Alexander Mining plc
TSX VENTURE : AXD
AIM : AXM

April 23, 2012 06:30 ET

Alexander Mining plc-AmmLeach® Copper/Cobalt Demonstration Pilot Plant Established

- AmmLeach® copper/cobalt plant to be used for testing bulk representative samples from the Democratic Republic of Congo ('DRC') and elsewhere.

- First AmmLeach® plant in the world to showcase process in two circuits through to copper and cobalt cathode metal, compared with majority of DRC cobalt currently produced as an intermediate product.

- MC Process highly regarded partner of choice for AmmLeach® plant design and engineering in Africa.

- Ability for third parties to see the AmmLeach® process working will be invaluable for commercialisation.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 23, 2012) - Alexander Mining plc ('Alexander' or the 'Company') (TSX VENTURE:AXD)(AIM:AXM) -

Alexander is pleased to report that it has, in partnership with MC Process Pty Ltd ('MC Process') of South Africa, completed construction of an AmmLeach® copper/cobalt demonstration pilot plant in Johannesburg, and has commenced commissioning the plant using bulk ore samples from the DRC.

As part of Alexander's initiatives in the DRC, we have collected a significant range of copper and cobalt mineralisation samples from the DRC for initial laboratory amenability testing. The testwork results have been highly encouraging and jointly we have now established a pilot plant at MC Process's premises. Initially, the plant will be used for testing larger bulk representative samples which have been delivered from the DRC, but will be capable of treating other base metal deposit types.

The AmmLeach® cobalt/copper process has particular relevance to the DRC which accounts for around 53% of world mine production in 2011 and 45% of world reserves (source: U.S. Geological Survey January 2012). Moreover, the majority of cobalt currently produced in the DRC is as an intermediate product. The AmmLeach® cobalt/copper process is simpler and requires fewer unit processes to produce cobalt and copper metal cathode, resulting in significantly reduced capital and operating costs compared to the conventional acid/SO2 process. Given the inherent high costs associated with operating within the DRC, using conventional technology, AmmLeach® has the potential to enable the processing of a significantly greater number of deposits that have to date been considered marginal or uneconomic to develop.

Furthermore, the AmmLeach® process:

  • may economically treat high carbonate and acid consuming ore bodies that are prevalent in the DRC and which may not be economically treated using acid leaching; and
  • is also ideally suited to heap leaching 'lower' grade ore bodies.

The results from the pilot plant will be invaluable for design and scale up to a full size commercial plant.

MC Process is Alexander's partner of choice for AmmLeach® plant design and engineering in Africa and it is dedicated to the design and manufacture of minerals processing equipment, especially solvent extraction electro-winning ("SX-EW") plants. Moreover, it has considerable experience with designing and establishing SX-EW plants in the DRC and other countries in Africa.

Martin Rosser, Chief Executive Officer, said: "This pilot plant will be the first in Africa to showcase Alexander's innovative AmmLeach® technology producing both copper and cobalt metal from two circuits in the one plant. It will be integral to our business development plans for the DRC Copperbelt and also for testing material from copper and cobalt projects in other parts of Africa and the world. The ability for third parties to see the AmmLeach® process working will be invaluable for its commercialisation. Moreover, we are delighted with the highly beneficial relationship already developed with MC Process and we look forward to our continued successful close collaboration."

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains forward looking statements, being statements which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential results of AmmLeach® testwork, anticipated applications for the AmmLeach® processing and discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are in Company documents filed from time to time with the TSX Venture Exchange and provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements unless required by law.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Alexander Mining plc
    Martin Rosser
    Chief Executive Officer
    Mobile: + 44 (0) 7770 865 341

    Alexander Mining plc
    Matt Sutcliffe
    Executive Chairman
    Mobile: +44 (0) 7887 930 758

    Alexander Mining plc
    1st Floor, 35 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0DW
    +44 (0) 20 7292 1300
    +44 (0) 20 7292 1313 (FAX)
    mail@alexandermining.com
    www.alexandermining.com

    Ambrian Partners Limited
    Nominated Advisor and Broker
    Samantha Harrison / Jen Boorer
    +44 (0) 20 7634 4700

    XCAP Securities plc
    Joint Broker
    Karen Kelly / Adrian Kirk / David Lawman
    +44 (0) 20 7101 7070

    Public/Media Relations:
    Britton Financial PR
    Tim Blackstone
    +44 (0) 20 7242 9786