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Binga Metallurgical Tests confirm saleable magnetite concentrate of 61% to 64% Fe

14 April 2014
For immediate release
 
West African Minerals Corporation
("WAFM" or the "Company")
 
Preliminary metallurgical test work on Binga near Cameroon coast confirms 
saleable magnetite concentrate of 61% to 64% Fe can be produced
 
West African Minerals Corporation (AIM: WAFM) is pleased to announce results of metallurgical test work performed by MINTEK, SA on a composite sample of magnetite-bearing iron ore from WAFM’s Binga iron ore project located approximately 80 kms from the Kribi deepwater port in southwest Cameroon.  The test work program was supervised by MDM Engineering (MDM) and included crushing, screening, milling, and low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS).
 
Metallurgical Result Highlights:
  • Preliminary metallurgical test results confirm saleable magnetite concentrate from Binga ranging from 61% to 64% Fe depending on grind size.
  • Approximately 25% of the mined material can potentially be rejected after crushing through low intensity magnetic separation.
  • Mass recovery of 30% to 35% and iron recovery of 69% to 75% on grind sizes of 106 µm and 300 µm.
  • Potential process benefit of lower mill power and operating cost compared to existing magnetite concentrators.
 
Ongoing Field Activities:
  • Mapping and sampling at WAFM’s other near-coastal Sanaga license shows encouraging early results.
  • Surface geological mapping and sampling of iron mineralisation at Lélé and Djadom licenses confirms several prospective iron ore targets. 
 
Brad Mills, President of WAFM commented: 
“The results of this test work are very encouraging and demonstrate that we can produce a saleable quality iron concentrate with high recovery of iron to a magnetite product and potentially discard a significant portion of the material as waste using a combination of fairly coarse crushing and magnetic separation with milling.  The recommended grind size to obtain a concentrate with acceptably low silica grade is relatively coarse compared to existing magnetite concentrators and could provide process benefits of lower mill power and lower operating cost.  The samples that were sent for analysis are considered to be representative of mineralised material at Binga. These positive metallurgical results and Binga’s proximity to the developing port infrastructure, present a significant opportunity for the Company to develop a relatively low capital and operating cost operation that could allow us to generate cash flow.   They also provide key input parameters to progress with our economic analyses and studies of the project which will inform the work programme for the remainder of the year.  Pending positive outcomes our goal is to complete significant additional drilling to increase the resource base at Binga and complete studies of haulage and shipping options which will all form the elements required to deliver a Preliminary Economic Assessment of Binga by the end of this year.
 
In addition, ongoing surface geological mapping and sampling at our Lélé and Djadom licenses has confirmed several prospective iron ore targets. These targets will require additional field work in preparation for drill testing.  Mapping and sampling have also commenced on our other near-coastal Sanaga license with encouraging early results emerging. This is of particular note in view of the proximity of the Sanaga targets to existing road, rail and port infrastructure.”
 
Technical Discussion
The preliminary metallurgical test work was conducted on a composite sample selected from six different boreholes which were drilled as part of the 2013 drilling programme culminating in the maiden Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate at Binga announced on 15 January 2014 and available on WAFM’s website [www.westafricanminerals.com].  A 90 kg composite was made up from quarter-core drillcore samples from four boreholes in Mineral Resource Block 6 and one each from Blocks 7 and 8.  The aim of the test work was to determine whether the magnetite-bearing iron ore could be upgraded to a saleable product by testing a single composite sample with follow up testing of other composite and variability samples.
 
The test work program included crushing, screening, heavy liquid separation (HLS), and low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS), on coarse crushed fractions as well as fine milled fractions.
 
The programme concluded that crushing to -10 mm followed by magnetic separation could potentially be used as a pre-concentration method, with high recovery of iron to magnetic product of 94%, and appreciable discard (25%) of gangue material.
 
