African Metals Corporation
tsx : AFR

April 17, 2012 09:11 ET

African Metals Corporation: African Metals Corporation's Luisha South Project Commences Pre-Production of Malachite Concentrate

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwire - Apr 17, 2012) -


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TSXV: AFR

Frankfurt: OWW

African Metals Corporation ("AFR") is pleased to report completion of assembly of the Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant, spirals bank and ancillary equipment (the DMS Plant) at the Luisha South Project, DRC, and commissioning of the DMS plant with pre-production of malachite concentrate.

AFR will now begin processing material from the Luisha South stockpile which contains an inferred resource of 370,000 tonnes at 1.0% copper for 3,800 tonnes of contained copper metal and 0.5% cobalt for 1,700 tonnes of cobalt metal (using a 0.25% Cu cut-off - see the technical report of Geosure Exploration & Mining Solutions Pty Ltd., an independent firm contracted by AFR to prepare the technical report, filed on www.sedar.com on October 13, 2011.).

Approximately 3,500 tonnes of material from the Luisha South stockpile has been moved onto the ROM pad, ready for treatment through the DMS plant. Initial plant ore feed requirements are 790 tonnes per day.

Planning has allowed for a 4 to 6 week "pre-production" period, over which production shall be ramped up from 22,000 tonnes per month to approximately 44,000 tonnes of material processed per month allowing for an 85% availability of fleet operations. At that stage, AFR has targeted a monthly production of 780 tonnes of DMS concentrate and 1290 tonnes of Spirals concentrate.

Commissioning

Independent consultants and company personnel have completed all construction, assembly and commissioning activities for the DMS Plant. The feed bin and loading ramp, primary crusher, scrubber module, DMS module, spirals bank and connecting conveyor belts have all been dry and wet tested and commissioned ready for operations.

Electrical wiring and installation of pumps and slurry lines have also been installed and tested. Excavation of water recycling ponds and installation of plastic linings to these, have been completed, as well as excavation and construction of the tailings dam. Construction of a ROM pad, high grade and low grade ore stockpile areas, concentrate storage area and haulage tracks were also completed.

Pre-Production

Pre-production trials commenced on the 9(th) April 2012. The results of initial trial runs of ore material through the plant are summarised in Table 1.

+----------+--------+-------------+-----------+-----------+----------+
| | | | DMS | Spiral | DMS |Slimes / |
| Date |Duration| Ore |Concentrate|Concentrate| Gravel |Tailings |
| |(hours) |Feed (tonnes)| Cu % Avg. |Cu % Avg. | Tails |Cu % Avg.|
| | | | | |Cu % Avg.| |
+----------+--------+-------------+-----------+-----------+----------+
|09/04/2012| 1 | 10 | 2.1 | 6.4 | 2.0 | 1.1 |
+----------+--------+-------------+-----------+-----------+----------+
|10/04/2012| 0.5 | 4 | 19.5 | 6.4 | 0.7 | - |
+----------+--------+-------------+-----------+-----------+----------+
|11/04/2012| 1 | 10 | 14.1 | 6.1 | - | - |
+----------+--------+-------------+-----------+-----------+----------+
|12/04/2012| 2 | 42 | 23.4 | 7.8 | 2.0 | 2.2 |
+----------+--------+-------------+-----------+-----------+----------+
|13/04/2012| 1 | 36 | 20.1 | 5.5 | 0.8 | 1.0 |
+----------+--------+-------------+-----------+-----------+----------+

Table 1: DMS pre-production trials with ore feed averaging approximately 2.4% copper.

The results show a continued improvement in DMS concentrate grades after adjustments to plant, density of the iron silicate slurry (the separating medium), and incoming water pressures to regulate the water to ore ratio to approximately 4:1. The plant operations team are maintaining the targeted grade of +20% copper in concentrate.

The Spirals concentrate grades however are less than the targeted average grade of 15% copper in concentrate. Hand "sieving" or washing of the spiral concentrate increases the contained copper content to between 15% and 19% copper, which is in line with projected target grades. Further adjustments to the regulation of incoming water flow pressures are required, and further adjustments to the angle of repose of the final concentrate washing screw and engineering adjustments are needed to increase the final grade of copper in the spirals concentrate.

