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Sanaga Maiden Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate

05 February 2015

Sanaga Maiden Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate

82.9 Mt @ 32.1% Fe at a 25% Fe cut-off grade

West African Minerals Corporation (AIM: WAFM) announces its maiden Mineral Resource Estimate ("MRE") at the Sanaga license located about 60km from the commercial seaport and infrastructure at Douala and within 10km of the main railway between Yaoundé and Douala, in Cameroon. The MRE was prepared by independent consultants, The MSA Group ("MSA"), in accordance with The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (2010). 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • CIM (NI-43-101 compliant) Inferred Mineral Resource of 82.9 Mt @ 32.1% Fe at a 25% Fe cut-off grade to a depth of 150m below surface.
  • Included in the MRE is a higher grade oxidised cap and near-surface enriched mineralisation of 15.8 Mt @ 37.3% Fe at a 25% cut-off grade.
  • Mineralisation has been intersected along a strike length of approximately 3 km from the surface to a vertical depth of approximately 150m and remains open at depth.
  • Positive metallurgical testwork reported on 21 October 2014 supports the potential production of a premium grade (69% Fe) concentrate at a favourable mass recovery of approximately 40%.
  • A summary Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been completed and submitted to the Government of Cameroon for review and approval.

Brad Mills, President of WAFM commented: 

"WAFM is very pleased to announce today the discovery of a high quality iron ore resource in coastal Cameroon. Preliminary metallurgical test work has confirmed that we can produce a premium grade and quality concentrate. The geometry of the mineralisation, which outcrops at surface, lends itself to low cost, low stripping ratio open pit mining. The project's close proximity to existing rail, power and port infrastructure suggests minimal capital expenditures will be required to develop export infrastructure.

While we recognize the depressed state of the current iron ore market, the Sanaga resource represents an opportunity to develop a low capital intensity and low operating cost project. This positions WAFM to be a first mover in Cameroon as and when the current iron ore pricing environment improves.  

The company completed the MRE on schedule and budget. Our current cash position is approximately US$7 million. With this significant cash position the company is positioned to pursue further development of the Sanaga project when warranted by the market. We are also looking at other acquisition opportunities that could add significant near term value to WAFM."

Drilling results

All assay results have been received and are shown in Table 1.   

Table 1: Significant (>30% Fe over >10m) intersections from reconnaissance and infill drilling

Hole ID

Depth from (m)

Depth to (m)

Length (m)

Fe (%)

SiO2 (%)

Al2O3 (%)

P (%)

LOI (%)

