Guinea – Sable Mining, the AIM listed iron exploration and development company, has revealed positive results from metallurgical test work conducted at the Plateau 2 area of its 205.2 Mt Nimba iron ore project.
- Detailed mine scheduling shows a life of mine of more than 20 years, and highlighted the ability to sustain production of both high quality premium grade lump and fines products at Nimba over the initial 10 years life of mine exclusively from the Plateau 2 area:
- Lump product grades of 63.33% iron (‘Fe’)
- Fines product grades of 62.11% Fe.
- A third medium grade fines product is being considered with grades of 58.58% Fe returned.
- Mechanical and thermal properties of the proposed premium lump product expected to further enhance price premiums and marketability of product – the rate and degree of reduction from iron oxide to iron and the porosity of the lump product are considered excellent, positively impacting blast furnace productivity and direct feed suitability respectively.
- Easily fragmented rock identified (UCS averaging 20 Mpa and CWI averaging 3 kWh/t), which will allow for high crushing rates at low power consumption – positively impacting operational and capital expenditure
- Testing to determine the sinter characteristics of the fines product is ongoing with initial tests performing to expectation – results due September 2015.
- Further metallurgical test work is underway to progress marketing studies for the end product.
- Additional upside available from Plateau 3 and the larger, un-drilled Plateau 1.
Sable Mining CEO Andrew Groves says, “These metallurgical results underpin the quality of our Nimba iron ore product and the potential commercial viability of the project. With grades of 63% and 62% Fe returned from our lump and fines product respectively, Nimba is able to sustain the production of both high quality premium grade lump and fines products over an initial ten year life of mine exclusively from Plateau 2.”
“Importantly, this appears to be achievable via relatively low cost crush and screen methods, positively impacting the already compelling economics of the Project. Furthermore, as Plateau 2 is one of three plateaux within our licence area, there remains significant further upside opportunity, the development of which could potentially be funded from revenues generated at Plateau 2, positively impacting the project’s capital requirements. Our focus will now be on further defining the end product quality grade, so that we can begin to assess export opportunities into markets such as Europe and China.”
Testing to determine the sinter characteristics of the fines product is on-going. The results are due in September 2015 with initial tests performing to expectation. Further metallurgical test work is ongoing to progress marketing studies for the end product, based on 16 HQ and 26 PQ drill holes’ core.
Tests to fully characterise both the mechanical and thermal properties of the proposed premium lump product have been completed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia.