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WAFM reports discovery of two new zones of iron mineralisation in coastal regions of Cameroon and Sierra Leone

29 July 2014
WAFM: exploration update for Cameroon and Sierra Leone

 


West African Minerals Corporation
("WAFM" or the "Company")

 WAFM reports discovery of two new zones of iron mineralisation in coastal regions of Cameroon and Sierra Leone

 

West African Minerals Corporation (AIM: WAFM) is pleased to provide an update of exploration activities at its iron ore licenses in Cameroon and Sierra Leone. Detailed field follow-up comprising ground-truthing of previously identified magnetite geophysical targets at Sanaga, Binga, Lele and North Djadom in Cameroon, and extensive trenching of a hematite schist unit at Madina (EL06/11) in Sierra Leone, have identified two significant iron mineralisation zones on the Sanaga and Madina leases. In addition, surface iron mineralisation has been mapped on two significant geophysical anomalies on Lele and North Djadom. (See Figure 1 for Cameroon leases.)

Exploration highlights: 

Sanaga - Cameroon

  • Detailed mapping of the South Sanaga target area has outlined several areas of surface exposure of magnetite bearing gneiss with surface grades ranging from 29.1% Fe to 66.3% Fe (see Figure 2).
  • Ground gravity and magnetic geophysical surveys of this area have confirmed large magnitude gravity and magnetic anomalies largely coincident with mapped surface exposures of magnetite rich mineralised material.
  • The targeted mineralisation is in close proximity to existing rail, port and power infrastructure (10km of main Yaoundé-Douala rail line – 60km of Douala port). 
  • As a result of these encouraging results, the Board has approved a modification to the 2014 work program comprising 1,500m of reconnaissance drilling and preliminary metallurgical test work at Sanaga which have commenced with completion expected in Q3 2014.

Madina – Sierra Leone

  • A trenching program has delineated a Marampa Group hematite schist exploration target over 1.5km of strike length with an average width at surface of approximately 220m (see Table 1 and Figure 3).  This schist was originally intersected in an exploratory drill program while trenching has confirmed its extensive presence on the license.
  • Preliminary assay results from 465m of hematite schist exposed in the first three trenches indicate the presence of a robust unit ranging between approximately 40 and 210m at grades between 38.5% Fe and 41.4% Fe.
  • A work program to delineate additional exploration targets on the remaining 4 to 5km of the mapped hematite schist occurrence is being developed.

Binga 

  • Ground gravity and magnetic surveys in the central region of Binga have identified several promising targets extending over an approximate 10km of strike length. 
  • Geophysical interpretation shows excellent correlation with the previously drilled resource on Block 8 in support of further mineralised material present in the central region.
  • Follow-up resource drilling on these targets is being deferred until results of reconnaissance drilling at Sanaga are known.  Sanaga’s immediate access to existing infrastructure presents a significant advantage.

Lele 

  • Surface mapping on gravity and magnetic targets in previously unexplored areas has confirmed coincidence with occurrences of magnetite rich mineralised material at surface.
  • The most promising target has surface showings of iron mineralisation over 5km of strike, underlain by a prominent geophysical target.  Grab sample assays over this anomaly returned grades ranging from 24.1% Fe to 58.7% Fe (see Figure 4).

Djadom

  • Surface mapping on gravity and magnetic targets in previously unexplored areas at North Djadom has confirmed coincidence with occurrences of magnetite rich mineralised material at surface.
  • The most promising target has surface showings of iron mineralisation over 4km of strike, underlain by a prominent geophysical target.  Grab sample assays over this anomaly returned grades ranging from 36.2% Fe to 56.1% Fe (see Figure 5).

Brad Mills, President of WAFM commented: 
“We have made significant progress over all of our licenses in the last quarter and correlations in airborne geophysics, mapping and ground geophysics have combined to yield two potentially significant new discoveries in the near coastal regions and confirmed the potential for additional discoveries on the interior leases.  Importantly, with the discovery of the new set of targets at Sanaga, in addition to the previously reported Binga resource, we now have two potential start-up opportunities in close proximity to existing and developing rail and port infrastructure.

“As a result, the Board has resolved to carry out a reconnaissance drilling and preliminary metallurgical test work program on Sanaga.  This modification to the 2014 work program (outlined in the 14 April 2014 news release) will allow us the opportunity to assess this alternative project, which has the potential for significantly enhanced economics in view of the availability of existing transport infrastructure.  Our current funding will allow us to develop either Binga or potentially Sanaga towards a 60-100mt mineral resource estimate (MRE) in December and a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in the first quarter of 2015.  Reconnaissance drilling results from Sanaga are expected within two months following which a decision will be taken on which of Binga or Sanaga to select for infill drilling for an MRE.

“Trenching in Sierra Leone has outlined a substantial area of mineralised hematite schist from surface, essentially identical to that being mined at London Mining’s Marampa deposit some 70km to the south.  It will require a relatively modest effort to outline the full extent of this mineralisation within open pittable depths.  A work plan to achieve this objective is currently being designed. 

“Finally, we have also expanded our knowledge of the iron ore occurrences on our interior leases along the southeast iron ore corridor in proximity to other advanced iron ore deposits. WAFM’s management focus is on de-risking the best of these opportunities to deliver substantial real value to our shareholders in the form of low capital and operating cost, easily developed iron ore production.”

