|June 21, 2004|
Crowflight Schedules Conference Call on Thompson and Sudbury Properties
|TORONTO, ONTARIO - CROWFLIGHT MINERALS INC. (TSX Venture Exchange: CML) has scheduled a conference call to update shareholders on the recent developments and their impact on the Company's strategic plan. |
Crowflight has entered into an agreement with Falconbridge Limited ("Falconbridge") to option the Bucko Resource Block (containing an historical mineral resource of approximately 19 million tonnes at 1% Ni ) and surrounding Exploration Properties in Thompson, Manitoba (Bucko/Bowden, Halfway Lake and Resting Lake properties). The Company is completing Phase I of the exploration drilling program at its 100% owned AER-Kidd property in the Sudbury Basin.
THE CONFERENCE CALL HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR TODAY, MONDAY, JUNE 21ST, AT 10 AM EASTERN STANDARD TIME CONFERENCE CALL DETAILS Date : Monday June 21, 2004 Time: 10:00 am EST Local callers: 416-405-9328 North American callers: 1-800-387-6216 International callers: +1-416-405-9328
An archive recording of the call will be available following completion of the call on the Crowflight website at www.crowflight.com.
Recent company highlights include:
- The Bucko Resource Block contains an historical mineral resource of 19 million tonnes of 1% Nickel, and within it, a core of 2.5 million tonnes of 2.23% Nickel. Previous studies carried out by Falconbridge and Micon International indicate that this mineral resource has the potential to be economic at current metal prices. Crowflight has the option to earn a 100% interest in the Bucko Resource Block by completing a feasibility study and arranging financing for the project,
- The surrounding exploration claims in the Thompson Camp contain a historical resource of 97 million tonnes of 0.63% nickel, possibly amenable to open pit mining, with potential for higher grade material at depth,
- Crowflight's commitment this year is to spend $2.5 million in Thompson. The Company has the cash in hand to meet this commitment and does not plan to raise any capital at current stock prices,
- Crowflight has identified two large Magnetotelluric ("MT") geophysical anomalies, believed to be significant conductive lenses of sulphides at its AER-Kidd property in Sudbury and is drilling deep holes at these anomalies. Results are expected by late July 2004.
Crowflight's Strategic Plan
Crowflight's strategy for 2004 is to add shareholder value in three areas:
- Find a significant Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Elements (PGE's) orebody in the 5 to 20 million tonne range at economic grades, based on current metal prices, within Crowflight's current and acquired portfolio of 100% owned and joint venture properties,
- Use advanced exploration tools in geophysics and geology to define the orebody within a 2 to 3 year window, to be able to establish reserves and complete a feasibility, and
- Establish partnerships with major producers in established base and precious metal Camps, with potential to find new deposits or expand existing deposits.
The Company is on path to achieve this strategy. The Sudbury exploration of the AER-Kidd property gives it the potential to find a large new deposit adjacent to Inco's Totten Deposit (10.1 million tonnes grading 1.5 % Ni, 2.0 % Cu and 4.8 g/t PGE's) and the recent deal with Falconbridge in the Thompson Nickel Belt ensures the Company will become a base metal producer within the next 5 years.
The Falconbridge Deal in the Thompson Nickel Belt, Manitoba
The Falconbridge properties cover more than 190 square kilometres of Mining Leases and claims located in the Wabowden segment of the TNB, located 100 kilometres south of Inco's producing mines (Thompson and Birchtree) which yielded more than 100 million pounds of nickel in 2003 along the same mineralized belt. The belt has yielded an estimated 4.5 billion pounds of nickel in past production from Inco's producing mines, the largest of which is the Thompson deposit, estimated at 100 million tonnes (production + reserves) grading 2.5% nickel.
The terms of the deal (previously announced in a Press Release dated June 16, 2004) are:
- By spending $25 million over a 5 year period, including the completion of a bankable feasibility study on the Bucko Resource Block by December 31, 2006, Crowflight will earn a 50% interest in Falconbridge's Bucko Resource Block and the Exploration Properties. Crowflight is the operator on the Bucko Resource Block; while Falconbridge will operate on the Exploration Properties.
- Crowflight can increase its interest in the Bucko Resource Block to 100% by arranging financing and placing the deposit into production.
- The total minimum expenditure commitment by Crowflight is $18 million over 3 years, which includes $7.5 million on the Bucko Resource Block and $10.5 million on the Exploration Properties.
- Crowflight's financial commitment in 2004 is $2.5 million, which includes $1.25 million on the Bucko Resource Block, $500,000 on the Bucko/Bowden Property, and $750,000 on the Halfway Lake and Resting Lake Properties. Crowflight has sufficient funds on hand to meet its 2004 commitments in the Thompson Camp.
- Falconbridge could receive up to 6 million common shares of Crowflight and 5 million warrants over the 5 years, and become a major shareholder in the Company.
