Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation

April 22, 2008 12:31 ET

Baffinland Reports Signficant Progress on Its Bulk Sample Program

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation ("Baffinland") (TSX:BIM) is pleased to report on the significant progress of its bulk sample program.

In preparation for shipment of the bulk sample a 100 kilometre tote road from Milne Inlet to Mary River continues to be upgraded to allow for all-season haulage of materials to Mary River and haulage of ore from Mary River to the Milne Inlet coast where it will be loaded onto ships for transport to Europe.

The 3.8 kilometre haul road to Deposit No. 1 on Nuluujaak Mountain has been completed to provide access to the bulk sample pit. A crushing plant has been mobilized and installed near the deposit and is currently operational. To date, in excess of 80,000 tonnes of ore have been drilled and blasted and over 47,000 tons have been crushed. Haulage to the Milne Inlet coastal stockpile has commenced with approximately 19,000 tonnes hauled to date. The Company is pleased with early drill, blast, and crushing results associated with its Mary River deposit. Results to date have been consistent with the Company's expectations and the Company is satisfied with the fragmentation being achieved as a result of the drill and blast processes and the fraction of lump ore and fines being generated by the crusher.

Additional infrastructure has been installed at Mary River to accommodate the extraction of the bulk sample. A new 100 person camp has been commissioned as well as supporting office, maintenance shop, and ancillary infrastructure. There are currently in excess of 240 people working at the site to execute the bulk sample delivery and to commence the 2008 geotechnical and exploration programs.

The company is particularly pleased that the bulk sample has provided an opportunity for training and employment to Nunavut Land Claims Beneficiaries. These early activities allow practical opportunities to enhance the skill sets of local residents who will be an integral part of the Company's operating team in the future.

A detailed "port plan" is being developed to govern the operations at Milne Inlet, our ship loading location. Logistec Stevedoring Inc., and their subcontractor, Ocean Construction Inc., have secured the tug, ore barges and work boats required to support the loading of the bulk carriers in August and September. A Charter Party has been executed with Fednav Limited that secures the ocean shipping services required. Fednav has nominated the Federal Franklin and the Federal Baffin, two new super-handimax vessels, for the shipment of ore to Rotterdam from Milne Inlet.

"In spite of a severe winter, we have made significant progress towards our bulk sample objectives. The operations team responded very well to the challenge of commissioning the new Mary River camp in February. The mining, crushing and hauling operations are rapidly reaching design capacities. Management of the spring freshette (snow melting) along the haulage road, and melting of ice in Milne Inlet, will be critical success factors in shipping the entire 250,000 tonne sample in August and September.", stated Rod Cooper, Vice President, Operations and COO of Baffinland.

Gordon McCreary, President and CEO of Baffinland, stated, "During my recent trip to Mary River it was very gratifying to see first hand the progress that we are making on site with regard to the development of necessary infrastructure and the mining, crushing and hauling of our bulk sample. As a result of our recent equity financing, Baffinland is fully funded for our various 2008 programs including the bulk sample that is designed to further technically de-risk our Mary River direct-shipping iron ore project. Once the bulk sample is consumed by the European steel industry, we expect to be in a position to finalize long term contracts in 2009 that will be the foundation for the financing of our world class project."

Baffinland is a Canadian publicly-traded junior mining company that is focused on its wholly-owned Mary River iron ore deposits located on Baffin Island, Nunavut Territory, Canada.

This press release contains certain information that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of securities laws. Forward-looking information may relate to management's future outlook and anticipated events or results, and may include statements or information regarding the future plans or prospects of the Company. Without limitation, statements made about the completion of the bulk sample and statements that the Company expects to be in a position to finalize long term contracts in 2009 are forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, expected mineral resources, iron ore prices, the timing and amount of future exploration expenditures, the estimation of additional capital requirements and initial capital costs, the availability of necessary financing and materials, the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, the feasibility of constructing and operating a direct-shipping iron ore mine at Baffinland's Mary River project and assumptions with respect to environmental risks, title disputes or claims, weather conditions and other similar matters. While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. Without limitation, in stating that the Company expects to complete its bulk sample program and in stating that the Company expects to be in a position to finalize long term contracts in 2009, the Company has assumed that weather and spring melting conditions will be conducive to haulage of the ore from Mary River to Milne Inlet in the required quantities and in the appropriate time frame, that weather and ice conditions in Milne Inlet and along the shipping route will be conducive to ocean shipping operations in the appropriate timeframe, that Transport Canada Navigational Waters will issue a permit required for installation of the stevedore's floating dock in the required time frame, that it will have the necessary resources to complete the bulk sample and that the consumers of the bulk sample will be sufficiently satisfied with the iron ore product that they will enter into long term contracts for further offtake.
Forward looking-information is subject to certain factors, including risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what is currently expected. These factors include risks inherent in the exploration and development of mineral deposits, risks relating to changes in iron ore prices and the worldwide demand for and supply of iron ore, uncertainties inherent in the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, risks relating to the remoteness of the Mary River property including access and supply risks, reliance on key personnel, construction and operational risks inherent in the conduct of mining activities, including the risk of changes in capital and operation costs, 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 required to fund all currently planned exploration and related activities may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all, environmental risks and insurance risks. You should not place undue importance on forward-looking information and should not rely upon this information as of any other date. While the Company may elect to, it is under no obligation and does not undertake to update this information at any particular time.

Contact Information

  • Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation
    Gordon A. McCreary
    President and CEO
    (416) 814-3163
    Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation
    Rodney A. Cooper
    VP, Operations and COO
    (416) 814-3158