Focus Ventures Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : FCV

Focus Ventures Ltd.

September 08, 2014 14:18 ET

Focus Delivers Initial Resource Estimate for Bayovar 12, Peru; 115 MT Indicated Grading 12.37% P2O5 and 73 MT Inferred Grading 12.44% P2O5

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 8, 2014) - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:FCV) ("Focus") is pleased to announce that it has received the maiden NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for its Bayovar 12 phosphate project in the Sechura region of northern Peru. The independent estimate and report, based on Focus' initial 20-hole drill program, was prepared by Golder Associates ("Golder") supervised by Jerry DeWolfe, MSc. P.Geo, an Independent Qualified Person defined under NI 43-101.

Table 1. Resource Summary, Beds 1-13
Category Million Tonnes Wet * Million Tonnes Dry * Grade (% P2O5)
Indicated (61%) 151.78 114.99 12.37
Inferred (39%) 96.83 73.36 12.44
* In-Situ Resource, no minimum thickness applied. Wet Density: 1.65 g/cm3 Dry Density: 1.25 g/cm3. Dry Tonnes are a component of Wet Tonnes that contain negligible humidity

The resource estimate is based on 20 boreholes drilled over 650 ha of the 12,575 ha property, at drill spacings of 800m. The resources are distributed between 13 individual soft, free digging, horizontal phosphate beds hosted within the Diana Formation, a sequence of diatomites that begin as shallow as 26m below surface. The grades and widths of individual beds are very consistent, with no evidence of faulting, and easily correlated across the drilled area. Vale is believed to be mining the same beds at its Bayovar Mine 15km to the west of Bayovar 12. A map showing drill hole locations and distribution of resources can be accessed here.

David Cass, President of Focus, said: "We are extremely pleased to have our first resource calculation at Bayovar 12, just 6 months after we began drilling. The tonnage we've outlined is significantly larger than our published conceptual target. To have more than 60% of it in the Indicated category - given the wide hole spacings - is a reflection of the consistency and continuity of the beds we're drilling. With these first resource numbers we believe that the second phase of drilling, currently being permitted, could lead to a substantial expansion of this initial resource and accordingly we're revising the conceptual target for our next phase of drilling upwards to *300-400 Mt at between 12-15% P2O5."

* The potential quantity and grade of this target is conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define this quantity of mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource. Calculated based on 13 phosphate beds averaging 0.67m in thickness over an area of 1,400 hectares, using a density (dry) of 1.25 g/cm3.

The average grades of individual beds vary from 19.56% P205 (Bed 3) to 8.56% P205 (Bed 5). Significantly, the beds closest to surface (Beds 1 - 4) comprise some of the best widths and highest grades, for example Bed 3 (19.56% P205) and Bed 4 (15.67% P205). These upper four beds contribute 30.9 MT in Indicated at 14.41% P205 and 20.5 MT in Inferred at 14.32% P205 (dry tonnes). The slight decrease in the average resource grade compared to some of the drill sections is due to the use of slightly wider bed thicknesses for some of the narrower beds in the resource calculation.

Table 2. Summary of Resources, Beds 1, 2, 3 & 4
Category Million Tonnes Wet* Million Tonnes Dry* Grade (% P2O5)
Indicated (60.1%) 40.83 30.93 14.41
Inferred (39.9%) 27.06 20.50 14.32
* In-Situ Resource, no minimum thickness applied. Wet Density: 1.65 g/cm3 Dry Density: 1.25 g/cm3.

Management is also very encouraged by the shallower depths of the beds in the eastern part of the current resource area, where they occur within just 26m of surface, and that the first 4 beds contain some of the highest P205 grades seen in the Bayovar12 project, making the low area in the east a high priority for expansion of resources. Focus has commenced metallurgical studies which will contribute to a PEA scheduled for completion mid-2015.

