Baffinland’s Mary River High Grade Iron Deposits, north Baffin Island, NunavutTuesday, November 19, 2019 - 4:20pm to 4:40pm Theatre Two
The Mary River area, on northern Baffin Island, is a major high grade iron ore camp with several variably delineated high grade magnetite - hematite / martite deposits, the largest in excess of 600 mt of 66% Fe. These deposits are hosted within a prominent Algoma-type banded iron formation (BIF), a key member of a BIF - volcanic - wacke assemblage, which comprises the Neoarchean Mary River Group. The sequence is preserved within fold belts of variable scale, access the northwestern part of the Rae Domain, Churchill Province - an area informally termed the “Mary River District”. Within the fold belts, the iron formation has been structurally thickened locally to a significant extent. High grade iron deposits occur concentrated at the closure of major folds and along nearby fold limbs. Exploration across the Mary River District, has focused on evaluation of high grade iron potential in well preserved portions of the widely distributed fold belts. Several new zones of high grade iron mineralization were identified during the 2019 exploration field program.
Mary River direct shipping ores (DSO) are characterized by exceptionally high Fe grades, but are also low in deleterious elements, have attractive physical and metallurgical properties, and are hard - the latter resulting in a high lump ore ratio. The ore requires no processing, only crushing and screening. The main deposits, scheduled for initial mining, comprise Deposit 1 with 418 mt grading 66.3% Fe (measured + indicated) and 213 mt grading 66.9% Fe (inferred) and Deposits 2+3 with 23 mt grading 65% Fe (M + I) and 336 mt grading 65.9% Fe (inferred). Ongoing drill programs at Deposits 1 through 3 are focused on further delineation of the main mineralized zones and testing of exploration targets in the immediate vicinity. The high grade iron ores are being consumed mainly by the European steel industry and are marketed as Lump (DSP) and Fine (SSF) products. Full scale mining of Deposit 1 was initiated in 2015. During 2018, ~5.1 mt of high grade ore was shipped from Milne Port - including 3.28 mt of DSP (@67.7% Fe) and 1.82 mt of SSF (@66.8% Fe). Production in 2019 is anticipated to be ~6 mt of DSO. Plans are moving forward with construction of a railway and expansion of port facilities to support future increased high grade iron ore production.