Impact Minerals hits stride at Lake Hope

Impact Minerals (ASX:IPT) continues to progress the Preliminary Feasibility Study at its flagship Lake Hope High Purity Alumina (HPA) project located 500km east of Perth in Western Australia.

The Baseline Flora and Fauna Survey data collection process is now complete, with a final report due early in Q1 2024. Once received, the results will be used to finalise the location of mining lease boundaries and infrastructure corridors.

A Mineralisation Report, a critical requirement of a mining lease application, has been completed, and the application will be lodged as soon as practicable in Q1 2024.

The metallurgical test work has progressed to final purification testing, with preliminary results expected in January 2024.

Design of the by-product circuit and re-design of acid and reagent handling strategy is underway to investigate options for reduced capital and energy costs. A comprehensive test work regime is under design to inform a mini-pilot plant configuration, with quotes being sought.

Mine planning is progressing, with work underway to refine equipment selection and identify blocks within the mineral resource sufficient for an initial 25-year mine life.

Managing Director Dr Mike Jones says Impact’s focus for 2024 will be to complete the PFS, which will include setting up the mini-pilot plant and, in particular, producing HPA in bulk for potential customers and offtake partners.

“As part of this strategy, we have already started reaching out to key groups in the battery and LED market, and the demand is there. We look forward to a watershed year for Lake Hope, Impact and its shareholders.”

Meanwhile, a significant bulk sampling and test pits program has recently been completed at Lake Hope. The program is a critical component of the Prefeasibility Study on Lake Hope, which is currently underway following a positive Scoping Study on the project that indicated the project may be the lowest-cost producer of HPA globally by a significant margin. Impact has the right to earn an 80% interest in the Lake Hope project by completing the PFS.

A total of 5.5 tonnes of material was collected from 25 bulk samples taken from test pits across West Lake and East Lake, which host the alumina deposit at Lake Hope.

The deposit contains a resource of 3.5 million tonnes at 25.1% alumina (Al2O3) for a contained 880,000 tonnes of alumina, of which about 88%, or about 775,000 tonnes of alumina, is in the higher confidence indicated resource category.

Impact confirms that no new information exists, and all modifying factors remain the same as at the time of the first publication of the resource. In addition, earthworks for access tracks and drill pads for water bores for groundwater monitoring were also completed.

Jones adds that the bulk sampling program marks another significant milestone in our journey towards the production of HPA from Lake Hope and caps off a very busy and successful nine months since acquiring the rights for this exceptional project.

The results of that study were outstanding and demonstrated the potential of Lake Hope to produce HPA at a cost much less than any other supplier globally, and this has given us the confidence to progress the Prefeasibility Study aggressively

“In that time, we have completed a maiden resource statement, obtained heritage clearance from the Ngadju First Nations people, completed most of the first phase of metallurgical test work using the unique Playa One sulphate process, and completed a Scoping Study.

The results of that study were outstanding and demonstrated the potential of Lake Hope to produce HPA at a cost much less than any other supplier globally, and this has given us the confidence to progress the Prefeasibility Study aggressively. The bulk samples will set us up for the forthcoming stages of development, which will include the commissioning of a mini-pilot plant once the initial test work is completed.”

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.