GEOTECHNICAL, PIT OPTIMISATION AND MINE SCHEDULING STUDIES CONCLUDED, IN-PIT FRIABLE RESOURCE DEFINED
- Geotechnical Drilling and Laboratory Test work completed for the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS). WALM Engenharia has confirmed final pit slope conditions and material classifications parameters for pit optimisation.
- Pit Optimisation and Mine Scheduling work has delivered an In-Pit Resource estimate of 48.5Mt @ 28.1% Fe for the friable component of the Jambreiro Measured and Indicated Resource consistent with November 2011 Reserve estimate (49Mt @ 28.2% Fe).
- The new In-Pit Resource is sufficient for 9 years of operations at the planned 2Mtpa concentrate production rate with a life-of-mine operational strip ratio of 0.95:1.
- Pilot plant test work has confirmed that the introduction of a Jig to the process circuit would facilitate less ore grinding and improve both costs and product quality.
- Optimisation of the Jig into the final process design is underway but will result in a slight delay to the delivery of the BFS.
- The environmental approval process is progressing well.
- Product marketing discussions have recommenced and the pilot plant product has been assayed and certified by SGS Geosol Laboratórios Ltda for use by potential off-take partners.
- Mine and plant capital and operating cost studies are well advanced with suppliers visiting the Jambreiro site to allow them to finalise key inputs to the BFS.
- BFS is now expected to be delivered by the end of October 2012, with no impact expected to the overall timeline for development and first production from the Jambreiro Project.