Centaurus Metals, a junior Australian company, has filed the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its Jambreiro iron ore project with the Minas Gerais state environmental authority in southeast Brazil.

The company is targeting approval of the EIA and receipt of a preliminary license for the project during October 2012, in line with its development timetable of producing first iron ore at Jambreiro by the end of 2013. The EIA is for an operation that can deliver up to 3 million mt/y of high-grade iron ore product, although the project is currently planned to start at a production rate of 2 million mt/y.

Domestic Brazilian steel mills are the primary target market for Jambreiro production. Initial pilot-scale test work on Jambreiro ore has produced a high-grade sinter feed product grading 65.6% iron with low impurities—2.8% silica and 0.01% phosphorus. The work confirmed the effectiveness of a robust, simple, low-cost, two-stage magnetic separation processing route that allows production of a range of product qualities to suit different customer needs, including a high-grade, low-impurity product that meets the sinter feed blend requirements of traditional steel mills.

Current estimated JORC-compliant resources at Jambreiro stand at 116.5 million mt measured, indicated, and inferred, grading 26.8% iron. A new resources estimate is scheduled for the end of May 2012 as part of a bankable feasibility study that is currently in progress. The new estimate will focus primarily on upgrading the respective categories of the resources, rather than on increasing the overall tonnage.

A diamond drill rig has been mobilized to the Jambreiro project to start a geotechnical drill program required by the feasibility study.