Testwork delivers ‘super’ high grade concentrate over 71 per cent iron
Beowulf (AIM: BEM; Aktietorget: BEO), the mineral exploration and development company focused on the Kallak iron ore project in northern Sweden and its Swedish exploration portfolio, announces outstanding testwork results on ore samples from Kallak North.
- A ‘super’ high grade magnetite concentrate, with over 71 per cent iron content and very low levels of deleterious elements (silica, alumina, phosphorous and sulphur) was produced.
- The ‘super’ high grade and purity of the magnetite concentrate produced are valuable attributes for key target markets: pellets; Direct Reduction Iron (“DRI”) facilities in Europe and the Middle East; and in chemical industry applications, with higher quality iron units benefiting manufacturing productivity with improved economy, and high purity delivering environmental benefits.
- The testwork results support the case for a significant price premium for ‘Kallak super concentrate’ (“Kallak Super-con”), over and above much reported iron ore market benchmark prices. As a comparison, the 65 per cent iron content pellet price was on average $40 per tonne higher than the 62 per cent iron content price in 2014.
- High grade hematite concentrate with over 68 per cent iron content provides additional upside, and potential use as sinter feed blend.
- All testwork was carried out at GTK in Outokumpu City, Finland (“GTK”) on samples generated from test mining at Kallak North in 2013. A magnetite product control sample was analysed by SGS Canada Inc. to validate the high grade results.
- In addition to metallurgical testwork, tailings samples have been collected and sent to FLSmidth (UK) Limited for paste thickening trials. This programme will determine the engineering properties for ‘dry-stack’ tailings storage, with a view to minimising the tailings footprint in the mine design. Trials are ongoing.
Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer of Beowulf, commented:
“With the funds raised in March 2015, we decided to commission further testwork on Kallak North ore to demonstrate the quality of the orebody, despite the delay in being granted an Exploitation Concession.
“The programme has delivered a ‘super’ high grade magnetite concentrate, with the added bonus of a high grade hematite concentrate, which is what our metallurgical consultants predicted.
“With an enhanced understanding of the high quality products that can be produced from Kallak, we can now build on our understanding of the positioning and pricing of ‘Kallak Super-con’ in the markets we are targeting, and seek to realize the significant premiums paid for higher quality iron units.
“The award of an Exploitation Concession and our advanced understanding of Kallak North, and its market attractiveness, are important foundations for bringing in a strategic partner and investor. I look forward to updating the market further in due course.”
2015 - Metallurgical testwork
The impetus for the 2015 programme was the belief that even higher grade magnetite concentrate could be produced through the application of reverse flotation, and that the results would prove the suitability of the Kallak North magnetite concentrate for use in Direct Reduction Iron (“DRI”) facilities and as chemical grade raw material.
Kallak North has three main ore types, classified as follows:
- ‘Blue’ ore - magnetite rich;
- ‘Green’ ore - magnetite rich with hematite; and
- ‘Red’ ore - hematite rich.
The work at GTK applied reverse flotation on two of the three ore types, Blue and Green. Flotation of the magnetite portion of the Red ore type will be done at a later stage.
Head assays for the samples used were performed using X-Ray Fluorescence (“XRF”) analysis for Green, Blue and Red samples. The main elements of interest are shown below:
See table in enclosed document!
This work was carried out by Labtium, who have a geo-analytical laboratory in Outokumpu City and are accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 by FINAS (Finnish accreditation service).
Concentrate product results:
The table below shows detailed product specifications for concentrates produced in 2015, and in italics the results from the previous programme in 2014:
See table in enclosed document!
Earlier metallurgical testing
Metallurgical bench scale tests, including Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) tests were completed in 2010 by MINPRO AB (“MINPRO”) of Stråssa, Sweden (www.minpro.se) on ore grade material from drill holes on the Kallak North deposit. The tests were directed towards the production of a high grade magnetite pellet feed product. Traditional treatment of the ore material by fine grinding and wet magnetic separation resulted in a clean magnetite pellet feed product containing 68.0 per cent iron corresponding to a recovery of 85.1 per cent. The head grade ore material contained 39.8 per cent iron, 33.1 per cent silica (SiO2), 0.57 per cent manganese (MnO), 0.09 per cent phosphorous (P2O5), 0.10 per cent titanium (TiO2) and 0.007 per cent sulphur. Further testing by MINPRO, using flotation techniques combined with wet magnetic separation, resulted in a final, high grade pellet feed product containing 70.4 per cent iron with low levels of contaminants such as phosphorous, manganese, sulphur and titanium.
In 2012, Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB (“JIMAB”), Beowulf’s Swedish subsidiary, commissioned MINPRO to perform further DTR tests, as well as bench scale grinding and magnetic separation, on composite samples extracted from six separate sections across the Kallak North deposit guided by advice from consultants Micon. The main scope of the test work was to establish a variability pattern in the mineral processing versus standardised test work, with the results obtained used to plan for JIMAB’s test mining and sampling programme in 2013 and the subsequent mineral processing tests, laboratory and pilot scale, conducted in early 2014.
The 2012 DTR tests, grinding to liberation and using wet low-intensity magnetic separation techniques (“WLIMS”) produced high grade concentrate 68.9-70.3 per cent iron suitable for pellets.
