Tuesday, 7 May 2013

UPDATE: Afferro says Ntem maiden resource estimate part of drive to early cash flow

Afferro Mining (LON:AFF, CVE:AFF) has passed an important landmark in its drive to early cash flow by compiling a maiden resource estimate on its Ntem iron ore deposit.
The indicated resource is 39.1mln tonnes at 34% iron, while there is a total of 76.4mln tonnes in the inferred category at 34.2% iron.
Last week the group revealed the metallurgy of the deposit is such that it can be ground into a saleable, high-grade concentrate.
Unlike its 2.5bn tonne Nkout project, which is hundreds of kilometres from the coast and therefore requires a rail road and other infrastructure to be viable, Ntem is less than 80 kilometres from the deepwater port being built south of the beach resort of Kribi.
It is also close to a gas-fired power station, giving it access to power required to produce the concentrate.
"The maiden resource marks an important step in the development of Ntem,” said chief executive (CEO) Luis da Silva.
“This resource, which has potential to increase, is of an appropriate size to build a small-scale operation to drive early cash flow for Afferro.”
The infrastructure scoping study will be released “shortly”, the Afferro CEO added.
It should build on the idea of using road haulage to transport the magnetite concentrate to port, given the project's proximity to the coast.
The shares were 0.69 pence higher at 72.69 pence, valuing the group at just under £74mln.
Panmure Gordon, which rates the stock ‘buy’, reckons Afferro is worth 272 pence a share. Analyst Alison Turner sees the potential of its smaller project: “Whilst Ntem may not have the scale of some of the other West African iron ore projects, what it does have is a potential infrastructure solution which avoids the billions of dollars in capex associated with many greenfield iron ore projects.”
Of course, the progress made to date has been overshadowed by bid interest from IMIC (LON:IMIC) and potential project level investment from Korean giant POSCO.
“Nevertheless underlining the quality of the asset base increases the company’s negotiating position in that regard,” said Turner.

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