Milling and magnetic separation resulted in a product with an iron grade ranging from 61% to 64% Fe.  Product mass yield ranged from 30% to 35%.  Magnetic recoveries were tested at grind sizes of 300 µm and 106 µm.  The 106 µm grind magnetic product yielded an iron grade of 64.4% and a SiO2 content of 4.7%.  Furthermore, MDM’s report concluded that a grind of 212 µm is likely to yield a saleable concentrate. This grind is relatively coarse compared to values reported by other exploration projects in the region and could provide a relative process benefit of lower mill power and lower operating cost.
 
The table below summarises the DTR (Davis Tube Recovery) magnetic separation results at P80 (80% of milled material passing the specific screen aperture) grind sizes of 300 and 106 µm.

 

 

Distribution, %

Grade, %

Size fraction

 

Mass

Fe

SiO2

Fe

SiO2

P80 300 µm

Mags 0.5A

35.4

75.4

8.9

61.1

10.9

P80 106 µm

Mags 0.5A

30.1

68.7

3.2

64.4

4.7

These results show that the material responded well to milling and low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS).  An appreciable liberation of magnetite from gangue was obtained at the grind sizes tested, and the recovery of iron from feed was high, resulting in a product of saleable grade. 
 
QUALIFIED PERSON
The technical information contained in this announcement has been reviewed by Dr Brendan Clarke, the Head of Geology of The MSA Group. Dr Brendan Clarke is a Member of the Geological Society of South Africa and a Professional Natural Scientist (Pr.Sci.Nat) registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions. Dr Clarke has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation under consideration and to the activities which are being reported, to qualify as a Qualified Person for the purposes of this announcement.  The MSA Group has implemented best-practice QAQC protocols on the Binga prospect including the insertion of standards, blanks and duplicates into the sampling stream.  The MSA Group has reviewed the results of the QAQC programme to date and is satisfied that the assay results reported in this release are both accurate and precise.
 
For further information contact: 

West African Minerals Corporation

Anton Mauve

Managing Director

 

Donna Yoshimatsu

Investor Relations and Corporate Secretary

 

+44 (0) 1624 639396

 

 

+1 (416) 722-2456

Beaumont Cornish Limited (Nominated Adviser)

Roland Cornish

Michael Cornish

 

+44 (0)20 7628 3396

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP (Broker)

Ewan Leggat

 

+44 (0) 20 3463 2260

GTH Communications

Toby Hall

Suzanne Johnson Walsh

+44 (0) 20 7822 7493/7492

 
About West African Minerals Corporation
West African Minerals Corporation (AIM: WAFM) is an iron ore mining and exploration group focused on West Africa with interests in iron ore exploration permits in Cameroon and Sierra Leone. Through its 100 per cent owned subsidiary Compagnie Minière du Cameroun SA, WAFM owns five exploration licenses in Cameroon covering a total block of approximately 4,100 square kilometres and spanning the coast to the large scale eastern deposits. Maiden Inferred Mineral Resources have been reported at the near-coastal Binga and the South Djadom licenses. The Sierra Leone licences comprise five exploration licenses with potential for enriched hematite schists typical of the Marampa Group over a total Block of approximately 687 square kilometres.  
Further information on the Group is available at www.westafricanminerals.com.
 
Glossary of terms

Davis tube recovery (DTR)

A testing method for determining the viability of magnetic concentration of iron ores.  A slurried sample is poured slowly through a glass tube at a 45° angle between two electromagnets and the recovered iron is ascertained.

 

Fe

Chemical symbol for iron

Gangue

Rock or mineral matter of no value occurring with metallic ore

Heavy liquid separation (HLS)

A technique that utilises high density fluids to preferentially float or sink minerals with densities greater or less than the liquid

Low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS)

The use of a low intensity magnetic field to separate magnetic and non-magnetic particles.  Davis Tube Recovery is an established LIMS technique.

Microns/micrometres (µm)

One thousandth of a millimetre

P80

80% passing through a screen of a specified aperture

SiO2

The chemical compound silicon dioxide, also known as silica (from the Latin silex), is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2

 
ENDS