Rio Tinto Uplifts Its Mineral Resource Estimate For Pilbara Iron Ore Deposits

Rio Tinto Uplifts In Mineral Resource Estimate At Pilbara Iron Ore Deposits

Rio Tinto declared the significant change in estimates of Mineral Resources for Pilbara iron ore deposits in Western Australia compared to the previous estimates in the 2017 annual report. It underscores the increase in Mineral Resource from 22,538 Mt in 2017 to 23,319 Mt in 2018, as dry in-situ tonnages in addition to Ore Reserves.

The revised estimates include Music Hall and Old Vic addition of 283 Mt to Hamersley Iron, and an increase of 166 Mt in Western Hill deposit to the Robe River Joint Venture. These 100% owned projects of Rio Tinto have also maintained the standard at grade front with 61.5% of 1,685 Mt Marra Mamba iron ore and  61.0% grade of 814 Mt Detrita iron ore in 2018 from Hamersley Iron Deposits (Australia).

In 2018, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) conducted technical work across multiple deposits with over 700,000 metres drilled. The report read that at Music Hall, reverse circulation (RC) drilling was carried out between 2014 and 2016, and a total of 116 holes were completed for 9,497 metres, and at Old Vic, RC drilling was carried out between 2015-2017 and a total of 154 holes were completed for 22,073 metres.

On the front of Western Hill, the drilling was carried out using Reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drill rigs and in total, of 446 holes were completed for 36,600 metres. The Mineral Resources at Western Hill included 618 Mt of Brockman (g) at 61.6% grade, 488 Mt of Brockman Process Ore (g) at 56.7% and 124 Mt of Detrital (g) at 60.8% as at 31 December 2018.

Moreover, the company has already completed Geophysical logging for most drill holes in the Music Hall and Old Vic deposits, located within the Hamersley Basin of Western Australia. The company told that geological modelling was completed by Rio Tinto Iron Ore geologists and ordinary kriging and inverse distance weighting to the first and second power methods was used to estimate grades through the deposits.

The company has also announced its gold-copper mineralisation discoveries in the Paterson Province, Western Australia. The assay results of exploration program returned the vein style copper, gold and silver mineralisation beneath relatively shallow cover which ranges from 50 to 100 metre at the Winu project in the Yeneena Basin of the Paterson Province. The location defines the far east Pilbara region of Western Australia.

As per the company’s information, the exploration program is still in its initial stage and drilling to the date of announcement, 27 February 2019, does not provide sufficient understanding to assess the quality, size or estimate of Mineral Resource. However, diamond drilling has reportedly recommenced in mid-January 2019 and four holes have been completed for 1,409 metres during 2019, pending assay results.

In today’s trading session, RIO stock price dipped by 1.29% to close at $94.920 on 1 March 2019. The stock last traded at Price to Earnings multiple of 8.560x with a market capitalisation of $35.7 billion.

Also Read: Rio Tinto’s full results for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018.


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