Delays

On the 14(th) March 2012, AFR terminated the Management Agreement with M&J Investments Sprl ("M&J") after the situation became untenable. The Agreement, signed in September 2011, included payments to M&J for decommissioning, transportation to the Luisha South Project and full commissioning of the DMS plants, spirals bank, recycling ponds, accommodation camp and plant infrastructure. Non-performance and non-achievement of goals as outlined in the Agreement by M&J, led to the termination of the contract by AFR.

AFR had made parallel arrangements to engage technical and operational staff to undertake the role of managing the processing plant in lieu of M&J.

Nigel Ferguson, CEO and President of African Metals Corp, commented:

"The Company is very pleased to report completion of the DMS plant construction despite some wet season weather delays and non-performance issues by M&J which have now been fully resolved. Commissioning and testing operations of the DMS plant to produce the malachite concentrate at the Luisha South Project marks the Company's transition from explorer to producer. The Company expects further fine tuning of the plant to occur in the coming weeks as in increases activities to reach full 24 hour production by mid-May 2012. AFR will report production results accordingly in the coming weeks. The Company is now well positioned to take advantage of over 5 years of experience in the mineral-rich Katanga Province and the undeveloped opportunities that it holds".

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
AFRICAN METALS CORPORATION
"Nigel Ferguson"

Nigel Ferguson
President & CEO

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This News Release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that relate to future events. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. While these forward-looking statements, and any assumptions upon which they are based, are made in good faith and reflect our current judgment regarding the direction of our industry, actual results will almost always vary, sometimes materially, from any estimates, predictions, projections, assumptions or other future performance suggested herein. Except as required by applicable law, the Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to actual results.

About African Metals Corporation.

African Metals Corporation [TSXV "AFR"] is a Canadian listed company focused on the discovery and development of Copper and Cobalt deposits in the highly mineralized Katanga Copper Belt of the world renowned Africa Copper Belt in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC").

AFR purchased all the assets of Chevalier Resources Inc. in March 2010 including a 57% interest in the Luisha South Project contained within licence PEPM 4881, Katanga Provence, Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC") through subsidiaries incorporated in the DRC. In July AFR negotiated a further 18% interest in the project with the option to increase the equity interest to 90% based on results. The project is located 75 kilometres northwest of Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga Province and consists of approximately 16.2km².

The Luisha South Project includes a small historical open pit mine and associated stockpile and is underlain by Roan Group sediments which host major Cu-Co deposits in the DRC. The Luisha South ore body was explored between 1923 and 1928 and an oxide deposit with an estimated pre-production tonnage of approximately 350,000 tonnes at 8.6% Cu was delineated (the resource estimate non-compliant in terms of NI 43-101). The results of a 2,002 metre RC percussion drilling program completed by Titan Drilling Sprl in June 2010 enabled the estimation of a NI 43-101 compliant maiden Inferred Resource of 5.8 Million tonnes at 1.3% Cu for 75,400 tonnes of contained copper metal and 0.4% Co for 23,200 tonnes of contained cobalt metal (using 0.5% Cu cut-off). See the technical report of Geosure Exploration & Mining Solutions Pty Ltd, an independent firm contracted by AFR to prepare the technical report, dated November 15, 2010 and filed on www.sedar.com on December 2, 2010. Rubaco Sprl and DrillTek Sprl further combined to complete a total of 1,538.73 metres of diamond core drilling at the project in January 2011. The results of the drilling program enabled a re-estimation of the resource to produce a NI 43-101 compliant Inferred Resource of 14.7 Million tonnes at 1.1% Cu for 161,700 tonnes of contained copper metal and 0.3% Co for 44,100 tonnes of contained cobalt metal (using a 0.5% Cu cut-off). The revised resource represented an increase of 114% and 90% respectively of the previous contained copper and cobalt metal estimates. See the technical report of Geosure Exploration & Mining Solutions Pty Ltd., an independent firm contracted by AFR to prepare the technical report, dated October 10, 2011 and filed on www.sedar.com on October 17, 2011.

Nigel M. Ferguson, (MAIG, MAusIMM) President and Chief Executive Officer for the Company and a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101, has verified the data disclosed in this release.

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Source: African Metals Corporation via Thomson Reuters ONE [HUG#1603010]

Contact Information

  • For Further Information please contact:
    Jag Sandhu
    Corporate Development
    604-306-1950