Mawson West Ltd.

November 21, 2011 09:25 ET

Mawson West Announces Activities Update

PERTH, AUSTRALIA and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2011) - Mawson West Ltd. (TSX:MWE) ("Mawson" or the "Company") is pleased to announce an update on its activities on its 90% owned Dikulushi Mining Convention located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC").

Dikulushi Update

At the Dikulushi copper-silver mine, production from the low-grade stockpile continues, with approximately 350-400 tonnes of copper ("Cu") and 30,000-35,000 ounces of silver ("Ag") being produced per month. Processing of the stockpile is expected to be completed in December 2011, after which it is intended that material from satellite deposits will be processed until ore material from the Company's previously announced cut-back expansion project at the Dikulushi mine is available.

Since acquiring the project from Anvil Mining Limited in April 2010, Mawson has been exploring within 50km of the Dikulushi processing plant and has had early success in defining additional deposits that will supply ore to the plant, with the Company's aim being to increase the production life at Dikulushi to 10 years. As a result of these exploration activities, two additional deposits have been defined to date. The first is Kazumbula, which is located approximately 14 km from the Dikulushi mine and which, as previously disclosed by the Company, has a NI 43-101 compliant indicated resource of 318 thousand tonnes ("kt") at a grade of 1.8% Cu and 19 g/t Ag. The second deposit is Boomgate, which is located approximately 1 km from the Dikulushi mine and for which the Company has recently calculated an indicated resource of 273kt at a grade of 2.6% Cu and 48g/t Ag and an inferred resource of 233kt at a grade of 1.8% Cu and 25g/t Ag, which is expected to be released in detail by the end of November 2011. The resource estimate for the Boomgate deposit is summarised in the tables below (at no cut-off grade).

Classification Weathering Tonnes (kt) Density Cu% AsCu% Ag g/t Cu Metal (t) AsCu Metal (t) Ag metal (t)
Indicated Oxide 33 2.55 2.48 1.37 49 807 446 51,441
Indicated Transition 218 2.6 2.6 1.28 48 5,659 2,799 334,369
Indicated Fresh 22 2.6 2.6 1.28 48 734 101 35,366
Total Indicated 273 2.59 2.58 1.29 47.84 7,199 3,346 421,000
Classification Weathering Tonnes (kt) Density Cu% AsCu% Ag g/t Cu Metal (t) AsCu Metal (t) Ag metal (t)
Inferred Transition 167 2.6 1.27 0.46 14 2,132 762 77,162
Inferred Fresh 66 2.6 3.02 0.31 54 1,983 201 112,528
Total Inferred 233 2.6 1.77 0.41 25.33 4,115 963 190,000

The resource estimate for the Boomgate deposit has been prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 by David Gray, P. Geo, of Optiro Pty Ltd., an independent "Qualified Person". A NI 43-101 technical report in respect of the Boomgate deposit resource estimate will be filed under the Company's profile on SEDAR.

A further deposit, Golf Course, which is 500 m from the Dikulushi mine, is in the process of being drilled out.

In addition, the Dikulushi pit cut-back project continues to progress well. Since the commencement of mining in July 2010, approximately 1.6 million bank cubic metres of waste have been stripped and the project is on track to deliver first ore to the existing 500,000 tonne per annum processing plant in August 2012. As announced earlier in the year, in the NI 43-101 Dikulushi cut-back feasibility study, the Company will recover approximately 2,000t of copper and 200,000oz of silver per month for an estimated 14 months from the cut-back.

Finally, a feasibility study into reopening the existing underground development of the Dikulushi deposit will commence in January 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The aim of this study is to define at least five years of underground mine life.

Kapulo Update

At the Kapulo copper exploration and development project, construction has commenced. Site civils, including the Pweto-Kapulo access road upgrade, are well underway. The mine camp is 80% completed and will be progressed further as more accommodation is required. Mawson is also building a 600,000t/annum flotation plant which is anticipated to be producing approximately 18,000t of copper per annum from the end of 2012.

Exploration Update

Since May 2010, the Company's exploration programme has been successful in identifying three new deposits within trucking distance of the Dikulushi mine, two of which have NI 43-101 compliant resources (Kazumbula and Boomgate). Several other prospects have undergone first pass drilling with encouraging results: Kabusanje – 9m @ 2.9% Cu and 167g/t Ag; Kazumbula South – 15m @ 3.0% Cu and 90g/t Ag; and Lufukwe (previously drilled by Anvil Mining Ltd.) – 10.9m @ 2.0% Cu and 103g/t Ag. Geochemical and geophysical surveys have delineated numerous anomalies, which require follow-up drilling.

