| ||CROWFLIGHT MINERALS INC. ("Crowflight" or the "Company") (TSX: CML) announced today that it plans to re-start production mining activities at the Bucko Lake Nickel Mine ("Bucko") located in the Thompson Nickel Belt near Wabowden, Manitoba by the end of February 2010. Milling operations and shipments of concentrate are expected to recommence shortly thereafter in March. |
The Company is targeting start-up of production at 1,000 tonnes per day (tpd) from the Bucko Mine for the second quarter of 2010, which is expected to increase to 1,200 tpd during the second half of the year.
Since the temporary suspension of production mining and milling operations was announced in November 2009, Crowflight has been focused on the following initiatives:
- completing development of the surface ramp to connect from surface to the 1,000' Level;
- lateral level development;
- infill diamond drilling underground on the 500, 600 and 900 Levels;
- upgrading and commissioning the backfill plant; and
- mine method re-design
Development of the surface ramp decline has been ongoing for the past two months and is expected to break through to the 1,000' Level ramp in February. The ramp connection has been designed to develop access to new areas for mining and allow for the use of large 40-tonne class trucks to haul ore directly from the stoping levels to surface. The trucking via ramp is important to allow for efficient mining cycle time as well as the continuous transport of ore to surface from a number of operating mining levels.
Lateral level development commenced in early January and will continue through the first and second quarters. Crowflight is targeting to have three working levels of lateral development complete by the start of the second quarter of 2010 utilizing an overhand cut and fill mining method. The transition to cut and fill mining has been implemented with a view to allow for a consistent ore stream to the mill. The cut and fill method will allow for a more selective mining operation which in turn will reduce dilution and allow an increase in mine head grades. Two levels are currently in development and are expected to be complete by late February, with a third level expected to be complete in March. Mining is scheduled to be conducted on multiple levels allowing for a consistent number of workplaces at any one time to meet the 1,000 tpd target.
Scheduled infill diamond drilling on the 500', 600' and 900' Levels was completed in December 2009, the results of which are now being incorporated into the mine model. This drilling has defined sufficient reserves to sustain mining in the main portion of the West Limb of the deposit between the 1,000' and 450' Levels until 2011. Currently, two underground drills are on site working to infill resources associated with the hinge zone in preparation for mining later in 2010.
An improved backfill plant capable of placing hydraulic backfill at a greater capacity is expected to be commissioned in February. This new hydraulic backfill plant is required to provide the quantity of fill needed to efficiently cycle the stoping lifts to minimize the filling cycle in cut and fill mining. The new plant will work with the existing infrastructure and expand the backfill capabilities.
Crowflight's President and CEO Mark Trevisiol stated, "Management's top priority over the last few months has been to put the necessary mine design, mine development and backfill system in place so that a 1,000 tpd production rate can be achieved and sustained. We appreciate the patience and support of our stakeholders and employees during the last two months as we work diligently to bring the Bucko Mine back into production."
Crowflight expects to be in a position to provide comprehensive 2010 guidance regarding annual production targets and costs later in February.
M11A Exploration Drilling
Crowflight has also recently completed a 6,500 metre drill program on 18 holes at its M11A deposit located 5 kilometres from the Bucko Mine site. This work was completed with the aim of allowing Crowflight to vest a 30% interest in its combined land package in the Thompson Nickel Belt held under option from Xstrata. Assay results are expected to be announced shortly.
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 Stephen Davies P.Eng., both of whom are Qualified Persons under the National Instrument 43-101 guidelines.
About Crowflight Minerals
Crowflight Minerals Inc. (TSX: CML) is a Canadian junior mining company that owns the Bucko Lake Nickel Mine near Wabowden, Manitoba. 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 development and production schedule of the Bucko Lake mine, the future price of nickel and other minerals; the timing and amount of estimated future production; capital expenditures; mining or processing issues; government permitting; 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 the anticipated timing, amount and cost of mining at the Bucko Lake Project are based on assumptions underlying mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates. Production estimates are based on mine plans and production schedules, which have been developed by the Company's personnel and independent consultants and past production history. 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 the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those risks set out in the annual information form of the Company that is available under the profile of the Company on SEDAR. Although management of the Company 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:
President and CEO
Tel: (416) 861-5893
Manager, Investor and Public Relations
Tel: (416) 861-5803
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