Far West Mining Ltd.

Far West Mining Ltd.

September 30, 2010 08:00 ET

Far West Mining Ltd: Santo Domingo Project Update

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) - Far West Mining Ltd. (TSX:FWM) is pleased to provide an update on the progress of the metallurgical test work to date at the Santo Domingo Project, Region lll, Chile. Far West Mining (the "Company") has received positive results from crushing and grinding test work, and from Davis Tube magnetite recovery tests undertaken on samples covering the entire deposit including areas not previously tested.

The crushing and grinding test work indicates that throughput will be higher than previously anticipated in the first five years of production. The higher production rate will enhance the economics of the project by increasing cash flows in the early years and accelerating capital payback. Results from the Davis Tube test work confirm the potential to produce very high quality iron concentrate from Santo Domingo ore. 

Additional results will be released as test work is completed.

Crushing and Grinding Test Work

Far West contracted DJB Consulting of Vancouver to supervise crushing and grinding test work for the Santo Domingo deposit and conduct an engineering analysis of results to predict crushing and grinding performance, as well as assist in equipment sizing for the crushing/grinding area of the plant. The results from 128 grinding samples and 223 crushing samples have been received and interpreted. The grinding samples consist of intervals ranging from 16 metres to 63 metres in length and represent 3,809 metres of intercepts from 18 diamond drill holes drilled earlier this year. The drill holes spatially covered the entire ore body and targeted all types of mineralization.

The results from this test work confirm the design of the grinding circuit used in the 2008 scoping study for Santo Domingo consisting of one SAG mill and two ball mills, but indicate that the throughput will be substantially higher. The sample material from the starter pit (first five years of production) has proven to be softer than the overall average, resulting in higher throughput compared to the 2008 scoping study (approximately 70,000t/day as opposed to 50,000t/day). The combination of higher throughput and above average copper grades in the early years of mine life will have a positive impact on the project economics as increased cash flow in the early years will shorten the payback period.

Iron Recovery Test Work

The Company also has received results from Davis Tube tests conducted at the ALS Chemex lab in Perth, Australia. Davis Tube tests are a routine laboratory method to simulate the recovery of iron concentrate in a low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS) circuit. A batch of 98 samples was selected to provide a wide spatial coverage of the deposit as well as a selection of the entire range of samples from weakly magnetic (approximately 5% magnetite) to extremely magnetic (approximately 80% magnetite). The new batch of samples brings the existing dataset to a total of 174 tests which it is believed is representative of all areas and mineralization in the deposit.

Cumulatively, fourteen samples produced concentrates with iron grades in excess of 70% Fe (practically pure magnetite), 133 samples exceeded concentrate grades of 65% Fe and 154 samples exceeded 61% Fe. 

Nine samples with very low magnetite content (5%-7%), did not yield sufficient amounts of concentrate in the Davis Tube test to enable chemical analysis but may do so when larger samples are analyzed in lab scale tests scheduled for the near future.

Only eleven samples yielded concentrate grades below 61%. Four of those samples achieved grades above 51% which could be blended with higher grade material to produce a saleable product. The remaining seven samples originate from the margins of the deposit. 

Overall, these results confirm the strong potential to produce very high quality iron concentrate from the Santo Domingo deposit. Further testing on larger samples using lab scale LIMS equipment will be conducted for inclusion in the pre-feasibility study.

Ongoing Metallurgical Testwork

Metallurgical test work for the pre-feasibility study is currently under way at SGS Lakefield in Peterborough , Ontario. Test work will have to be conducted sequentially in two distinct phases. Copper test work will first be conducted by SGS, followed by lab scale iron recovery testing by SGA in Germany using the tailings from the copper tests.

The starter pit (first five years of production) at Santo Domingo is particularly rich in hematite which makes the production of a marketable hematite product very desirable. Hematite production in the first five years of the life of mine, would further enhance the project economics by adding to the already noted increased throughput and high copper grades in this time period. It should be noted that the Company has previously achieved a saleable hematite product using a combination of high intensity magnetic separation and gravity concentration. Test work could not be optimized due to lack of sufficient amounts of sample material at the time. The Company will resume hematite recovery test work in the current phase of metallurgical test work.

The test work for hematite recovery can only be conducted after completion of the copper and magnetite recovery test work. This may cause the completion of the PFS for the project to be delayed into the first quarter of 2011. The Company is of the opinion that the potential benefit of this test work is worth the additional time that may be required.


The Company will now resume exploration activities on its Chilean properties to the north and south of the Santo Domingo property as well as the Georgetown project in Australia. First pass geophysical surveys have been completed on four properties in Chile with second phase ground surveys imminent. A drill program in November and December of 2010 is anticipated. A search is underway for a drill rig in Australia to try and test one drill-ready target prior to the advent of the wet season.

The in-house qualified person responsible for the Project is Richard Zimmer, P. Eng., MBA, Chief Executive Officer, President and a director of the Company who has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release.

Far West Mining Ltd. is an international mineral exploration company engaged in the evaluation, acquisition, exploration and development of mining properties. The Company has current operations in Chile and Australia.


Richard N. Zimmer, P.Eng., MBA, President & CEO

For further information investors should review the Company's filings that are available at www.sedar.com.

This news release contains certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical fact, that address future production, reserve potential, exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that the Company expects to occur, are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans" "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur. Information inferred from the interpretation of drilling results and information concerning mineral resource estimates may also be deemed to be forward looking statements, as it constitutes a prediction of what might be found to be present when and if a project is actually developed. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company's management on the date the statements are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.

The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

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