Dalradian Resources Inc.
TSX : DNA

Dalradian Resources Inc.

July 25, 2012 07:00 ET

Dalradian Resources Reports Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Curraghinalt Gold Project in Northern Ireland

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 25, 2012) - Dalradian Resources Inc. (TSX:DNA), is pleased to report positive results from the Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for a proposed underground mine at its wholly owned Curraghinalt Gold Deposit in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The PEA study was led by Micon International Limited ("Micon"), with contributions from other independent consultants. All figures are quoted in US dollars except where otherwise noted.

Highlights of the PEA:

  • Pre-tax Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 51.7% (after-tax 41.9%) based on a 36-month trailing average gold price of $1,378 per ounce (after-tax IRR of 31.8% based on $1,200 gold price);
  • Project payback of 2 years from first gold production;
  • After-tax Net Present Value ("NPV") of $467 million based on a 8% discount rate and a realized gold price of $1,378 per ounce ($655 million using a 5% discount rate);
  • Initial capital expenditures of approximately $192 million prior to production start-up (including contingencies of $36.9 million), with sustaining capital of $110 million for a total Life of Mine ("LOM") capital spend of $302 million;
  • A 15 year mine life with average LOM cash operating costs of US$532 per ounce, or $125 per tonne milled, including royalties, refining costs and by-product credits of $8.24/oz gold;
  • LOM gold production of 2.223 million ounces;
  • Average mined grade of 8.1 g/t gold. Processing at a rate of 1,700 tonnes per day and producing approximately 145,000 ounces gold per year using a conventional flowsheet of crushing, grinding, cyanidation and conventional tailings disposal;
  • Underground mining using mechanized longhole methods with ramp access and truck haulage; and,
  • The mine plan considers 89% of the November 2011 Micon resource estimate, of which 83% is inferred.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick F. N. Anderson says, "Our first economic study on this portion of the Curraghinalt deposit has been a resounding success. Our next steps are to: better understand the existing resource, prove, through drilling, that the system has a lot of room to grow and move ahead with planning and permitting for underground development. We have people and drills on the ground right now working towards these goals."

The PEA is preliminary in nature. It includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the results of the PEA will be realized.

PEA Parameters and Inputs:

The following table is a summary of the PEA parameters or inputs:

PEA Parameters Measurement Criteria Input
Metal Grade Unit Average Grade
(g/t)
Gold g/t 8.1
Silver g/t 3.3
Metal Price per ounce
Gold 3-year trailing average $ 1,378.03
Silver 3-year trailing average $ 26.28
Exchange Rates
CAD/USD 3-year trailing average 1.04
CAD/GBP 3-year trailing average 1.62
Taxation Taxable Income Income Tax Rates
£0 - 300k 20.00 %
United Kingdom £300k - 1500k 22.00 %
£1500k & up 24.00 %
Royalties NSR 6.00 %

The following table is a summary of the PEA results:

Life of Mine Average US$/oz gold
Gross Revenue (Gold) $ 1,378.03
Operating Costs US$/oz gold
Mining costs $ 324.29
Processing costs $ 82.28
General & Administrative costs $ 35.20
Royalty $ 82.20
Refining Charges $ 16.25
Less silver credit $ (8.24 )
Cash operating cost $ 531.98
Net Operating Margin $ 846.05
Capital Expenditure
Initial $ 86.39
Sustaining $ 49.43
Capital Expenditure $ 135.82
Pre-tax Cash Flow $ 710.23
Taxation $ 174.25
Net Cash Flow After Tax $ 535.98

The following table summarizes the PEA sensitivities:

1-yr trailing 2-yr trailing 3-yr trailing 5-yr trailing 10-yr trailing
Gold $ 1,672 $ 1,521 $ 1,378 $ 1,166 $ 814
IRR Pre-tax 63.1 % 57.1 % 51.7 % 41.1 % 24.9 %
IRR After-tax 51.0 % 46.2 % 41.9 % 33.4 % 20.2 %
NPV Pre-tax $ 840,591 $ 733,348 $ 639,084 $ 460,456 $ 210,330
NPV-After-tax $ 619,485 $ 538,152 $ 466,664 $ 331,194 $ 141,500

Mineral Resources:

The basis for the PEA is the mineral resource estimate prepared by Micon in the NI 43-101 report dated January 10, 2011 and effective November 30, 2011 entitled "An updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Curraghinalt Gold Deposit, Tyrone Project, County Tyrone and County Londonderry, Northern Ireland", which was filed on SEDAR on January 13, 2012.