Table 3: Indicated Resources, Dry and Wet Tonnes
Phosphate Bed Vertical Thickness (m) Wet Tonnes (MT) * Dry Tonnes (MT) * P2O5 Al2O3 CaO Fe2O3 MgO SiO2
PH01 0.53 9.21 6.98 13.80 4.60 21.98 2.82 1.41 29.10
PH02 0.96 16.81 12.74 11.61 3.22 19.47 2.13 1.68 37.30
PH03 0.50 8.82 6.68 19.56 2.28 30.56 1.20 0.93 24.55
PH04 0.34 5.98 4.53 15.67 2.49 25.84 1.43 1.75 30.20
PH05 0.63 10.98 8.32 8.56 3.01 14.95 1.94 1.82 45.48
PH06 0.67 11.65 8.83 13.50 3.16 21.94 1.81 1.47 34.84
PH07 0.68 11.90 9.02 9.93 3.73 18.57 2.28 2.84 36.08
PH08 0.81 14.11 10.69 9.93 2.93 18.33 1.82 2.58 38.94
PH09 0.63 11.04 8.36 11.20 3.05 20.23 1.92 2.51 35.50
PH10 0.62 10.84 8.22 10.05 3.56 16.52 2.28 1.51 40.90
PH11 0.44 7.73 5.85 13.87 3.37 22.32 1.99 1.30 34.30
PH12 0.55 9.57 7.25 14.21 3.42 23.18 2.16 1.46 32.58
PH13 1.32 23.12 17.52 13.13 4.00 22.09 2.43 1.85 32.11
All 13 beds 0.67 151.78 114.99 12.37 3.37 20.83 2.07 1.83 35.13

*In-Situ Resource, no minimum thickness applied. Wet Density: 1.65 g/cm3 Dry Density: 1.25 g/cm3

Table 4: Inferred Resources, Dry and Wet Tonnes
Phosphate Bed Vertical Thickness (m) Wet Tonnes (MT) * Dry Tonnes (MT) * P2O5 Al2O3 CaO Fe2O3 MgO SiO2
PH01 0.53 6.18 4.68 13.88 4.57 22.03 2.81 1.38 29.03
PH02 0.97 11.28 8.55 11.53 3.21 19.41 2.13 1.72 37.27
PH03 0.50 5.67 4.30 19.33 2.29 30.26 1.22 0.95 24.96
PH04 0.34 3.92 2.97 15.82 2.47 26.00 1.42 1.72 29.90
PH05 0.55 5.05 3.83 8.75 2.96 15.24 1.92 1.82 44.99
PH06 0.69 8.46 6.41 13.44 3.15 21.80 1.82 1.46 35.00
PH07 0.66 7.29 5.52 10.00 3.72 18.67 2.28 2.84 35.84
PH08 0.82 9.57 7.25 10.01 2.90 18.33 1.81 2.49 39.09
PH09 0.62 6.84 5.19 11.20 3.03 20.33 1.93 2.55 35.30
PH10 0.62 7.17 5.43 10.16 3.52 16.71 2.26 1.49 40.70
PH11 0.44 5.12 3.88 13.88 3.34 22.31 1.98 1.29 34.28
PH12 0.48 4.24 3.21 14.56 3.34 23.76 2.10 1.46 31.85
PH13 1.35 16.03 12.15 12.98 3.97 21.91 2.44 1.86 32.31
All 13 beds 0.66 96.83 73.36 12.44 3.35 20.93 2.07 1.82 34.9

*In-Situ Resource, no minimum thickness applied. Wet Density: 1.65 g/cm3 Dry Density: 1.25 g/cm3

Resource Estimation Methodology

The initial Bayovar 12 geological model was developed by Golder Associates using data and observations from Focus' spring 2014 exploration program. Source data for the geological model included 20 drill holes totaling 2,027 m and 2,245 analytical samples. The topography data used for the models was a 3 m cell digital elevation model.

The geological model was constructed using the Ventyx MineScape geological modelling and mine planning software. The geological model incorporated a differentiated overburden model and a model of the structural and grade data for the Diana Formation, including 15 correlatable phosphorite beds and their corresponding overlying diatomite interburden units.

The MineScape model was developed as a stratigraphic grid model using a 20 m by 20 m grid cell size and a Finite Element Method interpolator for phosphorite and diatomite thickness and grade components of the model. Quality parameters modelled include P2O5 (gravimetric analysis), major oxides (ICP-OES analysis) and silica (gravimetric analysis). As reliable relative density data was not available for the phosphorite or diatomite units at the time the model and resource estimate were prepared, a global default relative density of 1.25 grams per cubic centimetre (dry-basis) and 1.65 grams per cubic centimetre (wet-basis) was applied to convert estimated phosphorite resource volumes to tonnes. These densities were established based on past Golder experience in similar phosphate deposits.

As per NI 43-101 guidelines, Golder is reporting only in situ phosphate mineral resources as a mine plan, processing/metallurgy study, environmental study, economic analysis, marketing analysis, and other modifying factor studies have not been completed to a minimum of a Pre-Feasibility level of study as of the effective date of the resource estimate. No minimum thickness, grade cut-off, dilution, recovery or other mining factors have been applied to the in situ resource estimate and no mineral reserves are being reported at this time.

