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Reports Progress on Improvement Programs for the Nkamouna Cobalt Project
Apr 03, 2009 04:06AM
April 3, 2009
Geovic Reports Progress on Improvement Programs for the Nkamouna Cobalt Project
DENVER, COLORADO--(Marketwire - April 3, 2009) - Geovic Mining Corp. ("Geovic" or the "Company") (TSX:GMC)(OTCBB:GVCM), on behalf of its 60%-owned subsidiary Geovic Cameroon PLC (GeoCam), is pleased to announce progress on bench scale tests and process evaluation programs described in its January 23, 2009 press release concerning the Nkamouna cobalt-nickel-manganese project (Project) in Cameroon, Africa.
Geovic continues to target completion of the previously announced concentration and process tests in the third quarter of 2009. Thereafter, an updated feasibility study is expected to be commenced to incorporate related improvements in Nkamouna's development plans. In the meantime, site development activities are continuing on a limited basis until results of the new studies are completed.
The Company continues to pursue the following:
- Completion of bench and pilot scale testing, described below
- Completion of an updated Canadian 43-101 compliant reserve/resource statement
- Project debt and/or equity financing
- Selection of contractors to update the feasibility study and resume final engineering/design.
New project capital and operating cost estimates are expected to be based on the following:
- Costs that are currently lower than those used in previous studies concerning freight, equipment, engineering and construction services, as well as bulk supplies for piping, concrete, steel, fuel, labor, and electrical components
- A detailed evaluation to determine optimum plant throughput and cobalt production rates
- An optimized mine plan and production schedule based on updated reserve estimates
Samples for Testing:
To accomplish the aforementioned test programs, the following samples were recently shipped to the U.S. from Cameroon:
- Six tonnes of physically upgraded (PUG) concentrates obtained from 38 tonnes of Nkamouna ore
- Seven tonnes of run-of-mine ore, with an additional nine tonnes available if needed
- 500 kilograms of high grade ore to test the early production of high grade ore anticipated at the Nkamouna plant
Process Technology Update:
- Magnetic separation tests continue, aiming to further upgrade PUG concentrates that have been previously well-established using washing and particle-sizing separation methods. GeoCam has engaged international laboratories and consulting personnel that specialize in the application of magnetic, gravity, and electrostatic separation methods to further upgrade the PUG concentrate. Initial tests are being conducted on a bench scale, but pilot scale tests are planned to follow on larger samples which are readily available. These test programs are expected to provide sufficient information to design the integration of such methods into a commercial plant.
- Hazen Research, GeoCam's prime metallurgical laboratory for the past five years, has completed more than 45 bench scale tests to thoroughly evaluate the application of improved pyrite leach chemistry (using iron sulfide and sulfuric acid rather than sulfur dioxide gas). Hazen is in the process of completing a pilot scale leach test on 3.5 tonnes of PUG concentrates.
- Based on ongoing tests, GeoCam is pleased to announce the pyrite leaching process being tested at Hazen, and proposed for the commercial plant, will be performed at atmospheric pressure and modest temperatures, similar to previously proposed leach processes.
- GeoCam has engaged the Sherritt/Dynatec groups to test, evaluate, and provide design criteria and preliminary capital and operating cost estimates for replacing the more complex solution-processing technologies (proposed in the September 2008 Feasibility Optimization Study) with conventional solvent extraction equipment and reagents, all at reduced process risks.
2008 Drill and 2009 Assaying Programs
- Drill samples collected from the 13-month drill program ended in February 2009 continue to be assayed, with completion of this process expected by mid-year. Meanwhile, survey and geologic data on the greatly expanded data bases at Nkamouna and Mada are being verified, compiled, and formatted for updated reserve/resource reports.
- Consequently, the Company is still targeting publication of a new Canadian NI 43-101 compliant reserve/resource statement by the end of the third quarter of 2009.
Geovic is a U.S.-based corporation whose principal asset is a significant cobalt-nickel-manganese deposit in the Republic of Cameroon. Additionally, the company controls a diverse portfolio of energy, precious metals, base metals, and uranium projects in the United States, operated through its wholly-owned subsidiary Geovic Energy (www.geovicenergy.com).