Champion Minerals Inc.

Champion Minerals Inc.

March 28, 2011 07:30 ET

Champion Minerals Provides Update on Expanded Development for Fire Lake North Project

- a site selection study, examining the viability of using conveyors to integrate several projects and feed a centralized concentrator, is underway;

- expanding to eight drill-rigs in May; two drills currently turning on Lac Moire and four turning on Fire Lake North.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 28, 2011) - CHAMPION MINERALS INC. (TSX:CHM)(FRANKFURT:P02) ("Champion", or "the Company") is pleased to present an update on the Fermont Property Holdings development and exploration program. Following up on the successful 2010 exploration campaign, which saw substantial increases in NI 43-101 compliant resources (see Champion's press releases of February 28th and March 7th, 2011), Champion is focusing on increasing and upgrading the Fire Lake North Project's Inferred Resources to the Measured and Indicated Resource category, in preparation for a Feasibility study anticipated in Q2 2012.

An update to the November 2010 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) study on the Fire Lake North Project is underway by BBA Inc. and scheduled for completion in Q3 2011. This update will evaluate extending the mine life from the 14 years that was previously reported, towards a 25 year mine life by increasing the total iron resources available in the area.

To better define and increase the total iron resources at Fire Lake North, four drill rigs are drilling on 200 m vertical section spacing to better define the full potential and upgrade the mineralization for the proposed East Limb and West Limb open pits. The November 2010 PEA reported that two designed open pits contained 250 million tonnes of In-Pit Resources. The Don Lake deposit is also being evaluated (using two drill-rigs) with the goal of defining a third in-pit iron resource on the property. In addition, the Bellechasse deposit, which is 10 km northwest of Fire Lake North, will be drilled during the second quarter of 2011. It is anticipated that the iron resources at Bellechasse will also be incorporated into the updated PEA Report. In May, 2011 two drills will be added to the Fermont exploration program to increase the overall drilling rate.

Champion is studying the option of integrating the Fire Lake North and Bellechasse Projects by conveying mill feed from both projects to a central concentrator. Benchmark studies of current conveyor technology have been initiated by BBA Inc.

Additionally, the Harvey-Tuttle and O'Keefe-Purdy Projects are scheduled for both exploration drilling and metallurgical testing in 2011. Harvey-Tuttle hosts deposits with open pit potential, and O'Keefe Purdy has 20 km of untested iron formation strike length. The economic iron mineralization that will potentially be outlined could improve the economies of scale for the Fermont Property Holdings and thereby reduce overall operating expenditures.

The bulk handling studies using conveyors will examine incorporating feed from these potential projects to the Fire Lake North concentrator. A second option could be another stand-alone operation, separate from the Fire Lake North complex. The viability and advantages of both options will be investigated, giving Champion flexibility going forward. The 60,000 metres of diamond-drilling planned in the Fire Lake North area will help to ascertain whether 1 or 2 concentrator complexes are needed.

Tom Larsen, President and CEO stated, "The exploration potential at O'Keefe Purdy is tremendous and it has not been tested for decades. Limited historic drilling returned up to 90 metres of iron mineralization. A surface showing composed of high-grade, coarse-grained, massive, specular hematite is the priority target. Historical metallurgical tests on this showing reported good results, and it will be sampled and tested again this year. An initial drilling campaign of 10,000 m is planned for this summer to test the 20 kilometers of iron formation strike length."

Two drills are also currently validating the Lac Moire Historical Resource of 101 million tonnes grading 30.5% iron, located adjacent to ArcelorMittal's Mt. Wright mine and mill complex. The objective is to fully delineate this deposit and test the metallurgical quality to determine if there is sufficient material for conventional gravity and magnetic separation.

Direct Reduced Iron ("DRI") technology is also being considered as a new technology for Lac Moire. The DRI process produces an equivalent to scrap iron grading over 90% iron. The DRI processing of iron ore is performed by using a reducing gas produced from natural gas or coal. This process does not use conventional separation methods including the more costly gravity and magnetic separation methods nor does it require pelletizing infrastructure. This reduces the capital expenditures required and thus requires less iron resources to justify an economically viable operation. Lac Moire is located within 10 km of the Bloom Lake railway.

SGS Lakefield is currently carrying out specific gravity and metallurgical tests designed to measure concentrate quality for the Bellechasse and Harvey-Tuttle Projects and results are expected in the next quarter. 

Along with Champion's development project plans, described above, several initiatives to meet with the Quebec Provincial Government, the Sept-Îles Port Authority, and the Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway are being scheduled now that Champion has outlined a significant resource base and is now at the development phase.

BBA Inc. will be completing the Fire Lake North PEA update study and is also assisting Champion with engineering support in this transition phase towards development. Roche Limited Consulting Group was contracted in February 2011 to complete an Environmental Baseline study as a first phase of an Environmental and Social Impact Study (ESIS) that is required for final feasibility. A successful environmental audit visit by the Provincial Government representatives was also completed in February.

Regional infrastructure expansion studies are underway by several government agencies and industry participants to quantify the increasing demands on infrastructure associated with the iron ore mining boom in the Labrador Trough. Champion will participate in and support these initiatives to secure capacity for future production as the PEA and feasibility studies progress.

About Champion Minerals Inc.

Champion is an exploration and development company focused on discovering and developing significant iron ore resources in eastern Canada, particularly in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador. The Company's projects include the Fermont Iron Holdings in Quebec, jointly held by Champion, with an 82.5% interest and Fancamp Exploration Ltd., holding a 17.5% interest, the Attikamagen Iron Project in Quebec and Labrador, and the Powderhorn / Gullbridge Base Metal Projects in central Newfoundland.

* The current Mineral Resource estimates were calculated using the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves, Definitions and Guidelines prepared by the CIM Standing Committee on Reserve Definitions and adopted by CIM Council December 11, 2005.

The technical information in this news release was prepared, revised and approved by Jeff Hussey, P. Geo., Executive VP Development and Alex S. Horvath, P. Eng., Executive VP Exploration of the Company both individuals are Qualified Persons under NI43-101 standards.

Please visit Champion's NEW website at

Statements made in this news release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" and readers are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and that actual developments or results, may vary materially from those in these "forward-looking" statements.

Contact Information

  • Champion Minerals Inc.
    Thomas G. Larsen
    President and CEO
    (416) 866-2200
    (416) 361-1333 (FAX)
    Champion Minerals Inc.
    Jorge Estepa
    (416) 866-2200
    (416) 361-1333 (FAX)