Apollo Minerals bumps iron ore exploration target at Gabon
Apollo Minerals’ (ASX: AON)
Kango North Iron Project in Gabon is shaping up to be a significant
project with an updated Exploration Target of between 2 billion tonnes
to 3.5Bt grading 30% to 40% iron.
This has potential for near-surface DSO-grade iron mineralisation, warranting drilling to test its potential as a quickly developed, low cost and high profitability iron ore mine.
Kango North is located close to infrastructure suitable to drive mine development, processing and export including the Trans‐Gabon Railway about 25 kilometres south of the Project area that runs directly to Port Owendo in Libreville and partially sealed N5 road that provides a direct route from Libreville.
The review of exploration results has also defined a higher grade exploration target zone of 75 million tonnes to 150Mt grading 45% to 60% iron, marking a major change from its previous Exploration Target of between 200Mt to 300Mt grading 30% to 45% iron.
Final planning is underway for a drilling program to define Stage 1 JORC resources as key input into a Pre-Feasibility Study while advanced discussions are underway with a number of parties interested in co-funding the next stage of development.
Evaluation of modelled magnetic bodies against surface rock samples, which included data from near-by cored drilling results and similar scale projects in the region, has led to revision of key assumptions in the exploration target.
This revised target focusses on the south-eastern part of the project area where modelling has identified a series of parallel northeast trending mineralised iron bodies which have been substantiated through review of historical Government data, and an Apollo surface rock chip sampling program conducted in 2012.
Surface samples average 42% iron with Davis Tube Recoveries indicating high mass recoveries averaging 49%, and capable of producing premium grade iron concentrates of 69.7% iron.
The company has a 70% interest in the Kango North Iron Project, which covers 400 square kilometres in the northwestern Estauire Province that is located 70 kilometres east of Gabon’s capital, Libreville.
This is well situated and close to all infrastructure suitable to drive mine development, processing and export including the partially sealed N5 road that provides a direct route from Libreville and has access to surrounding infrastructure.
The Trans‐Gabon Railway is situated 25 kilometres south of the Project area and runs directly to Port Owendo in Libreville.
Apollo has made progress on a Concept Study focused on defining a potential path to production for a near-term, small-scale iron ore development.
The concept being evaluated is the mining and processing of approximately 1.5 million tonnes per annum of material to produce about 1Mtpa of high grade iron ore for sale over at least a 15 year mine life before any large-scale expansion is required.
This approach would require very minimal offsite capital to be spent and is expected to be both capital and operating cost competitive.
Shares in Apollo Minerals should trade higher today on the news.
With a large exploration target including all important potential for near surface DSO iron ore as well as proximity to existing infrastructure, the Kango North Iron Project has the potential to be developed quickly and at low cost, giving the company access to cash flow.
These benefits have not gone unnoticed with a number of companies parties already in discussions to co-fund the next stage of development.
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