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The Ant Hill and Sunday Hill manganese projects are located about 400 kilometres south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The mining of manganese was carried out at Ant Hill by BHP, until it was closed in 1968, when BHP focused on manganese mining at Groote Eylandt. At that time the Ant Hill project existed as three rather small open cut mining operations.

Mesa Minerals Forms Joint Venture With Auvex Resources to Develop the Ant Hill Project

Mesa Minerals Limited undertook exploration activities for manganese in the Ant Hill area in 1992, 1998 and 2008. Mesa Minerals Limited then agreed to a farm-in and Joint Venture arrangement with Auvex Resources Limited, Auvex was given the role of manager of manganese production and Mesa Resources the role of ore sales management. The Joint Venture partners planned to mine the manganese resource at the Ant Hill mining lease held by Mesa Minerals Limited and export a high iron content, medium grade manganese metallurgical lump ore, from Port Hedland to Asian markets. The partners planned production and sales of 200,000 tonnes of manganese ore a year.

Two Shiploads of Ant Hill Lump Ore has Been Shipped to China for Evaluation

In both 2009 and 2010 Mesa Minerals Limited exported two trial shipments of manganese ore from the Ant Hill manganese mine to northern China for assessment. The second trial shipment of 18,006 tonnes of lump manganese ore from the Ant Hill project, was shipped via Port Hedland, on the 'Opal Amber.' The load arrived in northern China in early February. Both shipments created considerable interest due to the ore's outstanding handling characteristics, which was highly compatible with Chinese innovations, that efficiently smelt high iron content manganese ore. The remaining ore stockpiles at the Ant Hill site were stored for secondary processing, or beneficiation, at a later time. However, by 2011, the mine was back under care and maintenance and remained so throughout 2012.

The mining and shipping of the two trial shipments of Ant Hill lump manganese ore to China, went a long way in advancing Mesa Minerals Limited efforts in establishing the domestic processing of low grade manganese ore into a high grade manganese product with wider appeal in different industries, by using Mesa Minerals own patented hydrometallurgical technologies.

Mineral Resources Acquire all Auvex Shares in the Ant Hill Manganese Project

In August 2011, Mineral Resources Limited, acquired all of Auvex Resources Limited's shares in the Ant Hill Joint Venture, despite the operation remaining under care and maintenance. Any change in the status of the operation depends on the global price of manganese and the ongoing evaluation of the resource at Ant Hill, as well as mine development needs.

The manganese deposit at Ant Hill exists in discrete pods. It's contained in an elongated hill, 50 metres high, 400 metres wide and 1.5 kilometres long. It is capped with iron oxide and manganese and underlain with a 20 metre thick horizontal zone of manganese oxide rocks and some shale and silts.

Mesa Minerals Limited

Importantly, the use of Mesa’s highly efficient sulfur dioxide leach process, to generate manganese sulfate electrolyte from manganese oxide ores, will allow the use of much lower ore feed grades than could be tolerated in any roasting based process.


Mesa Minerals Limited
1 Sleat Road
Applecross, WA 6153

Locked Bag 3 Canning Bridge LPO
Applecross, WA 6153



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