VANCOUVER AND TORONTO, May 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Focus Ventures Ltd.
(TSX-V:FCV - "Focus") and Stonegate Agricom Ltd. (TSX:ST - "Stonegate")
are pleased to announce that they have signed a Letter of Intent
pursuant to which Focus has the right to acquire, subject to successful
due diligence, a 70% interest in the Mantaro phosphate deposit, located
250 km east of Lima in the District of Junín, central Peru. Phosphate
is a key nutrient used in the manufacture of fertilizers and is an
integral part of the food supply chain.
Mantaro, one of only a small number of phosphate deposits known in the
Andes, is also one of the world's largest undeveloped phosphate
deposits. Phosphate mineralization is hosted in the Aramachay
Formation, a moderately dipping sequence of Jurassic-aged marine
sedimentary unit that has been folded and faulted, resulting in three
parallel mineralized zones termed the West, East and Far East Zones.
Each Zone has been mapped on surface over a strike length of over 20 km
with a total of over 60 km of phosphate-bearing units defined by
surface mapping and trenching, averaging approximately 25m in width.
Drilling and trenching in the West Zone during 2009 by Stonegate
resulted in the definition of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral
Resources, described in the table below.* To the best of Focus' and
Stonegate's knowledge, information and belief, there is no new material
scientific or technical information that would make the disclosure of
these mineral resource estimates inaccurate or misleading.
Resource Category (West Zone)
Measured + Indicated
* Refer to NI 43-101 Technical Report titled "Technical Report on the
Mantaro Phosphate Deposit, Junin District, Peru", February 21, 2010,
filed by Stonegate (the "Mantaro Technical Report"). The Mantaro
Technical Report was prepared by Donald H. Hains, P. Geo., and Michelle
Stone, Ph. D., P. Geo. on behalf of Stonegate. Measured and Indicated
Mineral Resources are reported using a 4% P2O5 cut-off. Inferred Mineral Resources are reported with no cut-off as a
grade of 9% is assumed.
Similar mineralized widths and strike lengths are observed on surface in
the East and Far East zones and considerable potential exists to expand
the resource base by further trenching and drilling. The conceptual
mineral deposits in the East and Far East zones were estimated in
Stonegate's 2010 technical report as follows:
East Zone 425 - 435 million tonnes @ 9-9.5% P205
Far East Zone 280 - 290 million tonnes @ 9-9.5% P205
These potential quantities and grades are conceptual in nature and there
has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource in the
East and Far East Zones and it is uncertain if further exploration will
result in these targets being delineated as a mineral resource.
"We are pleased to have Focus Ventures as a partner on the Mantaro
Phosphate Project.," said Mark Ashcroft, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Stonegate. "We believe that Mantaro is a world class
deposit. This transaction will permit further work on the Mantaro
deposit to proceed while Stonegate concentrates on its Paris Hills
Phosphate Project in Idaho."
David Cass, President of Focus, comments: "South America is dependent on
the import of fertilizers for its growing agricultural industry.
Subject to successful due diligence, the acquisition of a majority
interest in the Mantaro deposit will be a catalyst in the development
of our phosphate assets and will put Focus firmly on the map as perhaps
the only junior exploration company with a diverse portfolio of
phosphate assets in Andean South America. The exploration and
development of phosphate rock quarries to provide the source material
for fertilizers and nutrient products, is a unique opportunity for
Focus. Management of Focus intends to establish sustainable and ethical
operations that would directly contribute to the domestic and
international agronomic economies of Latin America."
Stonegate has granted Focus an exclusive right and option to acquire a
70% interest in the Mantaro property by investing a total of US$25
million over 4 years in exploration, including permitting and drilling,
and including the completion of a feasibility study and an updated NI
43-101 Measured and Indicated Resource calculation.
Focus will have 90 days from the signing of the Letter of Intent to
conduct due diligence and raise a minimum of $2 million to spend on the
property. If Focus decides to proceed, it will implement a community
relations and stakeholder engagement program during the first 6 - 12
months of the option to obtain the necessary land access agreements and
drill permits required to commence exploration and drilling.
During the first year Focus will decide whether: (a) the option will
form a key project in a newly created phosphate company ("Newco") (with
the potential addition of Focus's other phosphate assets in Peru and
Colombia, including the 18,000 hectare Machay phosphate property
located approximately 30km to the north of Mantaro), or (b) the option
will be held 100% by Focus. As applicable, Stonegate will receive
either a right to a board seat on Newco and 5.0% of the post-financing
issued common shares of Newco, or 3.0 million common shares of Focus.
Finder's fees will be payable if Focus proceeds with this transaction.
The 26,000 hectare Mantaro property is located in the Peruvian altiplano
in the southern end of the historic Central Peru Mining District at an
elevation of 3,600m - 4,000m a.s.l. The potential for a significant
phosphate resource was recognized in the 1960's by Cerro de Pasco
Mining Corporation. Mineralization is hosted within Aramachay
Formation, a Jurassic-aged sandstone-shale unit that extends for
hundreds of kilometers along the length of the belt. The Mantaro
property is strategically located adjacent to asphalt highways, rail
and electricity grids.
