Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Century Iron Mines says new Rainy Lake drill results likely to provide "substantial" resource tonnage support

Century Iron Mines Corp (TSE: FER) reported Wednesday recent drill results from its Full Moon prospect on the Rainy Lake area of its Sunny Lake iron ore project in Quebec, showing "substantial resource tonnage" support. 
The 2012 drill program began in February, with nearly 20,000 metres completed up to mid-September. 
The company said Wednesday the strike length of the taconite zone has now increased to 10 kilometres over a width of up to 2.8 kilometres, and a vertical thickness of up to 340 metres. 
The zone also remains open along strike to the north, Century said, adding that the unusual thickness of the iron formation is caused by "thrust faulting" - resulting in the staking of different sections of iron formation on top of each other. 
Highlights of recent results from the Full Moon prospect include 277.8 metres of taconite iron mineralization grading 28.77% total iron in hole RL12-0103, and 230.4 metres of taconite iron grading 29.82% total iron in hole RL12-0804. 
Century Iron is studying both the direct shipping ore (DSO) and taconite project potential of Sunny Lake, with the company having started drilling in the summer of last year. Last year, the company drilled 31 holes, or 6,387 metres, with the results released in January. 
Taconite is a variety of iron formation, which is an iron-bearing sedimentary rock, while direct shipping ore refers to iron ore that can be shipped directly to a steel furnace.
The "outstanding property", as described by CEO Sandy Chim earlier this year, was acquired in 2009 by staking, and hosts 494 mineral claims, covering around 24,000 hectares. The project, which is 100 percent owned by Century, consists of two separate areas - Lac Le Fer and Rainy Lake - with both areas being at an early stage of exploration and having no defined resources. 
"We are very pleased with these results which consistently demonstrate the unusually thicker and slightly higher grade characteristics of the Full Moon Prospect as a taconite project," said Chim in a statement today.
"The extended strike length of over 10 km now covered by our current program is likely to provide very substantial resource tonnage support for a world class taconite operation. 
"Our Full Moon taconite project is also enhanced by our DSO development commencing with Joyce Lake, in terms of common infrastructure development and operational cash flow.” 
A winter drilling program at Century's Attikamagen project in Quebec  last year targeted DSO potential at Joyce Lake, and taconite potential at Hayot Lake. 
Reverse circulation drilling at Joyce Lake intersected 139 metres grading 52.8% total iron in hole JOY-11-06, while hole JOY-11-07 returned 91.0 metres of 52.5% total iron, including 42.0 metres of 65.3% iron. The company said that while still at an early stage, results indicated that the Joyce Lake iron formation has the potential to become a DSO deposit.
DSO mines are typically rarer than the magnetite-bearing banded iron formations, but are considerably cheaper to mine and process as they require less beneficiation due to the higher iron content. Export-grade DSO ores are generally in the 62 to 64 percent iron range. 
Taconite, on the other hand, has been mined in North America for a number of decades as its constancy of ore characteristics on a very large scale has been an important source of iron supply for the US steel market for many years.
The finer grain size of taconite requires less energy costs for grinding compared with other coarser grain iron ores, and is used for making iron ore pellets - demand for which is expected to grow faster than any other iron product in the seaborne market.
In addition to the recent results released from the Full Moon prospect, the company said that 4 large size core holes were completed, with 6,400 kilograms of core sent to Lakefield, Ontario for metallurgical testing. 
At the same time, infill drilling continues over certain areas of the prospect, on a 250 by 200 metre pattern for "better geological control and a verification of grade variations", Century said. 
Drilling is expected to wrap up within the next 2 weeks, with an initial NI 43-101 compliant resource anticipated this fall. 
A preliminary economic assessment is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2013, the miner said. 
The Lac Le Fer and Rainy Lake properties at Sunny Lake are located 65 and 85 kilometres, respectively, northwest of the town of Schefferville, Quebec and are accessible by air. 
Century Iron Mines is Canada's largest holder of iron ore land claims, with interests in several properties in the Provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. 
In addition to these iron properties, Century Iron is backed by two Chinese strategic partners through financing and off-take agreements: MinMetals and WISCO International Resources, a unit of Wuhan Iron & Steel, also known as China's third-largest steel producer.
Support from these two massive Chinese conglomerates, which are ranked among the Forbes Global 500 and are two of China’s largest mining companies, must mean Century Iron has the goods to back itself up. In 2010, the WISCO group produced 36 million tonnes of crude steel, ranking as the fourth-largest steel mill in China and the fifth-largest in the world. 

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