Century Mining Corporation
TSX VENTURE : CMM

Century Mining Corporation

June 30, 2011 09:19 ET

Century Mining Announces Updated NI 43-101 Reserve and Resource Estimates for the Lamaque Project and San Juan Mine

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 30, 2011) - Century Mining Corporation ("Century Mining" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:CMM) announces updated reserve and resource estimates for the Lamaque Project and San Juan Mine, that were last updated on June 24, 2009 and March 28, 2008, respectively. The National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") Technical Reports describing the details of the updated reserve and resource estimates will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) within 45 days from the date of this press release.

The Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX") deferred its approval of the proposed plan of arrangement to combine White Tiger Gold Ltd. ("White Tiger Gold") and Century Mining (the "Business Combination"), as previously announced, pending receipt of "current" NI 43-101 Technical Reports for Century Mining's Lamaque and San Juan projects. Century Mining retained Micon International Inc. ("Micon") and Dr. Edmond van Hees ("Ed van Hees") to complete the respective Technical Reports. In addition, Ed van Hees was retained to review Micon's approach and philosophy with regard to Micon's audit of the polygon resource estimation.

Century Mining has been cognisant of the fact that until these Technical Reports are completed, the Company is constrained in its disclosures and in proceeding with the Business Combination. A more extensive technical review would require a further five to six months, resulting in an unacceptable delay, but is expected to recover some of the reductions and reclassifications indicated in the current reserve and resource update or to add new mineral resources. Century Mining views this update on the reserves and resources as an interim update released at this time to meet the current requirements of the Company.

Lamaque Project

Micon was contracted to complete the Lamaque Project mineral reserve and resource update. This included reviewing historic information from approximately 40,000-diamond drill holes, abundant paper technical data (Placer Dome and Teck data) and a number of digital formats, which cover multiple mineralized structures. As a component of the update process, more rigorous and technically advanced processes were applied to reflect the geology of the project. In particular, these more rigorous and technically advanced processes were applied with regard to the computer block modelling to allow the development of a full resource model to facilitate better engineering designs, including in those areas still assessed using polygons. These processes better reflect the needs and requirements of the current operating and regulatory environment.

The mineral resource statement using these more rigorous technical standards has resulted in a significant reduction in total resources and reserves from those indicated in the most recent Technical Report of June 2009.

While there is a reduction and reclassification in reported resources and reserves, the impact on the short- to medium-term mine plan is limited. The Company expects that further planned work, additional modelling, improved access to deeper areas, and new drilling will result in a reasonable amount of the resource reduction being recovered or reclassified particularly in areas targeted by the Company's mining plans. The current work has helped to highlight a large number of new exploration targets not previously recognised by the previous modelling technique that have the potential to add resources.

The key reasons for the reductions are:

  • Application of geo-statistics to predict the geology prior to application of the gold grades, resulting in a more rigorous approach in the geology modelling and hence the block model above 1200ft. Although this approach is more conservative than the approach utilized in the past, it has provided Century Mining with an increased understanding of the geology and more importantly has highlighted a considerable number of dyke targets that were not previously recognized including in the North Wall Zone that is currently being developed.
  • The North Wall Shears were mined extensively in the past and the depleted portion of the shears has not been digitized. The North Wall Shear mineral resources presented below are based on target blocks believed not to have been exploited in the past. There remains additional mineralisation in proximity to old mining areas but these areas cannot be defined with certainty, given the limited information on past mining available in digital format.
  • Below a depth of 1200ft, a majority of the resources are modelled based on historical polygons as defined by Placer Dome and Teck. Despite searches by Micon and the Company, certain historical data was unavailable for review and as a result some Reserves and all Measured and Indicated Resources were converted to Inferred Resources. These Inferred Resources will be considered further and may potentially be upgraded to a higher classification by replacing data when access to the area currently under water is again available or by the continuing conversion of all of the geological data into a digital format in order to allow this zone to be modelled using the new parameters and procedures.
  • The Cross Over Zone block model was originally developed by previous owners to help identify open pit resources and then modified for use underground. Underground mining has demonstrated that this approach is unhelpful for identifying and mining the predominantly flat veins within that zone. Century Mining is applying recently developed modelling methods appropriate to this geology that will require several months to complete. Moreover, a number of potential dyke targets have been noted, and hence there is potential for the addition of mineral resources to be reported in future reserve and resource updates.
  • For the Sigma Below Pit (1000ft to 2600ft) zone it has not been possible to complete the remodelling because the geological data from the drill logs is presently not available in a digital format. This information is key to the accurate 3-D definition of the geological outlines and geostatistical representation of contained grade blocks. This modelling requires converting the entire Lamaque resource model into a digital format, a technique already proving its worth in better understanding the resource and highlighting new targets.

