Champion Minerals Inc.

Champion Minerals Inc.

August 01, 2012 08:40 ET

Metallurgical Test Results Confirm Marketable Sinter Concentrate Product from Champion Minerals' Fire Lake North Project

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2012) - CHAMPION MINERALS INC. (TSX:CHM)(OTCQX:CPMNF)(FRANKFURT:P02) ("Champion" or the "Company") is pleased to announce metallurgical results of test work performed by SGS Lakefield Research and interpreted by BBA Inc. on its 100% owned Fire Lake North Project in Fermont, Quebec.

The test work, performed in support of the Fire Lake North Feasibility Study that is scheduled for Q4 2012, has successfully demonstrated that the West Pit and East Pit deposits, which contain predominantly hematite, can be processed using a relatively simple and conventional Autogenous Grinding ("AG") mill with three-stage gravity spiral beneficiation. Due to the very low magnetite content of both deposits, no magnetic recovery circuit is anticipated. The product generated from both heavy liquid separation (HLS) testing and a pilot plant has confirmed that an excellent grade and quality of sinter concentrate can be produced from the West Pit and East Pit deposits of the Fire Lake North Project. The Company is focused on the development of the West Pit deposit for the upcoming Feasibility Study, with the East Pit deposit possibly serving to supplement the mill feed.

Tom Larsen, Champion's President and CEO commented, "The successful results from our metallurgical testing confirm that the Fire Lake North ore will result in a superior concentrate compared to most concentrates produced from existing mines in the southern section of the Labrador Trough. This sinter concentrate is expected to have very low deleterious elements and a very low alumina to silica ratio which makes it an ideal blending product at steel plants; thus, will satisfy broad market requirements. These results have also demonstrated that the ore can be effectively processed without the need for additional separation circuits and will help to lower our processing costs."

In this phase of metallurgical testing, 38 composite samples were prepared for each of the West Pit and East Pit deposits. NQ core samples (quartered) were blended and ground to a final size of 100% passing 20, 24 and 28 mesh (850, 710, and 600 micro m). The complete results of this testing program will be published in the Feasibility Study; however, the following two tables highlight certain key results that were derived from heavy liquid separation.

West Pit HLS Testing - Average of 38 composite samples (sink fraction)

Mesh %Fe %SiO2 %Al2O3 Al2O3:SiO2
20 66.0 5.07 0.52 0.10
24 66.6 4.26 0.52 0.12
28 67.1 3.65 0.52 0.14

East Pit HLS Testing - Average of 38 composite samples (sink fraction)

Mesh %Fe %SiO2 %Al2O3 Al2O3:SiO2
20 64.7 6.77 0.47 0.07
24 65.4 6.07 0.44 0.07
28 66.1 5.09 0.43 0.08

Apart from silica (SiO2), the only other impurity that was consistently measured was alumina (Al2O3); however alumina fell well below 2%, which is a standard for sinter fines. This, combined with the fact that the alumina to silica ratio is substantially less than 1, will make it an attractive product to blast furnace operators, who may favour it for use as a diluent in raw materials blending strategies with sinter feed of lesser quality.

The West Pit test results showed that an excellent grade of sinter concentrate could be produced by grinding to 100% passing 20 mesh. Further reductions in silica were obtained by grinding to 100% passing 28 mesh. As will be reported in the Feasibility Study, most other impurities (e.g. CaO, MgO) were found to be below detection limits (<0.01%) in the majority of composites tested and thus not considered to materially affect product quality. The table below gives product assays that might be considered typical of the West Pit HLS testing for material ground to 100% passing 20 mesh. Of particular note are the low manganese (%MnO) levels. In fact, 26 of 38 West Pit composite samples tested yielded product that had MnO levels below the detection limit of 0.01%. While not yet available at the time of press release, sulphur levels in the product will also be very low, owing to the fact that the two deposits are virtually sulphur-free.

Selected Sink Fraction Assays derived from the testing of West Pit composite samples.

Sample Fe Magnetite Hematite SiO2 MnO Al2O3 MgO CaO TiO2 Cr2O3 V2O5 P2O5 LOI
3 66.52 0.14 95.10 4.56 0.02 0.63 <0.01 <0.01 0.20 0.02 <0.01 0.02 0.36
14 66.45 0.14 95.00 4.75 0.02 0.59 0.02 <0.01 0.21 <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 0.32
25 65.12 0.36 93.10 6.27 0.02 0.65 0.05 0.04 0.18 0.04 <0.01 0.02 0.43
34 67.15 0.14 96.00 4.24 0.02 0.26 <0.01 <0.01 0.05 0.02 <0.01 0.02 0.05

Similar results were derived for the East Pit composite samples. Once again, the chief impurity is silica. The East Pit HLS results do suggest that a slightly finer grind, possibly to 24-28 mesh, may be needed to consistently raise the iron grade to above 65% Fe. However, the East Pit material may also be used in a blending strategy with the West Pit deposit. While not presented, what is also clear from the results is that the majority of the composites tested at 20 mesh (24 of 38) yielded iron grades exceeding 65% Fe, which suggests that large zones within the East Pit may perform comparably to the West Pit. Further testing would be required to confirm such a hypothesis.

About Champion Minerals Inc.

Champion Minerals is an iron exploration and development company with offices in Montreal and Toronto, and is focused on developing its significant iron resources in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador. Champion holds a 100% interest in the Fermont Iron Holdings and a 44% interest in the Attikamagen Iron Project located in both Quebec and Labrador.

Champion's Fermont Iron Holdings, including the flagship Fire Lake North Project, are located in Canada's major iron ore producing district, in close proximity to five producing iron mines. Fire Lake North is located immediately adjacent to and north of ArcelorMittal's operating Fire Lake Mine and 60 km south of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.'s Bloom Lake Mine in northeastern Quebec. Champion's team and advisory board includes mining and exploration professionals with the mine operations experience to build the Fire Lake North Project into a producing mine.

The technical information in this news release was prepared, revised and approved by Mr. Jean-Luc Chouinard, P. Eng., M.Sc., Vice President, Project Development for Champion Minerals Inc. and Dr. Andre Allaire, Eng., M.Eng., Ph.D., who works for BBA Inc. and is their Vice President Markets - Mining and Metals; and who is independent of the issuer. Both individuals are Qualified Persons under National Instrument 43-101 standards.

For additional information on Champion, please visit our website at

This news release includes certain information that may constitute "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements about mineral resource estimates and planned operations at the Company's projects, including its Consolidated Fire Lake North Project. Forward-looking information is necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including the risks identified in Champion's annual information forms, management discussion and analysis and other securities regulatory filings by Champion on SEDAR (including under the heading "Risk Factors" therein). There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. All forward-looking information contained in this press release is given as of the date hereof and is based upon the opinions and estimates of Champion's management and information available to management as at the date hereof. Champion disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

This press release has been prepared by Champion Minerals Inc. and no regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

Contact Information

  • Champion Minerals Inc.
    Thomas G. Larsen
    President and CEO
    (416) 866-2200

    Champion Minerals Inc.
    Jorge Estepa
    (416) 866-2200