Press release from Marketwire
Metallurgical Bench Scale Testing Program Demonstrates High Weight and Iron Recovery From Gravity-Only Process at Hopes Advance
Lower Potential Capex and Operating Costs
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Metallurgical Bench Scale Testing Program Demonstrates High Weight and Iron Recovery From Gravity-Only Process at Hopes Advance08:00 EDT Wednesday, April 25, 2012VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 25, 2012) - Oceanic Iron Ore Corp. (TSX VENTURE:FEO)(OTCQX:FEOVF) (the "Company") is pleased to announce the results of the comprehensive metallurgical bench scale testing program undertaken by SGS Mineral Services Lakefield ("SGS") in respect of the Hopes Advance project. HighlightsMetallurgical test work demonstrates that an average 66.5% grade concentrate suitable for the production of pellets or sinter feed, at high weight and Fe recoveries, with low deleterious elements can be produced from deposits at Hopes Advance; The quality and liberation characteristics of Fe offer flexibility in flowsheet design; A single stage gravity-alone circuit could recover relatively coarse grained material at greater than 70% Fe recovery across 91% of the Measured and Indicated Fe resource (approximately 1.2bn tonnes) at Hopes Advance, supporting potentially 25 year production scenario; Significant potential reduction in both processing costs per tonne and capital cost for a gravity-alone circuit, when compared to a concentrating plant consisting of a gravity circuit followed by regrinding and magnetic concentration; Flexibility to add regrinding and magnetic concentration to maximize iron recoveries subject to a marginal economic benefits analysis; Pilot plant test work (now underway and expected to be completed in the summer of 2012) is designed to confirm the viability of the concentrating methods at plant scale; All scenarios will be further analyzed in the pre-feasibility study currently underway and targeted for completion in Q3 2012. Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO of Oceanic, noted: "We have deliberately front-ended our analysis of the metallurgical testwork of the Hopes Advance project in order to continue the fast-track development of the project. The results we are announcing today help to support our view that the deposits at Hopes Advance are the most desirable of those in the Labrador Trough given the flexibility they offer in terms of plant design, and the resulting advantages in terms of operating and capital costs over and above what was set out in the Company's Preliminary Economic Assessment released in November 2011. We expect the pilot plant testwork that has already commenced on the Hopes Advance project to further validate the conclusions reached through the composite testwork and further support the assertion that the Hopes Advance project has the potential to be one of the lowest operating cost iron projects globally."BackgroundOver the last twelve months, the Company has focused on advancing the Hopes Advance project, including the completion of a comprehensive metallurgical bench scale testing program designed to: Provide weight recovery and concentrate quality data on composite samples from the Hopes Advance deposits; and, Develop a process flowsheet. Some 611 composite samples from the various deposits at Hopes Advance were analyzed by SGS. SGS designed comprehensive bench scale metallurgical testing program to simulate a concentrating plant composed of a gravity circuit, followed by regrinding and a magnetic circuit.Overview of Metallurgical TestsThe gravity circuit was simulated by a single stage of grinding to 80% passing 150 mesh (106 μ) followed by gravity recovery using a Mozley Table. This stage recovered relatively coarse grained hematite and aggregates of magnetite and hematite. The regrinding and magnetic circuit was simulated using David Tube testing. Davis Tubes were run on Mozley Table tails when normalized Fe Recovery was less than 70% and magnetite content of a sample (Head Sat / Satmagan) was greater than 15%. The tailings were then ground to 100% passing 400 mesh and passed through a Davis Tube to recover the magnetite. The concentrate from the Mozley Table test and the Davis Tube test were combined to produce a total concentrate weight recovery and concentrate grade.Metallurgical Test ResultsTable 1 summarizes the concentrate grade and weight recoveries resulting from the gravity recovery (Mozley Table) analyses. The testing was designed to achieve a concentrate with a grade of 4.5 wt.% SiO2, which is the current market accepted specification for iron concentrates for iron ore pellets. Table 1.Gravity recovery (Mozley Table) Concentrate Grade and Recovery (at 4.5% SiO2)Weighted AverageHead GradeConc. GradeFe RecoveryDepositFeSatFeSiO2%Iron Valley33.212.566.054.5077.01Castle Mountain32.815.065.784.5075.68Bay Zone33.027.866.834.5071.35West Zone34.019.965.444.5064.98Deposits at Castle Mountain, Iron Valley, and Bay Zone, where Fe recovery is greater than 70% ("High Gravity Recovery Deposits") as illustrated above, comprise over 91% of the total Hopes Advance Measured and Indicated resource (approximately 1.2bn tonnes), as set out in Table 2 below.Table 2. Measured and Indicated In-Pit Mineral Resource for High Gravity Recovery DepositsDepositClassificationFe (%)WRCP (%)Resource TonnesConcentrate TonnesCastle MountainMeasured32.038.4328,091,000125,934,000Castle MountainIndicated31.537.8172,108,00065,011,000Castle MountainM+I31.838.2500,199,000190,945,000Iron ValleyMeasured33.941.065,427,00026,843,000Iron ValleyIndicated33.540.4121,897,00049,288,000Iron ValleyM+I33.640.6187,324,00076,131,000Bay ZoneMeasured32.439.1259,279,000101,387,000Bay ZoneIndicated32.138.6211,022,00081,508,000Bay ZoneM+I32.338.9470,301,000182,895,000All HGRMeasured32.338.9652,797,000254,164,000All HGRIndicated32.238.8505,027,000195,807,000All HGRM+I32.338.91,157,824,000449,971,000TotalM+I32.338.71,268,000,000491,322,000As noted above, Davis Tubes were run on Mozley Table tails when normalized Fe recovery was less than 70% and magnetite content of a sample (Head Sat / Satmagan) was greater than 15%. Table 3 below