Exploration by Stonegate in 2009 included mapping, trenching and
drilling of 3,414m in 23 holes. The work tested mainly the West Zone
and resulted in a NI 43-101 resource calculation (see above table). Six
historic trenches with high grade phosphate intersections occur in the
same area and to the north along trend and indicate that the
mineralization is continuous over very long distances. In 2011 a
further 29 holes were drilled at closer drill spacings for a total of
6,386m; however, no updated resource estimation was performed.
Mineralogy, processing and beneficiation studies in 2010 concluded that
both oxide and unoxidized phosphatic ores at Mantaro could be
successfully treated by conventional grinding and flotation techniques
to produce a marketable phosphate concentrate of similar quality to
that of Moroccan Phosrock (~30% P205). Morocco controls a third of the world's seaborne traded phosphate
rock sold on international markets. Similar results were also obtained
in previous bench work studies undertaken in 2006 and 2001.
Focus is acquiring phosphate projects in Latin America through its
subsidiary, Agrifos. Projects acquired to date include the Machay and
Quebranta phosphate properties in Peru, and in Colombia, Focus has
optioned the Maria Luisa phosphate project and signed a strategic
agreement with a local landholder.
Approximately 75% of global phosphate resources are from marine
sedimentary phosphate deposits which are typically amenable to
beneficiation to produce marketable phosphate rock concentrate or
chemical grade fertilizers. Given the current global food crisis owing
to the world's growing population and economic development, crop yields
need to increase and demand for worldwide fertilizers is expected to
grow, particularly in new markets such as Brazil, India and Indonesia.
The scientific and technical information in this release was prepared
for Focus under the supervision of Mr. David Cass, Focus's President,
who is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and
Geoscientists of British Columbia, and a "Qualified Person" in
accordance with NI 43-101. Mr. Cass reviewed and approved this
The Mantaro technical disclosure in this news release has been reviewed
and approved for Stonegate by David Brownrigg, P.Eng. General Manager,
Mantaro Phosphate Project, who is a qualified person as defined in
National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Brownrigg has reviewed and approved
About Focus Ventures
Focus Ventures is developing a diversified portfolio of quality silver,
gold, copper and phosphate properties in Peru, Mexico and Colombia.
The Company is currently drilling at its Reventon Ag-Au property in
Mexico and permitting for drilling at its Aurora Cu-Mo porphyry in
Peru. Backed by an experienced technical team of geologists and
consultants, Focus's strategy is to identify and acquire former
producing mines or untested mineral properties that show potential to
become new mines. Further information is available at www.focusventuresltd.com.
About Stonegate Agricom
Stonegate Agricom, which is actively engaged in acquiring and developing
agricultural nutrient projects, is currently focused on the development
of two potentially world-class, long-life phosphate deposits, the Paris
Hills Phosphate Project located in Idaho and the Mantaro Phosphate
Project located in Peru. The Company is confident that the two deposits
have sufficient size and grade to become strategic, cost-effective
sources of phosphate supply for major fertilizer producers. Further
information is available at www.stonegateagricom.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE FOCUS BOARD
David Cass, President
Shares Issued: 40.1-million
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory
Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Some of the statements in this news release contain forward-looking
information that involves inherent risk and uncertainty affecting the
businesses of Focus Ventures Ltd. and Stonegate Agricom Ltd. Actual
results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" and
"forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable law,
which include statements herein relating to the potential to increase
mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates. Generally,
forward-looking statements and forward-looking information can be
identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans",
"expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled",
"estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not
anticipate", "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or
statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could",
"would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". All
forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are based on
reasonable assumptions that have been made as at the date of such
information. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information
are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors
that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or
achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied
by such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information,
including but not limited to: risks relating to whether Focus and
Stonegate complete the transaction described in this news release,
uncertainty in the estimation of mineral reserves and resources,
uncertainty of inferred mineral resources, mineral exploration,
reliability of historical exploration work, risks relating to
assumptions used in preparation of the Feasibility Study on the Lower
Phosphate Zone of the Paris Hills Phosphate Project as well as those
factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Stonegate's
most recently filed annual information form available at www.sedar.com. Although Stonegate have attempted to identify important factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in
forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, there may
be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated
or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove
to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ
materially from those anticipated in such statements or information.
Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements or forward-looking information. The forward-looking
statements and forward-looking information contained in this news
release are included for the purpose of providing investors with
information to assist them in understanding the expected financial and
operational performance and may not be appropriate for other purposes.
Focus and Stonegate do not undertake to update any forward-looking
statement or forward-looking information that is included herein,
except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
SOURCE: Stonegate Agricom Ltd
For further information:
For more Focus Ventures information, please contact:
Tel: (604) 688-5288; Fax: (604) 682-1514
For more Stonegate Agricom information, please contact:
Vice President, Investor Relations
Stonegate Agricom Ltd.
Renmark Financial Communications Inc.