|March 12, 2009|
Crowflight Reports Updated Reserves And Resources At Bucko
CROWFLIGHT MINERALS INC. (the "Company") (TSX: CML) today announced an updated National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant Mineral Reserve and Resource estimate for its 100%-owned Bucko Lake Nickel Mine (Bucko) located near Wabowden, Manitoba.
Results from a program of surface and underground drilling completed on the property from 2007 to 2008 were used to produce an updated Mineral Reserve and Resource estimate, with the primary goal of the underground program being the upgrading of reserves in preparation for mining. Based on drill results from this program and updated information regarding production costs, fully diluted Proven and Probable Reserves at Bucko have increased to 3,708,393 tonnes grading 1.45% nickel. This represents a 22% increase in contained nickel over the 2007 Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS).
The table below presents the updated Reserves and Resources prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 guidelines.
Table 1. NI 43-101 Compliant Mineral Reserves and Resources at Bucko as at
December 31, 2008
Resources are exclusive of reserves
Since commencing operations at Bucko, Crowflight has achieved several milestones including:
Underground exploration and infill drilling remains focused on upgrading and increasing reserves and resources. Areas of identified opportunity at Bucko include:
The Hinge Zone is a folded extension of the main zone trending in a west to easterly strike orientation known to host shoots of high-grade nickel sulphide mineralization. Historically, interpretation of this area had been constrained due to the lack of suitable underground drilling locations. Recent infill drilling indicates that mineralization in this portion of the deposit is more consistent than previously interpreted. New access afforded by development planned for completion in 2009 will provide access to properly evaluate the potential of this area.
The West Limb is the main zone hosting the bulk of current reserves and remains open at depth and to the south. Drilling targeting high-grade thickness trends in the upper portions of the mine has to date been successful in the conversion of resources to reserves. Additional drilling along defined trends of elevated nickel grade and thickness in this area retains high potential for the additional conversion of reserves and expansion of resources.
In the Footwall Zone, a new nickel mineralized horizon was intersected during the course of infill drilling and driving footwall development on 1,000 foot level in 2008. It has been interpreted that this horizon ties in with mineralization intersected by historical exploration drill holes intersecting a broad interval of mineralized ultramafic near the southern limit of drilling on the 1,400 foot level. This area has now been intersected by underground development on 1,000 foot and 900 foot levels and by a total of six underground holes outlining an Inferred Resource of approximately 1.2 million tonnes grading 1.31% nickel. Encouraging drilling results such as those returned from hole M77-14 which intersected 6.09 metres grading 1.65% nickel define the current limit of known mineralization associated with this promising exploration area.
Please refer to Figure 1 that depicts the location of areas discussed above relative to the existing underground development on the 1,000 foot level.
Crowflight's Vice President of Exploration, Greg Collins commented, "The results from the infill and exploration drilling programs at Bucko have confirmed our expectations with respect to geology, ground conditions and distribution of mineralization. Within current resource categories, excellent opportunity remains to further increase reserves by upgrading resources in the hinge and main zones. We look forward to investigating these and other opportunities as we continue to develop and exploit the deposit at Bucko and evaluate nearby satellite resources."
The table below presents an overview of Crowflight's combined Reserves and Resources.
Table 2. Summary of Combined Crowflight NI 43-101 Compliant Reserves and Resources
* Based on current update using a 1.25% nickel cut-off for Proven and Probable Reserves and a 1.0% nickel cut-off for Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource categories
** Inferred Resources at M11A and Halfway Lake were disclosed in a press release issued October 22, 2008
*** Inferred Resources at Bowden and Apex were disclosed in a press release issued September 17, 2007
Notes on Mineral Resource Estimates
The resource calculations were prepared by Crowflight personnel under the supervision of Greg Collins, P. Geo. and Vice President of Exploration at Crowflight, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 guidelines and a professional geoscientist experienced in the determination of mineral resources and reserves. Resource estimates were based on geological data collected by representatives from Crowflight and chemical analysis provided by ALS Chemex. The update incorporates historical exploration information collected by Falconbridge and recent surface and underground drill data collected by Crowflight.
