Comaplex Minerals Corp.

Comaplex Minerals Corp.

February 02, 2009 23:59 ET

Preliminary Assessment indicates Strong Economics for the Meliadine Gold Property

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2009) -


Comaplex Minerals Corp. (TSX:CMF) is pleased to report the results of an independent NI 43-101-compliant Preliminary Assessment (PA or Scoping Study) on the Meliadine gold property located near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. The PA includes gold deposits located on both the Meliadine West property (owned 78% by Comaplex and 22% by Meliadine Resources Ltd. (a private company owned 100% by Resource Capital Fund III L.P. of Denver) and the neighboring Meliadine East property (owned 50-50 with Meliadine Resources). Comaplex has an option to increase its interest to 80% on the Meliadine West property.

In July, 2008, Comaplex entered into a Technical Services Agreement with independent consultant, Micon International Limited, to complete an NI 43-101-compliant Preliminary Assessment for public release during the fourth quarter of 2008. In view of the rapid changes in world economic conditions that have taken place in the last 5 months, Comaplex modified and re-calculated numerous areas of the Study. This has resulted in delays in its completion. A positive aspect of the delay is that it enabled Comaplex to complete an NI 43-101-compliant resource estimate for the F Zone on the Meliadine West property that included 2008 drilling results, and to add this deposit to the Study. The PA does not include the results of the 2008 drilling programs on the Tiriganiaq and Discovery gold deposits. Updated resource estimates for these deposits are presently being compiled.

The Preliminary Assessment indicates that production of gold from the Meliadine property is feasible using current and projected future economic conditions. This preliminary assessment is preliminary in nature; it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the results of the preliminary assessment will be realized.

The proposed gold mine at Meliadine would be a combination of open pit and underground mining. A series of three different open pits at Tiriganiaq, Discovery, and F Zone will contribute ore sequentially to the mill. The open pits would be conventionally mined at a rate of 500,000 tonnes per year.

The underground mine on the Tiriganiaq deposit would be a ramp-access operation with mining by blasthole and cut-and-fill methods. The study proposes to access and mine potentially higher grade underground material from the Western Deeps area of the Tiriganiaq gold deposit early in the mine life, which will result in higher initial capital costs, but will accelerate payback of capital.

The postulated facility would mill 985,000 tonnes per annum of diluted mineralized material (Indicated and Inferred Resources) over a mine life of 9.5 years for the production of 2.29 million ounces of gold. The nominal processing rate would be 3,000 tonnes per day, 328 days per year. Of this, approximately 1,700 tonnes per day would come from the Tiriganiaq underground mine and the balance from the pits. The combined open pit (500,000 tonnes per annum) and underground mining rate (approximately 720,000 tonnes per annum) will typically exceed the mill capacity. This will result in the buildup of a stockpile, but will ensure a continuous maximum processing rate.

A mill would be built on the site, treating mineralized material by conventional crushing and grinding with a gravity-flotation-cyanidation circuit with a 92.6% gold recovery. All tailings would be treated via a cyanide destruction circuit. The PA reviews two alternative tailings deposition sites: a land based option and a sub-aqueous (shallow lake) option.

A fully catered permanent camp would be built on the site for employee accommodation, together with infrastructure appropriate to an isolated mine site. Site power would be diesel-generated with the fullest possible use of waste heat. An all-season road would connect the mine site with the hamlet of Rankin Inlet.

Total payroll is estimated in the order of 430 people, with a total workforce on-site at any time of 230-240 people. These people would be employed partially from local Inuit communities, with the balance on a fly-in-fly-out rotation. Recruitment would maximize employment opportunities for inhabitants of Rankin Inlet and other Arctic communities.

Life of mine costs (including appropriate contingencies) are estimated

Capital expenditure: (note 1) $ 382 million Cdn.
Operating cost per tonne of ore processed: $ 91 Cdn./tonne
Cash operating cost per ounce of gold produced: $ 366 Cdn./oz gold
Payback 2.6 years

Note 1: includes approximately $85 million of Sustaining Capital (of
which $28.75 million is for reclamation costs) that will be financed from
cash flow after the commencement of production.