*SDD001

0.0

15.8

15.8

30.2

41.7

9.5

0.04

4.71

*SDD002

36.7

53.5

16.8

31.5

47.9

3.2

0.05

0.42

*SDD003

0.0

36.5

36.5

32.1

44.2

5.3

0.04

2.59

*SDD004

90.0

110.0

20.0

31.0

48.9

3.0

0.05

0.61

*SDD005

0.0

31.1

31.1

41.0

28.1

7.9

0.05

4.79

*SDD006

129.5

162.4

32.9

30.5

48.5

3.1

0.05

0.51

*SDD006

168.3

181.4

13.1

32.5

50.0

1.5

0.04

0.55

*SDD007

2.2

16.8

14.6

38.1

34.1

6.2

0.05

3.62

*SDD007

54.2

86.0

31.8

30.0

49.3

3.3

0.06

0.51

*SDD008

0.8

16.3

15.5

31.2

41.8

8.0

0.08

4.35

*SDD008

27.0

62.2

35.2

31.4

47.9

2.9

0.05

0.55

*SDD011

0.0

11.1

11.1

32.5

41.5

7.1

0.06

3.57

*SDD012

14.0

72.5

58.5

30.2

49.4

3.1

0.05

0.40

*SRC006

1.0

28.0

27.0

30.1

42.8

6.4

0.03

1.95

*SRC006

31.0

65.0

34.0

30.4

46.0

4.2

0.03

0.42

*SRC008

39.0

55.0

16.0

33.3

46.7

2.6

0.05

0.54

*SRC009

0.0

35.0

35.0

36.9

37.0

5.8

0.04

3.02

*SRC010

0.0

19.0

19.0

34.7

33.8

10.1

0.04

6.26

*SRC010

24.0

35.0

11.0

33.3

43.7

4.8

0.06

3.32

*SRC013

2.0

14.0

12.0

30.7

46.4

5.1

0.04

3.61

*SRC016

1.0

21.0

20.0

30.6

46.5

5.2

0.03

3.10

*SRC018

0.0

27.0

27.0

34.4

44.1

3.7

0.05

1.77

*SRC021

41.0

66.0

25.0

34.7

45.3

2.2

0.05

0.63

*SRC022

1.0

56.0

55.0

32.7

47.9

3.3

0.05

0.58

*SRC023

81.0

97.0

16.0

30.4

48.3

3.7

0.06

0.40

*SRC024

0.0

11.0

11.0

33.6

25.5

16.6

0.07

9.18

*SRC024

25.0

45.0

20.0

30.3

49.9

3.1

0.05

0.46

*SRC025

0.0

46.0

46.0

31.0

42.6

7.6

0.05

4.27

*SRC026

0.0

53.0

53.0

36.9

43.4

2.0

0.05

0.85

*SRC030

0.0

12.0

12.0

36.6

38.6

4.7

0.07

2.96

*SRC031

0.0

20.0

20.0

33.4

38.0

7.5

0.07

4.69

**SRC033

21.0

117.0

96.0

31.5

48.3

2.9

0.06

0.55

*SRC034

0.0

34.0

34.0

38.5

38.7

3.0

0.04

2.01

*SRC035

0.0

10.0

10.0

31.3

32.5

13.4

0.05

8.32

*SRC035

16.0

80.0

64.0

35.3

45.0

1.9

0.04

0.75

*SRC036

0.0

13.0

13.0

39.4

22.7

12.1

0.04

7.94

*SRC039

0.0

30.0

30.0

36.8

36.1

6.1

0.07

3.00

**SRC040

66.0

77.0

11.0

30.6

48.1

3.6

0.05

0.57

* Downhole intersection lengths reported above approximate true thicknesses.

** Intersection lengths not indicative of true thickness due to vertical holes drilled into moderately dipping mineralised zone.

Of the 51 drill holes, 49 were drilled at inclined angles to intersect the mineralisation orthogonally, with 2 vertical holes drilled to test depth extension of the mineralisation. 

Technical Description of the Resource

The Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared by independent consultants, The MSA Group ("MSA"), in accordance with The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (2010). The effective date of this Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate is 19 January 2015.

The maiden MRE for Sanaga is based on data from 1,428.25m of drilled iron mineralisation from 40 boreholes, including the assay results of infill core and RC (reverse circulation) drilling reported below.  Inclined drilling was conducted on sections between approximately 250m and 300m apart.

Drilling at  Sanaga during 2014 comprised 3,943m of core and RC drilling in 17 core (for 1,729m) and 34 RC (for 2,214m) holes and identified a moderately-dipping stratigraphic package containing magnetite gneiss which is overlain from surface to approximately 30m vertical depth by an oxidised, hematite-rich zone. The drill-confirmed iron mineralisation occurs over a strike length of approximately 3 km and multiple mineralised zones, ranging in true thickness from approximately 20m to 100m. 

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)

The company has completed a summary Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) over the Sanaga exploration lease area, which has been submitted to the Government of Cameroon for review and approval.

IRON ORE INFERRED MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE

The total Inferred Mineral Resource of 82.9 Mt @ 32.1% Fe at a 25% cut-off grade includes a higher grade oxidised cap and near-surface enriched mineralisation of 15.8 Mt @ 37.3% Fe at a 25% cut-off grade.

The Sanaga Inferred Mineral Resource is set out in tables 1 and 2 below:

Table 1: Sanaga Inferred Mineral Resource (by Resource Category) at a 25% Fe cut-off as at 19 January 2015 

Block

Resource Category

Tonnes (Mt)

Fe %

SiO2 %

Al2O3 %

P %

LOI%

Sanaga licence

 

Measured

-

-

-

-

-

-

Indicated

-

-

-

-

-

-

Meas. + Ind.