A summary of this resource (reported at a cut off grade of 5.0 g/t Au diluted to a 1 m minimum horizontal width) is:

Resource Category Mineral Resources
(as at November 30, 2011)
Million Tonnes Grade (g/t gold) Contained Metal
Tonnes M oz
Measured 0.02 21.51 0.44 0.01
Indicated 1.11 12.84 14.20 0.46
Measured + Indicated 1.13 13.00 14.65 0.47
Inferred 5.45 12.74 69.44 2.23

Note: Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Mine Plan:

The mine plan developed by Micon uses mechanized longhole mining with ramp access and truck haulage, at a production rate of 1,700 tpd. Ramp access was chosen over shaft access due to the long lateral extent and relatively shallow depths of the deposit. As the deposit is open at depth a shaft may be required in future to access levels below the current mine plan. The mine plan includes provisions for mining losses and dilution. The mine plan is inclusive of inferred resources. These inferred resources will require further exploration drilling to upgrade them to the higher measured and indicated categories.

Processing and Metallurgy:

The processing flow sheet selected for the PEA consists of crushing, grinding, cyanidation and conventional tailings disposal. This flow sheet is based on extensive metallurgical testing carried out by previous operators of the project, and by Dalradian. Several other processing flow sheets were examined in the PEA, but were determined to result in less favourable economic outcomes. Total gold recoveries, based on existing metallurgical test work, are expected to be approximately 92%.

Operating Costs:

Operating Costs US$/tonne mined
Mining costs $ 76.50
Processing costs $ 19.41
General & Administrative costs $ 8.30
Direct Operating Costs before Royalty $ 104.21

To view the graph associated with this press release, "Production Profile," please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/DNA2507_Production_Profile.pdf.

Capital Costs:

Initial capital expenditures total approximately $192 million, inclusive of a $37 million contingency. LOM sustaining capital totals approximately $110 million. Sustaining capital consists of capitalized waste development after the initial production start-up, major equipment replacement and tailings expansions. Mining sub-level development cost is included in the operating cost.

Start Up Start Up Start Up
Minus 2 Minus 1 Capital
Preproduction - $ 15,139 $ 15,139
Mining Equipment - $ 14,202 $ 14,202
Processing Capital $ 14,638 $ 34,154 $ 48,792
Infrastructure $ 10,029 $ 37,887 $ 47,916
Indirect Capital $ 16,517 $ 49,497 $ 66,014
Total $ 41,184 $ 150,879 $ 192,063

A technical report supporting the PEA will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days.

Qualified Person:

The technical information contained in this news release is based upon information prepared by Messrs. Hennessey, Jacobs, Villeneuve, Damjanović and Foo of Micon International Ltd., who are each a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Messrs. Hennessey, Jacobs, Villeneuve, Damjanović and Foo are independent of Dalradian as defined by NI 43-101.

John McCombe, PEng, Chief Operating Officer, Dalradian Resources Inc., is the Qualified Person who supervised the preparation of the technical data in this news release.

About Dalradian Resources Inc.:

Dalradian Resources Inc. is a TSX-listed, Canadian based exploration company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of gold, base metals and other precious metals projects. With a European focus, our most advanced property is in Northern Ireland and focuses on and around the high-grade mesothermal gold deposit, Curraghinalt.

The Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Dalradian Gold Limited, holds a 100% interest, subject to certain royalties, in mineral prospecting licences and mining lease option agreements in counties Tyrone and Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment ("DETI") and the Crown Estate Commissioners ("CEC") have together granted to Dalradian base and precious metal mineral exploration rights to four contiguous areas collectively known as the Tyrone Project.

Dalradian's flagship deposit, Curraghinalt hosts an NI 43-101 compliant measured mineral resource of 0.02 MT grading 21.51 g/t gold for 10,000 contained ounces, indicated mineral resource of 1.11 MT grading 12.84 g/t gold for 460,000 contained ounces and inferred mineral resource of 5.45 MT grading 12.74 g/t for 2,230,000 contained ounces.

In Norway, Dalradian holds mineral rights for approximately 1.7 million hectares over four greenstone belts including an area hosting an historic silver mining district. Dalradian is actively engaged in data acquisition and analysis in advance of an early stage exploration program in Norway.

Dalradian's Common Shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "DNA". For further information, please see www.dalradian.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This news release contains "forward-looking information" which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral resources. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words and phrases such as "plans," "expects," "is expected," "budget," "scheduled," "estimates," "forecasts," "intends," "anticipates," or "believes" or variations (including negative 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 statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and are based on various assumptions.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; the actual results of current exploration activities; actual results of reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of metals; possible variations of mineral grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; political instability; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual information form. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements 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 statements.

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