Asian-focused mineral explorer Mindoro Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE: MIO) (FRANKFURT:WKN 906167) has completed the infill drilling on its Agata Nickel Project in the Philippines, today announcing the last batch of results with grades and thickness of potential economic interest, including limonite intersections averaging 4.06 meters (e) at 1.15% Nickel, 0.13% Cobalt and 48% Iron and saprolite intersections averaging 7.25m at 1.31% Nickel. The company’s stock went up 5.7% today to $0.185 on the back of the news.
The peak limonite intersection was AGL-453: 10.9m @ 1.55% Nickel and 40% Iron from 1.9m and peak saprolite intersection AGL-545:13.45m @ 1.73% Nickel from 4.10m including 3.95m @ 2.04 % from 4.10m.
The final results of the drilling are now being modeled in preparation for an updated NI43-101 mineral resource statement, due by the end of August 2010. The updated mineral resource model, combined with mine planning information, will allow preparation of an NI 43-101 mineral reserve statement. Offtake discussions have been advanced but will not be finalized until a detailed mine schedule is produced from the mineral reserve information. Phase 1 scoping and feasibility studies for the project will then be finalized and submitted to the Philippines Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for final development approval.
Drilling rigs have now also been mobilized to commence drilling the regional nickel laterite exploration target with the objective of converting a significant proportion of the 50 million to 70 million DMT at 0.9% to 1.2% nickel exploration target to NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource.
At the same time, Mindoro has initiated scoping studies into value-added on site processing, including low-capital cost thermal upgrading technologies, such as sintering, to produce much higher-value iron and iron-nickel products. These have the potential to phase out the shipping of raw direct shipping ore (DSO) product and to form an intermediate development stage prior to a major acid-leach processing operation. The major acid-leach project scoping studies, including additional metallurgical testing, are due for completion late September 2010.
Mindoro is focused on exploration in the Philippines with a strategy of advancing early stage opportunities to production or joint venture. It controls major nickel laterite resources in the Surigao District, Mindanao.
Last week, private equity fund Asian Lion, increased its equity stake in Mindoro and now holds 7.84% of Mindoro’s paper on an undiluted basis.
Mindoro has NI 43-101 Mineral Resource estimates on its Agata North nickel-cobalt project (November 2009) totalling measured and indicated 26.92 million dry metric tonnes (DMT) at 1.11% Nickel and 0.06% Cobalt and inferred 3.79 million DMT at 1.06% Nickel, 0.05% Cobalt. Mindoro also has NI 43-101 Mineral Resource estimates on both its Lobo and Archangel (Kay Tanda) gold-silver projects.
The company has a number of additional projects, and a farm-in agreement in place with Gold Fields (JNB:GFI, NYSE:GFI) on three copper-gold projects, where drilling is currently underway. Gold Fields can earn up to 75% by financing exploration on the projects.