-

-

-

-

-

-

Inferred

82.9

32.1

46.4

3.7

0.05

0.02

Notes:

(1)        Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves have no demonstrated economic viability.

(2)        The effective date of the Mineral Resource is 19 January 2015.

(3)        Mineral Resources for Sanaga have been classified according to The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (2010).

(4)        The iron grades presented represent total iron. The proportion of recoverable iron is yet to be quantified but petrographic and metallurgical studies suggest minimal contribution to the total iron content from iron-bearing silicate minerals

(5)        WAFM has a 100 per cent. interest in the Sanaga license.  Accordingly, the Gross and Net Attributable Inferred Mineral Resource are the same. WAFM is the Operator of the Sanaga Project.

(6)        Source: MSA Mineral Resource Estimate

Table 2:  Sanaga Inferred Mineral Resource (by Mineralisation Domain) at a 25% cut-off as a t 19 January 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mineralisation Domain

Tonnes

Fe

SiO2

Al2O3

P

LOI

(millions)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Oxidised Cap

15.8

37.3

37.7

5.0

0.05

3.09

Magnetite gneiss

67.1

30.8

48.5

3.4

0.05

-0.70

Total

82.9

    32.1

46.4

3.7

0.05

0.02

The geological model for the Sanaga MRE was represented by wireframes of the iron mineralisation that were constructed using both lithological logging and iron assay results. The model was sub-divided into Magnetite gneiss zones, and an overlying zone of secondary enrichment (Oxidised Cap).

The wireframes were filled with a block model 20mX by 200mY by 20mRZ that best fits the orientation of the mineralisation and was split to a minimum sub-cell of 4 mX by 10 mY by 2 mZ in order to optimally represent the wireframe model boundaries and the dip of the packages.. The Reverse Circulation (RC) and Diamond Drilling sample data were composited to 2 m lengths and the percentages of Total Iron, (Fe), Silica (SiO2), Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3), Phosphorous (P) and Loss on Ignition (LOI) were estimated into the model using Inverse Distance Squared.

A number of density measurements on drill core were conducted on site by using the Archimedes principle.  An average density was applied to the oxide cap whereas a regression equation based on the linear relationship between percentage total iron and density was used to estimate in-situ bulk density for the magnetite gneiss.

The Mineral Resources were reported above a total iron cut-off grade of 25%. All the reported Mineral Resources are classified as Inferred Mineral Resources in accordance with The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (2010).  The contribution of iron-bearing silicates to the total iron content in the Mineral Resource units is considered negligible on the basis of metallurgical and petrographic work carried out to date.

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 leases herein referenced 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

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 exploration licenses in Cameroon spanning the coastal regions to the larger scale southeast deposits.  Maiden Inferred Mineral Resources have been reported at the near-coastal Sanaga and Binga licenses, and the interior Djadom license.

Further information on the Group is available at www.westafricanminerals.com

Glossary of terms

Fe

Chemical symbol for iron.

Hematite

The principal ore mineral of iron with the chemical formula Fe2O3.

Inferred Mineral Resource

An Inferred Mineral Resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity.

Magnetite

One of the most common iron minerals and an important ore of iron with the chemical formula. Fe3O4

Magnetite gneiss

Metamorphic rock with a distinctive layered texture due to the discontinuous segregation of quartzo-feldspathic and ferromagnesian minerals. Magnetite can form up to 50% in this iron-rich variety of gneiss.

Mineralisation

The concentration of metals and their chemical compounds within a body of rock.

Mt

Million tonnes

Oxidised cap

The uppermost, oxidised portion of the underlying magnetite gneiss bedrock characterised by oxidation of magnetite to hematite.  These caps are common in tropical environments where tropical weathering results in deep oxidation and leaching of rocks exposed at surface.

Reverse circulation drilling (RC)

A drilling method that utilizes a large rotary drill and air compressor to collect rock samples quickly and efficiently. The high speed and low cost of RC drilling makes it an ideal method for obtaining mineral samples.

 

 

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2