The Company has received approval from the TSX Venture Exchange for this transaction.
Potential Economics of the Nickel Resources for the Bucko Resource Block
The historical resource estimate calculated by Falconbridge in 1992 (prior to NI 43-101) for the Bucko Resource Block is 2.5 million tonnes grading 2.23% nickel and 0.17% copper included within a global historic resource of 19 million tonnes grading 1% nickel. There is a shaft to a depth of about 300 m on the property and exploration drifting was also completed.
An economic evaluation on the Bucko Resource Block was completed by Falconbridge internally in 1994 (prior to NI 43-101). This study considered mining the resource by open pit methods with the higher grade core mined underground. The study concluded that the project could provide a 15% rate of return at nickel prices from US$4.13 to US$4.38, depending on processing options, and the Bucko Resource Block could produce 14,550 tonnes of Nickel (32 million pounds) and 800 tonnes of Copper (1.6 million pounds) annually.
A second study by Micon International Limited in 2001 was conducted on the higher grade portion of the Bucko Resource Block, using selective mining from underground. This study used a diluted historical mineral resource of 2 million tonnes at 2.23% Nickel, estimated by Roscoe Postle and Associates in 2000 (prior to NI 43-101). The study concluded that this higher grade mineral resource could be mined at the rate of 12.5 million pounds of Nickel per year and about 800,000 pounds of Copper, and at US$3 per pound Nickel and $US0.80 per pound Copper, would provide a rate of return of 41% with an 8 year mine life.
While both studies will be updated, and are only to be used as guidelines, they do confirm the potential of the Bucko Resource Block to become a nickel producer at current metal prices. Crowflight's initial work in 2004-2005 will include the following :
- A compilation of the existing data to produce a 3D model of the known mineralization,
- Diamond drilling to define the ultimate size and grade of the open pit as well as the underground resources to the Indicated Resources (NI 43-101) standards,
- Producing a detailed resource estimate compliant with NI 43-101,
- Producing a metallurgical and geotechnical study, as well as investigating the full Platinum Group Minerals content and distribution,
- Initiating preliminary mine planning and economic analysis of the combined open pit and underground project.
Upside Potential of the Thompson Exploration Property Portfolio
The Bucko/Bowden Property hosts an additional historical mineral resource of 97 million tonnes grading 0.63% nickel estimated by Falconbridge in 1967 (prior to NI 43-101) for the Bucko/Bowden Property. An extensive database exists for Bucko/Bowden and the portions of the Exploration Properties that will be compiled in a NI 43-101 compliant report to be completed by GEOLOGICA Inc. of Montreal.
In 2004, Falconbridge plans to compile and synthesize the historical data into a 3D model to facilitate planning of follow up exploration drilling to prove up and enhance the resource base compliant to NI 43-101 standards. A minimum 19,000 metres of diamond drilling is planned for the sector in 2004-2005. At Halfway Lake and Resting Lake, Falconbridge is planning an airborne Electromagnetic (EM) survey and follow up ground geophysics to outline drill targets of a proposed 6,000 metre diamond drill campaign early in 2005.
Update on the AER-KIDD Project
Crowflight is at the halfway point in the deep diamond drilling program under Perch Lake to test strong conductive anomalies at depths between 800 and 1,500 metres from surface derived from the MT geophysical survey completed in 2004. To date, 2,000 metres of the planned 3,700 metres program is completed in 3 holes. Crowflight expects the drilling portion to be completed by the end of July 2004. Initial results from hole WO-10 indicate the presence of disseminated pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite in the hangingwall sediments above the Worthington Offset dyke, which was not common in the earlier drilling to the southwest of Perch Lake.
Crowflight - The Base Metal-PGE Builder
Crowflight is a Canadian junior mining exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange focused on nickel-copper-PGM's exploration in the Sudbury Basin, and now in the Thompson Nickel Belt. The company currently owns and has under option more than 365 km2 in Ontario and Manitoba, containing six highly prospective properties in Sudbury - AER Kidd, Airport Property (a joint venture with Millstream Mines Ltd.), Marble Mountain Option, Copenhagen Option, Mystery Offset Dyke Option and Peter's Roost - and three in the Thompson Belt - Bucko-Bowden, Resting Lake and Halfway Lake.
The Bucko Deposit will be the subject of a feasibility study beginning this year. A major drilling program is also under way to identify massive sulphides at the AER-Kidd in Sudbury, located on the Worthington Offset between Inco's Totten Deposit (10.1 million tonnes grading 1.5 % Ni, 2.0 % Cu and 4.8 g/t PGE's) and prospective McIntyre Project.
Statements in this release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual developments or results may vary materially from those in these "forward-looking statements".
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
CROWFLIGHT MINERALS INC.
Jean Lafleur, P. Geo.
President and CEO
(416) 861-8165 (FAX)
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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