shows the overall recovery achieved by combining the gravity concentrate and the magnetic concentrate while maintaining approximately 4.5% SiO2. Table 3. Summary of Overall Concentrate Grade (at 4.5% SiO2)Overall Concentrate GradeOverall RecoveryFeSiO2Al2O3SatMnOWtFeSiO2SatDeposit%%%%%%%%%Bay Zone66.964.460.0359.150.2840.0881.014.3881.06Iron Valley65.974.640.0425.480.3340.4980.584.7662.92Castle Mountain65.874.420.0230.840.3339.3478.604.3473.97West Zone65.814.340.0341.280.7338.8074.584.4072.50Combined recovery methods at the High Gravity Recovery Deposits (Bay Zone, Iron Valley and Castle Mountain) achieved weight recoveries and Fe recoveries above or approaching 40% and 80% respectively.Implications on Plant Design and Costs Metallurgical test work indicates that an average 66.5% grade concentrate suitable for the production of pellets or sinter feed, at high weight and Fe recoveries, with low deleterious elements can be produced via gravity only from the Castle Mountain, Iron Valley and Bay Zone deposits.As highlighted in Table 2, these deposits have a combined measured and indicated resource of approximately 1.2 billion tonnes and could support a 20 million tonne gravity only concentration operation for approximately 25 years. The Castle Mountain and Iron Valley Deposits alone have a combined measured and indicated resource of approximately 688 million tonnes (see Table 2) and could support a 20 million tonne simple gravity concentration process operation for approximately 13 years. As stated in the recent press release dated April 2, 2012, the Castle Mountain deposit in particular has considerable expansion potential to the north east, which is expected to be further evaluated in the 2012 drilling program.The Company also has the flexibility to commence production on a staged basis with an initial production target of 8 to 10 million tonnes per annum Fe concentrate focused on these deposits, using only a gravity circuit, with the expectation that the initial capital costs of the Hopes Advance project will reduce significantly. Production could then be increased to 15 to 20 million tonnes per annum, still only utilizing a gravity recovery process. The use of a gravity only circuit is also expected to significantly reduce the Company's processing costs per tonne.A magnetic concentrating circuit could be added at a later date to maximize iron recoveries subject to a marginal economic benefits analysis. These scenarios will be further analysed in the pre-feasibility study currently underway and targeted for completion in Q3 2012.SummaryThe iron ore at Hopes Advance is unique in its structural simplicity and low variability. The ore zones also appear to be largely free of internal waste. The iron formation dips shallowly and can be mined with a very low stripping ratio. The metallurgical characteristics of Hopes Advance iron ore have low variability suggesting concentrating plant operations will be smooth and will not require ore blending for plant performance. These characteristics combine to create an iron ore deposit with predicted low operating costs, flexible mining, and ease and simplicity of concentrating plant operation.Eddy Canova, P.Geo., Director of Exploration for the Company and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, has reviewed and is responsible for the technical information contained in this news release.OCEANIC IRON ORE CORP. (www.oceanicironore.com) On behalf of the Board of DirectorsSteven Dean, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer This news release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" as that term is used in applicable securities law. All statements included herein, other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and resources, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of Oceanic Iron Ore Corp. ("Oceanic", or the "Company"), are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "scheduled", "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "potentially", "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions that management believes are reasonable at the time they are made. In making the forward-looking statements in this presentation, the Company has applied several material assumptions, including, but not limited to, the assumption that: (1) there being no significant disruptions affecting operations, whether due to labour/supply disruptions, damage to equipment or otherwise; (2) permitting, development, expansion and power supply proceeding on a basis consistent with the Company's current expectations; (3) certain price assumptions for iron ore; (4) prices for availability of natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, parts and equipment and other key supplies remaining consistent with current levels; (5) the accuracy of current mineral resource estimates on the Company's property; and (6) labour and material costs increasing on a basis consistent with the Company's current expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Filing Statement dated November 22, 2010 (a copy of which is publicly available on SEDAR at www.sedar.comunder the Company's profile) and elsewhere in documents filed from time to time, including MD&A, with the Toronto Stock Exchange and other regulatory authorities. Such factors include, among others, risks related to the ability of the Company to obtain necessary financing and adequate insurance; the economy generally; fluctuations in the currency markets; fluctuations in the spot and forward price of iron ore or certain other commodities (e.g., diesel fuel and electricity); changes in interest rates; disruption to the credit markets and delays in obtaining financing; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses; employee relations. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on Forward-Looking Statements. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise Forward-Looking Statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Steven DeanOceanic Iron Ore Corp.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer+1 604 566 9080+1 604 566 9081 (FAX)www.oceanicironore.comNeither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.