Adriana Resources Inc.

Adriana Resources Inc.

April 22, 2015 17:43 ET

Adriana Announces Completion of the Feasibility Study on the Lac Otelnuk Project

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 22, 2015) - Adriana Resources Inc. ("Adriana" or the "Company") - (TSX VENTURE:ADI) is pleased to announce that it has completed a Feasibility Study ("FS") on the Lac Otelnuk Iron Ore Project ("LOM Project") located in Nunavik, Québec. Lac Otelnuk Mining Ltd. ("LOM") is a joint venture company between Adriana and WISCO International Resources Development & Investment Limited ("WISCO"), of which Adriana owns 40% and WISCO owns 60%.

A Feasibility Study ("FS") with AACE Class 3 estimates (targeted accuracy +/- 15%) for the LOM Project designed for a 50 million tonnes per year (Mtpy) operation considering a 30 year mine life has been completed by SNC Lavalin Inc. The results of the study have concluded that, with 50 Mtpy of high quality product developed in two phases, the LOM Project is technically feasible with positive financial results, based on the selected process technologies, product transportation method, power supply concept, water and tailings management system, the long term iron ore price forecasts developed by SNL Metals and Mining and the applicable tax regimes. LOM has engaged Met-Chem Canada Inc., ("Met- Chem") Montreal, Quebec, to compile a Technical Report in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"), and it will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days after this news release.

Table 1 below shows a summary of the feasibility study results.

Table 1 - Summary of the Feasibility Study Results
Base Case: 100% Equity Alternative Case: 30:70 Equity:Debt Ratio
Capex (USD, Dec.1, 2014) Phase 1: US$9,384 million; Phase 2: US$4,802 million
Opex (USD, Dec.1, 2014) Phase 1 (yr 3): US$34.21/tonne - Phase 2 (yr 9): US$31.12/tonne
Project IRR before Taxes 15.8% 15.8%
Project IRR after Taxes 13.0% 13.5%
Equity IRR before Taxes* 19.7%
Equity IRR after Taxes* 16.4%
NPV before Taxes* US$10,174 million
NPV after Taxes* US$5,519 million
NPV before Taxes** US$10,388 million
NPV after Taxes** US$5,240 million
Payback Period before Taxes*** 7.2 years
Payback Period after Taxes*** 7.5 years
Payback Period before Taxes**** 7.0 years
Payback Period after Taxes**** 7.3 years
*Based on dividends to shareholders
**Based on Free Cash flow to Equity
***Calculated from start of commercial production and based on dividends to shareholders
****Calculated from start of commercial production and based on Free Cash Flow to Equity
Project NPV discounted at 8%
100% product sale to China

Allen J. Palmiere, the CEO of Adriana said: "We are very pleased to announce the completion of the Feasibility Study for the Lac Otelnuk Project. The results of the study show that the LOM Project has robust and attractive economics under different scenarios. The Feasibility Study provides to our partner, WISCO, the basis for further strategic evaluations and financing arrangements. We are very proud of our team and the work that has been done to complete the Feasibility Study."

Project and Development Plan

The LOM Project includes the development of an open pit mine, ore processing plant, product delivery system (by a slurry pipeline system to the Port of Sept-Îles, Quebec), product dewatering, storage and reclaiming systems, conveyors and ship loading facilities, high voltage power transmission lines and other necessary facilities and infrastructures.

The final product is designed to be a pellet feed iron ore concentrate with a minimum Fe content of 68.5% and less than 4.0% SiO2+ Al2O3. The average Fe total weight recovery is estimated at 26.5% during the 30 years of mine life.

The LOM Project is designed to be developed in two phases: Phase 1 will produce 30 Mtpy of product and Phase 2 adds an additional 20 Mtpy of product, totalling 50 Mtpy of iron ore concentrate. The Phase 2 construction is planned to be completed in the Operation Year 9.

