The Nicholas Downs Project is located approximately 130 km North West of Newman in the East Pilbara. Nicholas Downs is a Ferruginous Manganese (Fe/Mn) deposit comprising 3 Mining Leases which were granted in 1982.
The deposit is made up of a bedded mesa style mineralisation and a detrital style scree. The estimated resource size is approximately 20 million tonnes, at an inferred JORC classification level.
In 2008 an agreement was formed between HPPL and Mineral Resources Limited (MRL) on the implementation of a manganese processing and export operation at Nicholas Downs.
On October 12 2009, MRL announced to the ASX it had reached agreement with HPPL for the commencement of operations at the Nicholas Downs manganese operation from March 2010.
The timetable will see MRL mobilise processing plant and equipment to HPPL’s Nicholas Downs site in February/March 2010. Site operations will commence production at a target rate of 60,000 tonnes per month of 38% ferruginous manganese with the first shipments of product expected to sail from Port Hedland in July 2010.