Century Mining forecasts that there will be a partial resource recovery or reclassification of resources to reserves in the next 6 to 12 months. Century Mining views this update on the reserves and resources as an interim update released at this time to meet the current requirements of the Company and given that a more extensive analysis of the resources will require at least 5 to 6 additional months to complete. Based on work with the historical data and additional exploration, the Company expects to recover some of the reductions and reclassifications indicated in the current reserve and resource update or to add new mineral resources. The key areas for these additions are the:

  • New dyke targets within or close to the current mining areas that are indicated by the use of geostatistics to outline the geological entities. Many of these are relatively untested and have only come to light as a result of the focus on modelling geological rock units.
  • Conversion of the Polygon data into digital format in order to allow block modelling.
  • Bedard Dyke below 4th Level and Main Dyke (West) where underground access now exists. However, additional drilling is required to determine if a resource can be outlined and converted into reserves in the next 6 -12 months so that they would provide mining sources over the next 3-5 years
  • Sigma Below Pit (1000ft to 2600ft) has to be re-modelled and considered for future revisions.
  • Cross Over and Road zones include predominantly the Lamaque mine area, and are mainly associated with flat veins. As a result of this recent 43-101 review, techniques have been developed, in conjunction with Micon, that allow digital modelling of flats to be achieved in a way that is representative of the narrow vein structures. Completion of this task will require a considerable amount of work over the next months. This modelling will significantly improve our understanding of flat vein distribution and enable better mine planning and dilution control.

The table below summarizes the current resources and reserves as audited by Micon:

To view the table and related footnotes, please click the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cmm0630.pdf.

The following table prepared by the Company summarizes the comparison of the updated reserve and resource estimates to the June 2009 reserve and resource estimates for Lamaque.

Table 2: Comparison of the updated Resources and Reserves for Lamaque to previously reported Resources and Reserves
Tonnes Grade (g/t ) Ounces
Total Proven and Probable Reserves
Current 3,170,000 4.43 451,000
June 24, 2009 7,736,181 4.56 1,134,971
Variance -4,566,181 -0.13 -683,971
Total Measured and Indicated Resources
Current 3,674,000 5.04 587,000
June 24, 2009 16,046,255 4.69 2,420,876
Variance -12,372,255 0.35 -1,833,876
Total Inferred Resources
Current 8,889,000 6.50 1,859,000
June 24, 2009 19,633,148 4.96 3,130,779
Variance -10,744,148 1.54 -1,271,779
  1. The mineral reserves contained in Table 2 are derived from the stated measured and indicated mineral resources and the stated measured and indicated resources are inclusive of the reserves.

Resource Assumptions

Lamaque II mineral resources are based on block modelling of the flat veins using drill hole and moil channel sampling data. Mineralised zones were outlined with a minimum height of 7 feet and a cut-off grade of 2.1 g/t Au was applied to mineral resource blocks. The cut-off grades developed were based on a long term gold price of US$1,250 per ounce and treatment plant gold recovery of 96%.

Lamaque II Probable mineral reserves were developed from Indicated mineral resources and are adjusted for mining dilution and ore losses. Mineral reserve blocks are fully engineered for development and trackless room and pillar mining. A cut-off grade of 2.3 g/t Au has been applied to the block model to outline stoping blocks.

