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28 January 2013
Mwana Africa PLC
("Mwana", the "Group" or the "Company")
Freda Rebecca Gold Mine Tailings Retreatment Project - Pilot Plant
Mwana is pleased to announce progress on the evaluation of the economic potential of its tailings storage facilities and the commencement of the construction of a pilot plant at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine ("Freda Rebecca") in Zimbabwe.
Freda Rebecca has been in production since 1988. During that time significant tailings have been deposited over three main storage facilities within the mine lease area. A non-compliant indication of the available tonnage contained within the targeted North and South tailings facilities is estimated at 13.5Mt.
During 2012 project work was initiated to evaluate the economic potential of these tailings dumps. An internal augering programme was carried out over the old North and South dumps at Freda Rebecca. Assay results together with basic bottle roll test work gave sufficiently encouraging results to embark on a full metallurgical test program.
The test work was divided into two phases. The aim of first phase was to identify the most promising process route for the treatment of the tailings material. The second phase being to optimize process parameters on the process route selected.
Freda Rebecca appointed Johannesburg-based process and design engineering group SENET to oversee the test work. ALS Ammtec, Australia was appointed to conduct the metallurgical test work. From the internal augering programme a composited lab scale tailings sample was shipped to Australia and testwork commenced during May 2012.
Key highlights from results achieved in Phase 1 indicated:
· Gold grades on the samples received ranged between 0.40 and 0.83 g/t
· Conventional cyanidation based on a Carbon in Leach (CIL) process gave highest metallurgical recoveries
Following the above results, Phase II commenced, with the following highlights:
· CIL process route and preliminary recoveries confirmed
· Cyanide and lime consumption moderate at 1.80kg/t and 1.83kg/t respectively
· 64.3% gold recovery based on the "as received" P80 120 μm sample at the above parameters
Based on the results from the above test work construction of a pilot plant at Freda Rebecca to validate the laboratory test work has commenced. The pilot plant will be used to gather representative data and to conduct variability test work at a level which will determine optimum operating conditions and design parameters for any potential future larger scale facility. The pilot plant is targeted for commissioning in Q3 2013.
Kalaa Mpinga, CEO of Mwana, commented:
"The initial results from the test work on the tailings at Freda Rebecca are encouraging. Should the results from the pilot plant prove that retreatment of the tailings is viable, a full scale tailings retreatment plant has the potential to contribute significantly to annual gold production at Freda Rebecca."
For further information please visit www.mwanaafrica.com or contact:
Mwana Africa PLC Tel: +44 (0)20 7654 5580
Donald McAlister / Lorenz Werndle
Nominated Adviser and Broker
Liberum Capital Limited Tel: +44 (0)20 3100 2000
Michael Rawlinson / Tom Fyson / Christopher Kololian
Public & Investor Relations
Tavistock Communications Tel: +44 (0)20 7920 3150
Ed Portman / Simon Hudson / Mike Bartlett
About Mwana Africa PLC
Mwana Africa PLC is a pan-African, multi-commodity mining and development company. Mwana's principal operations and exploration activities cover gold, nickel, copper and diamonds in Zimbabwe, the DRC and South Africa.
Mwana's Freda Rebecca gold mine in Zimbabwe, having restarted operations in 2009, produced 47,770 ozs of gold in the 12 months to March 2012. Record quarterly gold production of 18,350 ozs was achieved in the third quarter of 2012.
In February 2012, Mwana announced a gold mineral resource of 2.01 million ounces at its Zani Kodo project in Democratic Republic of Congo.
In August 2012, Mwana announced it had entered into a Cooperation and Development Agreement with Zhejiang Hailiang Company Limited to jointly explore its copper licence areas in the Katanga Province of the DRC.
In September 2012, Mwana's subsidiary, Bindura Nickel Corporation, carried out a restructuring and recapitalisation involving US$23m being invested into BNC which has allowed it to restart its Trojan nickel mine. First sale of concentrate to Glencore International is expected in Q2 2013.
Further information on the Company can be found at www.mwanaafrica.com.
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