Mineral Resources

Following the latest Mineral Resource estimate by Watts, Griffis and McOuat Limited ("WGM"), with an effective date of October 31st, 2013, the total Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources are estimated to be 20.64 billion tonnes at a Davis Tube weight recovery ("DTWR") cut off of 18%. Table 2 below summarizes the details of the Mineral Resource classification.

Table 2 - Mineral Resources
(in billions)
Total Fe Head % DTWR % Magnetic Fe %
Measured 16.21 29.3 25.8 17.8
Indicated 4.43 31.5 24.1 16.7
Total Measured and Indicated 20.64 29.8 25.4 17.6
Inferred 6.84 29.8 26.3 17.8
1. Interpretation of the mineralized zones were created as 3D wireframes/solids based on logged geology and a nominal 10% DTWR when required.
2. Mineral Resources were estimated using a block model with a block size of 50m x 50m x 5m.
3. No grade capping was done. Tonnages and grades reported above are undiluted.
4. Assumed Fe price was US$110/dmt.
5. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resource will be converted into Mineral Reserves. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues.
6. The quantity and grade of reported Inferred Mineral Resources in this estimation are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these Inferred Resources as an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource category.
7. The Mineral Resources were estimated using the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") Standards for Mineral Resources and Reserves, Definitions and Guidelines prepared by the CIM.
8. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to Inferred Mineral Resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource as a result of continued exploration. Confidence in the estimate is insufficient to allow the meaningful application of technical and economic parameters or to enable an evaluation of economic viability worthy of public disclosure. Inferred Mineral Resources must be excluded from estimates forming the basis of feasibility or other economic studies.

Using the mineral resource block model prepared by WGM, Met-Chem developed a 30-year mine plan which features a large-scale open pit operation that will move on average 92 Mtpy of ore in the first seven years during the Phase 1 production, an average 179 Mtpy during the Phase 2 ramp-up to year 10, and an average of 192 Mtpy for the balance of the 30-year mine life. The overall stripping ratio of the 30-year open pit is 0.28 to 1. The pit includes 4,943 Mt of Proven Mineral Reserves and 50 Mt of Probable Mineral Reserves at a DTWR cut-off grade of 20.65%. The open pit mine and the related Reserves are a subset of the previously discussed Mineral Resources. A Mineral Reserve is defined as a Mineral Resource on which economic viability has been demonstrated by a feasibility study. Table 3 below summarizes the details of the Mineral Reserve classification.

Table 3 - Mineral Reserves
Category Tonnage
Total Fe Head
Magnetic Fe
Proven 4,943 28.7 26.5 18.3
Probable 50 27.5 26.6 18.3
Total 4,993 28.7 26.5 18.3


The process plant design has been developed based on extensive test work using conventional and proven technology in order to minimize the operational risks.

The process plant is nominally designed to produce 50 Mtpy of dry iron ore concentrate at a nominal plant feed rate of 23,932 t/h (188.7 Mtpy). The average feed grade based on the mine plan has been estimated at 26.5% Fe during the 30 years of mine life.

The process plant includes five semi-mobile primary crushers (three for Phase 1 and two for Phase 2), an ore stockpile, and five processing lines (three for Phase 1 and two for Phase 2). Each line consists of three SAG (semi-autogenous grinding) mills, product screening, magnetic separation, three ball mills and a desliming system. The balance of the process plant includes tailings and product thickeners, tailings disposal, product slurry storage tanks and a slurry pump station.

The iron ore concentrate is designed to be a high quality pellet feed with a Fe content of 68.5% and less than 4.0% SiO2 + Al2O3.