At a gold price of $US 700.00 per ounce and $US 0.85 exchange rate, the
economic performance of the project would be as follows:

After-tax IRR: 22.9 %
After-tax NPV; 7.5% discount rate: $ 194 million Cdn.
Net cash flow before tax; 0% discount (note 1): $ 626 million Cdn.
Net cash flow after tax; 0% discount (note 1): $ 444 million Cdn.

Note 1: net after recovery of capital

A complete NI 43-101 compliant report on the Preliminary Assessment will be released on SEDAR within 45 days of the date of this release.

The mineral resource estimates evaluated in the PA comprise the Tiriganiaq, Discovery, and F Zone deposits. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic potential. The Tiriganiaq and Discovery resource estimates were previously released and follow. The F Zone resource estimate is new and is detailed in the following section. Gold mineralization in all three of the deposits is open to depth.

Tiriganiaq Deposit - Mineral Resources above 9900m level (170m below
cut-off grade
(g/t Au) category tonnage grade (g/t Au) contained oz Au
------------- -------- ------- -------------- ---------------
2.5 Indicated 6,136,000 6.4 1,257,700
2.5 Inferred 1,622,200 4.1 216,300

Tiriganiaq Deposit - Mineral Resources below 9900m level (below 170m from
cut-off grade
(g/t) category tonnage grade (g/t) contained oz Au
------------- -------- ------- ----------- ---------------
6.5 Indicated 1,509,500 10.9 530,200
6.5 Inferred 3,260,500 11.1 1,169,100

Discovery Deposit - Mineral Resources from surface to 120 meters below
cut-off grade
(g/t) category tonnage grade (g/t) contained oz Au
------------- -------- ------- ----------- ---------------
2.0 Indicated 697,400 6.9 155,600
2.0 Inferred 322,000 7.0 72,250

Discovery Deposit - Mineral Resources below 120 meters from surface
cut-off grade
(g/t) category tonnage grade (g/t) contained oz Au
------------- -------- ------- ----------- ---------------
5.0 Indicated 333,000 9.7 103,500
5.0 Inferred 300,600 7.9 76,700

New Resource Estimate - F Zone Deposit (Meliadine West property)

A total of 2014 meters in 19 holes were completed on the F Zone satellite gold deposit in 2008. The drilling tested the open pit potential of four shallow targets in the zone to contribute ore to a possible future mine at the Tiriganiaq deposit located four kilometers to the northwest of the zone. Modeling of the F Zone gold deposit took place in November and early December 2008.

In late December 2008, an updated mineral resource estimate was completed on the Company's F Zone gold deposit by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants Inc. (Snowden) of Vancouver. The updated resource, disclosed in accordance with NI 43-101 requirements, is incorporated into the Preliminary Assessment report and includes all of the drilling conducted on the deposit, including that completed during the 2008 field season.

Multiple indicator kriging, restricted to the interpreted mineralized iron formation domain, was used to estimate gold grades into the block model. Ordinary kriging (OK), inverse power of distance (IPD) and nearest neighbor estimates were also generated for the F Zone block model for model validation purposes.

Mineral resources for the F Zone are reported and categorized in the summary tables below, consistent with the CIM definitions required by NI 43-101. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Resource report for the F Zone deposit above 9980 m elevation
Category Cut-off (g/t Au) Tonnes(*) Grade (g/t Au) Metal (oz Au)(*)
Indicated 2.5 692,800 4.66 103,800
Inferred 2.5 775,100 3.88 96,700

(*) Note: Total may not tally exactly due to rounding.

Resource report for the F Zone Deposit below 9980 m elevation
Category Cut-off (g/t Au) Tonnes(*) Grade (g/t Au) Metal (oz Au)(*)
Indicated 6.5 27,000 8.31 7,200
Inferred 6.5 65,300 8.06 16,900

(*) Note: Total may not tally exactly due to rounding.

