trihydrate (THA) bauxite grading 44% to 45% Al2O3 and 5% SiO2 which is ideal for refining into alumina by low-temperature Bayer-process refineries

- Binjour bauxite resources total 37 million tonnes - see Resources Statement

- A tripartite sales MoU has been executed between ABx, Rawmin and Chinese aluminium producer Tianshan which is building an alumina refinery in Southern China that needs large supplies of the Binjour-type of bauxite starting end 2020

- ABx has also executed an MoU with the Port of Bundaberg to investigate the opportunity to export bauxite in bulk tonnages through the Port of Bundaberg

- Bulk sampling and screening has resolved mining issues, geological dilution risks, processing, environmental and ore performance characteristics that assist the design of the optimum Mining Lease Application, should ABx decide to proceed with a project

Coordination with stakeholders

ABx has worked at length with landholders, local government, state government, port authorities, mining contractors, processing companies, logistics companies, marketing specialists and bauxite customers to develop a viable strategy for the Binjour Bauxite Project to produce and deliver good quality metallurgical bauxite onto large bulk carrier ships at the Port of Bundaberg for export.

Port MoU agreement

On 30th May 2019, ABx announced that it had executed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement ("MoU") with the Port of Bundaberg to investigate its potential for:

1. Stockpiling bauxite of various grades from the Binjour project

2. Blending the bauxite to the contracted specification, and

3. Transhipping bauxite for loading 150,000 tonne bulk carrier ships within port boundaries.

Customer MoU agreement

On 2nd April 2019, ABx announced it had executed a tripartite MoU between ABx and its joint venture partner, Rawmin Mining and Industries of India with Tianshan Aluminium Co Ltd of China for the sale of 0.5 to 1.5 million tonnes of bauxite from the Binjour project and a similar tonnage from Rawmin's bauxite mines in India to Tianshan's new low temperature refinery in southern China which is due for completion during 2020.

BULK SAMPLING, PROCESSING & MINE LEASE APPLICATION DESIGN FACTORS

Bulk sampling & testwork was conducted in May, June and September, with assaying and lab tests continuing through November 2019 - see JORC Table 1* in appendix for details of procedures. ABx is scheduled to make a decision in mid-December 2019 regarding project development.

Screen performance: Two 28 tonne screen tests confirmed that Binjour bauxite screens superbly with high throughput rates and clean grade-size distributions which is an important bauxite attribute.

Dry-screening works superbly in dry-season

The dry-screening was impressively effective with each size fraction being free of carry-over of clays.

In fact, clays at Binjour are easily screened as long as it is done in the dry-season. The clays become sticky and difficult to handle when wet.

Seasonality: For these reasons, screening will mainly be done in the dry season (April-November) when humidity is very low at Binjour. The dry season is also the best time for shipping.

Crusher for oversize lumps

As shown in Figure 3*, the oversize fraction includes some lumps exceeding 100mm in size and will require crushing, probably on a quarterly campaign basis.

Deep high grade bauxite layer identified

The bulk sampling work also identified an extensive deep bauxite layer grading more than 48% Al2O3 and less than 3% SiO2 which is the highest quality gibbsite-trihydrate bauxite in eastern Australia.

Mining this deep bauxite requires removal of 6 to 10 metres of an overlying layer of red mudstone that is probably a sediment that accumulated across the region after the high grade bauxite was formed. This deeper mining will require confidence in strong market support from a customer that is prepared to pay extra for high-grade bauxite. ABx and Rawmin believe that the bauxite market will be short of high-grade in coming years and a strong relationship with a customer is likely.

Mining issues

These bulk sampling programs tested the geological nature of the rock units that affect mining production parameters including:

1. Dilution from red mud overburden

When red mud removal was done in close proximity to exposed bauxite, there was an increase in dilution from the red mud because it has a blocky, brick-like layer that is not identifiable in drill holes. These blocks easily break away and contaminate the extraction of the deeper layer of bauxite. Pre-stripping of large areas will be needed to minimise dilution.