2013/2014 - Pilot scale test work on Kallak North material
In late 2013, approximately 500 tonnes of ore from the test mining sampling programme completed on a defined area of the Kallak North deposit in summer 2013 was transported to a test facility in Outokumpu City, owned by GTK. The main portion of the material was a general composite bulk sample, representing all of the test mined sections at Kallak North in proportion to their respective occurrence.
GTK’s initial report in respect of its test work was received in Q1 2014. Approximately 60 tonnes of the general composite bulk sample were tested during a two-week pilot campaign, primarily focusing on establishing recovery and product quality parameters for the magnetite content. Average iron content for the submitted sample was 29.5 per cent. The proportion of magnetite to hematite in the sample was established to be approximately 3.4:1.
The magnetite beneficiation circuit was conventional and straightforward consisting of rod milling with rougher-scavenger cobbing low-intensity magnetic separation (“LIMS”) pre-concentration, followed by ball mill re-grinding together with six cleaner LIMS stages to achieve the final magnetite product. The grade and recovery levels were excellent. The amount of dry magnetite concentrate produced for downstream testwork was approximately 2.7 tonnes, grading at 69.4 per cent iron at a magnetite recovery of approximately 95 per cent. Average silica content in the final product was 3.9 per cent and the levels of sulphur and phosphorous were insignificant, being below 0.01 per cent. The end product fineness was 80 per cent passing 25 microns.
The secondary objective, to produce a concentrate of the hematite content, was successful in respect of the quality aspect. A sample of 0.36 tonnes of dry hematite iron concentrate was produced, at an average grade of 66.6 per cent iron, containing 3.3 per cent silica, 0.03 per cent phosphorous and less than 0.02 per cent sulphur. The fineness was 80 per cent passing 175 microns. Several different flow sheet options were tested in order to maximise the hematite recovery, without fully reaching optimised levels. The best beneficiation result was achieved using a combination of spiral separators, supported by SLon High-Gradient Intensity Magnetic Separator (“HGIMS”), recovery remained at below 30 per cent. The short test work programme did not enable optimisation of the hematite beneficiation section. Process mineralogy studies proved that the hematite losses were mostly occurring in the very fine particle sizes.
London 8th of June 2015
|Beowulf Mining plc|
|Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer||Tel: +44 (0) 20 3771 6993|
|Cantor Fitzgerald Europe|
|Stewart Dickson / Jeremy Stephenson / Carrie Lun||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7894 7000|
|Tim Blythe / Megan Ray||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3204|
Qualified Person Review
Dr. Bo R. Arvidson, MSc Mining/Mineral Processing, PhD Mineral Processing (equivalent), both read at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, has reviewed and approved the technical information contained within this announcement in his capacity as a qualified person, as required under the AIM rules. Dr. Arvidson has over 47 years relevant experience in the minerals industry, and has developed over 80 new applications within the industrial minerals and iron ore areas.
Statements and assumptions made in this document with respect to the Company’s current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs, and other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Beowulf. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those using words such as "may", "might", "seeks", "expects", "anticipates", "estimates", "believes", "projects", "plans", strategy", "forecast" and similar expressions. These statements reflect management's expectations and assumptions in light of currently available information. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, (i) changes in the economic, regulatory and political environments in the countries where Beowulf operates; (ii) changes relating to the geological information available in respect of the various projects undertaken; (iii) Beowulf’s continued ability to secure enough financing to carry on its operations as a going concern; (iv) the success of its potential joint ventures and alliances, if any; (v) metal prices, particularly as regards iron ore. In the light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding any mineral project at an early stage of its development, the actual results could differ materially from those presented and forecast in this document. Beowulf assumes no unconditional obligation to immediately update any such statements and/or forecasts.
The Kallak North iron ore deposit is located about 40km west of the Jokkmokk municipality centre in the Norrbotten County in Northern Sweden.
Local infrastructure is excellent with all-weather gravel roads passing through the project area and all parts are easily reached by well used forestry tracks. A major hydroelectric power station with associated electric power-lines is located only a few kilometres to the south east. The nearest railway (the ‘Inland Railway Line’) passes approximately 40km to the east. This railway line is connected at Gällivare with the ‘Ore Railway Line’, which is used by LKAB for delivery of their iron ore material to the Atlantic harbour at Narvik (Norway) or to the Botnian Sea harbour at Luleå (Sweden).
The total Kallak project area is approximately 80km2in size, and includes the Parkijaure licence granted in 2010 and the Ågåsjiegge nr2 licence granted in 2014.
The Kallak North and Kallak South orebodies are centrally located and cover an area approximately 3,700m in length and 350m in width, as defined by drilling. The mineral resource estimate for Kallak North and South is based on drilling conducted between 2010-2014, a total 27,895m drilled, including 131 drillholes.
The latest resource statement for the Kallak project was finalised on the 28 November 2014, following the guidelines of the JORC Code 2012 edition, summary as follows:
See table in enclosed document!
The Ballek Joint Venture project comprises two exploration permits over a total area of 18.3km2, located in the Norrbotten County in Northern Sweden. In September 2008 Beowulf reported a maiden JORC Code compliant Inferred Resource estimate for the Lulepotten copper-gold deposit of 5.4Mt, grading 0.8% Cu and 0.3g/t Au.
Other attractive portfolio assets include the Nautijaure licence with potential for IOCG, Grundträsk gold project and the Munka licence area, which covers approximately 800 hectares and hosts Sweden’s largest, drill confirmed deposit of molybdenum.