Less than three years ago, Linecrest created a vision to harness new technology to restart the Northern Territory’s (NT) iron-ore sector and benefit the community. Today with parent company NT Bullion, Linecrest’s relentless R&D focus is not only putting NT back on the map for mining, it is creating a hi-tech revolution that’s already yielding significant, socio-economic and environmental benefits.
When Linecrest took over the Frances Creek mine it inherited a 4-million-tonne waste stockpile at the site. This contained valuable iron ore, but in concentrations too low to make it sellable.
In a world first, Linecrest successfully adapted a Steinert ore sorting machine, previously used on diamonds and gold, to beneficiate the waste iron ore at Frances Creek. Linecrest’s early testing found it could increase the concentration of iron ore in the stockpiles from 35-40% to 60-61%. This meant the business could transform a waste product into an economically viable one; and tackle an environmental eyesore at the same time.
From capital crunch to doubling R&D investment
Linecrest’s plans soon hit a snag. The innovative business is privately-owned. This made it hard to raise enough equity and loan capital to cover the $15 million investment in plant and equipment the business needed.
NT Bullion Executive Chairman Anthony Short says, “We were already looking to apply for the R&D tax incentive, then we heard how Radium Advances could let us access our refund early.”
Initially locking in an annual advance, the NT miner has now transition to a schedule of monthly Radium Advances which it 100% reinvests into R&D advances. “If we didn’t have Radium Advances, we’d be spending less than half of what we currently spend on R&D” Anthony explains.
Delivering community benefits and unlocking R&D beyond iron ore
Linecrest’s mining reboot will employ 30 local full-time staff and generate a new revenue stream for the NT Government. And, thanks to their cutting-edge research, NT Bullion and Linecrest’s strategy for growth won’t stop at the NT border or iron-ore mining either.
Learn more by visiting about Linecrest and NT Bullion at ntbullion.com, or download the full case study.