Product Delivery to Port of Export

The product delivery system ("PDS") is designed to be a concentrate slurry transport system, an economical and reliable means of transporting iron ore concentrate to the project port of export, which is located in Sept-Îles, Quebec, approximately 755 km south of the Plant site. The PDS consists of two thermally insulated and buried slurry pipelines (one constructed in each phase, with Phase 1 and Phase 2 pipelines featuring maximum diameters of 30" and 26" respectively). The predominant design principle is to bury the PDS at the proper depth so as to optimize the insulation costs while minimizing rock excavation. The design has adopted a "No-Freezing, No Plugging philosophy", which means that the slurry transportation system will have the necessary reliability and emergency back-up equipment to maintain no-freeze conditions during an emergency stoppage and the slurry transportation system slope will be restricted to avoid blockage even if the plant is shut down while the pipelines are full of slurry.

The PDS includes two intermediate positive displacement pumping stations and a terminal storage station at the location of the dewatering plant at the port facility.

Port Facilities

The port facilities will be located at the Pointe Noire area in the Port of Sept-Îles, Quebec. The onshore port facilities will include the slurry receiving station, the dewatering plant and the storage-reclaim facilities, which is expected to produce a dry concentrate at less than 8% moisture content, and a concentrate storage building complete with stackers and re-claimers.

The export wharf for LOM will be built jointly by LOM and Port of Sept-Îles Authorities and will represent the Phase two of the Port of Sept-Îles expansion project. The Phase two expansion will be mainly built for the LOM Project and will bring the shipping capacity of the multi-user facilities from nominally 50 Mtpy to 100 Mtpy. The final product will be loaded through a conveyor/ship loading system to bulk carriers ranging in capacity from 180,000 to 400,000 DWT.

Project Power Supply

The electric power demand at full production has been estimated at 1,078 MW for the process plant, approximately 39 MW for each PDS intermediate pump station, and approximately 27.6 MW at the port.
The power is designed to be supplied as follows:

  • Power for the process plant will be supplied by a new approximately 466 km long 735 kV overhead transmission line from Hydro-Québec's Tilly substation, which is less than two km from La Grande-4 (LG-4) power generation station.
  • Power for the port will be supplied by a new approximately two km long 161 kV line from Hydro-Quebec's Arnaud station.
  • Power for the PDS intermediate pump station PS2, located 200 km south of the process plant, will be supplied by a new 230 kV transmission line from the secondary substation at the process plant.
  • Power for the PDS intermediate pump station PS3, located near Fermont, will be supplied by a new 161 kV transmission line from Hydro-Québec's substation in Fermont, Quebec.

Tailings and Water Management

The site's water and waste management system is developed based on the concept that water and tailings management is an integrated system, and that the development of the tailings management facility ("TMF") and water management system are carried out progressively over the 30-year mine life.

The configuration of the TMF for the 30 years of operation provides a tailings storage volume of approximately 2,350 Mm3, which is slightly greater than the required storage volume of about 2,300 Mm3. There is a potential for additional storage of tailings after the 30-year mine life by raising the perimeter dams, if required.

The general water management strategy is to use the water supply pond and TMF as a combined water management system for the mine site. The water supply pond is upstream of the TMF and is selected as the source for site potable water and process make-up water. All runoff water from the site is collected in the TMF and part of this water is reclaimed for process use. Excess water from the TMF is discharged from the monitoring pond. Final effluent released from the TMF is expected to meet effluent discharge criteria.

Market Study

The project market study was carried out by the SNL Metals and Mining Ltd. The forecasts for the long term prices is based on estimated future demand for pellet feed. Both trends and forecasts indicate a rebalancing of the pellet feed premium by the time the LOM Project enters into production.

All revenues have been based on the average of the high and low prices as shown in Table 4 below as provided in the "Market Study Lac Otelnuk Project" prepared by SNL Metals & Mining Ltd. dated March 24, 2015. The report provides forecasted LOM Project concentrate Netback prices considering the quality premium and freight costs in both European and Asian basins. Table 4 shows the Netback calculation results for selected years.

