African iron - The International Resource Journal

African iron - The International Resource Journal


2 West African developments Bellzone Mining02

MAY 2012 The International Resource JournalWest African developments3Bellzone MiningWaking the sleeping giant

4 West African developments Bellzone MiningConta Port Berth 1 March 2012Well on its way to iron ore shipments fromits Forécariah project in Guinea, BellzoneMining is now looking forward to focusingon its Kalia resource.Bellzone is having a blast at its Forécariahproject in Guinea, West Africa, a 213-holes-sizedmaiden blast. The company expects first productionto be shipped in June, ramping up to a productionrate of 4Mt/y by the end of the year and10Mt/y by 2014.“Forécariah is close to port, it is a good kickstarterproject for iron ore mining in Guinea andBellzone, it provides cash flow and it has a wayto go to expand to full” says Terry Larkan, chieffinancial officer.Bellzone’s flagship project involves thedevelopment of a 50Mt/y iron ore operationon its 100 per cent owned Kalia iron deposit,a magnetite resource of 6.16 billion tonnesover 7km of the 19km Kalia I strike. Ore bodyextrapolation has shown the potential for a10-billion-tonne resource over the 29km bandediron strike of Kalia I and Kalia II – a JORCresource of 193 million tonnes of oxide and92.5 million tonnes of supergene BIF has beendefined and development work will define additionaloxide resources.On-lineBut it will be Forécariah first on-line. The initialmining zone contains two-million tonnes of oxide

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6 West African developments Bellzone Mining

MAY 2012 The International Resource Journal7Konta Berth #1 Access Bridgecap, grading at 55 per cent iron, producing a crushand screen product of 58 per cent while another5.9 million tonnes of iron oxide canga, grading at45.7 per cent, shows that grades of 58 per centiron are achievable. Ongoing development work isdefining additional resources. The company is currentlyin discussions for off-take agreements.The initial blast conducted this March isanticipated to provide more than 30,000 tonnesof run of mine ore for processing and crushingand screening plants are installed and have beenwet commissioned with blast material. Productionwill be stockpiled at mine site ahead ofhaulage to the port for export when a full miningpermit is issued, expected in April.The 50:50 joint venture with China InternationalFund (CIF) is fully financed, built and readyto work, says Larkan.Access to rail and port infrastructure is keyto any successful iron ore project in West Africaand Bellzone’s project is no different. In a 90/10venture, majority partner CIF will fund and developthe rail and port infrastructure required toexport the Kalia mine production and will financethe construction of the project for the right to firstrefusal of the off-take.

8 West African developments Bellzone MiningFirst crush and screen ore at Forecariah“The studies for the railway line are completeand the port is currently nearing completion.The railway line runs from Kalia to the port ofMatakan, and it will be a commercially operatedrailway line, available for third-party users, forbulk material movement, iron ore and bauxite, forexample. We have already opened discussionswith two bauxite producers to make the studiesavailable,” Larkan adds.CIF’s studies have started with the design fora 100Mt/y rail by 2014/15 and a port with thecapacity to increase to 300Mt/y.A goerKalia’s DFS is currently being approved by theboard with its release expected in upcoming weeksand project production start expected in 2014.“The FS has proved that Kalia is a lucrative

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10 West African developments Bellzone MiningKonta marine structure March 2012project, there is no question, it is a goer and willpresent shareholders with a significant return,”Larkan says. “We are still developing the oxideand we are confident that we will be able to definesufficient oxide to have a sizable operation,but obviously the magnetite is of significance interms of the sheer size of it and it produces avery good-quality concentrate. The life of mineextends beyond the time horizon of our lives, so itis a significant deposit well-placed in Guinea, nottoo far from the coast,” he adds.Bellzone’s last project is a nickel/copperprospect at Sadeka, though it is “way out there interms of the development timeline” at this stage,notes Larkan. The company has invested some$1.2 million dollars in a VTEM aerial survey andcore results from recent drilling activities areexpected back in the second half of this year.

MAY 2012 The International Resource Journal11African ironBut it is in iron ore that Bellzone sees the mostcompelling opportunity at this stage – in moreways than one.“Africa is the sleeping giant, you’ve got a continentof people who understand what they are notgetting, and if you take Guinea, the secret to openingthe riches of their country is infrastructure andthat requires iron ore to make steel, and once thatis opened up then the rest of the country developsso it becomes a cycle in itself,” Larkan says.Guinea is known as an untapped reservoir ofresources, particularly iron ore, and it is hopedthat unlocking these resources, in addition togold and diamonds, will have a positive impacton the country’s economy – people are stillsurviving on less than a dollar a day, though theworkforce is known for being industrious andhardworking, Larkan notes.“There is still a long way to go in terms of developmentbut I think Guinea in 15 years will be avery different place,” he


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