Results from Cape Alumina Limited’s drilling programme at the Bauxite Hills project area have boosted the company’s confidence in the project’s prospects.

The Bauxite Hills project area is 95km north of Weipa on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula and 5km south-east of the port at Skardon River.

The drill programme at bauxite plateau BH1 and BH6 has been completed and will now move to plateau BH4, BH3, BH5 and BH2. The exploration target is 50 to 100Mt of export-grade bauxite.

It has drilled 842 holes have been drilled for a total depth of 2,476.5 metres. The drillhole data shows the average thickness of the pisolitic bauxite-rich unit at BH1 is 2.6m, with a maximum thickness of up to 6.25m. At BH6 the average thickness of the pisolitic bauxite-rich unit is 1.9m.

The Bauxite Hills concept study undertaken by engineering firm SNC Lavalin shows that a 15-year export operation would be sustained.

Cape Alumina’s Managing Director Graeme Sherlock said the results were positive and in line with the company’s expectations.

“The beneficiated grade on a dry-product basis is expected to be in the range 48-54% Al2O3 and 8-12% SiO2 assuming average 65% beneficiation recovery,” he said.

Mr Sherlock said that work will also commence on environmental studies in the area with the view to starting the formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process before the end of the year.