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Q3 FY24 Quarterly Exploration and Mining Activity Report

Mineral Resources (MinRes) has released its Quarterly Exploration and Mining Activity Report for the period to 31 March 2024.

Below are the key points from the March quarter, with the full Quarterly Report available in our ASX announcement.

FY24 volume and cost guidance reaffirmed:

  • FY24 volume and cost guidance maintained for all operations.
  • Lost Time Injuries Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of 0.16 and a rolling 12-month Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of 2.24.

Corporate:

  • The process to introduce a partner to own a 49% interest in the Onslow Iron dedicated haul road is well progressed and on track to be executed this half.
  • MinRes intends to adopt a similar approach to fund the proposed development of its gas processing facility in the Perth Basin.
  • Sold interest in Azure Minerals Limited (ASX: AZS) following acquisition proposal from Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. and Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.
  • Sold non-core interest in Develop Global Limited (ASX: DVP).

Mining Services:

  • Production volumes of 69Mt during the quarter, down 4% quarter on quarter (qoq).
  • Year-to-date production volumes of 208Mt, a 9% increase on the prior corresponding period (pcp).
  • Awarded four external contracts with Tier 1 clients that showcase MinRes’ capability and infrastructure, as disclosed at the half-year result. Contracts include lithium ore sorting, iron ore crushing, whole-of-mine services, and road train haulage in Queensland.

Iron Ore:

  • Iron ore shipments decreased 6% qoq to 4.5M wet metric tonnes (wmt). Average quarterly realised price of US$98 per dry metric tonne (dmt), representing a 79% realisation of the Platts 62% IODEX.
  • Onslow Iron remains on target for first ore-on-ship in June 2024. Mining is operating at full capacity, with 9.4Mt of total material moved during the quarter.
  • Works across the 150km haul road corridor are progressing in line with Onslow Iron’s staged first ore plans, with sealing and asphalting works well underway.
  • Onslow Iron transhipping wharf, product storage shed and truck unloading facility structures at the Port of Ashburton are complete and the port reclaimer successfully dry commissioned.
  • The first two MinRes transhipper vessels and two tugs were delivered to the Port of Dampier in April 2024 and are expected to arrive at the Port of Ashburton by the end of the month. The transhippers are planned to be wet commissioned in early May 2024.

Lithium:

  • Spodumene concentrate pricing improved later in the quarter, with a 22k dmt shipment sold at US$1300/t (SC6 equivalent) in March.
  • Demand remained strong with no ore stockpiled. Weighted average SC6 equivalent price achieved in the quarter across all three lithium operations was US$1,030/dmt.
  • Wodgina attributable spodumene concentrate production of 49k dmt and shipments of 64k dmt.
  • Wodgina is forecast to be on the low end of volume guidance and at the upper end of cost guidance.
  • Lithium battery chemical production of 6.8kt, with a 7% qoq increase in sales to 7.0kt.
  • Mt Marion spodumene concentrate production increased 9% qoq to 91k dmt, with attributable shipments of 76k dmt.
  • First full quarter of production following the acquisition of Bald Hill, with a total of 30k dmt spodumene concentrate produced.
  • Entered into a binding agreement, subject to conditions, with Poseidon Nickel Limited to acquire the Lake Johnston nickel concentrator plant[1].

Energy:

  • Lockyer-5 Sidetrack-1 (ST-1) revealed 27m of net gas pay with an average porosity of 18%.
  • Well testing of the pay interval highlighted an outstanding maximum flow rate of 106 million standard cubic feet (MMscf) per day and an average flow rate of 104 MMscf per day, the highest stabilised flow rate achieved in the Perth Basin.
  • Drilling of the North Erregulla-2 oil appraisal well in April 2024 intersected significant oil pay interval comparable to the 47m net pay evaluated at North Erregulla Deep-1.  New oil pay was also observed in the overlying Arranoo Sandstone.

For full details of MinRes’ Q3 FY24 activity, refer to the ASX announcement.