Focus Ventures Ltd. is pleased to provide an update on its Bayovar12 phosphate rock project in Peru, including the addition of an experienced mining engineer to the team and a change to the scope and timing of on-going engineering studies.
Building the Focus Team
Management is pleased to announce that Mr. Kevin Ross recently joined the Focus team as its Principal Mining Engineer. Mr. Ross's responsibilities will include overseeing the engineering work and, eventually, construction of the project as defined by the pre-feasibility study.
Mr. Ross is a mining engineer with 39 years of operational experience in the mining industry. In a broad ranging career, he has worked in North and South America, Europe and Africa in the base and precious metals and industrial minerals sectors. He joined Red Back Mining as COO in December 2007 until its $7B acquisition by Kinross Gold Corporation in September 2010. Mr. Ross was previously COO of New Gold and Ivernia and Managing Director of ARCON International Resources. Until May 2015 he was Chief Operating Officer for RB Energy, formed by the merger of Canada Lithium and Sirocco Mining, where he had been COO since 2011. Mr. Ross is a graduate of the Royal School of Mines (London) and an accredited European Engineer.
Preliminary Economic Analysis upgraded to Pre-Feasibility Study
In September 2014, Focus announced that it had begun a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) study for the Bayovar 12 project examining options for production of 300KT-1Mt per year of 29-30% P2O5 concentrate by washing and flotation for use in phosphoric acid manufacture. Focus is upgrading the scope of the PEA to a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) of production of phosphate rock concentrate for use as direct application fertilizer (DAPR) for the reasons outlined below:
- Positive mineral beneficiation testwork examining a simple flowsheet showed that a DAPR product with a P2O5 grade of circa 24% could be produced from the majority of beds by drum scrubbing, desliming and sizing.
- Production of DAPR would potentially give Focus a shorter timeframe to commercial production at a lower CAPEX than production utilizing flotation of a P2O5 concentrate for phosphoric acid manufacture.
- The Company's market research on potential markets for DAPR indicates that substantial demand exists in a number of South American countries.
The Company's mineral processing testwork is continuing. A review of recent results indicates that a product grade of circa 24% P2O5 can be achieved via a relatively simple scrubbing and sizing process. The removal of the requirement for a flotation circuit would also lead to a significantly reduced level of CAPEX for the project. Management also believes the revised project scale will be able to initially use the existing infrastructure around the project resulting in further CAPEX reductions, and would be easily scalable to a larger production scenario in the future.
Focus's market research on potential markets for DAPR has shown that a substantial demand likely exists in South America and elsewhere for direct application, reactive phosphate rock. DAPR sells at a premium price to acidulation concentrate. Discussions with potential buyers of the DAPR product have been encouraging enough to support the change of scope from a PEA to a PFS, modified to focus solely on the initial production of 300KT per year of DAPR.
The PFS will build on, and modify, the work completed to date for the PEA. Focus's target date for completion of the PFS is the end of 2015.
Second Resource Estimate
Golders Associates are currently completing the new resource estimation (see Company news release 11 May, 2015). Focus is expecting to be able to announce the revised independent NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate around the end of August.
The scientific and technical information in this release were prepared under the supervision of David Cass, Focus's President, who is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and a Qualified Person in accordance with National Instrument 43-101.