MBAC reports NI 43-101 resource estimate update for Araxá Rare Earth Oxide/Niobium/Phosphate Deposit

TSX: MBC
OTCQX:MBCFF
Shares Outstanding:110,926,614
Fully Diluted:120,044,030

TORONTO, June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - MBAC Fertilizer Corp. ("MBAC" or the "Company") (TSX:MBC and OTCQX:MBCFF) is very pleased to report the results of an independent resource estimate update for the rare earths oxides on the Company's 100% owned Araxá Rare Earth Oxide ("REO")-Niobium-Phosphate Project (the "Araxá Project" or the "Project") located in the western part of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The Company will file a technical report containing the updated mineral resource estimate on SEDAR within the next 45 days pursuant to National Instrument 43-101.

Highlights of the NI 43-101 Technical Report:

  • An independent mineral resource has been estimated for the Araxá Project comprising a combined measured and indicated mineral resource of 6.34 Mt at 5.01% TREO (using a 2% TREO cut-off), 8.40% P2O5 and 1.02% Nb2O5.
  • An inferred mineral resource of 21.94 Mt at 3.99% TREO, 7.86% P2O5 and 0.64% Nb2O5 has been estimated for the Araxá Project (using a 2% TREO cut-off grade)
  • Heavy rare earth oxides (HREO) + Y2O3 represent 2.4% of the TREO in the resources
  • Lab tests for the acid leaching process show an average 85% recovery to produce a high quality REO bulk concentrate

Antenor Silva, Vice Chairman and CEO, stated "These results confirm our expectations that the Araxá deposit is a significant resource base of rare earth oxides, with a high grade compared to other deposits globally. Also, the laboratory testwork performed to date indicates that it is possible to achieve recoveries averaging 85% for the HREO. MBAC is planning to prepare a preliminary economic assessment for the Project, which is expected to be released in Q3 2012, and to put in place a pilot plant to confirm our laboratory estimates and high purity rare earth oxide concentrate. We are very excited with these results and continue to discuss off-take agreements with third parties." 

The Araxá Project

The Project consists of four tenements covering 214 hectares. The Barreiro carbonatite containing the Araxá REO is also the host rock for a nearby niobium mine owned by Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM) and a significant phosphate mine owned by VALE.  Historical exploration from the Araxá Project has led to the discovery of significant rare earth oxides, phosphate and niobium mineralization. Phosphate occurrences in the carbonatite were first discovered in the early 1950's and the tenement areas optioned to MBAC have been explored in the past by the following companies:

  • 1965 by DNPM/Geosol
  • 1965 by IPR
  • 1970 by CBMM
  • 1974 by Rhône-Poulenc
  • 2004 by Extramil
  • 2008 Joint Venture between Extramil and CIF

Summary of the Mineral Resource Estimate

The Araxá Project measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource estimates are based on 67 diamond holes (3,764m) drilled at a spacing of approximately 40m by 40m down to 20m by 20m within the centre of the deposit.

The main REO mineralization has been defined by historical drilling within a 650m by 250m target, and is derived from the residual enrichment of a REO rich protolith, possibly a carbonatite. Florencite, Goyazite, Gorceixite and Monazite are the principal REO minerals present, and apatite is by far the most common and important phosphate mineral in the Araxá Carbonatite.

Andes Mining Services ("AMS") is of the opinion that the Company has successfully confirmed the mineral resource potential of the Araxá Project based on the exploration programs to date with significant further upside for additional measured and indicated resources.

An independent mineral resource has been estimated for the Araxá Project comprising a combined measured and indicated mineral resource of 6.34 Mt at 5.01% TREO (using a 2% TREO cut-off), 8.40% P2O5 and 1.02% Nb2O5 and an inferred mineral resource of 21.94 Mt at 3.99% TREO, 7.86% P2O5 and 0.64% Nb2O5 (using a 2% TREO cut-off grade). Thorium and Uranium content were 632 ppm and 142 ppm, respectively, which the Company believes should not pose any issues with respect to the processing of the ore.

A summary of the estimated measured, indicated and inferred mineral resources for the Araxá Project is provided below in Table 1. The mineral resource estimate has focused on the main oxide mineralization within a flat lying mineralized domain defined down to approximately 60m in depth using a 1% TREO grade cut-off to guide the wireframing process.

The statement has been prepared by Bradley Ackroyd (MAIG (CP)), who is a qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. The effective date for the mineral resource estimate is June 1, 2012. AMS and MBAC are not aware of any factors (environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, marketing, political, or other relevant factors) that may materially affect the mineral resource estimate.

