Environmental and social studies
Reunion has conducted the full cycle of environmental and social baseline studies in anticipation of a complete project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment ("ESIA") in conformity with international and local standards. Significantly, no issues have been identified that would hinder project development. The studies have covered two seasons of biodiversity (flora and fauna) data, two years of climate and meteorology, air and water quality, as well as site hydrology data. Social and community baselines have involved documented surveys within and outside the Project footprint area and regular community engagement meetings. Environmental studies were done with the participation of Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc., a Guyanese-based company.
A gap analysis by Environmental Resources Management Inc. (ERM), an independent consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., found no major concerns, confirmed the reliability of the existing information and proposed a pathway to the completion of the ESIA for project permitting, which should be completed within the feasibility study period.
Plans for 2013
The pre-feasibility results reported in this press release provide a platform for Reunion to advance the Matthews Ridge Project through to full feasibility. Subject to available financing, the Company's plan for 2013 is to complete an aggressive resource definition program on the Pipiani, Arakaka and North Prospects, upgrade the inferred resources (5.3 million tonnes at 15% Mn) already identified on these prospects and the footprint, and carry out essential work for the full feasibility study.
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). Manganese ore was mined from 1960 to 1968 by a subsidiary of Union Carbide and exported via railroad and the Port Kaituma fluvial port (Figure 1).
Manganese deposits have been defined at the Matthews Ridge footprint along a series of nine hills extending for 15 km, of which five were previously mined. Ongoing exploration is focusing on the Arakaka Prospect, which is the eastern extension of the footprint, the North Prospect, which is 5 km to the north of Matthews Ridge, and the Pipiani Prospect, which is located 60 km to the southeast of Matthews Ridge and was already drilled by the previous mine operators (Figure 1).
Under the direction of GMining Services Inc., an independent mining consultant firm based in the Montreal area, Canada, the PFS had contributions from the following independent consultants: Met-Chem Canada Inc. of Montreal, Canada (support for process plant design), Golder Associates Ltd. of London, Ontario (geotechnical studies, water balance and geochemistry of ore and waste rocks), SGS Canada Inc. of Lakefield, Ontario (HLS metallurgical tests), CRU Strategies of London, England and Camet Metallurgy of Montreal, Quebec (manganese market analysis).
The resource modeling used for the reserve estimate was undertaken by Mr. Rejean Sirois, ing., P. Geo., of GMining. Mr. Ahmed Bouajila, ing., of GMining has supervised the metallurgical testing and process flow sheet development for the Project. Mr. Nicolas Menard, ing., of GMining has supervised the project engineering and capital cost compilation. All other technical information, including the mineral reserves estimate reported in this press release, was prepared or approved by Mathieu Gignac, ing., of GMining. Messrs. Sirois, Bouajila, Menard and Gignac qualify as independent 'qualified person' within the meaning of that term under NI 43-101.
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