BHP Billiton announced a 46 per cent increase in the Mineral Resource and a 23 per cent increase in the Ore Reserve at Western Australia Iron Ore, an 11 per cent increase in the Mineral Resource and a 30 per cent increase in the Ore Reserve at Samarco Mineracao and an 82 per cent increase in the Mineral Resource at Samancor Manganese. Work is in progress to incorporate the new Manganese Resource and estimate its impact on Manganese Reserves.
Western Australia Iron Ore Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve upgrade
The Western Australia Iron Ore Mineral Resource increased by 3.7 billion wet metric tonnes (tonnes) to 11.7 billion tonnes, and the Ore Reserve increased by 571 million wet tonnes to 3 billion tonnes, both in 100 per cent terms. BHP Billiton’s attributable share of the Mineral Resource is 10.3 billion tonnes and Ore Reserve is 2.6 billion tonnes.
In 100 per cent terms, approximately 2.3 billion tonnes of Mineral Resource has been defined at the Jinayri and Marillana deposits, 1 billion tonnes has been defined at Area C and Yandi, and 442 million tonnes has been defined at the Eastern Pilbara mining hub.
The strategy to blend Yarrie (Mt Goldsworthy JV - Northern) mine production with Newman and Mining Area C mine production has resulted in an increase in the Yarrie Mineral Resource to 171 million tonnes and in an increase in the Yarrie Ore Reserve to 24 million tonnes in 100 per cent terms.
In 100 per cent terms, the increase in Ore Reserves includes 180 million tonnes of Brockman ore at Packsaddle (Mining Area C), 41 million tonnes of Brockman ore at Newman, 172 million tonnes of Brockman ore at Jimblebar and 178 million tonnes of Channel Iron Deposit ore at Yandi.
Samarco Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve upgrade
In 100 per cent terms, the Samarco Mineral Resource increased by 327 million dry tonnes to 3.3 billion tonnes and the Ore Reserve increased by 144 million dry tonnes to 624 million tonnes. BHP Billiton’s attributable share of the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve is now approximately 1.7 billion tonnes and 312 million tonnes respectively. Full details are provided in Tables 1 and 2.
Samancor Manganese Mineral Resource changes
Samancor Manganese Mineral Resource has increased by 213 million dry tonnes to 473 million tonnes, in 100 per cent terms. The increase is mainly due to the inclusion of the Upper Body at Wessels Mine and the Top Cut at Mamatwan mine, along with the signing of the agreement¹ between Samancor Manganese and Ntsimbintle Mining Pty Ltd, a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) party in the Kalahari. Consent has been given by the Minister to the Ntsimbintle transaction on a section 11 application (the vending of the prospecting rights into an existing mining right); Samancor Manganese Pty Ltd is still awaiting the letter of consent and approval. BHP Billiton’s interest in the total Mineral Resource in South Africa has reduced from 60 per cent to 54.6 per cent as a result of the transaction. BHP Billiton’s total attributable share of the Manganese Mineral Resources is now 267 million tonnes.