TSX-listed Afferro Mining, an exploration and development company, has revealed metallurgy results for its iron ore project at Ntem, located in south west Cameroon.The magnetite banded iron formation (BIF) samples had an average head grade of 37.3% iron (Fe), representative of the deposit at the Fe08 target at Ntem. The samples were all 15kg composite samples taken from core from four holes across the deposit. The LIMS testwork was completed at the SGS laboratory in Perth, Australia. The results are highly encouraging and are consistent with DTR and Davis Tube Wash (DTW) testing. LIMS testwork is pilot scale and uses a low magnetic field strength. It is therefore more representative of bulk processing. The results show that at a coarse grind size of a P80 of 150m a high grade concentrate of 65.2% iron is attained at high recovery rates with mass recovery of 46.7% and iron recovery of 81.6%. The product also has very low deleterious materials, with only 0.24% alumina (Al2O3) and 0.01% phosphorous (P) present. The magnetite BIF samples had an average head grade of approximately 36% iron, with 125 composite samples being selected for DTR test work. Assay pulps from the fresh magnetite were used to produce 8m down-hole length composite samples. The DTR test work was completed at the SGS laboratory in Perth, Australia. The results are highly encouraging with a very high grade concentrate averaging 70.9% Fe, 0.08% Al2O3, 1.42% SiO2 and 0.002% P attained at an average mass recovery of 41.8%, at a grind size P80 of less than 45m. The DTR results show that on average 81.7% of the Fe within the BIF relates to a magnetite mineral phase. As the DTR tests were conducted on samples from across the deposit, they add confidence to the results of the more specific LIMS data.
“Ahead of the mineral resource estimate (MRE), these excellent metallurgy results highlight the potential for a low-cost mining operation at Ntem, delivering a highly marketable iron ore product. Strategically located only 80km from the deep-water port being constructed south of Kribi, we believe that the economics of a small-scale operation at Ntem could be very exciting. We have now completed the first two phases of drilling at Ntem and we remain on track to complete the MRE and the infrastructure scoping study results during Q2 2013. We believe that Ntem could add significant value to our portfolio of assets, providing a potential low capex opportunity to enter early stage production generating cash flow to support our strategy to bring the large-scale Nkout iron ore project to production,” said Afferro Mining‘s CEO Luis da Silva.Afferro‘s portfolio includes the 100% owned Nkout, Ntem and Akonolinga iron ore projects (subject to government rights). It also holds a 70% interest in the Ngoa project, an exploration target bordering Nkout. Nkout comprises a National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) compliant Indicated mineral resource estimate of 1.19Bt at 32.9% Fe and an Inferred mineral resource estimate of 1.33Bt at 30.3% Fe. The company had cash, cash equivalents and short-term deposits totaling AU$89 million on the 31 December 2012.