Austpac acquired Exploration Licence 4521 at Horsham in Victoria in 2000. The tenement contains the very large, fine grained WIM150 heavy mineral deposit. Previous drilling had outlined a resource of 452 million tonnes averaging 5.9% heavy minerals and containing 12.5 million tonnes of titanium minerals, together with 5 million tonnes of zircon. Austpac has conducted pilot plant trials on WIM150 ilmenite and has produced a very fine grained synrutile containing >95% TiO2. Austpac also developed a process to agglomerate fine minerals to make this product commercially acceptable. However the Company decided to concentrate on developing its core technologies, and in 2004, farmed WIM150 out to Southern Titanium N.L. (now Australian Zircon N.L.) who conducted mineral processing work, drilling and a prefeasibility study.
In April 2008, Australian Zircon committed to proceed with the first stage of a Bankable Feasibility Study into the WIM150 zircon and titanium mineral resource. Their test work has shown that conventional feed preparation techniques (scrubber, trommel and cyclones) and special (fine grain size) spirals will successfully recover 85 – 90% of raw feed zircon to an acceptable grade heavy mineral concentrate. A hydrogeological study commenced in the first quarter of 2009 to identify a suitable source of water for mineral processing applications. Drilling commenced in April 2009 to evaluate the stratigraphy of an area east of WIM150 and to establish water level monitoring bores. A full Bankable Feasibility Study will examine appropriate methods for further treatment of the concentrate, including the option of transporting HMC to Australian Zircon’s existing mineral separation plant at Mindarie. Upon completion of a full Bankable Feasibility Study, Australian Zircon will earn an 80% interest in the WIM150 resource.