Lamelee Iron Ore Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : LIR

November 25, 2014 09:18 ET

Lamelee Completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment Which Offers Very Promising Results

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 25, 2014) -

NOT FOR RELEASE OR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR FOR DISSEMINATION TO US NEWSWIRE SERVICES.

The Board of directors of Lamêlée Iron Ore Ltd. ("Lamêlée" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:LIR) is pleased to announce that it has received the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") prepared by CIMA+ in respect to the Company's Lac Lamêlée South Property Project (the "Lamêlée Project") located in the Province of Québec, 50 km South of Fermont.

A summary of the PEA results from the NI 43-101 Technical Report is presented below. The NI 43-101 Technical Report on the PEA will be filed on SEDAR and on the Company's website within the next 45 days.

LAMÊLÉE PEA HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Net Present Value ("NPV") of $529.9 M (pre-tax) at an 8% discount rate;

  • Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 15.4% (pre-tax);

  • Pre-tax payback estimated at 5.8 years (years from production start-up);

  • Mine life of 20 years at 5 million tonnes per year ("Mtpy") of iron concentrate;

  • Initial project Capex of $816.7 M;

  • Total average operating cost of $54.81/tonne of concentrate;

  • Conservative long-term price assumptions US$ 79.50/tonne, FOB Sept-Îles

  • Accuracy of the estimate -15% + 30%.

Hubert Vallée, President and CEO of Lamêlée stated: "We are very pleased with the PEA of the Lamêlée Project. It shows a pre-tax IRR of 15.4% on a capital expenditure of $ 816 million and a payback period of 5.8 years, based on conservative long-term price assumptions. This is one of the lowest capital expenditure requirement for this kind of project in the Labrador Trough area. All of the numbers in the assessment are realistic and achievable, based on recent construction projects and successful operations recently delivered. The good potential for mining development and production level will lead Lamêlée to the next step, namely the Bankable Feasibility Study.

Pierre Lortie, Chairman of the Board added that "the favorable results reported in the PEA of the Lamêlée Project reflect the valuable experience and know-how of our team which will make the difference in the success of this promising project. Our confidence in the success of the project stems also, in part, on the superior quality of the iron concentrate to be produced by Lamêlée which opens many markets. It needs to be emphasized that the concentrate is needed by Asian steel mills to blend with concentrate from other producing regions, notably Australia and Brazil, to ensure efficiency of production."

PEA PROJECT SUMMARY

The Lamêlée property is located 560 km north of Baie-Comeau and 80 km (by road) south of the town of Fermont, all connected by the provincial road 389 (the "Lamêlée Property"). The Lamêlée Property is approximately 270 km in straight line north of Port-Cartier. The Lamêlée Property is accessible by road 389 and the ArcelorMittal railroad passes by the Lamêlée Property. The city of Wabush, located at 35 km of Fermont, has an airport with daily flights to Sept-Îles and Montréal. The Lamêlée Project is entirely located in Québec.

In May 2014, Lamêlée mandated CIMA+ to prepare the PEA. The services of Met-Chem Canada Inc. ("Met-Chem") were retained to produce an update of the mineral resource estimate, the mine design and the mine plan. Soutex Inc. ("Soutex") provided their expertise for the metallurgical testing and the elaboration of the process. AMEC Inc. developed the tailings disposal strategy and the pond design. The environmental considerations and permitting were carried out by WSP Canada Inc. ("WSP"). Michel L. Bilodeau carried out the economic analysis of the PEA.

UPDATED MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE

The Property is located in the western margin of the Labrador Trough that contains world-class iron deposits hosted in the Sokoman Formation. The iron mineralization on the Property is hosted in the Wabush Formation (metamorphosed equivalent of the Sokoman Formation).

Met-Chem carried out an updated Mineral Resource estimate based on the results of the exploration work carried out during 2011 and 2012, which consisted of 2 trenches and 57 holes for a total of 18,221 m. Additional characterization work completed in 2014 included 3,133 Satmagan tests, 266 Davis Tube tests, as well as Heavy Liquid Separation tests on composite samples.

