Centaurus Metals, an Australian company headquartered in West Perth, Australia, secured the installation license for its Jambreiro iron ore project in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in early April 2013, clearing the way for on-site construction to proceed. The license includes all water permits and vegetation clearing authorizations required for project development. The license allows Centaurus to operate at a production rate of 3 million mt/y of final iron ore concentrate product; however, current plans are to produce 2 million mt/y at startup.
Total measured, indicated, and inferred resources at Jambreiro currently stand at 116.5 million mt grading 26.8% iron, including both near-surface friable mineralization (67 million mt) and underlying compact mineralization (49.5 million mt). Based on the friable component of the resource base, Centaurus has established a proven and probable ore reserve for the project of 49 million mt grading 28.2% iron.
Initial mine life is planned at 8.5 years at a strip ratio of 0.94:1. A 66%-iron concentrate will be produced by a wet magnetic separation process. Pre-production capital cost is estimated at A$132 million.
Centaurus will market Jambreiro concentrate production to Brazilian steel mills. The project is located approximately 130 km from the steel-making region of Ipatinga, where Usiminas has a 4.5-million-mt/y steel mill.