has reported that a Mining Lease has been granted by the Tasmanian Minister for Resources for its 100% owned Heemskirk Tin Project.

Associated rights of the Mining Lease (ML) conferred to Stellar’s subsidiary, Columbus Metals Limited, include the right to carry out mining operations and extract tin and all other metallic minerals within the 560 hectares lease area until 2029 with no minimum expenditure commitments.

Stellar’s Managing Director, Peter Blight, stated: “the ML reflects the Tasmanian Government’s confidence in Stellar’s tin development proposal and provides the Company with secure tenure over tin and other metallic minerals for a minimum of 12 years. The long-dated nature of tenure is also important for attracting finance to the project

Subject to funding, the company plans to advance development by carrying out further drilling to define an Ore Reserve, further metallurgical testing, completing work necessary for environmental clearance and carrying out a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the project, which should be completed 15 months from the commencement of drilling. The company has also reported positive results from an initial X-ray ore sorting test program using drill core material from the Heemskirk site. The initial testing has shown that the ore at Heemskirk is amenable to sorting and upgrading using this pre-concentration method. Further work is proposed to confirm the hypothesis that the benefits of this process outweigh tin losses in the waste stream.

ITRI View: The granting of the Mining License represents the removal of another regulatory barrier to the project’s development, while higher tin prices should also help Stellar raise funding for proposed development activities. A Fast Start Study (FSS) was completed for the project in July 2016 to focus on the development of the Lower Queen Hill deposit at the site. We estimate initial production capacity of some 1,500 tpy of tin-in-concentrate under this development strategy.