2008 Indicated Resources (F Zone) = 111,000 oz gold
2008 Inferred Resources (F Zone) = 113,600 oz gold
Current Total Indicated Resources (all 3 deposits) = 2,158,000
oz gold
Current Total Inferred Resources (all 3 deposits) = 1,647,950
oz gold

Preliminary mine planning and cost estimation studies were undertaken so that possible cut-off criteria could be applied for the reporting of the F Zone classified mineral resource. The analysis suggested that open pit mining may be possible to a depth of approximately 80 m below surface (9980 m elevation). A cut-off grade of 2.5 g/t Au has been applied to resources reported above this elevation and is supported by the results of the preliminary mine planning study. No economic study was conducted on the F Zone mineral resource below the 9980 m elevation. The resource below the 9980 m elevation is reported at the same preliminary cut-off grade of 6.5 g/t Au as that proposed for the Tiriganiaq deposit. Further studies will be required to determine if this remains an appropriate cut-off and if underground mining is economically viable in the F Zone deposit. A gold price of $700 US per ounce (0.85 exchange) has been assumed in the preliminary analysis for the deposit.

Snowden conducted numerous validation steps on the F Zone resource model and considers that the model reasonably reflects grade and geological continuity of the input drilling data in the Inferred and Indicated parts of the Resource. Snowden notes that the block model is in particularly good agreement with the input drilling data in that portion of the Resource classified as Indicated.

2009 Meliadine West Exploration Program

In view of the results from the PA, Comaplex intends to continue with the rapid advancement of the Meliadine project towards feasibility and production. While details on field exploration programs for the Meliadine West and East properties have not been finalized, regulatory permitting for the project will commence as soon as possible. Comaplex has a long history of effective engagement with the local community and will continue to develop this relationship.


Comaplex is competently staffed to advance its studies on the Meliadine project and will commence with financing as required. Comaplex presently has cash and liquid investments of approximately $21.25 million.

Key near term objectives include:

- Final metallurgical, geotechnical, environmental, or other studies
required prior to or during a Feasibility level study of the Project.

- Arrange financial requirements.

- Completion of updated Tiriganiaq and Discovery resource estimates
(plus resource estimation of additional satellite deposits);

- Investigation of the potential for additional production from
underground at the Discovery and F Zone deposits;

- Refinement of underground and open pit mine plans;

- Movement of additional ounces from inferred to the indicated and
measured resource categories.


Dr. Warwick Board (P.Geo., MAusIMM, Pr.Sci.Nat.) of Snowden Mining Industry Consultants Inc., Doug Dumka (P. Geo.) and Mark Balog, (P.Geol.) of Comaplex Minerals Corp. are Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101. Dr. Board is independent of Comaplex. Snowden has verified the technical information contained in this news release pertaining only to the F Zone deposit gold resource estimate. Mr. Balog and Mr. Dumka have verified the technical information contained in this news release. Doug Dumka, P.Geo. is the Chief Geologist for Comaplex and is the designated Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 for the Meliadine West Project.

Drill core analysis is performed on cut, half NQ core with standard fire assay procedures and a gravimetric finish (2 assay ton, 1000 gram pulp). QA/QC programs employ the insertion of external standards (low to high grade Au), blanks, and core duplicates every 20 samples. All assaying was completed by TSL Laboratories Ltd. based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. TSL completes its own internal QA/QC by inserting a standard, blank, pulp duplicate, and coarse reject duplicate in every batch of 20 analyses. QA/QC compliance was rigorously checked on a continuous basis during the exploration program.

The footnotes below apply to the resource tables within this release.

1. Resource classifications conform to the CIM Standard Definitions
(2005) on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves referred to in
National Instrument 43-101.

2. Mineral resources that are not reserves do not have demonstrated
economic viability;

3. 'Measured' and 'Indicated' mineral resources are that part of a
mineral resource for which quantity and grade can be estimated with a
level of confidence sufficient to allow for the application of
technical and economic parameters to support mine planning and
evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit;

4. An 'Inferred' mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for
which quantity and grade can be estimated on the basis of geological
confidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not

5. The ounces of gold represent contained metal in the ground and have
not been adjusted for the metallurgical recovery of gold.

The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the
adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward Looking Statements - This news release contains "forward-looking statements", including, but not limited to, statements regarding our expectations as to the mineral resource estimates. Forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this report, our plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events or results. We caution that forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, factors associated with fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, mining industry risks and hazards, environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral resources, requirement of additional financing, and other risks.

Contact Information

  • Comaplex Minerals Corp.
    George F. Fink
    President and CEO

    Comaplex Minerals Corp.
    Mark J. Balog
    Chief Operating Officer

    Comaplex Minerals Corp.
    Kirsten Kulyk
    Manager - Investor Relations
    (403) 265-2846 or