Table 1 - Araxá Project
Mineral Resource Grade Tonnage Report - 1st June 2012
(Block Model - 10mE X 10mN X 2mRL) - Ordinary Kriging (OK)
Cut-Off
(% TREO)
Tonnes
(Mt)
TREO
%
LREO
% *
HREO
% **
P2O5
%
Nb2O5
%
Al2O3
%
Fe2O3
%
Measured Resource Category
0 1.33 5.62 5.48 0.15 7.89 1.25 3.31 34.23
2 1.33 5.62 5.48 0.15 7.89 1.25 3.31 34.23
4 1.10 6.05 5.89 0.16 7.84 1.32 3.42 34.57
6 0.37 8.46 8.23 0.23 9.13 1.72 5.18 33.97
8 0.16 10.47 10.18 0.29 9.87 1.99 6.00 31.44
10 0.08 12.19 11.85 0.34 10.42 2.20 5.98 28.58
Indicated Resource Category
0 5.02 4.85 4.73 0.12 8.54 0.96 5.68 32.76
2 5.02 4.85 4.73 0.12 8.54 0.96 5.68 32.76
4 3.29 5.58 5.44 0.14 8.69 1.07 5.69 32.36
6 0.88 7.75 7.57 0.19 10.25 1.35 8.17 29.32
8 0.27 9.88 9.64 0.24 11.28 1.67 8.95 28.79
10 0.10 11.73 11.44 0.29 11.83 1.98 8.66 29.38
Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource (2% Cut-Off TREO) ***
2 6.34 5.01 4.88 0.13 8.40 1.02 5.19 33.06
Inferred Resource Category
0 23.99 3.88 3.78 0.11 7.89 0.62 4.28 29.28
2 21.94 3.99 3.88 0.11 7.86 0.64 4.31 29.59
4 9.32 5.01 4.89 0.12 7.64 0.81 4.46 31.56
6 1.01 6.95 6.82 0.13 8.93 0.99 4.93 29.05
8 0.14 9.08 8.97 0.12 10.01 1.01 4.17 24.45
10 0.02 10.84 10.70 0.14 10.95 1.16 4.98 22.15
Inferred Mineral Resource (2% Cut-Off TREO) ***
2 21.94 3.99 3.88 0.11 7.86 0.64 4.31 29.59

Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability
Appropriate rounding has been applied to the table

TREO includes La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, Lu2O3 and Y2O3
*LREO (97.6% of TREO) includes La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3 and Sm2O3
**HREO + Y2O3 (2.4% of TREO) includes Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, Lu2O3 and Y2O3. 

The following Table 2 and Table 3 highlight the breakdown for the various REO's for the Araxá Project.

Table 2
Suite of LREO Mineral Resource @2% TREO cut-off
Category Cut-Off %
TREO
Suite of LREO's LREO
La2O3 Ce2O3 Pr2O3 Nd2O3 Sm2O3
Measured 2.0 1.53% 2.81% 0.26% 0.79% 0.08% 5.48%
Indicated 2.0 1.35% 2.40% 0.22% 0.67% 0.07% 4.73%
Inferred 2.0 1.12% 1.96% 0.18% 0.55% 0.06% 3.88%

Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability
Appropriate rounding has been applied to the table

Table 3
Suite of HREO Mineral Resource @2% TREO cut-off
Category Cut-Off %TREO Suite of HREO's (ppm)   HREO
(ppm)
Eu2o3 Gd2o3 Tb4o7 Dy2o3 Ho2o3 Er2o3 Tm2o3 Yb2o3 Lu2o3 Y2o3
Measured 2.0 182 371 38 153 22 44 3 23 1 622 1463
Indicated 2.0 158 322 33 129 18 36 2 18 1 502 1217
Inferred 2.0 135 275 29 117 16 32 2 16 0 459 1080

Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability
Appropriate rounding has been applied to the table

Mineral Processing and Metallurgical Testing

The long history of exploration of this area combined with recent metallurgical testwork performed by MBAC, along with the support of relevant research institutes in Brazil, suggests that the Araxá ore is suitable for economical processing and will produce high purity REO products.

MBAC has engaged in laboratory testwork to define a technological route for the rare earth elements recovery. These tests included alkaline digestion, hydrochloric acid leach, nitric acid leach, ammonium chloride fusion and sulphuric leach.  The acid leach followed by salt precipitation returned the best recovery which averaged 85%.

MBAC is preparing to put a pilot plant in place to test this acid leaching route, and following that a pilot plant for separation of some of the oxides with solvent extraction technology.

Qualified Persons

The "qualified person", within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101, with respect to the technical information in this press release is Bradley Ackroyd, (MAIG (CP)), of AMS.

About MBAC

MBAC is focused on becoming a significant integrated producer of phosphate and potash fertilizers in the Brazilian and Latin American markets. MBAC has an experienced team with significant experience in the business of fertilizer operations, management, marketing and finance within Brazil. In October 2008, MBAC acquired Itafós Mineração Ltda, which consisted of a phosphate mine, a mill and plant and related infrastructure, all located in central Brazil. MBAC's exploration portfolio includes a number of additional exciting phosphate and potash projects, which are also located in Brazil. The Santana Phosphate project is a high grade phosphate deposit located in close proximity to the largest fertilizer market of Mato Grosso State and animal feed market of Pará State. The Company continues to search for additional fertilizer opportunities in the Brazilian and other Latin-American markets, where strong agricultural fundamentals and unique opportunities are expected to provide attractive growth opportunities in the near future. Further information on MBAC can be found on the Company's website at www.mbacfert.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Antenor Silva
President & Chief Executive Officer

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, without limitation, statements related to the Company's business strategy, objectives and goals; exploration of the Araxá Project; the completion the updated mineral resource estimate and the filing of an updated technical report for the Project; the completion of a preliminary economic assessment and the possibility of entering into off-take agreements in connection with the Project. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words such as "plans", "planning", "planned", "expects" or "looking forward", "does not expect", "continues", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "potential", "anticipates", "does not anticipate", or "belief", or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of factors and assumptions made by management and considered reasonable at the time such statements are made, and forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, obtaining all necessary licenses to continue to explore and develop the project; successful negotiation with third parties to develop the Nb-REE area of the project; successful completion of a preliminary economic assessment for the Project; as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's current Annual Information Form and Management's Discussion and Analysis, as well as other public disclosure documents, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although MBAC 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 not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. The forward-looking statements contained herein are presented for the purposes of assisting investors in understanding the Company's plan, objectives and goals and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.


 

SOURCE MBAC Fertilizer Corp.



More by this Source


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.