Wonarah Phosphate Project
Minemakers Limited’s (Minemakers) 100% owned Wonarah phosphate project is the largest known phosphate deposit in Australia. To date, only 15% of the known mineralisation has been sufficiently drilled to enable a resource estimate to be defined.
The current estimated mineral resources are set out above. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred resources are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be classified as mineral reserves. There is no assurance that any part of the Inferred resources will ultimately be converted to mineral reserves.
Minemakers aims to take advantage of Australia’s political stability and Wonarah’s favourable installed and available infrastructure to develop a major centre for the production of superphosphoric acid (SPA). Wonarah’s advantages, apart from its size and grade, include:
- Situated in a stable political jurisdiction
- Northern Territory Government support and designation as a Major Project
- A life of mine Mining Agreement in place with Traditional Owners which covers mining, processing and fertiliser production
- Proximity to a regional population centre at Tennant Creek
- Access to an established bulk commodity port at Darwin
- Bitumen highway access
- Proximity to a standard gauge railway with spare freight capacity
- Proximity to a natural gas supply, the pipeline for which closely follows the railway line
- Proximity to ample groundwater
- Silica available on site and petroleum coke readily available nearby
Wonarah Locality and Infrastructure
A fully funded Feasibility Study (FS) is underway, which is focused on Wonarah’s development using the Improved Hard Process (IHP) kiln based patented technology, owned by JDCPhosphate Inc. (JDCP) of Florida, USA. The FS is an extension of the work undertaken for the Direct Shipping Ore Feasibility Study completed in 2010 and the subsequent study undertaken in 2011.
The FS will update, extend and validate the earlier studies and incorporate new studies for aspects of the project that were not required in earlier evaluations. Investigations will cover the full range required for preparation of a FS, the major elements of which will include:
- Environmental and Social
- Geology and Resources
- Mining and Reserves
- Slimes Storage Facility
- Project Logistics
- Surface Hydrology
- Hydrogeology, Water Supply and Water Balance
- Financial Analysis
Minemakers is focused on the production of high-value SPA at Wonarah utilising IHP technology. Minemakers owns 3.3% of JDCP and has the exclusive right to utilise IHP in Australia.
In summary, IHP entails:
- Beneficiation to 15-20% P2O5
- Grinding with raw petroleum coke and silica
- Roasting in a ported rotary kiln
- Delivery of a phosphorus rich gas
- Hydration process
- Superphosphoric acid production at a contained ±70% P2O5 – a very high nutrient product
- Co-product is a low environmental impact and usable inert spent pellets (see below)
The process produces inert pellets as a co-product, which JDCP has named J-ROX. Whilst J-ROX has demonstrated suitability as an aggregate in many applications, Wonarah’s distance from major metropolitan centres indicates the likelihood of this co-product having real commercial value is low and it is anticipated that the majority of the co-product will be returned to the mined pits as fill.
Available Infrastructure Advantage
Initial Project development supported by key infrastructure already in place
- Highway, rail and port
- Proximity to natural gas pipeline
- Abundant water available