2. Removal of red mud overburden

The red mud unit is best excavated on retreat from an open face where the confining pressures of the red mud unit have been relaxed. Bulk removal of overburden using scrapers is untested and remains as an upside potential.

3. Bauxite Extraction

Bauxite at Binjour is variable in strength and habit. It can be hard and blocky in places and within 10 to 20 metres, can be friable and free-digging. It is assumed that a large tonnage excavator (75 to 100 tonnes size) will be needed for mining all bauxite settings.

Results show that bulk-mined bauxite can meet the required saleable grades:

Logistics

Delivery of bauxite to the customer overseas is the largest cost and largest challenge for the Binjour project. At present, the expectations are that high-efficiency trucking over a road distance of 200kms to the Bundaberg Port will be required. This road haulage stage is the inhibiting factor for annual tonnages sold.

A site shown as the "MoU Block" in Figure 14* has been identified as a stockpile location that requires no trucking though the Bundaberg Port Village, is well shielded by surrounding scrub and has no mangroves along the river banks in that location.

To compensate for the high road haulage costs, ABx seeks to load large bulk carrier ships of the Cape Size class (110,000 tonnes bulk cargo) within the Port Limits of Bundaberg Port.

ABx favours the use of Bundaberg Port because it lies well south of the Great Barrier Reef Park and is sand-bottomed from the point of loading through to international shipping lanes. ABx has worked collegiately with Bundaberg Port management and with all stakeholders in the Wide Bay Burnett Region since 2010-11 when the discovery of the Binjour Bauxite deposit was made.

Logistics

Delivery of bauxite to the customer overseas is the largest cost and largest challenge for the Binjour project. At present, the expectations are that high-efficiency trucking over a road distance of 200kms to the Bundaberg Port will be required. This road haulage stage is the inhibiting factor for annual tonnages sold.

A site shown as the "MoU Block" in Figure 14* has been identified as a stockpile location that requires no trucking though the Bundaberg Port Village, is well shielded by surrounding scrub and has no mangroves along the river banks in that location.

To compensate for the high road haulage costs, ABx seeks to load large bulk carrier ships of the Cape Size class (110,000 tonnes bulk cargo) within the Port Limits of Bundaberg Port.

ABx favours the use of Bundaberg Port because it lies well south of the Great Barrier Reef Park and is sand-bottomed from the point of loading through to international shipping lanes. ABx has worked collegiately with Bundaberg Port management and with all stakeholders in the Wide Bay Burnett Region since 2010-11 when the discovery of the Binjour Bauxite deposit was made.

*To view tables and figures, please visit:
https://abnnewswire.net/lnk/H75T47X3


About Australian Bauxite Ltd:

Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) (ASX:ABX.AX - News) has its first bauxite mine in Tasmania and holds the core of the Eastern Australian Bauxite Province. ABx's 22 bauxite tenements in Queensland, New South Wales & Tasmania exceed 1,975 km2 and were selected for (1) good quality bauxite; (2) near infrastructure connected to export ports; & (3) free of socio-environmental constraints. All tenements are 100% owned, unencumbered & free of third-party royalties. ABx's discovery rate is increasing as knowledge, technology & expertise grows.

The Company's bauxite is high quality gibbsite trihydrate (THA) bauxite that can be processed into alumina at low temperature.

ABx has declared large Mineral Resources at Inverell & Guyra in northern NSW, Taralga in southern NSW, Binjour in central QLD & in Tasmania, confirming that ABx has discovered significant bauxite deposits including some of outstandingly high quality.

At Bald Hill near Campbell Town, Tasmania, the Company's first bauxite mine commenced operations in December 2014 - the first new Australian bauxite mine for more than 35 years. ABx has created significant bauxite developments in 3 states - Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. Its bauxite deposits are favourably located for direct shipping of bauxite to both local and export customers.

ABx endorses best practices on agricultural land, strives to leave land and environment better than we find it. We only operate where welcomed.

Contact:

Ian Levy
CEO and MD
Australian Bauxite Limited
Telephone: +61-2-9251-7177
Mobile: +61-407-189-122

Source:

Australian Bauxite Ltd

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