Russian steelmaker Severstal has estimated a doubling in natural resources at its Putu iron ore project in Liberia, Africa to 2.4bnt.

Severstal is the majority stakeholder in the project with a 61.5% interest and African Aura has 38.5% in project.

The mineral resource NI 43-101 compliant report issued by independent engineers SRK Consulting (SRK) estimated a total of 2.37bnt of iron ore in the existing pit, with an estimated 34% iron concentration.

SRK also identified the potential for a further 1bnt to 2.5bnt of iron ore below the project’s existing pit shell.

The Putu iron ore project is a 13km long iron rich ridge, located 130km inland from the deepwater shoreline of western Liberia.

The ore has an estimated 34% total Fe content.

A Mineral Development Agreement detailing the fiscal and legal terms for the development and mining of the Putu iron ore deposit was granted and ratified by the Liberian government in September last year.

The agreement term is for 25 years and this can be extended further in line with the life of mine.

Severstal invested $30M in 2008 for a pre-feasability study and also owns a 2.91% stake in African Aura.