Focus Ventures Ltd. is pleased to announce that its Phase 2 drill program has commenced at the Bayovar 12 phosphate project in northern Peru.
Approximately 40 vertical diamond drill holes will be drilled mainly in the eastern part of the original drill grid where the horizontal phosphate beds are closest to surface (for drill location map click link here). The main objective of the program is to increase the confidence category of the existing Inferred and Indicated Resources to Measured category, and expand the resource in the area of least cover in the eastern end of the drill grid. An updated NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate will be incorporated into the Preliminary Economic Assessment study currently underway by a consortium of engineering companies.
The drilling will expand the drill grid to an area approximately 6.4km x 4km (2,500 hectares) within the western end of the 12,575 hectare concession, targeting phosphate beds within the lower part of the Diana Formation, a package of phosphate-bearing diatomites some 35 - 40m thick that are consistent in grade and continuous over long distances. These phosphate units are currently being mined at the Bayovar Mine, a joint venture between Vale, Mosaic and Mitsui, one of the biggest phosphate deposits in South America. The operation is located about 15km to the west of Bayovar 12.
Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA)
Focus continues to progress on the PEA (see news release dated March 2, 2015) for mine development and conventional phosphate rock beneficiation. The PEA continues on schedule for release during 3Q 2015.
As part of the Focus's ongoing investigation into early production of direct application phosphate rock (DAPR), several large-diameter holes will be drilled during the current drill program to obtain a bulk sample for process development. To that end, Focus has solicited bids from several engineering firms for the dry process test work.
In addition, permitting has begun for an exploration pit to access a bulk sample for advanced process testing and pilot studies for not only conventional phosphate rock production but also production of DAPR.
The Company recently announced its purchase of an outright 70% interest in Juan Paulo Quay S.A.C., the title holder of the Bayovar 12 concession, for US$4 million, and the completion of the US$5 million loan facility from Sprott Resource Lending Partnership and (see news release dated March 10, 2015). Results of preliminary bench scale metallurgical testwork by Jacobs Engineering in Florida were positive (see news release dated March 2, 2015) and showed that the phosphate beds can be simply processed to concentrate grade via washing and flotation with no milling or grinding. Low levels of impurities make Bayovar 12 concentrates suitable for use in producing phosphoric acid and high analysis fertilizers such as DAP and MAP.
The current Bayovar 12 resource estimate in accordance with Canadian Securities Administrators' National Instrument 43-101 was prepared by Golder Associates, under the supervision of Jerry DeWolfe, MSc. P.Geo, an Independent Qualified Person defined under National Instrument 43-101. The report provides detail on the Company's maiden resource estimate announced September 8, 2014, which is summarized as follows:
||Million Tonnes Wet *
||Million Tonnes Dry *
||Grade (% P2O5)
* In-Situ Resource, no minimum thickness applied. Wet Density: 1.65 g/cm3 Dry Density: 1.25 g/cm3 Dry tonnage resources are included in the wet tonnage resources. The independent estimate and report, based on Focus' initial 20-hole drill program, was prepared by Golder Associates supervised by Jerry DeWolfe, MSc. P.Geo, and an Independent Qualified Person responsible under NI 43-101.
The resource estimate is based on 20 boreholes (2,027m) drilled over 650 ha of the 12,575 ha property, at drill spacings of 800m. The resources are distributed between 13 individual soft, free digging, horizontal phosphate beds hosted within the Diana Formation, a sequence of diatomites that begin as shallow as 26m below surface. The mineralization is open in all directions. The grades and widths of individual beds are very consistent, unaffected by faulting or structural features, and easily correlated across the deposit.
All holes were drilled vertically to between 80m - 110m depth targeting phosphate beds within the Diana Formation, a sequence of phosphoric diatomites and sandstones approximately 40 meters thick. The phosphate beds comprise up to 40% apatite pellets, ooliths and fossil debris consisting of mainly fish teeth, bones and scales representing the remains of marine organisms that accumulated on the sea floor.