CAMEROON – Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed mineral company; Canyon Resources has confirmed presence of bauxite in a Cameroonian mineral site that has deposits worth 2 decades of production.
Bauxite is a sedimentary rock with a relatively high aluminium content and it is the world’s main source of aluminium and gallium.
According to Mining Weekly the maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee compliant resource was discovered at the Minim Martap bauxite project, in Cameroon.
The maiden probable reserve which is estimated to harbour at 97.3-million tonnes, at 51.1% total alumina and 2.3% total silica would remain in active for about 20 years once mining starts.
This ore reserve has been based on the pre-feasibility study (PFS) with production rates of four million tonnes per year for two years.
“We are very pleased to be able to confirm what we have stated since the beginning; that this project can deliver a stable output of the highest-grade bauxite product in the world for at least two decades,” said Canyon MD Phillip Gallagher.
Only 15 of the 79 Minim Martap plateaux have been drill tested and only three have been included in the ore reserve.
Gallagher further noted that, “It is clear there are many additional, almost identical bauxite plateau, all at the same altitude and with the same characteristics as the three within the reserve, that haven’t yet been drilled.”
“The potential for the Minim Martap project as we develop into the full Stage 2 project and beyond is enormous,” he added.
A July prefeasibility study estimated that the Stage 1 project could support a production rate of five-million tonnes a year, at a capital cost of $120-million.
The study estimated that the Stage 1 project would have a net present value of US$291-million and an internal rate of return of 37%.
Earlier this year, Canyon Resources Ltd reported that it had received interest from companies looking to secure long-term bauxite supply and who acknowledge the scale and quality of its Minim Martap Bauxite Project in Cameroon, West Africa.
Approximately 50% of all global seaborne bauxite is currently being exported from Guinea, and more than half of China’s bauxite imports are also coming from Guinea.
Analysts are thus confident that major alumina producers are now considering Cameroon bauxite from Minim Martap as a geopolitical hedge.
The bauxite from Cameroon is also being courted as a means of diversifying the supply of the mineral and as a reduction in dependency on one country.