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Huge manganese deposit confirmed

Drilling on the farm
Rissik 330, in the
Kalahari manganese
field
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 June 2009 – Pallinghurst Resources Limited – incorporated less than 2 years ago and listed on the JSE for less than a year – has confirmed one of the world’s largest un-mined manganese deposits at its Tshipi manganese project in the Kalahari Basin. Together with its co-investors, Pallinghurst holds 49.9% of Tshipi.

A statement by Pallinghurst released here said extensive exploration of the property had defined resources of 161 million tonnes (SAMREC compliant) mineable by open pit methods. The ore resources were shallower than expected, and were low in phosphorus and other deleterious elements. A further 110 million tonnes were expected to be accessible through underground mining methods, increasing the total resource to 271 million tonnes.

It added that the feasibility study – carried out by Turgis Consulting (Pty) Limited – envisaged the creation of a large open pit manganese mine to produce two million tonnes per annum of “Mamatwan” type manganese ore, grading 37%. The study confirmed that the project was economically robust, with production costs in the lowest industry quartile.

Pallinghurst chairman Brian Gilbertson said: “The Kalahari Basin is one of the world’s important mineral provinces, and hosts 80% of the world’s manganese reserves. It is from here that the bulk of the ore essential for world steel production will be sourced for centuries to come. Happily, the feasibility study has shown our project, in the heart of the basin, to be large, robust and of long life,” he added.

The project is located in an area benefiting from established road, power and rail infrastructure, and has sufficient water resources for open pit mining. Tshipi will build its own 4MVA power plant, and plans to construct a dedicated high-speed rail loading facility.

“It will take approximately one year to produce the first saleable manganese ore, after the formal go decision,” the statement added.

Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen said: “We expect the project to move rapidly to a formal go decision as access to transport and port capacity is finalised. This is clearly a very attractive asset which will unlock significant value for all our stakeholders, as well as potentially create some 400 new jobs”.

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