Mawson West Announces Activities Update

PERTH, AUSTRALIA and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2012) - Mawson West Ltd. (TSX:MWE) ("Mawson" or the "Company") is pleased to announce an update of activities on its 90% owned assets governed by the Dikulushi Mining Convention located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC").

Dikulushi Update

At the Dikulushi copper-silver mine, processing of the low-grade stockpile has been completed successfully, reporting well ahead of the original budget for net cashflow to the Company. Production has commenced at the recently defined Boomgate deposit, located within 1km of the Dikulushi processing plant. Head-grade, recoveries, and concentrate grades are as expected from the metallurgical testwork and it is anticipated that approximately 350t of copper ("Cu") and 26,000 ounces of silver ("Ag") will be produced per month. The Boomgate material will be processed until receipt of ore from the Company's cut-back expansion project at the Dikulushi mine which is on track to deliver first ore in the third quarter of 2012.

The Golf Course deposit, located 500m from the Dikulushi processing plant, continues to grow and drilling has increased the strike extent to 200m, which still remains open to the east. The deposit is shallow dipping (20 degrees to the north) with an average vertical depth to mineralisation from surface of less than 20m. Mineralisation is dominantly malachite and disseminated chalcocite. To date 37 holes have been completed which indicate a potential resource of about 500kt at 1.4% Cu and 45g/t Ag. These figures are reported as an exploration target, based on reasonable assumptions made from compiled data. These figures should not be construed to reflect a calculated resource (inferred, indicated or measured) under standards of NI 43-101. The potential quantities and grades reported are conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient work to date to define a NI 43-101 compliant resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the delineation of a mineral resource. A table of significant intersections from Golf Course is presented below.

Golf Course Significant Intersections
Hole_ID mFrom mTo Width Cu_pct CuO_pct Ag_ppm
11GCRC003 18 23 5 1.2 0.4 24
11GCRC003 26 31 5 1.8 0.3 41
11GCRC009 33 38 5 1.5 0.4 44
11GCDH009 21 27 6 1.6 0.8 48
11GCDH022 21 27 6 2.0 1.4 26
11GCRC002 42 48 6 1.3 0.1 50
11GCRC006 22 28 6 1.4 1.2 21
11GCDH002 21 29 8 2.7 2.0 58
11GCRC006 8 17 9 1.8 1.5 30
11GCDH016 34 44 10 1.6 0.0 71
11GCDH006 23 35 12 1.6 0.7 35
11GCDH013 24 36 12 1.3 0.5 33
11GCRC001 18 30 12 1.5 0.5 39
11GCDH003 19 32 13 2.3 0.5 126
11GCDH024 19 32 13 1.5 0.9 102
11GCDH004 18 33 15 2.3 1.7 67
11GCRC005 16 31 15 1.6 1.2 98
11GCDH015 22 40 18 1.5 0.8 44
11GCDH005 19 38 19 1.7 0.9 37
11GCDH025 13 32 19 2.2 1.7 107
11GCDH014 31 51 20 1.5 0.2 43
11GCDH017 17 38 21 1.7 0.7 51
NB Intercepts are calculated using a 1% Cu cutoff and maximum 3m internal waste

The feasibility study into reopening the Dikulushi underground operation has commenced. Assaying of two un-sampled diamond core holes drilled by Anvil returned highly encouraging results from the Dikulushi "deeps".

Hole_ID From (m) To (m) Width Cu% Ag g/t
SUR001 540 544 4 6.3 144
SUR001 549 571 22 12.0 324
SUR005 566 570 4 6.8 183
SUR005 583 588 5 7.9 177
NB: Intercepts calculated using a 1% Cu cutoff and a max 3m consecutive internal waste.

To view the image associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

Additional exploration on the 7,300km2 tenement area is expected to commence in April as the wet-season declines; the initial focus will be at the Company's Kamoa look-a-like Lufukwe prospect, where a second mineralised horizon was identified late last field season. Geochemical targets in the Dikulushi area will be drill tested as the field season progresses.

Kapulo Update

Progress at the Kapulo construction project is as planned, and although it is currently the height of the wet season, the civil works are well underway; the plant is expected to be commissioned in early 2013.