The resource estimates were prepared in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metal, and Petroleum (CIM) definition standards regarding Mineral Resources and Reserves. Determination of mineral resources was based on geostatistical block modeling using Gemcom Software utilizing the inverse distance squared method for grade interpolation. Estimates were based on information from 285 surface and underground diamond drill holes. Composite lengths were based on a 1.5 metre ideal interval within resource domain solids. The density of nickel mineralized material was based on bulk density measurements where data was available and a calculated determination of bulk density proportionate to a formula based on nickel content where data was absent. Nickel model interpolation values were primarily established in the Measured Resource category based on a 20 metre diameter search ellipse, Indicated Resources based on a 35 metre search ellipse and Inferred Resources based on a 200 metre search ellipse. Interpreted geological contacts and a 1.0% nickel cut-off grade were used to constrain domains used in the interpolation model.
Resource updates at Bucko were independently reviewed by Eugene Puritch, P.Eng. of P&E Mining Consultants Inc. ("P&E") of Brampton, Ontario. P&E conducted a verification of the estimates prepared by Crowflight and was able to replicate the results within an acceptable margin of variance and has concluded that the methodology employed by Crowflight is consistent with industry standards. Mineral resources that are not reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues.
Notes on Mineral Reserves
Mineral Reserves were determined by Martin Drennan, P. Eng. of Python Mining Consultants of Hamilton, Ontario, under the supervision of Paul Keller, P. Eng. and COO of Crowflight, both of whom are Qualified Persons under NI 43-101 guidelines and professional engineers experienced in the determination of reserves, from the Measured and Indicated Resource categories verified by P&E. The methodology employed is a geometric approach specific to the mining method specified in the 2007 Updated Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS). Level spacing was based on a 30 metre arrangement to facilitate extraction via sublevel long-hole stoping methods. Minimum mining width has been assumed to be 2.5 metres. Current site operating costs and projected development costs were scheduled into a mine plan and cash flow model based on continued production at 1,000 tonnes per day. A forecast long-term nickel price of US$6.00 and a 0.81 CAD:US exchange rate was assumed. Mining reserves were established using a 1.25% nickel marginal cut-off grade.
Qualified Person/Quality Control Procedures
This press release has been prepared and reviewed by Mr. Greg Collins, P.Geo (APGO/APEGM) and VP Exploration of Crowflight, and Mr. Paul Keller, P.Eng. and COO of Crowflight, both of whom are Qualified Persons under the NI 43-101 guidelines. All assays were performed at the ALS-Chemex laboratory in Vancouver and undergo an ICP-AES finish and Sodium Peroxide Fusion. Standards and blanks are submitted with each sample batch.
Crowflight Minerals -- Canada's Newest Nickel Producer
Crowflight Minerals Inc. (TSX: CML) is a Canadian junior mining company that is producing nickel at the Bucko Lake Nickel Mine near Wabowden, Manitoba. Full commercial production is expected to be achieved at Bucko early in the second quarter of 2009. The Company is also focused on nickel, copper and Platinum Group Mineral (PGM) projects in the Thompson Nickel Belt and Sudbury Basin.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking statements under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the Bucko's development potential and timetable; Crowflight's ability to raise additional required funds; the future price of nickel; the estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources; the timing and amount of estimated future exploration and production; costs of future activities; success of exploration and production activities; government regulation of mining operations; and environmental risks. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made. Estimates regarding mineral resources and mineral reserves are based on extensive analysis regarding exploration information obtained for diverse sources, including drill results; such analysis being conducted by company geologists and verified by third party consultants. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Crowflight to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although management of Crowflight 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 such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Further information is available on the Company's website at www.crowflight.com or contact:
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