Based on an initial geostatistical analysis of the phosphorite unit thickness and P2O5 grade, supplemented by Golder's experience in global phosphate deposits, Golder has applied a resource classification schema of 0 to 400 m spacing for measured resources, 400 to 800 m spacing for indicated resources and 800 to 1,600 m for inferred resources. Based on the nominal drill hole spacing of 800 m for the initial 20 drill holes there are currently no reportable measured resources. Indicated and inferred resource tonnes and grade (dry-basis) are reported in Table 3 and 4 above.

The geological model, resource estimation and classification of phosphate resources will be re-evaluated once the results of the next phase of resource delineation and in-fill drilling have been completed.

The full NI 43-101 report will be posted on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.

A drill collar plan with geological cross sections, updated results tables and full set of assays are posted on Focus's website www.focusventuresltd.com.

Summary of Drilling

All holes were drilled vertically to between 80m - 110m depth targeting horizontal phosphate beds within the Diana Formation, a sequence of phosphoric diatomites and sandstones approximately 40 metres thick. The phosphate beds comprise up to 40% apatite pellets, ooliths and fossil debris consisting of mainly fish teeth, bones and scales representing the remains of marine organisms that accumulated on the sea floor. Flat-lying deposits such as sedimentary phosphates and other bulk commodities such as bauxite and gypsum may be amenable to precision mechanized strip mining using surface miners, which can efficiently mine beds down to as little as 10cm in thickness.

Sampling Quality Analysis and Quality Control

Logging and sampling are undertaken at site in Bayovar under a QA/QC protocol developed by Focus in conjunction with Golder Associates. Once logged and sampled, the core is bagged and transported in sealed plastic drums by Focus personnel to Certimin laboratories in Lima for analysis. Phosphorous (P2O5) is determined by gravimetric methods. Major oxides are determined by ICPOES and silica by gravimetric analysis. Certimin is an affiliated ISO 9001 laboratory and uses standards for phosphate and silica from the Association of Fertilizer and Phosphate Chemists. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples. Quality control is further assured by Focus's QA/QC program which involves the insertion by Focus personnel of blind certified standards, blanks and core duplicates into the sample stream at regular intervals in order to independently assess analytical precision and accuracy of each batch of samples as they are received from the laboratory.

Background

The Bayovar 12 concession shows potential to host a large sedimentary phosphate deposit. The Bayovar district is situated in the Sechura Desert, a north-trending basin approximately 22,000 square kilometres in area comprising Miocene-aged sedimentary rocks. Phosphate was discovered in the 1950s during drilling for petroleum. It occurs as beds of pelletal phosphate within the Diana Formation, a sequence of phosphate-bearing diatomites and sandstones. The phosphate layers are remarkably regular in P2O5 content over long distances, a typical characteristic of marine phosphate deposits. At Vale's Bayovar mine, the soft and friable nature of the phosphate rock and diatomite permits mining by conventional truck and shovel without the use of explosives.

On January 14, 2014, the Company's Peruvian subsidiary, Agrifos Peru SAC, signed a formal option agreement for the acquisition of shares in Juan Paulo Quay SAC, the titleholder of the Bayovar 12 non-metallic mining concession. Agrifos can earn a 70 per cent interest of the issued share capital of JPQ by investing in exploration and making a series of cash payments up to the completion of a positive prefeasibility study, after which Agrifos will have the first right of refusal to purchase the remaining 30 per cent of JPQ.

Qualified Person

The scientific and technical information in this release were prepared under the supervision of David Cass, Focus's President, who is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and a Qualified Person in accordance with National Instrument 43-101.

The Resource Estimation was prepared by Golder Associates, under the supervision of Jerry DeWolfe, MSc. P.Geo, an Independent Qualified Person defined under National Instrument 43-101.

About Focus

Phosphate rock is a raw material for fertilizers and vital to world food production. Focus is acquiring and developing quality phosphate projects in Latin America where the discovery and development of new deposits is becoming increasingly important given the growing demand and limited local supply of phosphate for fertilizer production. For further information, please call 604-630-5544 or visit our web site www.focusventuresltd.com.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Ralph Rushton, Director & Vice-President, Corporate Development

Symbol: TSXV-FCV

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may include certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements include predictions, projections and forecasts and are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "forecast", "expect", "potential", "project", "target", "schedule", budget" and "intend" and statements that an event or result "may", "will", "should", "could" or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions and includes the negatives thereof. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include actual exploration and development results at Bayovar 12, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, future metal prices, availability of capital and financing on acceptable terms, general economic, market or business conditions, uninsured risks, regulatory changes, delays or inability to receive required approvals, and other exploration or other risks detailed herein and from time to time in the documents filed by the Company from time to time on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause such actions, events or results to differ materially from those anticipated. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate and accordingly readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date of this news release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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