David Frances, President and CEO commented - "With the completion of another successful democratic election in the DRC we believe investment into the DRC will begin to gather momentum once again. The team at Mawson were able to achieve a number of significant goals in 2011 with the listing of the Company on the TSX, profitable processing of the low-grade stockpile at Dikulushi, recommencement of mining on the pit cutback at Dikulushi, definition of two satellite deposits and identification of a third in the Dikulushi area, and last but not least the commencement of construction at the Kapulo project - a company-changing year".

"With the commencement of the underground feasibility study and early exceptional drill results, coupled with the exploration success around Dikulushi, the Company is well on the way to achieving its medium term goal of increasing the processing life at Dikulushi to five years. In 2012 we are focussed on achieving the shorter term goals of bringing the cutback at Dikulushi into production by Q3 2012, completing the construction of the 600,000tpa Kapulo copper/silver processing plant, continuing the exceptional exploration success of 2011, and evaluating new projects elsewhere in the world".

About Mawson West Ltd.

Mawson West Ltd. is an Australian-based copper producer, developer and explorer listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mawson's focus is on the DRC, and its major asset is its 90% ownership in Anvil Mining Congo SARL, which is in the process of being renamed CMCC SARL ("CMCC"). The tenements held by CMCC, comprising 7,300 km2 of contiguous tenure, encompasses the Company's two main projects, the Dikulushi copper-silver mine and the Kapulo copper exploration and development project, as well as multiple exploration targets. The tenements held by CMCC are governed by the Dikulushi Mining Convention.

Mawson's principal objectives are to expand copper production at the Dikulushi mine, commence copper production at the Kapulo project and further explore the area governed by the Dikulushi Mining Convention to identify new targets. Mawson is also investigating other opportunities in the DRC and elsewhere which have the capacity to increase the Company's production in copper and other metals.

QP Statement

Adam Anderson of Mawson West, a Qualified Person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the content of this press release.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains "forward-looking information" that is based on Mawson's expectations, estimates and projections as of the dates as of which those statements were made. This forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements with respect to the Company's business strategy, plans, outlook, financing plans, projections, targets and expectations as to reserves, resources, results of exploration (including targets) and related expenses, mine development, mine operations, mine production costs, drilling activity, sampling and other data, estimating grade levels, future recovery levels, future production levels, capital costs, costs savings, cash and total costs of production of copper, expenditures for environmental matters, projected life of Mawson's mines, reclamation and other post closure obligations and estimated future expenditures for those matters, completion dates for the various development stages of mines, availability of water for milling and mining, future copper prices (including the long-term estimated prices used in calculating Mawson's mineral reserves), end-use demand for copper, currency exchange rates, timing of expected sales and final pricing of concentrate sales and anticipated timing of production at the Dikulushi cut-back project. Generally, this forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "outlook", "anticipate", "project", "target", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "should", "scheduled", "will", "plan" and similar expressions. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Mawson's actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, and developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, including but not limited to:

  • Our ability to successfully bring the Dikulushi cut-back project or the Kapulo Project into production;
  • Receipt of all permits required for the Dikulushi cut-back project or the Kapulo Project;
  • The ability of our key contractors to perform the services for us in the manner contracted for;
  • The availability and cost of key operating supplies and services;
  • The production facilities may not achieve the planned desired recoveries;
  • Fluctuations in copper prices;
  • Insurance coverage may not be available for certain risks that the company might deem it prudent to insure against;
  • The ability to expand or replace depleted reserves and the possible recalculation or reduction of the reserves and resources;
  • Actual capital costs, operating costs and expenditures, production schedules and economic returns from the Dikulushi cut-back project or Kapulo Project;
  • Geotechnical issues;
  • Mineralogy and block model assumptions;
  • Potential challenges to title to the properties;
  • Inherent hazards and risks associated with mining operations;
  • Inherent uncertainties associated with mineral exploration;
  • Being subject to government regulation, including changes in regulation;
  • Being subject to extensive environmental laws and regulations, including change in regulation;
  • Need for governmental licenses and permits;
  • Political and country risk;
  • Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; and
  • Global financial conditions.

Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable, including but not limited to no material adverse change in the market price of commodities, that mining development and operations will operate in accordance with Mawson's public statements and achieve their stated outcomes, and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. Although Mawson has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Mawson disclaims any intent or obligations to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, estimates or options, future events or results or otherwise, unless required to do so by law.

Contact Information:

Mawson West Ltd.
David Frances
President and Chief Executive Officer
61 8 9321-9669
61 8 9481-2394 (FAX)