North Wall Shear mineral resources to a depth of 1,200 feet below surface were defined by block modelling using moil samples derived from development drives on levels at 120 foot vertical intervals. Mineral resources are reported at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au. A bulk density of 2.67 t/m3 was used to convert volume to tonnage. Model blocks located within 30 feet of a sampled development drive were assigned to the Measured category. Resource blocks located between 30 feet and 70 feet of a sampled development drive were assigned to the Indicated category. Shear blocks situated further than 70 feet of a sampled development drive were assigned to the Inferred category.

North Wall Shear Proven and Probable mineral reserves were developed from Measured and Indicated Mineral resources and are adjusted for mining dilution and ore losses. The steeply dipping shear structures are fully engineered for longhole mining methods and a cut-off grade of 2.03 g/t Au.

North Wall Dyke mineral resources are based on block modelling of the mineralized dykes defined by diamond drilling. Mineral resources are reported at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au. A bulk density of 2.67 t/m3 was used to convert volume to tonnage. Dyke resource targets defined by a minimum of 3 drill holes were assigned to the Indicated category. Dyke resource targets defined by less than 3 drill holes were assigned to the Inferred category.

North Wall Dyke Probable mineral reserves were developed from Indicated mineral resources and are adjusted for mining dilution and ore losses. The steeply dipping dykes are fully engineered for longhole mining methods and a cut-off grade of 2.03 g/t Au.

The polygonal mineral resources were estimated by the previous operators Teck and, subsequently McWatters at Lamaque, and by Placer Dome at Sigma. The polygonal method used to estimate Measured and Indicated mineral resources, which are the basis of the proven and probable mineral reserves respectively, was developed over a long period of time and has been used historically at both the Sigma and Lamaque properties. A mineralized section of each shear zone or dyke was blocked out on a longitudinal section between levels at 125 ft (38.1 m) vertical intervals. Volume was determined using the longitudinal area and the average thickness. The number of tons was estimated by dividing the volume by the appropriate tonnage factor (12 ft3/st), equal to 2.67 t/m3. The grade of the block was determined using the length-weighted average of all assays within the block (reported in pennyweights (dwt)). Areas with assays below 2 dwt/st or 0.10 oz/st gold (3.4 g/t gold) were discarded and assays greater than 20 dwt/st or 1.0 oz/st gold (34.28 g/t gold) were cut to 1.0 oz/st gold. Mineral resources that were projected 35 ft (10.7 m) above or 35 ft (10.7 m) below a level were assigned to the Measured category. The remaining mineralization between the levels, at a distance greater than 35 ft or below a level, was categorized as Indicated mineral resources. Measured and Indicated resources that met the defined economic criteria were converted into proven and probable reserves. During Micon's audit it converted the imperial figures in the original estimates to metric. A majority of the polygonal resource blocks appear to be remnants from previous mining, rather than new resources which potentially could be expanded as further work is conducted. These remnants have limited potential to be expanded.

During its audit, Micon has corrected, to the extent possible, the polygonal estimates contained in the previous technical reports. All of the polygonal blocks for which supporting data was available were checked and corrections applied where necessary. In most cases, where reasonable supporting data were available, Micon accepted Century's previous resource classification. Where insufficient supporting data were available for review, Micon down-graded the resources to the Inferred category to reflect the uncertainty associated with converting the historical resource estimate into a current resource estimate. The down-grading also removed some of this material from the mineral reserve inventory of the project.

Century believes that no environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, marketing or political issues exist that would adversely affect the audited mineral resource and reserve estimates at the Lamaque Project.

Reserve Assumptions

An economic cut-off grade of 3.18 g/t Au was used in calculating the Mineral Reserves for the Sigma Polygons. An economic cut-off grade of 2.3 g/t Au was used to calculate Mineral Reserves for the Lamaque II Flat veins and a cut-off grade of 2.03 g/t Au was applied to develop the Mineral Reserves of the North Wall Shears and North Wall Dykes.

Measured and Indicated Resources include Proven and Probable Reserves.

The long term metal price used was US$1,250 per ounce for gold.

