VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jun 19, 2013) - Flinders Resources Limited ("Flinders") (TSX VENTURE:FDR)(7FL.F)(FLNXF). Mr. Martin McFarlane, President & CEO is pleased to provide an update on the metallurgical test programs and mine planning from the Woxna Graphite Project in Sweden.
- The graphite product mix produced from the metallurgical test work far exceeded historical production purities and flake graphite sizes:
- 18% of the graphite product reported as extra-large or jumbo flake graphite (+250 microns or +60 mesh) with 95% purity. This high value product was never historically commercialised at Woxna;
- 22% of the graphite product reported as coarse flake (+180-250 microns or -60+80 mesh) with a 94% purity;
- 28% of the graphite product reported as medium flake (+100-180 microns or -80+140 mesh) with a 92% purity;
- Overall graphite recovery from the locked cycle test exceeded 96%;
- Mine planning optimization studies have further reduced stripping ratios by 37%;
Mr McFarlane states, "Our patience in awaiting metallurgical test work studies and mine planning optimization has been rewarded. The product mix obtained from the metallurgical work has exceeded our expectations in terms of graphite sizes and purities, and demonstrates Woxna can now produce a premium jumbo flake product. In combination with reduced stripping rates, which will have a positive effect on mining cost estimates, we are now well placed to complete our financial studies for the project."
Metallurgical Test Work
A bulk sample, together with representative core samples of graphite mineralization from across the Woxna Kringel mineral resource were sent to flotation specialist Aminpro Metallurgical Laboratories ("Aminpro") in Chile. Aminpro were commissioned to complete a series of graphite processing tests that would lead to an improved process flow sheet optimising graphite flake size, purity and recovery results.
A key goal of the test work program was to improve the purity of flake graphite concentrate when compared to historic production, which ceased in 2001. In particular, the aim was to achieve a minimum 94% purity for a portion of the larger flake sizes, which commands a price premium in the market.
A locked cycle test was performed based on optimised conditions determined from prior grinding and flotation test work. The optimised process circuit involved using a single stage coarse grind with the material passing a 400 microns screen before undergoing rougher flotation. The rougher flotation concentrate then underwent 2 stages of cleaning using a mild attrition regrind followed by flotation while the rougher tails underwent scavenger flotation followed by 3 stages of mild attrition regrinding and cleaning. A total of 7 cycles were undertaken yielding good repeatability of results and steady state.
The following table shows the average graphite purity results by flake size for the locked test results and historical production.
Overall graphite recovery from the locked cycle test exceeded 96% with approximately 44% of the recovered graphite reporting to the rougher concentrate and 56% to the scavenger concentrate. Aminpro believe, from their experience, that the test results are conservative and when in full production further improvements in flake size distribution and purity of the finer graphite sizes are likely.
Golders of Sweden have further optimised the Woxna mine plan using the industry recognised Whittle optimisation software. Running scenarios to maximise discounted net cash flow, Whittle produced 1.3 million tonnes of mineralised rock mined at 10.9% graphite with a strip ratio of 3.8:1. This represents a 37% improvement on the 6:1 strip ratio produced from earlier mine planning models.
Running additional scenarios enabling Whittle to vary cut-off grade produced an optimum scenario at 2.0 million tonnes of mineralised rock mined at 10.5% graphite with a cut-off grade of 5.9% (previously 7.0%) while stripping ratio was moderately higher at 5.3:.
Mining plan work is now effectively complete for the purposes of the Preliminary Economic Assessment.
Preliminary Economic Assessment
The metallurgical test work is now complete and work has commenced on finalising the Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Woxna graphite project.
The metallurgical test work results are being used to optimize a new process flow sheet that is less complex than the process used when Woxna was last in production.
New and reused equipment will be specified for the final modified process flow sheet. Operating and capital costs will then be calculated as will revenue based on the metallurgical test results.
It is anticipated that the Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Woxna graphite project will be completed approximately mid August.
Chris Stinton, BSc (Hons) (Minerals Engineering), CEng MIMMM, Senior Metallurgist with GBM Minerals Engineering Consultants of the United Kingdom, an independent consultant to the Company, is the qualified person as defined under National Instrument NI 43-10 and has reviewed and verified the metallurgical results referenced within this release.
On behalf of the Board
Martin McFarlane, President and CEO
About Flinders Resources
Flinders Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:FDR)(7FL.F)(FLNXF) owns 100% of the Woxna Graphite Mine, a unique and strategic European graphite project in central Sweden. The Woxna Mine, with rated capacity of 10,000+ tonnes per year of flake graphite, operated from 1996 to 2001 when production was halted due to falling graphite prices. Since then, the Woxna Project has been held on care and maintenance.
Today graphite prices are significantly higher than in 2001 underpinned by strong growth in graphite demand driven by a combination of steady growth in traditional uses such as steel production, lubricants, brake linings and batteries as well as double digit growth from new applications, in particular batteries for portable electronics and hybrid and electric vehicles.
Materially better graphite price today and forecast growth in graphite demand is why Flinders is evaluating re-starting the Woxna graphite mine. Flinders' Woxna mine is substantially funded, fully permitted, constructed and with moderate capital investment ready to be brought back to production. The Woxna Project is unique due to its high quality large graphite flake, long life expandable resource, first class existing infrastructure, potential to upgrade to value added lithium battery graphite and its strategic position within the European Union.
Certain information set out in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, "Forward-Looking Statements"). All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future are Forward-Looking Statements. Forward-Looking Statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," and "intend" and statements that an event or result "may," "will," "can," "should," "could," or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions. Forward-Looking Statements are based upon the opinions and expectations of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-Looking Statements are subject to a number of factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the Forward-Looking Statements including, among other things, the Company has yet to generate a profit from its activities; there can be no guarantee that the estimates of quantities or qualities of minerals disclosed in the Company's public record will be economically recoverable; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; competition with other companies within the mining industry; the success of the Company is largely dependent upon the performance of its directors and officers and the Company's ability to attract and train key personnel; changes in world metal markets and equity markets beyond the Company's control; mineral reserves are, in the large part, estimates and no assurance can be given that the anticipated tonnages and grades will be achieved or that the indicated level of recovery will be realized; production rates and capital and other costs may vary significantly from estimates; unexpected geological conditions; delays in obtaining or failure to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities; all phases of a mining business present environmental and safety risks and hazards and are subject to environmental and safety regulation, and rehabilitation and restitution costs; the Company does not maintain insurance against environmental risks; and management of the Company have experience in mineral exploration but may lack all or some of the necessary technical training and experience to successfully develop and operate a mine. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the Forward-Looking Statements, and the assumptions on which such Forward-Looking Statements are made, are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on Forward-Looking Statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which the Forward-Looking Statements are based will occur. Forward-Looking Statements herein are made as at the date hereof, and unless otherwise required by law, the Company does not intend, or assume any obligation, to update these Forward-Looking Statements.
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