The Lodestone Iron Ore project is located approximately 60 km southeast of Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. The project area includes a wide range of farming ground with small local communities located at Stinkwater and Dordabis. Geologically, the project is situated within the Damara Orogenic Belt which formed from during the Pan-African Orogeny. The ferrous sedimentary formation was deposited along the passive continental margin of the subducted Kalahari Craton which was later accreted and deformed by the collisional event that amalgamated the Kalahari, Congo, and Rio De La Plata cratons forming a massive Supercontinent some 500 Million Years ago. These ferrous sedimentary deposits which were metamorphosed to the greenschist and amphibolite facies conditions were first identified in South America and termed “Itabirite” formations. Since then numerous similar formations have been identified across the world and remain a source of magnetite and hematite (Specularite).
The magnetite and hematite mineralisation was first investigated by Bethleham Steel in the 1950s. Lodestone subsequently acquired the mineral rights in 2007, which led to the implementation of a comprehensive geological, metallurgical, and mining study over the period of 8 years, which was conducted by a consortium of contractors of which Minrom was part of. The project development can be summarized according to phases
- Phase 1: Exploration Phase – Geophysical investigation along with 9 bore holes placed in order to establish if the hematite and magnetite mineralisation warrant further investigation,
- Phases 2 and 3: Resource Validation – Approximately 10 000m of core drilling program were implemented to estimate the hematite and magnetite resource. From this drilling program, two ore bodies were identified and classified into indicated and inferred resource categories
- Phases 4 and 5: Delineating the lateral resource potential within the rest of the project area – Mapping and approximately 500m of core drilling were implemented to investigate the potential lateral continuity of the hematite and magnetite mineralisation,
- Phases 6 and 7: Metallurgical and mining study – PESCO conducted the metallurgical studies focusing on the specularite and magnetite mineralisation concentrations with VBKOM developing the mining model.