Magma Mines Ltd is a Fiji-focused exploration company, with the primary aim of discovering magnetite as well as rare earth deposits in this mineral-rich pacific nation and bringing mines into production as soon as possible.
Magma holds an exclusive licence to explore, identify and develop mines in areas of mineralisation with the greatest potential.
Magma’s immediate focus is on SPL 1495, which is located on the coral coast on the main Fiji island of Viti Levu. The area is near the town of Sigatoka on the plains at the mouth of the Sigatoka River where alluvial deposits enriched in magnetite (Fe3O4) and other heavy minerals have accumulated.
Magnetite as a source of iron for steel making has plenty of potential. Its concentrates command a premium over the price of bulk iron ore because of its purity and use, for example, as a feedstock for specialty furnaces, in the recycling of steel and iron. The Sigatoka iron sand deposits contain other heavy minerals such as ilmenite, olivine sand and reclamation sand that may add value if recoverable.
A seismic survey by Magma in 2011 has indicated thick deposits of unconsolidated sediments potentially representing many millions of tonnes of material containing magnetite. The deposit formed during the eastward migration of the Sigatoka River channel.
An initial 43 hole drilling program using a company owned sonic drill rig has confirmed the presence of substantial iron sand deposits on the on-shore are a Sigatoka that in places is over 40m in thickness. Drilling is now planned to be completed during 2014 and within the bed of the Sigatoka River, which is subject to a dredging plan by the Fiji Government.
As well as drilling in the Sigatoka River bed, a bridge was built during 2013 to gain access for the sonic drill rig to Koroua Island, which contains a large deposit of iron sands. This sand deposit in the river bed is now being drill tested. To date a total of 60 holes of an 80 hole program have been completed. It is expected that analytical data will be available to complete a JORC resource estimate by June 2014. Once the JORC resource report is completed Magma will use this as part of an application for a Mining Licence.
Magma proposes to complete this river dredging activity as part of its dredge mining and extraction of the magnetite, ilmenite and other heavy minerals from the sands in the Sigatoka River. In addition, subject to Government approvals, the processed sand tailing that is not required for local use after removal of commercial heavy minerals may be sold for land reclamation purposes adding further value to the iron sand mining operation.
It is envisaged that future mining will employ dredging accompanied by a floating processing plant housing a number of concentration stages including cyclones and magnetic separators to recover concentrates based on specific gravity and magnetic responses to collect and concentrate all heavy minerals of commercial interest. As mining is done rehabilitation of the mined area will proceed to ensure minimal environmental impact.
The on-shore, island and river bed sand deposits are accompanied by large volumes of magnetite bearing sands off-shore. These deposits were mapped by sonar during 2012 and have been partially sampled with reports of strong magnetite contents by previous exploration.
Magma has an established and highly experienced Board and dedicated management team, with substantial in-country experience, and technical and corporate expertise.