Black Iron Inc.
TSX : BKI

Black Iron Inc.

July 19, 2017 07:30 ET

Black Iron Engages BBA to Develop Revised PEA Based on Favourable Ukraine Exchange Rate & Phased Plant Development

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 19, 2017) - Having recently received extremely encouraging results from an order of magnitude economic estimate, Black Iron Inc. ("Black Iron" or the "Company") (TSX:BKI) has decided to proceed with a new Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") on its 100% owned Shymanivske Project ("Project"). The order of magnitude estimate was conducted to validate management's belief that the Project has maintained its economic viability given major changes that have occurred in both iron ore sales prices and Ukraine exchange rates. Although completed by a top tier engineering firm, the order of magnitude study is not NI 43-101 compliant and was only completed to reinforce the Company's internal work that it makes sense to proceed with a new PEA. Based on the study results, which use a conservative iron ore price of US$60/T, Black Iron management have engaged BBA to produce a new NI 43-101 compliant PEA so the projected financial returns can be shared with investors.

As background, Black Iron released a positive feasibility study on the Project in 2014. The study was based on the annual production of 9.9MT of high grade 68% iron content concentrate, used the long-term broker consensus iron ore price at the time of US$95/T and an exchange rate of eight Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) to the U.S. dollar. Today the exchange rate is approximately 26UAH:US$1 and iron ore with 62% iron content is selling for ~US$64/T. Using the current exchange rate is expected to materially reduce the projected upfront capital cost since a significant amount of the construction costs including labour, concrete, steel and secondary equipment such as conveyors will be Ukraine based. The lower exchange rate also results in significantly lower operating costs as achieved by existing Ukraine iron ore miners including Ferrexpo, Metinvest and ArcelorMittal.

The new PEA, like the recent order of magnitude study, will be based on a scaled down, yet expandable design. Instead of producing 9.9MT per year as used in the 2014 feasibility study, the new PEA will illustrate the economics of developing the Project in several phases starting with a 4MT per year operation. Given the current market and political environment, management feels that the smaller operation with far less capital expenditure requirements will be better received by investors. Subsequent phases to increase production can also be largely self funded using the cash flows generated from the first 4MT per year operation.

Shymanivske is a very unique project in that all of the major infrastructure including rail, power, port and skilled local people are located in very close proximity to the deposit allowing for the project to be economic at lower than typical production rates required for an iron ore mine. Further, Shymanivske concentrate is expected to be a superior 68% product with very low impurities making it a premium priced product ideal for blending with lower grade products to make quality steel. Currently, each additional 1% iron content is commanding a ~US$4 per 1% premium so at today's benchmark price of ~$65/T, Black Iron's product should sell for ~US$89/T.

Black Iron's CEO Matt Simpson commented, "I am very excited to reinvigorate the Shymanivske Project as this is a mine that is technically de-risked based on the favourable 2014 feasibility study and was very close to be constructed with funding largely from our former development partner Metinvest and a large international trading company that had visited site multiple times to discuss a prepaid offtake agreement. Based on the current favourable exchange rate largely offsetting lower iron prices, I am confident that the PEA results will demonstrate to both existing and new shareholders the robust and economic attractiveness of the Shymanivske Project."

BBA led the preparation of the Company's former PEA and therefore is highly familiar with the Project to complete the new PEA in an efficient manner. The Company expects to release the results of the PEA and file a technical report prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 in Q4 2017.

About Black Iron

Black Iron is an iron ore exploration and development company, advancing its 100% owned Shymanivske project located in Kryviy Rih, Ukraine. The Shymanivske project contains a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimated to be 645.8 Mt Measured and Indicated mineral resources, consisting of 355.1 Mt Measured mineral resources grading 32.0% total iron and 19.5% magnetic iron, and Indicated mineral resources of 290.7 Mt grading 31.1% total iron and 17.9% magnetic iron, using a cut-off grade of 10% magnetic iron. Additionally, the Shymanivske project contains 188.3 Mt of Inferred mineral resources grading 30.1% total iron and 18.4% magnetic iron. Full mineral resource details can be found in the NI 43-101 compliant technical report dated January 24, 2014 titled "Feasibility Study of the Shymanivske Iron Ore Deposit for Black Iron Inc." under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Shymanivske project is surrounded by five other operating mines, including ArcelorMittal's iron ore complex. Please visit the Company's website at www.blackiron.com for more information.

The technical and scientific contents of this press release have been prepared under the supervision of and have been reviewed and approved by Matt Simpson, P.Eng., CEO of Black Iron, who is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is based on what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, opinions and estimates of the date such statements are made based on information available to them at that time, including those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2016 or as may be identified in the Company's public disclosure from time to time, as filed under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the Shymanivske project, preparation of a PEA, expected economics forecast, timing for PEA, the Company's ability to obtain the requisite land rights for the Shymanivske project, and future plans for the Company's development. Generally, forward looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology 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". Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, geopolitical and social uncertainties; the actual results of current exploration activities; other risks of the mining industry and the risks described in the annual information form of the Company. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Contact Information

  • Matt Simpson
    Chief Executive Officer
    +1(416) 309 2138

    Derek Wood
    Conduit Investor Relations
    +1 (403) 200 3569