Sanaga - Cameroon

  • WAFM’s latest and potentially promising prospect is the Sanaga license 60km from the existing port and infrastructure at Douala and within 10km of the main railway between Yaoundé and Douala.
  • Approximately 50km of line cutting, detailed mapping and sampling of the South Sanaga priority target area have been completed (see Figure 2) yielding promising early results.  Several areas of surface exposure of magnetite bearing gneiss were outlined from mapping with surface grab sample grades ranging from 29.1% Fe to 66.3% Fe. Ground gravity and magnetic surveys identified several coincident, large magnitude gravity and magnetic anomalies. The highest priority target comprises a highly magnetic and dense source of approximately 1,000m x 500m, coincident with surface magnetite exposures. 

In view of these encouraging results, a reconnaissance drilling program consisting of 1,500m of diamond core drilling and preliminary metallurgical test work commenced on 17 July 2014 and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2014.  Pending these results, a resource drilling program of approximately 4,500m is envisaged and in anticipation, a reverse circulation (RC) drill rig has been mobilised from Binga to Sanaga.  An MRE is planned for December 2014 to be followed by a PEA in the first quarter of 2015.

Infrastructure Studies

A preliminary high level logistical study has been initiated for the Sanaga permit to assess existing infrastructure including rail access from the lease area, roads, river access, pipeline potential and port availability at Douala (illustrated in Figure 1).

Madina (EL06/11) – Sierra Leone

A program of approximately 2,000m of trenching over five fence lines has delineated a robust Marampa Group hematite schist unit over 1.5km of strike length on EL06/11.  Mineralised widths at surface range from 65-325m and average approximately 220m.  Assay results for three trenches have been received to date and are shown in Table 1 below.  The hematite schist is characterised by consistent grades of between 38.5% Fe and 41.4% Fe with true thickness that are calculated to range between 42 and 209m in the exposed trenches    The interpretation of the sub-outcrop position is shown in Figure 3 and is calculated to cover a surface area of approximately 320,000m2.  

Table 1: Madina Trench Program Assay results
 

  From To Apparent thickness Average dip True Thickness Fe % Al2O3 % P % S % SiO2 % LOI %
TR01 78 143 65 40 42 41.4 14.2 0.07 0.05 17.1 7.3
TR03 74 399 325 40 209 38.5 14.3 0.04 0.04 20.5 7.5
TR04 24 102 78 40 50 39.7 12.1 0.04 0.03 22.4 5.9
TR05 60 340 280 40 180  -  - - - - -
TR06 10 355 345 40 222 -  -  -  -  -
Average     219 40 141 39.1 14.0 0.04 0.04 20.3 7.2

Note:  Trenches 05 and 06 outstanding

Results to date support further work to delineate exploration targets on the remaining 4 to 5km of mapped hematite schist occurrence, most likely through a combination of rotary air blast (RAB) drilling, pitting and trenching.

Binga – Cameroon

The interpretation of recent ground-based gravity and magnetic survey data from Binga confirms an extensive exploration target around the existing mineral resource on the permit. In the central Binga region, several individual bodies each extend over an approximate 10km strike length while a small survey in the east identified two promising targets coincident with mapped mineralised material.  The new central Binga targets, which were generated independent of previous drilling data, display excellent correlation with the existing MRE on Block 8, indicating potential for the presence of further mineralised material.

Previous drilling at Binga comprised 5,806m of infill core and reverse circulation (RC) drilling that identified several sub-outcropping magnetite-rich units in two areas spanning a total length of 5km:  Blocks 6 and 7 to the west, and Block 8 in the central region.  These three blocks formed the initial Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 30.5 Mt @ 29.7% Fe at a 25% Fe cut-off grade (see news release of 15 January 2014).      
The MRE was followed in April by preliminary metallurgical testing confirming that a saleable magnetite concentrate ranging from 61% to 64% Fe could be produced from Binga ore using a combination of fairly coarse crushing and magnetic separation with milling (see news release of 14 April 2014).      

Lele – Cameroon 

Surface mapping on gravity and magnetic targets in previously unexplored areas has confirmed coincidence with occurrences of magnetite rich mineralised material at surface. The most promising target has surface showings of iron mineralisation over 5 km of strike, underlain by a prominent geophysical target.  Grab sample assays over this anomaly returned grades ranging from 24.1% Fe to 58.7% Fe (see Figure 4).

Djadom – Cameroon 

To date, exploration activities on the Company’s interior licenses along the southeast iron corridor have been centred on the South Djadom deposit adjacent to the Mbalam deposit.  A combined Inferred MRE of the initial two blocks currently stands at 111.5 Mt @ 30.0% Fe at a 25% Fe cut-off grade including 15.6 Mt @ 40.7% at a 35% Fe cut-off (see news release of 31 October 2013).   Surface mapping on gravity and magnetic targets in previously unexplored areas at North Djadom has confirmed coincidence with occurrences of magnetite rich mineralised material at surface. The most promising target has surface showings of iron mineralisation over 4km of strike, underlain by a prominent geophysical target.  Grab sample assays over this anomaly returned grades ranging from 36.2% Fe to 56.1% Fe (see Figure 5).

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
+44 (0) 1624 639396
 
Donna Yoshimatsu
Investor Relations and Corporate Secretary
+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
+44 (0) 20 7822 7493 / +44 (0)7713 341072
 

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

Fe Chemical symbol for iron.
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.
Hematite The principal ore mineral of iron with the chemical formula Fe2O3.
Schist  A metamorphic rock having a foliated, or plated, structure called schistosity in which the component flaky minerals are distinguished from the other foliated rocks, slates and gneisses by the size of their mineral crystals, being smaller than those of gneisses.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/schist#ixzz38Oknz7zm

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.
Rotary Air Blast (RAB) drilling The simplest and most economical drilling technique performed by drilling a borehole of about 3-3.5 inches as soil and rock samples are evacuated by air through the annulus between the drill steel and borehole wall.
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.

ENDS

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