Montero Mining and Exploration (CVE:MON) said Wednesday it has completed a maiden NI 43-101 resource estimate for the sedimentary phosphate deposit at its Duyker Eiland project in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
A total inferred mineral resource of 32.8 million tonnes at a grade of 7.15% P2O5 was outlined from the preliminary drilling program of 26 boreholes, or 613 metres, at the deposit.
The company said that initial metallurgical test work thus far has shown that an acid-grade phosphate concentrate of 33% to 35% P2O5 can be produced by flotation. The tests used a composite of material from the three mineralized zones, the Lower, Middle and Upper zones, prepared from reverse circulation material from four holes.
The project is located roughly 18 kilometres north of Vredenburg and 140 kilometres north-northeast of Cape Town. The Port of Saldanha, which has handled cargo in excess of 45 million tonnes annually, is 30 kilometres to the south.
"We are excited to report an initial Inferred Mineral Resource of 32.8 M tonnes at 7.15% P2O5at Duyker Eiland and pleased to note that early metallurgical test work indicates that a saleable acid-grade concentrate can be produced by flotation," said president and CEO, Dr. Tony Harwood.
"Our primary focus is the development of our flagship Wigu Hill Rare Earth Project in Tanzania as we focus on bringing this to the mining and production stage, however the phosphate assets were acquired to create value and provide the company with secondary properties with equally short resource definition profiles to provide cash flow through the production potential of the assets.”
The independent resource estimate was prepared by AMEC Earth & Environmental Limited and has an effective date of 27 September 2011.
Montero plans to commence a preliminary economic assessment in the later part of this year. The company said there is upside potential of increasing the resource base, by expanding the drilling program mainly to the north and west, as the deposit remains open in those directions.
During the 2011 exploration campaign, Montero drilled 32 holes at the Duyker Eiland project. Of these, six holes were abandoned due to equipment failure and low recovery issues, and 26 vertical holes, totaling 613 metres were drilled on a 400 metre by 200 metre grid pattern.
Montero Mining is primarily focused on rare earth elements (REE), phosphates and uranium in Tanzania, South Africa and Quebec, Canada. Its flagship Wigu Hill REE project in Tanzania has an inferred resource of 3.3 million tonnes at a grade of 2.6% light rare earth oxide (LREO5) on the Tembo and Twiga deposits, covering just the eastern ridge of the property.