Strongbow Exploration Inc.

Strongbow Exploration Inc.

July 15, 2009 09:00 ET

Strongbow's Nickel King Metallurgical Study Confirms 78.4% Recovery Into 16.5% Ni Concentrate

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 15, 2009) - Strongbow Exploration Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SBW) is pleased to announce it has received the results of a metallurgical study of the Main Zone nickel-copper-cobalt deposit at its wholly owned Nickel King project, Northwest Territories. Based on results of locked cycle testing, the grade of final concentrate was projected to be 16.5% Ni, 4.2% Cu and 0.74% Co. Recoveries of Ni, Cu and Co are reported as 78.4%, 89.1% and 63.5%, respectively.

The metallurgical program was carried out at SGS Mineral Services in Lakefield, Ontario under the independent supervision of Mr. Andy Holloway (P.Eng.) of DRA Americas. PEG Mining Consultants provided management of the program and additional guidance and supervision was provided by Dr. Wm Gord Bacon (P.Eng.), an independent consulting metallurgical engineer. The study was intended to provide Strongbow with initial metallurgical criteria for the Main Zone deposit, including chemical and mineralogical analysis, as well as grindability, flotation and heavy liquids testing.

"The results from this metallurgical program represent a significant milestone for the Nickel King project and confirm that the Main Zone deposit has the potential to produce a saleable concentrate that would be attractive to domestic and foreign consumers," said David Gale, Strongbow's Vice President, Exploration. "The relatively simple mineralogy of the norite host rock has helped generate an initial flow sheet capable of producing a high grade Ni-Cu-Co concentrate at very good metal recoveries which, combined with the lack of elevated concentrations of magnesium and other deleterious elements, is very encouraging for the deposit."

The metallurgical study was completed on a 120 kg composite sample from the Lower Sill of the Main Zone. The composite sample was collected from 2008 drill hole NK08-36, and had an average total nickel content of 0.65%.

A series of tests determined the mineralogical characteristics, liberation and nickel deportment of the composite sample. It was determined that 88.9% of the contained Ni is associated with pentlandite, 9.1% is associated with pyrrhotite with the remaining 2% occurring within silicate minerals, primarily orthopyroxene. Grindability testing consisted of rod and ball mill Bond Work Index tests with results of 13.2 (rod mill) and 15.0 (ball mill) kilowatt hours per tonne, respectively. These results are typical for this type of ore and indicate a moderate rock hardness.

Using a preliminary flow sheet that was developed based on optimum conditions defined from a series of six batch rougher flotation tests and four batch cleaner tests, a locked cycle test was performed using six, 2 kg charges. The locked cycle test was carried out to evaluate the effect of the recycle streams in the flow sheet and to generate a representative concentrate product for minor element analysis. The final concentrate returned a grade of 16.5% Ni, 4.2% Cu and 0.74% Co. Recoveries of Ni, Cu and Co are reported as 78.4%, 89.1% and 63.5%, respectively. "Next steps for the project will focus on expanding and building upon the existing resource estimate." Mr. Gale continued, "Mineralization within the Upper and Lower Sills of the Main Zone has shown excellent continuity over a strike length in excess of 2.5 kilometres and remains open in both directions along strike and also in the up dip and down dip directions. Despite this apparent continuity, the resource estimate also excludes several areas where drilling density is insufficient to classify resource blocks. With additional infill and step out drilling the Company is confident there is potential to significantly increase the Main Zone resource."

A recently filed National Instrument 43-101 technical report identified this metallurgical study as a critical next step in advancing the Nickel King project. The technical report was filed in support of a February 2009 mineral resource estimate for the Main Zone deposit (please see Strongbow news releases dated February 25 and April 16, 2009). At the 0.2% Ni cut-off base case, the NI 43-101 compliant geological resource model yielded 11.1 Mt grading at 0.40% Ni, 0.10% Cu and 0.018% Co containing 97.7 Mlb of Ni, 23.5 Mlb of Cu and 4.4 Mlb of Co in the indicated category. The total Inferred Resource is 33.1 Mt grading at 0.36% Ni, 0.09% Cu and 0.017% Co containing 262.4 Mlb of Ni, 63.9 Mlb of Cu and 12.3 Mlb of Co. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. This mineral resource estimate includes inferred resources that are normally considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is also no certainty that the inferred mineral resource will be converted to the measured and indicated mineral resource categories through further drilling, or into a mineral reserve once economic considerations are applied.

Once received, a final report summarizing the metallurgical testwork will be posted on the Strongbow website (

The Nickel King project is part of Strongbow's ongoing exploration of the Snowbird Tectonic Zone (SBTZ). The SBTZ is a major crustal scale structure and represents an underexplored region of Canada that is prospective for magmatic sulphide nickel deposits. Strongbow maintains a 100% interest in approximately 100,000 hectares of mineral claims, leases and permits along a 240 km strike length of the southern SBTZ. Outside of Nickel King, a number of priority exploration targets have been identified, primarily located in Saskatchewan, and Strongbow plans to conduct further evaluation of these targets within the next six weeks. Strongbow's exploration programs are conducted under the supervision of David Gale, P.Geo. (BC), Vice-President of Exploration for Strongbow and a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.


Kenneth A. Armstrong, President and CEO

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