#African Minerals#DSO resource estimate#Tonkolili project

African Minerals Announces Tonkolili Resource Discovery

The recent announcement of new DSO resource estimate in its Tonkolili project has African Minerlas looking forward to expanding saprolite productionAfri...

|May 15|magazine7 min read

The recent announcement of new DSO resource estimate in its Tonkolili project has African Minerlas looking forward to expanding saprolite production

African Minerals has established itself as a successful minerals exploration, development and mining company.  Most recently, the company’s primary focus has been on its Tonkolili Iron Ore Project in Sierra Leone and today they have announced an increase in its Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) resource at this location. The updated mineral resource estimate reflects that 43.9 million tons of DSO material has been mined since the beginning of the project through March 2014, but the delineation of the 59.5 million tons per year of DSO has provided the resources to extend the life of the operations in Sierra Leone.

Excited by this new discovery, chief executive officer, Bernie Pryor, states that, “the increase in the Tonkolili DSO resource is a significant event. The increased life of the DSO resource, now with over ninety percent classified in the Measured and Indicated resource categories, will allow the company to produce to 2020, and to take a longer term vie regarding the current operations.”

Mining Weekly follows-up on this company issue, saying, “Production of DSO will be concurrent with our near-term plans to expand production to 25Mtpa and to move into a higher value of saprolite hematite concentrate product from 2016. This new resource estimate also reflects that the last estimate was derived at several other locations.  Therefore a revised cut-off grade of 53.5 percent iron, compared to 56.5 percent which was previously estimated, which a portion of this material has been classified as ‘High Grade Saprolite Ore’.” 

Due to this DSO Mineral Resource estimate, an updated saprolite resource (including optimized metallurgical parameters) is expected to be available by summer 2014. African Minerals looks forward to increasing its production capacity from 20 million tonnes per year to 25 million tonnes per year, and anticipates being able to drastically increase the output of saprolite per year.   The company is pleased to announce its expectation of establishing its first ever saprolite concentrator by early 2016, which will allow them to have the ability to further assess the metallurgical properties of the saprolite component of its Mineral Resource, and therefore produce it at a higher value. This operation will be running simultaneously with the DSO operations.

In addition, African Minerals has been developing port and rail infrastructure, forging strong partnerships with Shangong Iron and Steel Group and China Railways Materials Commercial Corporation to support the Tonkolili Project.  

"We are, of course, excited to embark on this next stage of our expansion, for which we expect to provide more information in due course. The first step of this expansion will be the publication of an updated saprolite resource later this quarter, incorporating the adjustments to the DSO resource as announced today,” reports Pryor.