• Phase II drilling results reveal a substantial increase in the total Inferred Mineral Resource estimate at Irvine Island, Western Australia, from 294 million tonnes to 452 million tonnes
• This follows a 450 percent upgrade to the 294 million tonne Inferred Mineral Resource estimate announced in June 2010
• Irvine Island has potential to produce up to 150 million tonnes of 66% Fe (iron concentrate) with easy access to international markets
• The Project is being developed with the support and involvement of the indigenous Mayala community
September 14th 2010, Melbourne: Pluton Resources Limited (“Pluton”) has announced a second significant increase in the Inferred Mineral Resource estimate at its Irvine Island project in Western Australia.
Early stage Phase II drilling takes the total Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for the Hardstaff Peninsula in Irvine Island to 452 million tonnes, an increase of 54% on the June 2010 estimates.
Phase II diamond drilling is continuing at the Hardstaff Peninsula while a second rig is exploring the island’s Isthmus Region which might result in an initial resource estimate for that area. The drilling program will test the potential of the high grade haematite iron mineralisation that may be suitable as Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) which outcrops at the Isthmus Region over an area of approximately six hundred metres by seventy five metres. Outcrop sampling previously conducted in late 2007 across the area returned up to 67.6% Fe from a suite of sixteen surface samples (ASX announcement, 19th November 2007).
Irvine Island is part of a three-island group which includes Koolan and Cockatoo Islands, where Australia’s first iron ore mining began 60 years ago and where highly sought after Yampi Member iron ore continues to be mined. The Irvine Island Inferred Mineral Resource is a continuation of the iron ore body at Koolan and Cockatoo Islands.
Tony Schoer, Managing Director said: “We are increasingly confident that we are dealing with a significant, high quality, iron ore project which is substantially beyond our initial expectations.”
Irvine Island has the advantage of deep-water access allowing iron ore to be loaded directly on to iron ore carriers for international markets.
With few infrastructure costs, the total capital investment requirements are approximately $350 million, which includes ship loading facilities and processing costs, enabling Pluton to produce iron ore product at a projected cash cost of $37 per tonne on ship.
Mr Schoer said, “Irvine Island contains Direct Shipping Ore and feed ore that can be easily processed to produce high grade iron ore concentrate. Its deep-water access and proximity to Asian markets means that this high quality product can be transported to overseas markets cheaply and efficiently.”
“The deposits at Irvine Island are significant at a national and state level, and will be of substantial economic benefit to the native title claimant group, the Mayala people,” said Mr Schoer.
Pluton’s current diamond drilling phase uses its proprietary Universal Drilling Platform (UDP) technology, the recent winner of a Golden Gecko award for Environmental Excellence. The UDP substantially reduces surface disturbance of diamond drilling programs and is part of Pluton’s commitment to environmental best practice.
About Pluton: Pluton Resources Limited is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX Code “PLV”). Pluton has assembled a diversified portfolio of interests in tenements in Western Australia and Tasmania. Tenements in Western Australia are 100% owned by Pluton, which includes the Irvine Island iron ore project. Tenements located in Tasmania are prospective for high grade or bulk tonnage copper, gold and silver. Further details on Pluton can be found at www.plutonresources.com.
Tony Schoer, Managing Director
P: 0411 232 711