Table 4 - Netback Calculation results as provided in the 'Market Study Lac Otelnuk Project*
2015 2020 2025 2030 2040 2050
Low, **MBIOI 62%, $/dry tonne/CFR China 55 85 98 95 90 86
High, **MBIOI 62%, $/dry tonne/CFR China 65 95 118 124 124 124
Low price alternative, netback FOB Pointe Noire, $/dry tonne
Pointe Noire-Alexandria 57.02 87.02 100.02 97.02 92.02 88.02
Pointe Noire-Qingdao 52.55 82.55 95.55 92.55 87.55 83.55
High price alternative, netback FOB Pointe Noire, $/dry tonne
Pointe Noire-Alexandria 67.02 97.02 120.02 126.02 126.01 126.01
Pointe Noire-Qingdao 62.55 92.55 115.55 121.55 121.55 121.55
*refer to the NI 43-101 Technical Report for details of the netback calculations
** Metal Bulletin Iron Ore Index

Other Facilities

Aside from the mine, process plant, product delivery system, and port facilities, the other main supporting infrastructure for the LOM Project consists of, but not to be limited to:

  • Electrical facilities such as a main 735/230 kV substation and two 230/34.5 kV substations dedicated to Phase 1 and Phase 2 respectively;
  • Emergency power generation for the process plant;
  • A main access road of approximately 185 km long will need to be developed from the town of Schefferville for delivery of consumables during operations as well as to provide access during construction;
  • Accommodation complex;
  • Maintenance workshops and warehouse complex;
  • Sewage water treatment plant;
  • Landfill; and
  • An airstrip designed for Boeing B737-200C.

Environmental Studies

Environmental permitting of the LOM Project falls under both the Quebec Provincial and Canada Federal regulatory frameworks. Environmental authorization of the LOM Project, as well as other permit applications for its construction and operation, are to be filed with both the Provincial and Federal authorities under the specific applicable jurisdictions. The major components for the future Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and permitting are: mine and concentrator area; the PDS system, the product dewatering-storage-reclaiming facility and the power transmission lines.

Most of the environmental baseline data collection in the mine and concentrator area is complete.

Execution of the Project

The LOM Project is planned to be developed in two Phases. The Phase 1 construction is estimated to need six years to complete (the Phase 1 construction completion year is defined as the Operation Year 1). After the completion of the construction, the LOM Project will ramp-up to a 30 Mtpy production rate at Operation Year 3. The Phase 2 construction is planned to be started in Operation Year 3 and estimated to be completed at Operation Year 7. The LOM Project will ramp-up to full production at Operation Year 9.

One of the key execution strategies underlying the FS is the application of a modularization concept. Maximizing off-site prefabrication and preassembly would minimize the required on-site construction workforce as well as mitigate the effect of winter construction to the maximum extent possible.

Equipment and material transportation for construction was based on the use of the two systems: 1) existing rail between Sept-Îles and Schefferville then the main access road to the site; and 2) use the highways system in northern Quebec to Fermont and then use the pipe bench constructed for the Phase 1 construction of the PDS.

Project CAPEX and OPEX Estimates

Project CAPEX: The LOM Project capital costs ("CAPEX") were estimated by SNC-Lavalin for a feasibility study level with a target accuracy of ±15%. All major permanent equipment pricing is based on technically and commercially evaluated budgetary quotes from multiple vendors. Contractor quotes were received for major portions of scope such as site civil work, site access road and pipeline installation. This estimate is considered a Class 3 estimate, as defined in AACE International Recommended Practice No. 47R-11ER. The CAPEX distribution is detailed in Table 5.