The Mineral Resources were limited to the tonnage of blocks constrained within the Iron Oxide envelopes which include MIF (Magnetite Iron Formation), HIF (Hematite Iron Formation) and MHIF (Mixed Magnetite Hematite Iron Formation). They don't encompass the tonnage of QpyrxM (Silicates Iron Formation) envelope.

A 3D block model was created using the MineSight® software package to discretize the project domain into blocks of 30 m by 30 m by 15 m (X, Y and Z directions). The Mineral Resource was interpolated on the total iron content (T Fe%) using the Inverse Distance Squared ("IDW2") method. A constant density factor of 3.35, representing an average for all iron oxides, was used to convert volumes into tonnes.

The Mineral Resource estimate was performed by Schadrac Ibrango, P.Geo, PhD., a Qualified Person (QP). Under CIM definitions, Mineral Resources should have a reasonable prospect of economic extraction. Met-Chem chose to exclude the portion of the mineralization that lies below Lac Lamêlée from the Mineral Resource estimate since the complete dewatering of Lac Lamêlée, the construction of dykes to cut-off portions of the lake or underground mining of this mineralized material would most likely not be an economic option for the Project. In order to determine the mineralized zones that can be potentially mined without affecting the lake, Met-Chem created a pit shell with an overall pit slope of 52 degrees and limited the crest of the pit to a minimum distance of 50 m from the lake.

The resource classification follows the guidelines adopted by the CIM through the NI 43-101 standards and guidelines. All the Mineral Resources were classified as Inferred.

SUMMARY OF THE MINERAL RESOURCES

(Cut-Off of 15% T Fe)

Category Tonnage T Fe
(Mt) (%)
Inferred 354.1 29.49

Mineral resources cannot be considered Mineral Reserves until they have demonstrated economic viability. Environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues may materially affect the estimate of mineral resources. The quantity and grade of reported Inferred Mineral Resources in this estimate are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these Inferred Mineral Resources as Indicated or Measured Mineral Resources and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to the Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource categories.

MINING

In order to determine the amount of recoverable iron contained within each block of mineralized material, Soutex provided Met-Chem with a formula to calculate the weight recovery as a function of the total iron which is based on the results of the metallurgical testwork.

A pit optimization analysis was then carried out using the MS-Economic Planner module of MineSight® which ran the Lerchs-Grossmann algorithm to determine the economic limits of the deposit. The analysis showed that the open pit design for the PEA should be based on a 20-year mine life.

The In-Pit Mineral Resources for the Lamêlée Project which account for mining dilution and losses total 272 Mt of Inferred Mineral Resources at a Total Fe grade of 29.7% (Weight Recovery of 36.3%). In order to access these resources, 636 Mt of overburden and waste rock must be mined which results in a stripping ratio of 2.3 to 1.

The mining method selected for the Lamêlée Project is a conventional open pit, drill and blast, truck and shovel operation which is carried out with an owner operated fleet. Following the development of a 20- year mine plan, Met-Chem estimated the mine equipment fleet to include 22 haul trucks (227 tonne), 3 electric drive hydraulic shovels (26.5 m3 bucket), 3 production drills as well as a fleet of support and service equipment.

METALLURGICAL AND PROCESS

The following process was designed based on the results of the testing program.

Ground run of mine feed is discharged from the mill as a slurry to the scalping screens and then to the classification screens.

The first stage of gravity separation is performed by rougher spirals from where the concentrate is sent to the cleaning hydrosizers that will efficiently remove medium and fine silica. The cleaning hydrosizers produce a high grade concentrate at their underflows. The hydrosizers overflow, consisting in fine iron minerals and fine silica, is processed by the scavenger spirals.

The two (2) concentrates produced (fine and coarse) are mixed together to produce a constant final concentrate fed to the pan filters.

