The upper portions of the laterite profile comprise the ferruginous zone and limonite zone, both rich in iron. It is estimated that there are approximately seven (7) million wet metric tonnes (wmt) of high Fe material with Fe grades ranging between 45% and 52%. These historical estimates are set out in the Agata Report referred to above. The deposit is expected to be developed as a surface mining operation with the high Fe material most probably sold to the Chinese iron ore market.
Beneath the ferruginous and limonite zone is the higher nickel grade saprolite zone, which will be the dominant feed for a new nickel processing facility currently under consideration by the Project Execution/Technology Development team. The high Fe DSO operation would be expected to generate early cash flow until the nickel processing plant is built and becomes operational, but shipments are expected to continue after this until the high Fe material is exhausted. The high Fe DSO operation already has an existing Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC); however, other permits such as a port permit and a Declaration of Mining Feasibility are also required.
The limestone occurring at the coast is a massive recrystallized limestone of very high purity levels with CaCO3 of greater than 95% according to the Agata Report. Five (5) holes were drilled into the limestone horizon by Mindoro but the number of holes drilled is not considered sufficient to classify a mineral resource. The limestone is estimated in the Agata Report to be up to 50 metres thick. The potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature, because there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource. The initial plan is to develop a resource, and mine and ship limestone DSO utilizing the infrastructure developed initially for the high Fe DSO operation. Currently no permits are in place for mining the limestone.