Table 5 - CAPEX Estimate Summary for all Major Areas and for Phase 1 and Phase 2
Phase 1
Phase 2
Direct Costs
Mine/ROM 703,885 485,668 218,217
Process 3,325,389 1,998,180 1,327,209
Infrastructure &Tailings 1,036,985 757,912 279,073
Power Transmission and Distribution 898,015 830,187 67,828
Product delivery system 4,395,896 2,621,436 1,774,460
Port Area 702,842 520,371 182,471
Subtotal Direct Costs 11,063,010 7,213,750 3,849,260
Indirect Costs
Construction Indirects 323,700 202,700 121,000
Freight, spares, first fills & heavy lift 398,760 247,600 151,160
Camp, Catering and Travel 379,660 286,950 92,710
EPCM services 750,000 500,000 250,000
Contingency 700,000 458,000 242,000
Subtotal Indirect Costs 2,552,120 1,695,250 856,870
Owner's Costs
Owner's costs (2.5% of direct costs) 276,000 180,000 96,000
HQ - extension of Tilly & LeMoyne substation, Line to Port & PDS (pumping stations 2 & 3) 295,234 295,234
Subtotal Owner's Costs 541,234 412,034 96,000
Total Capex (excluding escalation and risk) 14,186,400 9,384,200 4,802,100

Project OPEX: Annual operating cost ("OPEX") for the LOM Project were estimated with a targeted accuracy of ±15%. Table 6 shows the OPEX breakdown for year 3, the first year at nominally 30 Mtpy of iron ore concentrate, and year 9, the first year at nominally 50 Mtpy of iron ore concentrate.

Table 6 - OPEX Breakdown per Area for Phases 1 & 2
Area Phase 1
Year 3 (30 Mtpy)
Phase 2
Year 9 (50 Mtpy)
USD USD/t concentrate USD USD/t concentrate
Mine 372,589,384 12.40 506,810,637 10.14
ROM 22,687,640 0.76 39,310,438 0.79
Concentrator 455,323,798 15.16 754,774,984 15.10
TMF 29,105,890 0.97 40,455,527 0.81
Infrastructure and utilities 79,752,741 2.66 103,595,354 2.07
Product Delivery System 43,984,853 1.46 71,608,409 1.43
Port Area 24,138,432 0.80 38,886,823 0.78
Total 1,027,582,737 34.21 1,555,442,171 31.12

Financial Analysis and Sensitivity Assessments

Financial analyses were performed using estimates of CAPEX, OPEX, sustaining capital, the construction schedule, the production schedule, the applicable Federal and Quebec tax regimes, and estimates of future iron ore prices provided by the Market Study Report. The main assumptions included the following:

  • All amounts are expressed in real 2014 US dollars and Canadian dollars expenditures have been calculated at a rate of $CDN 1.00 = USD$0.88 which was the rate in effect December 1, 2014;
  • LOM Project and equity IRR are estimated using the discounted cash flow methodology
  • No escalation was considered over the life of the LOM Project; and
  • Closure costs of USD$520 million was modelled by leaving USD$520 million in the LOM Project at the end of the operation period to cover the expenses related to mine closure over a 24 month period.

The results of the financial analyses are presented in Table 1. The sensitivity of the LOM Project IRR and NPV (after income taxes) were analysed for the key variables including the CAPEX, OPEX, iron ore prices and sustaining capital costs. The after tax LOM Project IRR and NPV appears to be most sensitive to changes in the estimates of the iron ore price. The results of the sensitivity analyses are shown in Figure 1.

To view 'Figure 1 - Sensitivity of Post-Tax Project IRR and NPV to Key parameters Base Case (100% production to China)', please visit the following link:

A second case (alternative scenario) was analysed where the project is financed with 70% debt. In this case, the mine operates for 29.7 years with 100% of the production shipped to China. The interest rate (payable semi-annually) assumed was fixed at 5.5% for the life of the loan + 2.0% spread while the project continues to draw on the facility, after which the spread drops to 0.5%. The results of the financial analyses were presented in Table 1 and Figure 2 shows the sensitivity analyses.

To view 'Figure 2 - Sensitivity of Equity IRR and NPV (after tax) to Key Parameters Alternative Case (100% Production to China)', please visit the following link:

Technical Report by Met-Chem Canada Inc.

