17 June 2013
31 May 2013
30 April 2013
15 April 2013
2 April 2013
18 March 2013
15 March 2013
14 March 2013
8 March 2013
is a diversified mineral explorer with a major landholding and
an expanding mineral sands resource base in the North Perth
Basin of Western Australia as well as major mineral sands
projects in the Eucla Basin.
Figure 1: Image Resources NL’s projects in Western Australia
In the last
few years there has been extensive exploration for heavy mineral
sands deposits in WA, particularly for those rich in zircon. The
main focus for Image Resources has been in the Cooljarloo area
in the mid-west coastal plain of the Perth Basin (Fig. 1) with
deposits such as Atlas and the Hyperion deposit at Cooljarloo
North being extremely prospective. Other areas of interest
include the Gingin prospect, as well as mineral sands targets
around Bidaminna and Bootine. The newly discovered zircon-rich
Cyclone and Cyclone Extended mineral sand deposits are contained
within the Wanna Lakes in the Eucla Basin, close to the border
with South Australia.
The titanium mineral sands industry (heavy
mineral sands) is the most important sector of the industrial
minerals suite in Western Australia, and includes ilmenite,
synthetic rutile (upgraded ilmenite), leucoxene and rutile,
together with zircon and staurolite mineral sands.
Ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile are oxides of
titanium and used primarily as a feedstock for the TiO2
pigment industry, and are the source for titanium metal.
Titanium pigments are used in a wide range of products such as
paints and sunscreens to plastics, paper, textiles and food. The
high strength combined with its lightness makes titanium metal
ideal for engineering, particularly in the aerospace industry,
as well as in jewellery. About 10 Mt is consumed globally per
annum. Ilmenite typically comprises 40–80% of a heavy mineral
suite, leucoxene 5–30% and rutile 2–15%.
Zircon or zirconium silicate (ZrSiO4)
is used in the production of ceramics, as a refractory, in
foundry applications and specialised glass. It is also the
source for zirconia (zirconium dioxide, ZrO2), which
is used in many high-end industrial applications. Zirconium
metal has a high melting point and is chemically resistant which
makes it ideal for use in specialized metal alloys and nuclear
fuel roads. About 1.3 Mt is consumed globally per annum. Zircon
typically comprises 5–15% of a heavy mineral suite. The Eucla
Basin projects contain 25–50% zircon in the heavy minerals.
As well as
the mineral sands projects, Image retains interests in a diverse
package of gold and nickel tenements through joint ventures with
Emu Nickel NL, Meteoric Resources NL, Magnetic Resources NL,
Catalpa Resources Ltd and Sipa Resources Ltd.