VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 24, 2014) - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:FCV) is pleased to provide a further update on the drill program underway at the Bayovar 12 phosphate project near Piura in northern Peru. Two rigs are currently on site carrying out a first phase diamond drill program in the western end of the 12,575-hectare concession. Drilling is progressing well, with 10 holes completed to date consisting of HQ size core. Holes are being drilled on an initial 800m x 800m grid covering approximately 14 square kilometres (1,400 hectares).
All holes are vertical, targeting phosphate beds within the Diana Formation, a sequence of horizontally bedded diatomites and sandstones approximately 50 metres thick. The phosphate units within the Diana formation are currently being mined at the Bayovar Mine, a joint venture between Vale, Mosaic and Mitsui, one of the largest phosphate deposits in South America. This mine is located approximately 15 kilometres to the west of Bayovar 12 concession.
Core logging has confirmed the presence of the phosphate beds in all holes drilled to date, demonstrating their continuity within the concession over a distance of at least 4km west to east and 3 km north to south. The Phosphate mineralization is characterized by apatite pellets up to 1 - 2 mm in diameter associated with dark, fossil-rich sedimentary horizons within the diatomite sequence. The geology observed in drill core is very consistent between holes and the beds are flat, making it possible to correlate individual beds from hole to hole, despite the wide drill spacings.
Detailed logging of the first four completed holes in the central part of the grid shows that they all intersected multiple beds of visible phosphate with between 13 - 15 individual horizons measuring equal to or greater than 0.4m in thickness, with individual widths of up to 3.55m.
The depth from surface to the first phosphate unit ranges from 19m to 46m, depending on topographic elevation. Sampling of these initial holes is underway and preliminary assay results are expected within 4 - 5 weeks.
Management is confident that this first stage drilling program at Bayovar 12 will lead to an initial National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource calculation. The conceptual geological target size is between 100 million tonnes to 150 million tonnes of phosphate rock grading between 12 per cent to 18 per cent phophorus pentaoxide (P2O5) -- roughly in line with the other known deposits in the Bayovar basin. (The reader is cautioned that the potential quantity and grade are conceptual in nature, and there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource. The calculation is based on the presence of at least six phosphate beds, each averaging 0.75-metre width, with a specific gravity of roughly 1.7, over an area of approximately 14 square kilometres.)
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 Zapallal formation, a thick sequence of 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. The terms of the agreement were outlined in Focus's news release dated September 10, 2013. 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 pre-feasibility study, after which Agrifos will have the first right of refusal to purchase the remaining 30 per cent of JPQ.
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.
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
Symbol: TSX VENTURE:FCV
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Some of the statements in this news release contains forward-looking information that involves inherent risk and uncertainty affecting the business of Focus Ventures Ltd. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statement.