Milo IOCG - Rare Earth Elements (REE) Project

North West Queensland

GBM 100%

GBM Resources’ Milo Project is located in the world-class mineral province of Mt Isa and lies 20 kms west of Cloncurry in North West Queensland.

The Project has grown from an “exciting” discovery in late 2010 to an “exciting” large tonnage Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) and Rare Earth Elements (REE) Project.

After announcing a maiden REE resource in late February 2012 of 103 million tonnes containing an estimated 82,500 tonnes of Rare Earth Oxides, GBM was able to subsequently announce a major upgrade based on continued drilling success in August 2012 to 187M tonnes containing 113,000 tonnes of rare earth oxides.

Those figures were key elements of an in-depth Scoping Study that was completed in January 2013 and confirmed the potential economic viability of mining at Milo open pit, and processing  10 million tonnes of ore  per year over a mine line of 11 years through a central process plant.  This gives GBM the confidence to progress directly to the next milestone in the development of the project, the Pre-Feasibility Study.

The Scoping Study showed:

  • A maiden Cu-equivalent inferred JORC resource estimate of 88 million tonnes containing around 97,000 tonnes of Cu and 14 million pounds of uranium oxide
  • A TREEYO inferred JORC resource of 176 million tonnes @ 620ppm and 0.75% (P2O5)
  • Mining will be a low cost conventional open-cut with a crushing rate of 10 Mtpa and onsite processing
  • Concentrates will be railed to Townsville and a scenario is that the REE concentrate can be further processed in Townsville to produce 99% pure REO
  • With the mineralisation at Milo remaining open to the north, south and at depth, GBM Resources is confident it can add significant additional tonnage to the current resource figure – further confirming Milo’s development potential

Upgraded Milo Rare Earth Mineral Resource

The Milo resource model has been updated to include results of recent drilling which returned significant intersections on both the northern and southern limits of the previous resource model.  Significant Rare Earth element intersections were recorded in these holes, including 20 metres averaging 3,979 ppm TREEYO in MIL017 and 11 metres averaging 1,382 ppm TREEYO in MIL020A. (refer ASX release dated 3 July 2012)

These results continue to confirm that the mineralisation identified to date is part of a much larger mineralising system (for detailed summary see GBZ ASX Release 3/07/2012). As with the previous model, the zone of REEY mineralisation is broad and coherent over the entire strike length of the resource, now in excess of one kilometre.

Preliminary pit optimisation and metallurgical studies are near completion as part of the Milo scoping study and have provided support for a lower cut-off grade than used in the original resource estimate. In particular, the initial successful heavy media separation test work has demonstrated the potential for significant beneficiation or upgrading of ore by rejection of lighter lower grade fractions. While this work is ongoing, it must be noted that beneficiation using heavy medium separation is a widely used means of increasing the ore grade and lowering treatment costs. Preliminary results from ongoing test work has demonstrated that minerals rich in REE can be concentrated using Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) units. In initial testing WHIMS has resulted in high recoveries of up to 80% of TREEYO to a concentrate.

The revised Milo inferred mineral resource contains 113,000 tonnes of TREEYO at an average grade of 600ppm TREEYO based on a 300ppm cut-off grade. The contained REE are comprised of 23% of REEs deemed to be in critical undersupply (US Department of Energy Dec 2011: Critical Materials Strategy, elements are; Nd, Eu, Y, Dy) and 12% Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE).


Table: total tonnages and grades of TREEYO contained within the Milo Inferred Resource. (* designates elements assessed as being in critical supply by the US Dept. of Energy, Dec 2011: Critical Materials Strategy, P4.)


The resource estimate was completed using a database of 31 drillholes for 11,464 metres of drilling.  Samples were generally analysed for a total TREEY suite, largely from one metre intervals of NQ diamond drill core.  Samples selected on nominal one metre intervals were cut using a diamond saw and samples submitted to ALS laboratories in Mt Isa for ICPMS40. The estimation used ordinary Kriging for blocks 5m high, 40m long and 20 metres across strike. A bulk density of 2.84 was used for fresh rock - although this was varied to reflect increased density with sulphur (as pyrite). Oxidation was modelled to be between 10 and 20m deep and a lower bulk density was estimated for this material.

Based on recent drilling, mapping and soil sampling, a revised inferred resource for TREEYO has been estimated by Geomodelling Pty Ltd, an independent based consultancy.

Geological and geochemical data were used to produce a 3D outline of the broad zone of REEY mineralisation at Milo. The REEY resource is summarised for a range of cut off grades in graphs below.

The preliminary work completed as part of the current Milo Scoping Study has supported the use of lower cut-off grades. This has contributed to the increased resource, as has an extension to the mineralisation identified by recent drilling.

For comparison at a 400ppm TREEYO cut-off grade, the new resource contains 90,000 tonnes TREEYO at an average grade of 750ppm TREEYO, an increase of 20% from the Maiden resource announced earlier this year.

Scoping Study Update

The Milo Scoping Study is near completion and will be comprehensive for this level of project study. Mining consultants are completing preliminary mine design, with geotechnical and recovery parameters already developed.  In addition, a concept metallurgical flowsheet has been developed and capital cost estimates are nearing completion. 

Ongoing metallurgical test work to determine the host minerals for TREEYO mineralisation and to investigate potential means of beneficiation and concentration has recently confirmed two key assumptions made in the initial flow sheet development.

Firstly, that heavy media separation does have the capacity to upgrade CuEq and TREEYO elements, and secondly, that WHIMS technology is effective in upgrading TREEYO concentrations. In addition, apatite flotation was demonstrated to be highly effective and should permit a high grade apatite (phosphate) concentrate to be produced as a saleable by-product from any future processing plant at Milo. These processes allow significant beneficiation, essential in developing a competitive treatment cost model for Milo ores.

The Milo Scoping Study has been extended to reflect the revised rare earth resource. Milo is a poly-metallic deposit containing significant quantities of a range of metals including REEY, Cu, Mo, Au, Ag and U. An estimate for the relative contribution of these elements is being determined as part of the scoping study. In addition, significant quantities of phosphate and magnetite are also present in the deposit.

The scoping study is designed to +/- 40% accuracy and will address a wide range of key aspects of the Milo Project including:

  1. Delineation of  a maiden copper equivalent resource;
  2. Complete metallurgical testing for both the copper equivalent metals and rare earth elements;
  3. Preliminary geotechnical review;
  4. Preliminary mine and processing plant design;
  5. Financial Modelling; and
  6. Other preliminary studies.

Key external consultants appointed in February continue to support the project. Mining One Pty Ltd will complete the mining studies and have overall management of the scoping study, Brisbane-based Core Process Engineering Pty Ltd continues to manage the metallurgical test work program and Geomodelling Pty Ltd will continue with the development of the resource model covering both the rare earth and copper equivalent mineralisation.


 The company remains confident that the scoping study will justify Milo advancing to the next development phase being the pre-feasibility study. 










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