VANCOUVER, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX-V: FCV) is pleased to announce that preliminary reconnaissance exploration on its 100% owned Machay Project has confirmed the presence of phosphate-bearing sandstone units on its claims (see press release June 6, 2011). Focus's 17,000 hectares are located in the La Oroya-Tarma region roughly 200km east of Lima, central Peru.
Focus has identified poorly exposed areas of weathered sandstone, with many samples containing visible pellets of francolite (Ca5PO4CO3, a variety of the phosphorous mineral, Apatite). A total of 49 out of 131 reconnaissance samples have returned assays exceeding 1% P2O5, with the majority ranging between 1 - 4% P2O5. Significantly higher assays of up to 11.4% P2O5 were sampled on the eastern claims from a sub-cropping phosphatic sandy limestone unit exposed in a road cut.
Focus geologists have made site visits to approximately 60% of the claims to date and several additional claim applications have since been made. Several claims were subject to a visual inspection by the Regional Department of Agriculture and are pending registration at the time of writing.
Considering the strong surface weathering that has occurred, these early results are encouraging. Further evaluation work is planned and will include trenching to test phosphate grades below the zone of surface weathering.
The phosphate-bearing beds are associated with medium-grained fossiliferous sandstones that are typically yellowy-grey in colour and can reach up to 30m in thickness. The units are hosted in the upper parts of the Aramachay Formation, a Jurassic-aged marine sedimentary unit and known host to phosphate occurrences. Stonegate Agricom's (TSX: ST) Mantaro deposit, located approximately 50km south of Focus's claims and hosted by the same geological unit, has a measured and indicated resource of 39.5Mt @ 10% P2O5 and inferred resource of 376.3Mt @ 9% P2O5.*
Approximately 75% of global phosphate resources are from marine sedimentary phosphate deposits. As these deposits are syngenetic, formed by the accumulation of organic debris on an ancient sea floor, they tend to cover large areas and are relatively consistent in grade and thickness. Similar rocks are known to host phosphate deposits in the United States, and this type of mineralization is typically amenable to beneficiation with good recoveries to produce marketable concentrate grades. As well, the shallow dips of the phosphorite beds on several of Focus's concessions appear favourable for large scale open pit operations, as is the generally low level of agricultural activity.
A report by L.T. Grose, written in 1966 for Cerro de Pasco Corporation, highlighted sample assays of up to 29% P2O5 in the La Oroya-Tarma region. Focus's findings are significant as the the phosphate beds in this region of Peru can now be confirmed over at least 90km of strike of the Aramachay Formation.
Phosphates are used mainly in the production of chemical fertilizers. The current price of phosphate rock concentrate is approximately $200/t, and prices have risen by approximately 55% over the last year, reflecting growing world demand for fertilizer as a result of the current global food crisis.
Further information is available on the Company website www.focusventuresltd.com.
(*) "Technical Report on Mantaro Phosphate Deposit, Junin District, Peru, March 2, 2010" of Stonegate on www.sedar.com.
The scientific and technical information in this release was prepared 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.
Samples were prepared and analyzed by CIMM Peru S.A in Lima by ICP OES Metaborate Fusion. CIMM is an ISO 9001 accredited laboratory whose quality control system complies with International Standards 2000 and ISO 17025:2005.
About Focus Ventures
Focus Ventures is dedicated to the discovery and definition of quality mineral resources in Peru and is developing a diversified portfolio of quality projects that show potential to become new mines.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
David Cass, President
Contact: Erin Ostrom / Ralph Rushton
Shares Issued: 29.3-million
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Some of the statements in this news release contain forward-looking information that involves inherent risk and uncertainty affecting the business of Focus Ventures Ltd. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statement.
SOURCE Focus Ventures Ltd.