West African Iron Ore Corp intersects high grade iron mineralization in 19 drill holes at Sambalama and updates strategic partnership talks in China

TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE: WAI

VANCOUVER, Jan. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - West African Iron Ore Corp. (TSX-V: WAI) West African Iron Ore Corp. ("WAI" or the "Company") is pleased to report new assays from 7 new reverse circulation holes and complete assays from 12 reverse circulation drill holes where partial results had previously been released (November 10th and 20th, 2011). The results clearly demonstrate thick intersections and continuity of near surface and sub-surface iron ore mineralization at the Sambalama target in Guinea. Sambalama is located just 40km from the proposed deep-sea port recently announced by the Guinean government, potentially giving WAI's project a significant operating cost advantage over other iron ore projects in West Africa.

The table below shows summarized results from 19 drill holes that are spaced approximately 50 to 100 meters apart and follow a north by northwest trend of surface iron showings. The holes were all drilled with an azimuth of -45 to -60 to the exception of hole SAMRC032 which was drilled vertically, mineralization going from surface to 120 meters. Please note that some of the higher-grade results released in previous news releases (November 10th and 20th, 2011) have been averaged over the total length of the hole from surface.

Hole ID From (m) To (m) Interval (m)* Average Grade in %
Fe203 (cut off 25%)
New Holes  
SAMRC002 0 25 25 25.39
SAMRC004 0 48 48 25.20
SAMRC010 0 48 48 25.03
SAMRC014 0 48 48 25.76
SAMRC016 0 80 80 25.18
SAMRC019 0 20 20 25.94
SAMRC032 0 56 56 25.23
Amended Holes Intervals  
SAMRC001 0 43 43 26.14
SAMRC005 0 17 17 25.35
SAMRC006 0 12 12 25.09
SAMRC007 0 21 21 25.13
SAMRC008 0 30 30 25.09
SAMRC009 0 18 18 25.50
SAMRC011 0 120 120 28.52
SAMRC012 0 26 26 26.30
SAMRC013 0 50 50 25.17
SAMRC015 0 30 30 25.27
SAMRC017 0 120 120 25.21
SAMRC018 0 74 74 25.29

*Average interval 46.63 meters.
Location map available at:
http://www.westafricanironore.com/pdfs/Sambalama_Drill_Holes_Map.pdf

From ongoing metallurgical studies, it has been shown that iron mineralization from Sambalama can easily be upgraded with high recovery levels (up to a maximum of 63.2% recovery by weight on samples tested) with a simple beneficiation process, to produce a product with a grade of at least 64% Fe by weight from feed with an iron content of 25% Fe2O3.

To date, WAI has completed 2,168 meters DDH (Diamond Drill Holes) and 4,506 meters RCH (Reverse Circulation Holes) on the Sambalama target with a further 1,923 meters DDH (Diamond Drill Hole) on the Kalyadi target. The Company will resume its 5,000 meters diamond drill program in February with a continued focus on the Sambalama and Kalyadi targets. It is anticipated that the Company will complete its first resource estimate by June.

Further the Company is pleased to announce that Canaccord Genuity Corp. of Vancouver ("Canaccord") was appointed to assist the Company in identifying strategic partners in China. Canaccord is currently in talks with a number of iron ore producers, consumers and investment funds in China. "The keen interest expressed by a number of potential strategic partners with which we have consulted, gives us confidence that our future financing plans are achievable without imposing an undue burden or dilution upon our balance sheet and shareholders" Mr. Guy Duport said.

Sampling and Quality Control

The Company prepared all cuttings, on site, from the reverse circulation-drilling program. SRK Consulting of Australia inspected our facility and confirmed that our quality control program .All samples analysed were conducted by SGS Canada Inc. in Lakefield, Ontario in Canada.

The Company maintains a systematic quality control program including the use of standards, blanks, duplicates, and an independent check laboratory. The DDH (Diamond Drill Hole) Assay samples collected are sent to SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd., and the RCH (Reverse Circulation Hole) assay samples are sent to SGS Canada Inc. in Lakefield, Ontario.  The performance of the quality control samples associated with these data indicates acceptable analytical quality. Please refer to the NI 43-101 Technical Report, which is filed on SEDAR and available on the Company's website, for further discussion of sample methodology, detailed quality control procedures and other information regarding the project.

Jonathan Challis, FIMMM, is a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and is responsible for the contents of this news release.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Guy Duport
CEO

Statements in this release that are forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of the Company including, but not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, volatility of commodity prices, risks associated with the uncertainty of exploration results and estimates and that the resource potential will be achieved on exploration projects, currency fluctuations, dependence upon regulatory approvals, the uncertainty of obtaining additional financing and exploration risk. Readers should also refer to the specific factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's filings with Canadian securities regulators. Such information contained herein represents management's best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, save and except as may be required by applicable securities laws.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE West African Iron Ore Corp.

For further information:

Guy Duport
CEO
guyduport@westafricanironore.com
Tel: 604-558-1198

Investor Relations
Vanguard Shareholder Solutions
Tel: 604-608-0824
Toll Free: 1-866-638-0824
ir@vanguardsolutions.ca

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West African Iron Ore Corp.

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