The estimated Reserves include intrinsic planned dilution and mining losses. Unplanned mining losses of 5% and unplanned mining dilution of 15% using nil grade were applied to the Flat veins. The block model for the Flat veins was run at 7ft high, and 6 inches or 7% external dilution was added at nil grade. The total dilution on a 6.5' heading equates to 15% using nil grade.Steeply dipping North Wall Shears and North Wall Dykes, including Polygons, were adjusted for 5% mining losses and 5% dilution at nil grade.

Numbers have been rounded in all categories to reflect the precision of the estimates.

The mineral reserves were estimated from the life-of-mine plan, which defined sustaining capital requirements and mine operating costs, to demonstrate that the these reserves can be economically extracted and processed. Mining losses and dilution were determined based on experience of the operating environment and the specific mining technique and equipment limitations for each area of the mine.

Contained metal in estimated reserves remains subject to metallurgical recovery losses.

The resource and reserve estimates reflect the deposit at Lamaque as of June 20, 2011. Reserves were based on vertical stopes designed to a minimum mining width of 1.8 m (6ft) and horizontal (Flat) stopes with a minimum height of 2.13 m (7 ft).

Dr. Ed Van Hees commented after his review: "Micon has followed all the CIMM Resource estimation rules and applied the appropriate mining parameters to establishing their NI 43-101 compliant Resource estimate for the Lamaque mine."

Century Mining retained Micon to independently audit the reserves and resources for the Lamaque mine. The Qualified Persons for Micon are Geraint Harris, C.Eng., MAusIMM (CP), William J. Lewis, B.Sc., P.Geo., Dibya Kanti Mukhopadhyay, MAusIMM (CP) and Gary Patrick MAusIMM. Micon's Qualified Persons have reviewed the Lamaque portion of this press release.

San Juan

Dr. Ed van Hees has completed an update of the San Juan Project. The summary of the positive impact of the review is provided in the table below. The key reason for the increase in resources is that Century Mining increased development in 2010 and 2011 in order to increase the available resources and improve flexibility in the mining operations. Ed van Hees has provided a number of constructive suggestions that the Company will seek to implement as appropriate.

Table 3: Summary of Current 43-101 Reserves and Resources
Reserve Tonnes Grade (g/t Au ) Ounces Gold
Proven Reserves 316,465 6.98 70,979
Probable Reserve 558,865 8.51 152,962
Total Proven & Probable Reserve 875,330 7.96 223,941
Resource
Measured Resource 395,034 6.37 80,965
Indicated Resource 645,382 7.86 163,121
Total Measured & Indicated 1,040,416 7.30 244,086
Inferred Resource 744,486 8.59 205,509
Table 4: Comparison of Current Resources and Reserves for San Juan to previously reported Resources and Reserves
Tonnes Grade (g/t Au ) Ounces
Total Proven and Probable Reserves
Current 875,330 7.96 223,941
March 28, 2008 653,445 8.87 186,316
Variance 221,885 -0.91 37,625
Total Measured and Indicated Resources
Current 1,040,416 7.30 244,086
March 28, 2008 855,600 4.22 202,791
Variance 184,816 3.08 41,295
Total Inferred Resources
Current 744,486 8.59 205,509
March 28, 2008 589,025 9.25 175,125
Variance 155,461 -0.66 30,384
  1. the effective date of the San Juan mine estimated mineral reserves and resources is June 26, 2011
  2. The mineral reserves contained in Table 3 are derived from the stated measured and indicated mineral resources and the stated measured and indicated resources are inclusive of the reserves.
  3. The long term metal price of US$1,200 per ounce for gold and treatment plant gold recovery of 85% were used to develop the cutoff grade.
  4. The mineral reserve / resource was determined by the polygon method and applying all CIMM parameters. The tonnage of each mineralized zone was determined by using the height (corrected for dip), length and an appropriate mining width to determine the volume of the mineralized zone and dividing that in turn by the tonnage factor. The grade of each zone was determined averaging all the assay results, taking into account their width and using a top and bottom cut grade of 60 g/t and 3 g/t, respectively, as well including wall rock dilution at zero grade. The Proven and Probable Reserves are considered to extend from 0 to 20 m and 20 to 80 m, respectively, above or below a drift containing suitable assay grades.
  5. The recent elections in Peru saw the ruling party and president change. Exactly what affect the left-leaning party will have on the economics of gold mining in Peru is not yet known. A new environmental study of the San Juan mine has just been completed and submitted as part of the process to renew and expand the Environmental permit. Two meetings with residents in the mine area have already been held and the final one will follow shortly. Questions about the construction of the new mill tailings disposal pond are being addressed by the project contractor.
  6. Measured, Indicated and Inferred mineral resources identified in the San Juan mine do not have demonstrated economic viability at this time, but might be upgraded to reserve status if improving gold price or mining related factors changes their economic viability.

