Monday 15th July 2019 Font size:

Keras Resources plc – Nayega Manganese Metallurgical Testwork Results

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Keras Resources plc, the AIM listed mineral resource company, is pleased to announce results from the metallurgical testwork on the 10,000-tonne bulk sample collected at its flagship asset, the Nayega Manganese (‘Mn’) Project, in northern Togo (‘Nayega’ or ‘the Project’).  Testwork undertaken included production chemical analysis to prove up the on-site beneficiation circuit, metallurgical testwork to prove the suitability of the ore in the manganese alloys industry, and leach testwork to assess whether the ore has the potential to be a source of high grade manganese in lithium-ion batteries to supply the growing Electric Vehicle (‘EV’) market.

Highlights

  • Testwork assessing the potential to supply Nayega manganese to the steel industry:
    • On-site processing using dry screening and wet scrubbing to produce a beneficiated ore averaged 38.88% Mn, 6.28% Fe and 11.5% SiO2
    • Nayega ore is best suited to production of silico-manganese alloy
    • Discussions remain ongoing with potential off-takers to provide both development funding to expand the existing 6,500 saleable tonnes per month operational infrastructure and for an off-take agreement for future ore produced at Nayega
  • Testwork assessing the potential to supply Nayega manganese to the battery and/or agriculture sectors:
    • Sighter leaching testwork completed on samples obtained from the transitional and deeper Saprolitic zones within the Nayega orebody
    • Leaching results have been encouraging with in excess of 90% recovery being achieved in less than two hours from both ore samples
    • Nayega manganese is an oxide ore which leaches more favourably compared with South African carbonate ores
    • Solutions produced contained minimal concentrations of impurities, indicating a reduced risk of issues in downstream processing
    • Significant growth potential for manganese as a replacement for cobalt in lithium-ion batteries as producers look to secure cost competitive, responsibly mined long term raw material supply
    • Potential to de-risk Nayega’s exposure to the volatile steel market by diversifying into the growing EV market

Russell Lamming, Chief Executive Officer of Keras, commented, “We are exceptionally pleased that the bulk sample from Nayega was successfully delivered on time, within budget and has been underpinned by encouraging chemical analysis which further consolidates the commercial viability of the Nayega mine.  The bulk sample produced higher than expected manganese content and, due to the expected relatively high silica content, it has been determined that the ore is better suited to the production of silico-manganese rather than the production of ferro-manganese.  The bulk sample results comprehensively proved up the Project from mine to market and we look forward to moving forward following receipt of the Exploitation Permit which is currently outstanding.

“In addition, with the inherently volatile nature of the downstream manganese alloy market and the growing demand for a cost effective, responsibly mined replacement for cobalt in the production of lithium-ion batteries, we have started additional leach testwork on the Transitional and Saprolitic zones of the Nayega orebody that were not tested in the bulk sample. It is widely understood that reductive leaching is not always amenable to all manganese minerals, let alone able to selectively dissolve the manganese content of the ore, so the initial testwork results are a very encouraging first step.  It is our intention to follow up this work with a further detailed testwork programme aimed at optimising the leaching conditions and studying the purification processes required to ensure the production of a battery grade of manganese.  I look forward to updating our shareholders when practicable.”

http://www.kerasplc.com
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