The Company's exploration activities are now beginning to enter the wet season in the DRC, which extends from November to April, and during this time most access for regional exploration is difficult and activities are generally restricted to within close proximity of existing operations at Dikulushi and Kapulo. Mawson will, however, endeavour to drill test a number of geophysical targets over the current wet season. Evaluation of all data collected during the dry season will continue through the wet.

About Mawson West Ltd.

Mawson West Ltd. is an Australian-based copper producer, developer and explorer listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mawson's focus is on the DRC, and its major asset is its 90% ownership in Anvil Mining Congo SARL, which is in the process of being renamed CMCC SARL ("CMCC"). The tenements held by CMCC, comprising 7,300 km2 of contiguous tenure, encompasses the Company's two main projects, the Dikulushi copper-silver mine and the Kapulo copper exploration and development project, as well as multiple exploration targets. The tenements held by CMCC are governed by the Dikulushi Mining Convention.

Mawson's principal objectives are to expand copper production at the Dikulushi mine, commence copper production at the Kapulo project and further explore the area governed by the Dikulushi Mining Convention to identify new targets. Mawson is also investigating other opportunities in the DRC and elsewhere which have the capacity to increase the Company's production in copper and other metals.

QP Statement

Dave Gray of Optiro and Adam Anderson of Mawson West, both Qualified Persons for the purposes of National instrument 43-101, have reviewed and approved the content of this press release.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains "forward-looking information" that is based on Mawson's expectations, estimates and projections as of the dates as of which those statements were made. This forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements with respect to the Company's business strategy, plans, outlook, financing plans, projections, targets and expectations as to reserves, resources, results of exploration (including targets) and related expenses, mine development, mine operations, mine production costs, drilling activity, sampling and other data, estimating grade levels, future recovery levels, future production levels, capital costs, costs savings, cash and total costs of production of copper, expenditures for environmental matters, projected life of Mawson's mines, reclamation and other post closure obligations and estimated future expenditures for those matters, completion dates for the various development stages of mines, availability of water for milling and mining, future copper prices (including the long-term estimated prices used in calculating Mawson's mineral reserves), end-use demand for copper, currency exchange rates, timing of expected sales and final pricing of concentrate sales and anticipated timing of production at the Dikulushi cut-back project. Generally, this forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "outlook", "anticipate", "project", "target", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "should", "scheduled", "will", "plan" and similar expressions. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Mawson's actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, and developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, including but not limited to:

  • Our ability to successfully bring the Dikulushi cut-back project into production;
  • Receipt of all permits required for the Dikulushi cut-back project;
  • The ability of our key contractors to perform the services for us in the manner contracted for;
  • The availability and cost of key operating supplies and services;
  • The production facilities may not achieve the planned desired recoveries;
  • Fluctuations in copper prices;
  • Insurance coverage may not be available for certain risks that the company might deem it prudent to insure against;
  • The ability to expand or replace depleted reserves and the possible recalculation or reduction of the reserves and resources;
  • Actual capital costs, operating costs and expenditures, production schedules and economic returns from the Dikulushi cut-back project;
  • Geotechnical issues;
  • Mineralogy and block model assumptions;
  • Potential challenges to title to the properties;
  • Inherent hazards and risks associated with mining operations;
  • Inherent uncertainties associated with mineral exploration;
  • Being subject to government regulation, including changes in regulation;
  • Being subject to extensive environmental laws and regulations, including change in regulation;
  • Need for governmental licenses and permits;
  • Political and country risk;
  • Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; and
  • Global financial conditions.

Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable, including but not limited to no material adverse change in the market price of commodities, that mining development and operations will operate in accordance with Mawson's public statements and achieve their stated outcomes, and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. Although Mawson has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Mawson disclaims any intent or obligations to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, estimates or options, future events or results or otherwise, unless required to do so by law.

To view the Kapulo Camp Accommodation, please visit the following link:

To view the Pweto-Kapulo Road, please visit the following link:

To view the Dikulushi Cut Back, please visit the following link:

Contact Information

  • Mawson West Ltd.
    David Frances
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    61 8 9321-9669
    61 8 9481-2394 (FAX)