Senegal – ASX-listed phosphates explorer and project developer Avenira, formerly Minemakers, has announced its maiden indicated mineral resource at its Baobab phosphate project in Senegal.

Highlights:

  • Maiden indicated mineral resource estimate of 12.6 Mt grading at 21.0% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) at a 15% P2O5 cut-off grade within the Small Mine Permit (SMP) at Gadde Bissik East, part of the wider Baobab phosphate project.
  • Inferred mineral resource of 80 Mt grading at 19% P2O5 estimated for the remainder of Gadde Bissik East prospect, including more broadly drilled portions of the SMP.
  • Infill resource drilling program continuing within and adjacent to the SMP aimed at increasing estimated indicated mineral resource tons.
  • Exploration drilling programs has recommenced targeting prospective ground to the east of Gadde Bissik.

Avenira believes that the Baobab phosphate project has been further derisked with the release of a maiden indicated mineral resource estimate.

The Baobab phosphate project is located in the Republic of Senegal
The Baobab phosphate project is located in the Republic of Senegal

The cut-off grade for the updated resource estimate has been reduced from 18% to 15% P2O5 based on positive results from ongoing beneficiation test work and marketing studies.

The decision to commence mining was made in mid-November which allowed long lead time Items to be ordered and water drilling to commence.

The indicated mineral resource estimate has been completed for much of the eastern half of the SMP at Gadde Bissik East, and represents the first phase of the resource status upgrade planned to advance the project to mining status.

The maiden indicated mineral resource encloses the area that the company has targeted for first production of rock phosphate. It is anticipated that ongoing drill programs and ancillary exploration work will provide sufficient data to allow conversion of a significant amount of the remaining inferred mineral resource within the SMP to indicated mineral resource status during 2016.

“It is very pleasing to be able to announce the first phase of conversion of our resource base to the indicated mineral resource category. This step is part of our continuing de-risking of the project as we move into mining.

“Our ongoing technical and marketing efforts will enable us to provide more detailed mining plans including mineral reserves and financial modelling in the first half of 2016,” says Avenira MD and CEO Cliff Lawrenson.

Project Background

The Baobab project area covers a total of approximately 1 553 km2. Within the Baobab project area, the Gadde Bissik prospect of approximately 90 km2 was identified during excavation of water wells in the 1950’s. Avenira has managed the exploration of the Gadde Bissik area since early 2014, building up a comprehensive knowledge of the Baobab project and its potential.

A SMP was granted in May 2015 over the area of thickest and highest grade mineralisation identified to date at the Gadde Bissik prospect and the focus of exploration has continued to be within this area since that.

A maiden inferred mineral resource estimate was announced by the company in May 2015.

Exploration opportunities to the east of Gadde Bissik provide the potential for further discoveries of phosphate mineralisation along a 30 km broad linear trend. Avenira commenced broad-spaced air core exploration drilling in early December 2015 to follow up discoveries of phosphate mineralisation made in 2014.

An updated NI43-101 Technical Report describing the current estimates will be filed on SEDAR before the 20th January 2016.

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