Maximising drilling to define the mineral resource at the Nkout Iron Ore project

In September 2010, Afferro Mining Inc. commissioned SRK to conduct the maiden Mineral Resource Estimation (MRE) on their 100% owned greenfield Nkout Iron Ore project in Cameroon. The project is being managed by an SRK Qualified Person for iron ore projects.

Through regional geophysical surveys, Afferro had identified a 20km strike length magnetic anomaly within the Djoum exploration licence and had confirmed the existence of an iron bearing sequence through surface grab samples. SRK assisted in the drillhole planning, assaying, preliminary metallurgical testwork and quality assurance and quality control protocols for the drilling program that enabled Afferro to estimate a 1- billion tonne (Bt) maiden MRE in the Inferred Resource category from 4,359m of drilled meters. Critical to their success was targeting the primary banded iron formation (BIF) mineralisation from 10 drillholes, and the specific drill targeting of the potential oxidised sequence overlying the BIF with 21 shallow, vertical drillholes. The results of the exploration drill program showed that a high-grade iron concentrate could be generated from the primary BIF after 94 representative samples were selected by SRK for Davis Tube analysis.

They showed that Nkout had an oxidised cap with the potential to generate early cash flow from high-grade direct shipping ore (DSO) and a softer, friable BIF that could generate a high-grade sinter fines product through a simple gravity circuit. The maiden MRE covered the Nkout centre target, comprising 3.5km of the 20km magnetic anomaly.

After the success of the maiden MRE, Afferro retained SRK to manage the ongoing exploration drilling with a qualified SRK Exploration/Resource Geologist based on site throughout the 2011 program. This allowed a dynamic approach to the drilling and allowed the MRE to proceed with the geological modelling completed as new drillholes are logged and the drill program adapted accordingly. Afferro could now maximise the drilling budget, getting absolute value from every meter drilled and ensuring that international standards are followed.

After the maiden MRE and an additional 5,505m of drilling were completed, Afferro announced an increase in the resource base to 1.4Bt with 700 million tonnes now upgraded to the Indicated category and tonnage to the DSO material increased. Exploration continues and future resource updates are pending as over 9km of the 20km defined magnetic anomaly have now been tested.

Howard Baker: hbaker@srk.co.uk
Colin Rawbone: crawbone@srk.co.uk


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