The tails of both the rougher and the scavenger spirals are final and sent to the tailings cyclones to be processed in the tailings dewatering circuit.

During the summer, the fine and the coarse tailings are disposed of separately in the same settling basin. The coarse tailings are then used for dam building.

During the winter, the fine is mixed to the coarse tailings and disposed of together.

PRELIMINARY IRON CONCENTRATE SPECIFICATIONS

Element or Mineral Formula Typical Value
(%)
Iron Fe 64.3
Silica SiO2 4.5
Aluminium Oxide Al2O3 0.38
Calcium Oxide CaO 0.65
Magnesium Oxide MgO 1.16
Sodium Oxide Na2O 0.02
Potassium Oxide K2O 0.01
Titanium Oxide TiO2 0.51
Phosphorus P <0.01
Manganese Mn 0.61
Chromium Cr <0.01
Vanadium V <0.01
Loss of Ignition (LOI) - -1.14
Sizing: -150um - 30.0

PORT FACILITIES AND PRODUCT HAULING

Lamêlée plans to use the services of a local carrier to haul the product from the mine to the Port owned by the town of Port-Cartier.

Local infrastructures, such as car dumper, ore handling yard and ship loading facilities will be built by Lamêlée.

Transshipping will be used at the beginning to load Cape size ships.

PRODUCT SALES PRICE

Lamêlée used different analysts and bankers forecasts combined with an independent market analysis to estimate the long-term market price of iron concentrate. The results of this analysis are listed below and were used in the Economic Assessment of the Project:

  • Concentrate selling price: CAD$ 88.33/tonne, FOB Sept-Îles

OPERATING COST SUMMARY

The following operating costs were estimated by CIMA+, with input from other experienced parties. Total average operating costs over the life of mine are estimated at CAD$ 54.81/tonne of concentrate based on the following:

OPERATING COST $/tonne of concentrate
Mine 21.92
Concentrator 8.24
General and administration 7.04
Logistic 17.61
TOTAL 54.81

Qualified Persons

The complete NI 43-101 Technical Report ("Report") being prepared by CIMA+ will include an updated mineral resource estimate and in-pit mineral resource estimate which were prepared respectively by Schadrac Ibrango, PGeo., PhD. and Jeffrey Cassoff, Eng. of Met-Chem. Both Mr. Ibrango and Mr. Cassoff are independent Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101. The Report is being prepared under the direction of Jean-Sébastien Tremblay, Eng. of CIMA+ and will be reviewed and certified by individuals responsible for their respective portions of the Report. Mr. Tremblay and all other individuals providing certifications are Independent Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101. Among them are, Mr. Mathieu Girard, Eng, of Soutex, David Bédard, Eng. of AMEC, Michel L. Bilodeau, Eng. independent consultant and Jean-Sébastien Houle, Eng. of WSP.

About Lamêlée Iron Ore Ltd

The Company is a new iron ore mineral exploration company focused on the development of an iron mine project located in the southern segment of the Labrador Trough near the border with Newfoundland and Labrador, approximately 50 km south of the city of Fermont (Quebec). The project consists of 29 mineral claims covering 1,524 hectares or 15 km2. The common shares are listed on the TSX-V under the symbol "LIR". In December 2013, the Company acquired 100% of Fancamp Exploration's Lac Lamêlée South Iron Project located in the Fermont Mining District of northeastern Quebec, subject to a 1.5% Net Smelter Return royalty in favour of the Sheridan Platinum Group Ltd., of which 0.5% is subject to a buy-back option by the Company for $1.5 million. The Company also granted an additional 1.5% Net Smelter Return royalty in favor of Fancamp Exploration on the Lac Lamêlée South Iron Project, of which 0.5% is subject to a buy-back option by the Company for $1.5 million.

Information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that are based on assumptions as of the date of this news release. These statements reflect management's current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations. They are no guarantees of future performance. Lamêlée cautions that all forward looking statements are inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond Lamêlée's control. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, Lamêlée undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise 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.

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