Los Pumas Manganese Project in northern Chile has been the main focus of the Company’s exploration and development activities over the last two years. It is located 175 km inland from the Port of Arica and is a multiple layered tabular style manganese occurrence with a surface expression over 3.6 km in length.
The Company has undertaken several drilling campaigns on this project and at the end of June 2010 had completed 14,204 metres of Reverse Cycle (“RC”) drilling in 487 holes. In addition to the RC drilling, 652 metres of diamond core drilling has been completed in 32 holes.
A Technical Report dated 21 March 2011 from Coffey Mining contained an estimate of the resource at Los Pumas. This resource estimate increased the total measured and indicated resources to 18.3 million tonnes at a grade of 7.58% Mn consisting of a measured resource of 5.27 million tonnes at a grade of 7.39% Mn, and an indicated resource of 13.06 million tonnes at a grade of 7.65% Mn. Also reported was an inferred resource of 5.39 million tonnes at a grade of 8.59% Mn.
A Preliminary Assessment on the Los Pumas project was lodged on SEDAR January 28, 2011 and an amended Environmental Impact Statement lodged with the Regional Authorities in May 2011, and awaits approval.
An easement agreement with the local community over the use of their land for mining has been executed.
Work continues on the completion of final pit plans, ongoing metallurgical test work and feasibility studies, however the current manganese market conditions have reduced the priority of this project in the Company’s plans.