The Buzzard Project Mining Lease (ML 6531) was granted to Peak Iron Mines by the Government of South Australia in November 2021. Construction costs for the Buzzard Project are expected to be around $26 million, with annual operational expenditure running at approximately $136 million. It is estimated that the Project will generate over $30 million in royalties to the South Australian government.
The Buzzard Project (Buzzard or The Project) lies within the Hawks Nest Exploration License (EL 6395) and is located approximately ~125km (by road) south-southeast of Coober Pedy and 2.5km from the Stuart Highway. Buzzard is ~50km southwest of Peak Iron’s operating Peculiar Knob Mine. The Project is situated within the Traditional Lands of the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara People, the Woomera Prohibited Area, and McDouall Peak pastoral station.
Hawks Nest EL 6395 contains eight known iron deposits at varying stages of exploration that collectively make up the Hawks Nest Iron Project. The deposits include Buzzard and Tui, which are high grade (~60% Fe) direct shipping ore (DSO) hematite (Fe2O3), as well as Kestrel, Goshawk, Harrier, Eagle, Falcon and Kite which are predominantly lower grade (36% - 51% Fe) magnetite (Fe3O4). High grade hematite ore is referred to as DSO as it is naturally high in iron grade so complex onsite processing is not required. The ore goes through a relatively simple crushing and screening process before being transported by road, rail, and ship to steel mills for use in steelmaking.
Peak Iron has prioritised the development of the high-grade Buzzard Hematite deposit, with extensional deposits scheduled as future developments.
The Buzzard Mine construction phase will create approximately 300 full-time equivalent jobs, with an ongoing operational workforce of another 153 full-time equivalent roles. The Windy Valley Village (constructed by Arrium in 2011, ~65km south of Coober Pedy) will be re-established to house the operational workforce.
Proposed infrastructure to support the Buzzard Project includes an access and haul road to the Stuart Highway, ore processing facilities (crushing and screening plant), waste rock dump, run of mine (ROM) pad, explosives magazine, bores, pipelines, and process water facilities including an reverse osmosis plant, power generation and distribution facilities, communications facilities, maintenance and administration facilities, accommodation facilities, rail loading facilities, and other mine support facilities such as maintenance sheds.
The Project has a mineral resource of 21.26 Mt @ ~60% Fe. Peak Iron plans to extract the ore using standard open pit mining techniques – the same as Peculiar Knob. The ore is planned to be transported in bulk from the mine site by both road and rail to a port where it will be exported by ship from either Whyalla, Port Adelaide or Port Augusta once established.
With the granting of the ML and submission of the Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR), Peak Iron anticipates final approvals in early 2022.
Peak Iron intends to commence construction of the Buzzard Mine in Q1-Q2 2022.