Avonbank - A World Class Zircon & Rare Earth Development Project

The Avonbank Project is WIM's flagship HMS project and is currently at a Bankable Feasibility (BFS) & approvals stage. Subject to approvals & a final investment decision, WIM expects WIM to commence construction by 2022.

WIM’s BFS is currently well advanced – and will be underpinned via a recently completed test pit and a Pilot Scale Demonstration Wet Concentration Plant, that will be undertaken at site, for final optimisation & engineering purposes.

WIM expects to commence construction of the Pilot Scale WCP in August-September 2019 and plans to employee locals from the Wimmera Region.

Avonbank contains a World Class Total Ore Reserve of 311.8 Million tonnes @ 4.3% Total Heavy Mineral (THM), including 220.4 Mt @ 4.4% THM at the Proven level of classification. 

Key Project Metrics include:

  • Projected to have an intial 30 year mine life

  • Low CAPEX - due to exisiting power, water supply and a rail loading facility in centre of project and direct mine site to port access - via a dedicated rail line 

  • Avonbank is modelled to have an approximate strip ratio (waste to ore) of 2:1 and grade of 5.0% THM for the first 10 years of mine life

  • High value mineral assemblage of >70% VHM for LOM
  • Exceptionally high Zircon & Rare Earth content for years 1-10 (22-28%/ THM)

Avonbank - Premium Product Streams

WIM engaged world-leading HMS processing experts Mineral Technoligies Ltd to complete PFS level flow sheet development on a 20 tonne bulk sample of ore from Avonbank. MT have designed a simple, conventional FPC, WCP and MSP flow sheet.




The Avonbank Development Approach

WIM plans to use simple, conventional dry HMS mining techniques and a direct return mining sequence - this will assist with prompt rehabilitation of the mine path and keep the mining foot print very low. The ore will  be processed using conventional wet separation techniques to nproduce an HMC that WIM will transport to China for further mineral separation.

The Avonbank Project will attract significant investment over a long period (30 years) and is expected to generate significant employment opportunities for Horsham locals & Vicitorian's and contribute to the economic growth of Horsham, regional Victoria and significantly to the Victorian economy.

Location & Infrastructure

The Avonbank project is centered approximately 15km north of Horsham, Victoria. The project area is well serviced by:

  • Existing rail

  • Electricity

  • Roads

  • Port options readily accessible through local and regional rail

  • Water & Gas facilities

  • Potential for a local workforce


Local Geology

  • The Avonbank deposit lies on average between approximately 15m and 30m depth, within the regionally prospective Loxton Parilla Sands (LPS)
  • The mineralised zone is considered to have formed in a lower energy, sub-wave base depositonal environment - accounting for the fine grain size of the host sands and the HM
  • The deposit is 47 sq.km in size 

Mineral Resource Estimate
                         Global Mineral Resource (Optiro, 2017)

Av 2017 Res

Work Completed by WIM Resource

Resource Definition Drilling

  • 30,000m of air core drilling

  • Processed over 6000 samples for assay

  • Detailed mineralogical test work on drill cuttings, to determine the approximate valuable heavy mineral assamblage of the HM

  • Resource estimates based on the above drilling

Pre Feasability Study

  • The Avonbank project is modelled to produce over 450,000 tonnes of of HMC per annum, over its initial 30 year mine life

  • Existing water, road & power infrastructure within the project area – positions Avonbank as potentially the lowest CAPEX & highest quality Zircon & Rare Earth development project in the world

  • Avonbank will be amendable to conventional dry mining and primary wet separation techniques – meaning the environmental & social footprint is expected to be very low

  • The Port of Portland & Melbourne provide WIM two existing options to transport bulk &/or containerised HMC, directly from the exisiting rail freight terminal in the centre of the project area

Metallurgical Test Work & Flow Design

In April 2016, WIM appointed world leading mineral sands processing experts - Mineral Technologies Ltd - to undertake PFS level processing & flow sheet design.

  • sucessfull definintion & detailed testing a robust flow sheet using full scale & fully scaleable equipment
  • production of a high quality HMC with a grade of 90% THM
  • high recoverey of valuable product streams
  • successful production of final premium quality Zircon, Rare Earth & Imenite streams



Test work undertaken on full scale MG12 spiral models indicates very high Zircon & Rare Earth recoveries (refer below picture). MG12 spiral models offer a higher throughput efficiency factor and this is expected to offer WIM considerable OPEX reductions for the Avonbank WCP.