|March 02, 2015|
Focus's Bayovar 12 Phosphate Project Yields Positive Metallurgical Testwork Results
|March 2, 2015; Vancouver, Canada: Focus Ventures Ltd. (FCV.V "Focus") is pleased to provide an update on recent progress from the Bayovar 12 phosphate project in northern Peru, including preliminary results of bench scale metallurgical testwork. |
David Cass, President of Focus, comments: "We believe these initial testwork results represent something of a breakthrough in process design for the Bayovar District. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a single plant can potentially process material from all individual beds while achieving the desired concentrate grades and, perhaps, an improvement in recovery levels. Prior designs in the District appear to require beds to be separately treated by two different process routes. The Bayovar 12 design incorporates a simple, single flowsheet offering positive implications in mine planning and operations."
Since announcing its maiden National Instrument 43-101 resource in October 2014 (see press release dated October 27, 2014), Focus's Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") study has been progressing well and is on schedule, with results expected by June 2015.
In parallel with the PEA, Focus is investigating the potential for production of direct application phosphate rock ("DAPR") from Bayovar 12, targeting local Latin American agricultural markets and Organic farmers. Bayovar phosphate is known in the fertilizer industry for its very high reactivity and excellent P2O5 solubility and phosphate availability.
Bench scale metallurgical testwork, by Jacobs Engineering Laboratories in Florida, is near completion. The objective of the work is a preliminary process design to produce a circa 29-30% P2O5 concentrate from Bayovar 12 rock. These test results indicate that the objective will be met with a single, simple process line.
Approximately 180kg of drill core taken from three special PQ diameter drill holes representing 13 phosphate beds plus samples of interburden was received by Jacobs in October 2014. Samples from each bed underwent a staged-process test work program comprising drum and attrition scrubbing, desliming, bulk density and specific gravity measurements, size fraction and liberation analysis, formal flotation and P2O5 concentrate characterization.
The desired phosphate mineral, called apatite, exists as small pellets. The first stage of the testing establishes a particle size, or "cut point" below which the material contains an optimally low fraction of the pellets and can therefore be discarded. This particle size diameter was determined to be 270 mesh (#), or 53 microns (μm) and is termed "slimes". Most of the undesired ore contaminants are contained in slimes and are removed by the desliming process.
The next stage of testing showed these slimes can be removed by a sequence of two types of washing with water and intervening stages of slimes removal with hydrocyclones. The amount of slimes removed in the desliming process depends on the individual bed, with typically around two thirds of the feed material eliminated as waste.
Once washed and deslimed, the material undergoes separation into three size fractions according to "cut points" established by the testing. They are:
The +28# coarse fraction requires a final stage of scrubbing and desliming to produce a concentrate containing from 22% to nearly 32% P2O5 (>28P in Table).
The -28#+100# fraction grades from 27% to over 30% P2O5 and requires no further upgrading (28/100P in Table).
Table 1 Summary of Metallurgical Laboratory Batch Test Results for Beds PH01 - PH13 (all values are %)
P = Product MER = (Fe2O3+Al203+MgO) / P205 * weighted averages of the >28P, 28/100, 100/270 concentrate fractions
The -100#+270# fraction contains most of the silica (SiO2) which is removed by a single inverse flotation stage. Inverse flotation separates the undesired minerals by collecting them in a special froth which floats while the desired phosphate pellets sink and are removed from the bottom of the flotation cell. This process produces a concentrate, again depending on the bed, containing from about 27% to nearly 30% P2O5 (Float P in Table)
P2O5 recoveries were excellent, averaging 81% for all beds, ranging from 64% in PH08 to 93% in PH03. Low levels of minor compounds MgO and FeO, along with low MER and CaO / P2O5 ratios, will render the Bayovar 12 suitable for use in producing phosphoric acid and high analysis fertilizers such as DAP and MAP.
The remaining testwork to be completed consists of dilution studies and final concentrate characterization. A final report is expected in March 2015.
The test results are preliminary in nature. Future work will include variability testing and pilot plant studies. Furthermore, preliminary tests indicate that recent advances in reagent chemistry could result in improved grade and recovery. Further testing in that area may be warranted.
Second Phase Resource Drilling
Drill permits for a second phase drill program have been received from the Peruvian authorities. The objective of the program is to increase the confidence category of a portion of the existing Inferred and Indicated Resources to Measured category, and expand the resource in the area of least cover in the eastern end of the drill grid. A total of 40 or so holes are planned across the expanded grid which should commence during Q2 2015.
Production of Direct Application Phosphate Rock (DAPR)
Extensive research carried out on Bayovar rock phosphate (known in the industry as Sechura Phosphate Rock or "SPR") by the New Zealand government, the International Fertilizer Development Centre and other organizations, has highlighted that SPR is one of the most reactive phosphate rocks in the world. It is known in the fertilizer industry for its very high reactivity and P2O5 solubility and resultant phosphate yields.
The very high solubility in slightly acidic soils means SPR is suitable for use as a direct application fertilizer. Small scale mining is also taking place close to Focus' concession, producing a 22-24% P2O5 concentrate with only minimal processing and upgrading, and without the use of chemicals, making it suitable for use as a certified organic fertilizer. Certified "organic" fertilizer generally commands a premium price in Latin American and North American markets, and Focus has commissioned Integer Research to carry out a market study on the use of DAPR in North and South America as part of this work.
Management attended several international fertilizer industry conferences for meetings with phosphate consumers, traders and shipping companies interested in Bayovar 12 as a future supply of rock phosphate.
Focus's senior management will be attending this year's PDAC conference, March 1-4 at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. The Company will be exhibiting core from Bayovar12 in the core shack (Booth 9N) on Sunday and Monday, March 1st and 2nd and will be at booth 3014 for all four days of the convention.
The scientific and technical information in this release were prepared under the supervision of 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 National Instrument 43-101. The results of the metallurgical testwork given in this release are an accurate summary of the information received from Jacobs.
The metallurgical testwork program is being supervised by Mr. Glenn Gruber, an advisor to Focus, and a renowned expert in phosphate beneficiation.
Phosphate rock is a raw material for fertilizers and vital to world food production. Focus is acquiring and developing quality phosphate projects in Latin America where the discovery and development of new deposits is becoming increasingly important given the growing demand and limited local supply of phosphate for fertilizer production. For further information, please call 604-630-5544 or visit our web site www.focusventuresltd.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Ralph Rushton, Director
Shares Issued: 76.8-million
Contact: Ralph Rushton
Tel: (604) 630-5544; Fax: (604) 682-1514
Forward-looking Statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Such uncertainties and factors include, among others, changes in general economic conditions and financial markets; the Company or any joint venture partner not having the financial ability to meet its exploration and development goals; risks associated with the results of exploration and development activities, estimation of mineral resources and the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; unanticipated costs and expenses; and such other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's quarterly and annual filings with securities regulators and available under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended.
Forward-looking statements contained herein are based on the assumptions, beliefs, expectations and opinions of management, including but not limited to: that the Company's stated goals and planned exploration and development activities for the Bayovar 12 project will be achieved; and that there will be no material adverse change affecting the Company or its properties; and such other assumptions as set out herein. Forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by law. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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