Australia’s next major iron ore province may well emerge in the region southwest of the historic silver, lead and zinc mining town of Broken Hill, on the border of South Australia and New South Wales, according to Minotaur Exploration.

The company made the forecast while calling on aspiring side-by-side magnetite project owners on the Braemar Iron Formation to grasp what it terms the “first mover” opportunity for a mega-plant that could save billions of dollars in up-front project costs, but deliver up to 100 years of regional mining.

Backing Minotaur’s forecast, the company said positive exploration drilling and metallurgical results were emerging from numerous explorers in the area. Managing Director Andrew Woskett said, “If sustained, the flow of quality exploration results could underpin the development of centralized processing and export infrastructure as the backbone of a significant, new iron ore region in South Australia.

“Should our projections become fact, as explorers work toward defining resources and reserves, it is reasonable then to see the possibility of several new magnetite mines along the Braemar Iron Formation, each potentially hosting several hundreds of millions of tonnes of magnetite rich siltstones, near a centre better known for its historic lead, silver and zinc production.”

“The ideal outcome for any new iron ore province southwest of Broken Hill would be a multi-user facility where joint ownership of the infrastructure could serve the processing and transport needs of several independent mining ventures,” Woskett said.

“Conceptually, a single, super magnetite beneficiation plant of 25 million mt/y concentrate capacity would consume around 450 megawatts of power and 50 gigaliters of water a year.”