Great Quest Corporate Update - Pursuing Routes to Restoring Value
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (April 29, 2013) - Great Quest Metals Ltd (the "Company") (TSX-V: GQ) is pleased to provide the following update for shareholders and interested stakeholders. The Company has been reviewing its projects and objectives in recent months in light of evolving market conditions and changes in management.
Great Quest Gold Concession
The Company completed an initial drill program in March 2011 on its wholly-owned Sanoukou gold property, located in southwestern Mali. The exploration program tested some of the mineralized dykes and subsequently received encouraging results. Since that initial work the Company has noted a dramatic increase in orpailleur activity (artisanal gold mining) on the property. Local hand miners have exposed new structures and developed small open pits going to 10-15 metres deep. This could indicate important gold anomalies. The Company is exploring options to develop this property in light of limited capital and hostile equity markets. Options include toll milling of orpailleurs' ore and joint venture agreements. In July 2010, the Company reported results of grab samples taken from orpailleur waste piles along a number of identified structures, the best of which were 16 samples averaging 3.56 grams per tonne equivalent (g/t) over 2,086 metres (m), 4 samples averaging 10.61 g/t gold over 978 m and 31 samples averaging 2.25 g/t over 2,474 m.
Direct Application Phosphate Demonstrations
In preparation for Mali's planting season in September-October, following the rainy season, Great Quest is collaborating with the Institut d'Economie Rurale, Mali's main institution in agricultural research, and the Malian Ministry of Agriculture, to develop a fertilizer that will be used on a test plantation. Having a successful demonstration plantation will allow the Company's granulated direct application phosphate fertilizer to get recommended for broad commercial consumption in Mali. These tests will validate and augment the market penetration assumptions of our preliminary economic assessment (Press releases December 18, 2012 and February 7, 2013).
Semi-Commercial Phosphate Production Facility
To accelerate the development of our Tilemsi phosphate project, the Company is pursuing the development of a pilot plant in Segou, a city located in an agricultural region, 200 km northwest of Bamako, Mali's capital. The objectives are to produce enough granulated fertilizers to supply local blenders, large scale farmers and agricultural development organizations, and to develop the market ahead of planned full-scale operations. The Company is in the process of receiving tenders from international engineering procurement and construction groups, targeting 1,000-2,000 tonnes of phosphate granules per month. Great Quest's management expect the plant will generate a small operating profit that could fund continued development of the Tilemsi phosphate project. Segou is located in south-central Mali, well outside any areas of instability, allowing for immediate investment.
Malian Political Situation
Mali's interim government has called for presidential elections in July. An elected government could initiate the national reconciliation process, restore constitutional order and security throughout the country, and allow international aid to resume. Pockets of resistance are being eliminated in remote parts of Mali's northern region, by French and African troops. It appears that Malian authority and services are gradually returning to northern Mali's main cities, including Gao, the major city close to our project. Last week France's parliament voted to extend its military mission to ensure a smooth transition to Malian forces. France will start scaling down its current 4,000 troops to 1,000 by the end of the year. On April 25th, the United Nations Security Council approved the creation of a 12,600-strong peacekeeping force for Mali to be deployed in July.
Jed Richardson, Interim President and CEO, commented, "The Company is committed to pursue strategic business alternatives to accelerate paths to cash flow, and secure the Company's position and viable long-term agricultural business in Mali. The Tilemsi project is seen by many as ideally suited and located to provide much needed economic opportunities in northern Mali, addressing issues of food security and regional development. Our belief is, in coming months, this will bring prominence to our project and restore value for our shareholders."
About Great Quest
Great Quest Metals Ltd. is a Canadian mineral exploration company with assets in Mali, West Africa. The Company is focused on developing the Tilemsi Phosphate Project, encompassing 1,206 km² in eastern Mali. To date, the Company has published two resource reports with the total inferred resource now standing at 50 million tonnes at an average grade of 24.3% P2O5 (at 10% cut-off). Phosphate rock from the Tilemsi Project displayed good characteristics for effective beneficiation with assays ranging between 25% and 38% P2O5, and low level of contaminants, especially Cadmium. The Company also holds several gold concessions in the productive Birimian gold belt, in southwestern Mali. Great Quest is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol GQ, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol GQM.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF GREAT QUEST METALS LTD.
Jed Richardson - Interim President, CEO & Director
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