PERTH, Western Australia, Oct. 25 /CNW/ - Mantra Resources Limited ('Mantra' or 'Company') (ASX:MRU, TSX:MRL) is pleased to announce that it has commenced a Pre-Feasibility Study ('PFS') on heap leaching lower grade mined ore at the Company's Mkuju River Project ('MRP' or the 'Project') for the Project's second phase of growth.
Phase 1 of the Project, which is currently the subject of the Company's Definitive Feasibility Study ('DFS'), is targeting approximately 3.7 million pounds of uranium a year using the Resin-in-Pulp ('RIP') metallurgical process. It is envisaged that Phase 2, the heap leaching of lower grade mined ore, would commence after the RIP circuit has reached steady state operations and provide the Project with an incremental increase in production over and above the targeted annual production rate of Phase 1.
The commencement of the Heap Leach PFS follows positive results from initial heap leach testwork campaigns conducted at the ANSTO and SGS facilities in Australia. The initial testwork clearly demonstrated that the low grade ore is particularly amenable to heap leaching. The results of column testwork, which simulates a heap leaching process, were very encouraging, indicating a uranium recovery rate of approximating 80% in eight days with a low acid consumption of approximately 8 kilograms per tonne. No other reagents were required to achieve final recoveries.
Mantra believes there is the opportunity for a low cost, incremental increase in production through the recovery of additional uranium from the lower grade (less than the current resource cut-off grade of 200 ppm U(3)O(8)) material which is currently being mined and treated as waste in the pit optimisation process for Phase 1. The capital expenditure for this Phase 2 growth is anticipated to be modest.
Peter Breese, CEO, commented "We are very excited about the opportunity that heap leaching lower grade, mined material offers to further maximise the value of our business through incremental production growth at low capital and operating cost. We have decided to proceed with the PFS for Phase 2 growth now in order to ensure key aspects of the heap leach can be incorporated during the construction of Phase 1."
The Heap Leach PFS is due to be completed during the first quarter of 2011 and will include further resource modelling and detailed leaching testwork to allow grade/recovery relationships to be investigated, the minimum cut-off grade for economic treatment of the Nyota orebody to be determined and additional data for engineering, design and costing to be generated. Upon successful completion of the Heap Leach PFS, it is planned to progress to a DFS, which will include extensive integrated metallurgical testwork and an updated Environmental Impact Statement.
ABOUT MANTRA RESOURCES LIMITED
Mantra is an emerging uranium producer with a portfolio of quality projects in southern Tanzania. The Company is dual listed on the Australian Securities Exchange ('ASX') under the code 'MRU' and the Toronto Stock Exchange ('TSX') under the code 'MRL'. Mantra is focused on aggressively pursuing the potential development and ongoing exploration of the Mkuju River Project in Tanzania in order to fulfil its strategic objective of becoming a significant uranium producer in the near-term.
For further information regarding the Mkuju River Project, including a description of Mantra's quality assurance program, quality control measures, the geology, samples collected and testing procedures in respect of the Mkuju River Project please refer to the technical reports prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 entitled "January, 2010 Resource Update - Mkuju River Project, located in Tanzania, Africa" dated 10 March 2010, "December, 2009 Resource Update - Mkuju River Project" dated 7 December 2009 and "Technical Report on the Mkuju River Project located in Tanzania, Africa" dated 18 September 2009, which are available under the Company's profile at SEDAR.
Competent Person / Qualified Person Statements
The information in this release that relates to the Heap Leach metallurgical testwork results is based on information compiled by Mr Stuart Lawrence, who is a Metallurgist and a Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Lawrence is a Director of DRA's parent company, the EPCM contractor for the Mkuju River Project. Mr Lawrence has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (The JORC Code) and is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101 - 'Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects'. The Qualified Person has verified the data disclosed in this report, was satisfied with the verification process and consents to the disclosure in this release. Mr Lawrence consents to the inclusion in this report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The information in this release that relates to in-situ Mineral Resources is based on information compiled by Mr Malcolm Titley of CSA Global Pty. Ltd. He is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration, and to the activity he is undertaking, to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (The JORC Code) and is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101 - 'Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects'. Mr Titley consents to the inclusion of such information in this release in the form and context in which it appears.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains 'forward-looking information' that is based on the Company's expectations, estimates and projections as of the date on which the statements were made. This forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements with respect to pre-feasibility and definitive feasibility studies, the Company's business strategy, plans, development, objectives, performance, outlook, growth, cash flow, projections, targets and expectations, mineral reserves and resources, results of exploration and related expenses. Generally, this forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as 'outlook', 'anticipate', 'project', 'target', 'likely', 'believe', 'estimate', 'expect', 'intend', 'may', 'would', 'could', 'should', 'scheduled', 'will', 'plan', 'forecast', 'evolve' and similar expressions. Persons reading this news release are cautioned that such statements are only predictions, and that the Company's actual future results or performance may be materially different.
Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, including but not limited to the risk factors set out in the Company's Annual Information Form.
This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect our forward-looking information. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. The Company disclaims any intent or obligations to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, estimates or options, future events or results or otherwise, unless required to do so by law.
For further information: For further information: Peter Breese, Chief Executive Officer, Telephone: +27 82 888 6852