Crowflight provides Bucko Lake Nickel Project Update
Crowflight provides Bucko Lake Nickel Project Update
CROWFLIGHT MINERALS INC. (Crowflight, the Company) (TSX Venture Exchange: CML) today provided a project update for the Bucko Lake Nickel Project (Bucko) that is currently under development outside Wabowden, Manitoba.
Work is progressing steadily on the surface facilities at Bucko, with much of the current activity focused on the processing plant. Most of the processing plant equipment is on-site, with some electrical components due to arrive in the next two months. The jaw and cone crusher are in place with structural steel for the crushing circuit progressing. The conveyors are on-site and the conveyor sections should be installed between now and June. Installation of the fine ore bin is expected to begin shortly. Mechanical installation of the rod and ball mill is close to completion, as is the mechanical installation of the flotation circuit. The concentrate filter is in place, electrical work on the plant’s interior has begun and piping is expected to start shortly.
In addition to work on the processing plant, the area for the Interim Tailings Storage Facility (ITSF) has been cleared and the geotechnical and design work is complete.
The new portal for the underground ramp is progressing with completion expected by the end of May.
Two diamond drills are currently underground undertaking definition and delineation drilling on the 1,000 foot level. It is expected that the geotechnical information and assay results from this drilling should assist in optimizing the geotechnical design and upgrading the mineable reserve. The development underground on the 1,000 foot level has progressed to the point that the larger mining equipment is ready to be transported underground and then assembled to finish the remaining work on that level and the ramps to other levels.
Paul Keller, Crowflight’s VP of Operations and COO, said: “A tremendous amount of progress has been made at Bucko since beginning construction in November 2006. Our staff, contractors and consultants have been working tirelessly to bring Bucko into production in the third quarter of 2008 and we look forward to achieving this goal.”
The operating costs, including on-site and off-site costs, are projected to be $4.32 per pound of nickel produced, using a US$:Cdn$ exchange rate of 1:1. The capital cost for the Bucko Lake Nickel Deposit development is now expected to be Cdn$86 million net of pre-production revenue, assuming a US$:Cdn$ exchange rate of 1:1. This compares to the Feasibility Study estimate of Cdn$66.0 million at an exchange rate of 0.8:1.
The cost differences are attributable to the following: Cdn$6.7 million due to capital development timing, the addition of the ITSF, the ramp portal and surface connection to the underground internal ramp; Cdn$3.0 million for increased surface infrastructure EPCM (Engineering Procurement and Construction Management); and Cdn$10.5 million for additional processing plant equipment, foreign exchange differences and increased structural steel and concrete foundation costs.
The inclusion of the ramp portal, the ITSF and additional processing plant equipment, which will enable the processing plant to process up to 1,500 tonnes of ore per day, were not included in the original scope of the Feasibility Study. The ramp connection to surface will open new production areas sooner in the life-of-mine schedule and will provide operational flexibility. The addition of the ITSF is necessary to begin operations in 2008 due to delays in the federal permitting of Bucko Lake as a tailings storage facility (see Press Release dated March 28, 2008).
Mike Hoffman, Crowflight’s President and CEO, said: “One striking advantage of Bucko compared to other mining projects currently being developed throughout the world is that the overall capital costs are moderate in relation to future expected cash flow, especially considering that nickel prices have recently averaged US$12-14 per pound. Many of the cost increases are attributable to scope changes not included in the original Feasibility Study and are designed to add further value to the Bucko Project. These enhancements are necessary to tap into the further potential we believe exists at Bucko. Some of the other cost increases, such as steel and concrete, are consistent with those of other companies currently building mines.”
During 2007, Cdn$35.3 million was spent on Bucko construction, which includes the main electrical installation, hoist and headframe installation, processing plant foundations and steel, shaft de-watering and rehabilitation, rehabilitation of the 1000 Level exploration drift, purchasing new and used equipment, refurbishing used equipment and EPCM to date.
Additional information, including Crowflight’s Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis, can be found electronically on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”) through Crowflight’s profile at www.sedar.com
The current construction schedule estimates that the commissioning of the processing plant will occur in July and August of 2008, with cash flow from concentrate sales beginning shortly thereafter. Full commercial production is expected in early 2009.
Crowflight Minerals – Canada’s Next Nickel Producer
Crowflight Minerals Inc. (TSX-V: CML) is a Canadian junior mining exploration and development company focused on nickel, copper and Platinum Group Mineral (PGM) projects in the Thompson Nickel Belt and Sudbury Basin. The Company currently owns and/or has under option approximately 800 square kilometres of exploration and development properties in Manitoba and Ontario.
Crowflight’s priority is to bring the fully-funded Bucko Lake Nickel Project located near Wabowden, Manitoba into production by the third quarter of 2008.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Information
Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified by words such as “plans”, “proposes”, “estimates”, “intends”, “expects”, “believes”, “may”, “will” and include without limitation, statements regarding estimated capital and operating costs, expected production timeline, benefits of updated development plans, foreign exchange assumptions and regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, metal prices, competition, risks inherent in the mining industry, and regulatory risks. Most of these factors are outside the control of the Company. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Further information is available on the Company’s website at www.crowflight.com or contact:
President and CEO
Tel: (416) 861-2964
Manager, Investor and Public Relations
Tel: (416) 861-5803