David Fennell, Executive Chairman of Reunion, said: "This is a tremendous accomplishment for Reunion's team. Since obtaining the prospecting licenses for Matthews Ridge in late 2010, our team has embarked on an extensive drilling campaign to establish an initial resource estimate and move Matthews Ridge towards development. We believe that the Matthews Ridge project has the potential to become a leading producer of manganese in the Americas. While this resource is very substantial, many undrilled targets remain available for additional resource growth."
General Project Description
The Matthews Ridge Project consists of four Prospecting Licenses covering an area of 185 km2 located in northwest Guyana, in and around the former Matthews Ridge mine (See maps - Figure 1 and 2 are available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/figures1_20221.pdf). Manganese ore was mined from 1960 to 1968 by a subsidiary of Union Carbide and exported via railroad and a fluvial port.
Manganese deposits have been explored in three prospects: 1) Matthews Ridge, corresponding to a series of nine hills extending for 15 km, of which five were previously mined; 2) Arakaka, which is the eastern extension of Hill 1, and 3) Pipiani, which is located 65 km to the southeast of Matthews Ridge.
Manganese mineralization is hosted by the Barama Group sedimentary rocks of Proterozoic age and consists of deposits formed as a result of supergene enrichment of manganese-rich sediments under a tropical climate.
As part of the metallurgical testing of mineralized materials, representative samples of each material type were processed by scrubbing, wet screening and jigging with an Alljig lab-scale jig operated by FILAB Guyana Laboratories under the supervision of GMining. Core samples were split with one portion of the sample being placed into a composite sample of similar material and processed by jigging while the remaining portion was sent to SGS Lakefield in Canada for metallurgical characterization through heavy liquid separation (HLS). GMining supervised all work performed by SGS. HLS results were correlated to the composite jigging results.
Based on the metallurgical testwork and characterization by material type, a relationship was established between the feed grade of the material and its potential upgradability. This was done by associating the feed grade of the material, the concentrate recovery and the concentrate grade while applying minimum concentrate grade requirements set at 36% and 34% Mn, respectively, for the Lump and Fine products.
GMining concluded that the Matthew's Ridge ore is upgradable to a marketable concentrate. (see Reunion's August 27, 2012 news release). Two distinct types of marketable concentrate can be produced. A higher valued Lump Concentrate (-25 mm + 6 mm) and a lower valued Fine Concentrate (-6 mm + 0.85 mm). The Lump product represents approximately 62% of the total concentrate while the Fine product represents 38% of the total when constrained within a Whittle shell.
The metallurgical testwork also tracked the level of impurities in the feed and in the different concentrates. It is noted that the level of silica and alumina decrease by half while the concentration of iron doubles as a result of jigging. The level of phosphorous remains relatively unchanged, at very low levels. All average impurity levels are within current industry benchmark values for similar concentrates destined to silica-manganese furnaces.
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