The Berlin Project is in Caldas Province of central Colombia, and favourably located between the country's largest cities - 140km from Bogota and 100km from Medellin (Figure 1). The town of La Dorada is 60km east of the project and lies on the principal paved road between Bogota and Medellin. La Dorada provides port facilities on the Magdalena River, which is navigable by barge to the coastal port of Barranquilla. Barranquilla is the largest port in Colombia and provides access to the export destinations of the Caribbean, Central America, the southern U.S. and northern South America. A defunct railway line also runs from La Dorada to the port town of Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast. The Colombian government is reported to be planning to have the railway line operational in 2015, which would offer an alternative link between the project and the Caribbean coast.
Large volumes of quality water are available in the project area. The PEA indicates that about 75% of the required electricity can be produced from heat generated from a sulphuric acid plant that will produce acid from sulphur - and forms an integral part of the processing facility. In addition, the project is planned to be linked to the 395MW La Miel hydroelectric dam located about 12km from the Berlin Project. La Meil would serve as a back-up power source.
-- Tenova Mining & Minerals is modelling the effect on project economics of eliminating the acetic acid leach step. The results of this study will be incorporated in the PEA technical report.-- Metallurgical test work is continuing to build on recent flotation results as a means of extracting a large quantity of acid-consuming calcite from the mineralized material, which could lead to significant capital and operating cost savings.-- The northern 4.2km of the mineralized trend at Berlin remains to be explored and consideration will be given to wide-spaced drilling in that area to fully define the size potential of the Berlin deposit.-- Consideration will be given to infill drilling parts of the 3.3km of the mineralized trend that have already undergone exploration drilling so that the resource estimate can be expanded.
The Berlin PEA technical report prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.
The PEA on the initial uranium-vanadium deposit on the Laguna Salada Project in Argentina is being finalized and is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2013.
Qualified Persons and Accreditation
The PEA was completed under the supervision of Mr. Pieter Niemann, P. Eng., at Tenova Mining & Minerals (formerly Bateman Engineering N.V.) ("TMM"). TMM is part of the Techint Group, a leading global engineering firm, that has been providing process design, development and construction services to the resource sector for over 90 years with extensive and specific process and engineering experience in the extraction of uranium, phosphate, rare earths, nickel and zinc as well as in sulphuric acid production. Clients and projects have included AREVA's Imouraren, Cameco's Key Lake, Harmony, Rossing, Kazatomprom and Arafura's Nolans Bore project (rare earths, phosphoric acid, gypsum production and uranium recovery). TMM has also constructed phosphate plants in Australia, South America, Africa and the US. For more information, see www.tenovagroup.com.