Impact puts Lake Hope PFS jigsaw puzzle together at ‘great pace’

Impact Minerals (ASX:IPT) has completed an infill drilling program as part of the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for its Lake Hope Project in Western Australia. 

The aim of the drilling program is to define a maiden measured resource and proven reserve, with resource calculations and economic studies in progress. 

As part of the mine section of the study, a negotiation protocol for land access and cultural heritage agreements with Ngadju people is currently under review. 

Impact, which has a market capitalisation of $45.89 million, will also be lodging applications for a mining lease and miscellaneous lease shortly. 

Further flora fauna and heritage surveys are being planned for the mine haul road. 

Managing Director Dr Mike Jones says the PFS is on schedule for completion by the end of the year, which will set the company up for production in 2025. 

“The Lake Hope PFS is like a large jigsaw puzzle where we know what the final picture looks like and are now starting to see many of the individual pieces falling into place at a great pace,” he says. 

“We have been focused on the puzzle’s edges with progress made at the proposed mine at Lake Hope itself, the process plant – which will be in Kwinana, and increasingly, product offtake and marketing.”

As part of the process plant section of the study, Impact has selected Kwinana as the best location for the processing plant, following a rigorous study of the available options.

“We have selected Kwinana as the site for the processing plant and our proprietary low-temperature leach (LTL) as the best method to scale high-purity alumina (HPA) production to the planned 10,000 tonnes per annum because of substantial strategic advantages,” Jones says. 

Impact says this is a key outcome of the PFS and the decision is driven by the availability of the various chemical reagents needed for the process plant compared to the transport cost to get reagents to Kalgoorlie. 

Another key outcome, according to Impact, is the selection of the LTL process as the most effective process for producing HPA at scale. This follows ongoing testwork and financial modelling for the LTL and sulphate processes. 

Further details will be provided upon receipt of the assays due next month. 

Jones adds that testwork is progressing and the company recently identified a product that may have various industrial uses, with further research being undertaken.

“We are looking at ways of accelerating a pilot plant development that will provide HPA in quantity to potential customers and are starting to assemble a marketing team to continue our outreach to them,” he says. 

Impact is also continuing discussions with potential suppliers of the input reagents required for the LTL process and potential buyers of the associated fertiliser and acid by-products, as well as access to suitable land. 

Combined, Impact says this provides strategic advantages for Lake Hope with savings on capital and operating expenditure. 

The company has appointed CPC Engineering to undertake a design and engineering study for the full-scale plant, which is currently underway. 

Meanwhile, as part of the product development, offtake, and marketing pillar of the PFS, experimental work has produced a hydrated alumina product which may have applications in the catalyst and flame retardant industries. 

Discussions are underway for potential synergies with existing alumina businesses in Europe and the US. 

Impact Minerals is a mineral explorer focused on its tenement holding over 5,550km2 in Western Australia. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Impact Minerals
Author Image
Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.