Century Mining retained Dr. Edmond van Hees to independently audit the reserves and resources for the San Juan mine. The Qualified Persons are Dr. Edmond van Hees, P Geo., and Robert Younker, P.Eng, CFA, who have reviewed the San Juan portion of this press release.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the TSX requested that a current technical report on the Lamaque Project and the San Juan Mine be completed for disclosure purposes with regard to the proposed Business Combination with White Tiger Gold. This requirement has significantly delayed the timing of this transaction including the mailing of the management information circular to shareholders in respect thereof.

The interim update on the reserves and resources on Lamaque has resulted in a reduction in the reported resource and reserve estimates because of a number of technical reasons, and, with respect to the Lamaque Project, the Company re-iterates that:

  1. Limited effect on the Company's short to medium term mine plan is expected and the development of the North Wall and the deeper flats continues as planned.
  1. The Company will continue with the process of converting the total resource model into a digital format, a task we had already started at the beginning of the year. This is expected to result in several areas being better understood and some of the resources that were removed or reclassified to be recovered.
  1. The new modeling process has highlighted a number of new targets, some of which are accessible targets that may potentially provide additional resources.
  1. Lamaque has a considerable resource that the Company expects will improve with additional work.

Finally, on the basis of the information provided by Century Mining to White Tiger Gold and White Tiger Gold's special committee's review and analysis thereof to date, it continues to unanimously support the proposed Business Combination.

Conference Call Notice

A conference call will be held for investors and analysts on Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11a.m. Eastern Time to review the Interim reserve and resource estimates on the Lamaque Mine and the San Juan Mine.

Daniel Major, President and Chief Executive Officer of Century Mining, will host the call. Interested participants may access the conference call by dialing 866-696-5910 North America or 416-340-2217. The participant passcode is 3365374.

If you are unable to participate, a digital replay of the conference call will be available for playback two hours after the end of the conference call. The digital replay will be accessible until July 14, 2011 and may be accessed by dialing 800-408-3053 (alternate 905-694-9451) and using pass code 7085786.

About Century Mining Corporation

Century Mining Corporation is a Canadian gold producer and holds strategic land positions in Canada, the United States and Peru. The Company's strategy is to grow to its gold production through existing mine expansions and acquisitions of other strategic and synergistic gold opportunities.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains forward looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws including with respect to the recovery and conversion of resources and reserves and the potential addition of resources. We use words such as "might", "will", "should", "anticipate", "plan", "expect", "believe", "estimate", "forecast"and similar terminology to identify forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. Such statements and information are based on assumptions, estimates, opinions and analysis made by management in light of its experience, current conditions and its expectations of future developments as well as other factors which it believes to be reasonable and relevant. Forward-looking statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements and information and accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on such statements and information. Risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to vary include but are not limited to the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the uncertainty of reserve and resource estimates; operational and technical difficulties; the availability to the Company of suitable financing alternatives; fluctuations in gold and other commodity prices; changes to and compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including environmental laws and obtaining requisite permits; political, economic and other risks arising from our South American activities; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; as well as other risks and uncertainties which are more fully described in our annual and quarterly Management's Discussion and Analysis and in other filings made by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission and with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com.

While the Company believes that the expectations expressed by such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information and the assumptions, estimates, opinions and analysis underlying such expectations are reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will prove to be correct. In evaluating forward-looking statements and information, readers should carefully consider the various factors which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements and 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 release.

Contact Information