A NI 43-101 Technical Report ("Report") is being prepared by Met-Chem and will be posted on within 45 days of this news release. Met-Chem is working on the Report in collaboration with the FS study manager and other supporting consultants with their own Independent Qualified Persons. Met-Chem is a firm of experienced mining and metallurgical engineering professionals with expertise in exploration, mining evaluations, processing and the preparation of mineral resource/reserve estimates, especially in relation to iron ore. The Report will include Mineral Resource and Reserve estimates which were prepared respectively by Mr. Richard W. Risto, M.Sc., P.Geo and Mr. Michael Kociumbas, P.Geo of WGM and Mr. Jeffrey Cassoff, Eng. of Met-Chem. Messrs. Risto, Kociumbas and Cassoff are all Independent Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101. The Report will consist of summary results from the FS prepared by SNC Lavalin Inc. under the direction of Mr. Sam Buccitelli, Eng. who is also a qualified person. The Report is being prepared under the overall direction of Mr. André Boilard Eng. of Met-Chem and will be reviewed and certified by individuals who are responsible for their respective portions of the Report. Mr. Boilard and all other individuals providing certifications are Independent Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101.

Dr. Xiaogang Hu, P. Eng., the Project Director of the LOM Project and a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101, has approved and verified the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release.


Allen J. Palmiere, President and CEO

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains "forward looking information" concerning anticipated developments and events that may occur in the future. Forward looking information contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to: (i) the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves; (ii) the market and future price of iron ore and related products; (iii) success of exploration and development activities; (iv) the completion and timing of the permitting and environmental assessment process; (v) the negotiation and conclusion of infrastructure contracts; (vi) expected infrastructure requirements; and (vii) the results of the FS including statements about future production, future operating and capital costs, the projected IRR, NPV, payback period, construction timelines and production timelines for the LOM Project.

In certain cases, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words 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 state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of resource estimates, iron ore and other metal prices, the timing and amount of future exploration and development expenditures, the estimation of initial and sustaining capital requirements, the estimation of labour and operating costs, the availability of necessary financing and materials to continue to explore and develop the LOM Project in the short and long term, the availability of financing to Adriana, LOM and WISCO and the approval by LOM of development activities, the progress of exploration and development activities, the receipt of necessary regulatory and joint venture approvals, the completion of the environmental assessment process, the estimation of insurance coverage, and assumptions with respect to currency fluctuations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, and other similar matters. While Adriana considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect.

Forward looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Adriana to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such factors include risks inherent in the exploration and development of mineral deposits, including risks relating to changes in project parameters as plans continue to be redefined including the possibility that mining operations may not commence at the LOM Property, risks related to Adriana's minority interest in LOM and related risks with respect to the joint venture and Adriana's joint venture partner, WISCO, risks relating to variations in mineral resources, grade or recovery rates resulting from current exploration and development activities, risks relating to the ability to access rail transportation, sources of power and port facilities, risks relating to changes in iron ore prices and Chinese demand and the worldwide demand for and supply of iron ore and related products, risks related to increased competition in the market for iron ore and related products and in the mining industry generally, risks related to current global financial conditions, uncertainties inherent in the estimation of mineral resources, access and supply risks, reliance on key personnel, operational risks inherent in the conduct of mining activities, including the risk of accidents, labour disputes, increases in capital and operating costs and the risk of delays or increased costs that might be encountered during the development process, regulatory risks, including risks relating to the acquisition of the necessary licences and permits, financing, capitalization and liquidity risks, including the risk that the financing necessary for Adriana, WISCO and LOM to fund the exploration and development activities at the LOM project may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all, risks related to disputes concerning property titles and interest, environmental risks, and the additional risks identified in the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of the management's discussion and analysis for the most recently completed financial year or other reports and filings with applicable Canadian securities regulators.

Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information is made as of the date of this press release. Except as required by applicable securities laws, Adriana does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

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