Laramide Resources Ltd.

Laramide Resources Ltd.

April 17, 2007 09:00 ET

Laramide Receives GRD Minproc Scoping Study on its 100% Owned Westmoreland Uranium Project in Queensland Australia

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 17, 2007) - Laramide Resources Ltd. (Laramide) (TSX:LAM) is pleased to report that GRD Minproc Limited (GRD Minproc) has completed a scoping study on its 100 % owned Westmoreland Uranium Project (the Project) located in North West Queensland, Australia. Laramide believes that the GRD Minproc study has confirmed that Westmoreland is potentially a very robust project economically and is capable of producing 3 million pounds of U3O8 per annum with an attractive cash cost profile. In the study, the mine is planned as an entirely open cut operation using conventional acid leaching and solvent extraction technology in the process plant.

A mining and milling rate of 1.5 million tonnes per year at an average grade of 0.10 % U3O8 for average annual production of 3 million pounds of U3O8 was used in the scoping study which was completed on the basis of a US$ 50 per pound uranium price assumption, which represents a significant discount to current spot prices which now exceed US$ 100 per pound. An Australian dollar rate of US$ 0.78 to A$1.00 was the currency exchange rate used.

Production costs for a pound of U3O8 average US$ 19.02 for the first 6 years of the mine life, during which time the strip ratio will be 2.3 to 1. From year 7 onwards, the average production costs of U3O8 will increase to US$ 25.17 per pound as the strip ratio increases during the mining of the smaller Junnagunna and Huarabagoo deposits.

At the current spot prices cash flow will be extremely strong with margins exceeding US$ 80 per pound of U3O8 at the current prices. Life of the mine will be greater than 11 years. Current pit inventories are sufficient for an 11 year life. However Laramide is highly confident that further drilling will expand the resource base and potential minelife. Direct and indirect capital costs (determined to a nominal accuracy of +/- 30 %) are estimated by GRD Minproc to be US$ 214 million. An accuracy provision of US$ 29 million and an initial working capital of US$ 4.6 million are to be added to the Total Bare Cost. See table 1 for Project summary.

Table 1
Mineable Pit Inventory 17.0 Mt at 0.10% U3O8
Annual Production 3 million lb U3O8 per annum
Direct Capital ('000) A$232 631 US$181 452
Indirect Capital ('000) A$41 874 US$32 661
Subtotal Capital A$274 505 US$214 113
Accuracy Provision ('000) A$37 058 US$28 905
Initial Working Capital ('000) A$5 951 US$4 642
TOTAL A$317 514 US$247 661
Years 1 to 6 (per lb U3O8) A$24.38 US$19.02
Year 7 onwards (per lb U3O8) A$32.27 US$25.17
Sustaining Capital ('000) A$10 100 US$7 878
Closure Costs ('000) A$45 788 US$35 715
Note: Exchange rate used is US$0.78 to A$1.00.

The capital cost includes mining, processing plant, tailings storage facility and plant, area and regional infrastructure. Mining will be carried out by contract miners. A cut off grade of 0.04 % U3O8 was used for the study. It is planned for the project to be a fly-in, fly-out operation sourcing labour from regional Australian centres.

The total planned mining pit inventory is 17.0 million tonnes at 0.10 % U3O8 located in three separate deposits. These will be mined sequentially as open pit deposits, commencing with the largest, Redtree. Laramide is confident that further drilling will increase the size of this potentially mineable resource. Note the Total Indicated and Inferred resource is greater than this figure. In accordance with GRD Minproc's recommendations Laramide is planning a large exploration project comprising over 30,000 metres of drilling with numerous targets to increase the size and confidence level of this resource.

Peter Mullens, Laramide's VP Exploration stated, "We are extremely pleased with the strong economics of the Westmoreland Project. Westmoreland should have a very attractive operating cost profile even in the face of very substantial cost inflation in the mining industry worldwide - particularly in Australia where the mineral resource industry is booming. The overall cost increases have been fully reflected in the GRD Minproc study."

"This is a very opportune moment to own a large, high quality development stage uranium asset anywhere in the world" Mullens continued "but particularly in Australia where the Three Mines Policy appears set to be repudiated or at least substantially modified. The significant investment this week made by Areva in Summit Resources, whose Valhalla project is also in Queensland, appears supportive of this viewpoint".

This report is a Preliminary Assessment Report under the NI 43-101 guidelines and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would allow them to be categorised as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realised. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

The technical report referred to herein will be filed on SEDAR and, once released, can be viewed in its entirety there or on the Company's website at

The technical content in this news release has been read and approved by P. Nofal and G. Baker as Qualified Persons and employees of GRD Minproc Limited.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. The actual results could differ materially from a conclusion, forecast or projection in the forward-looking information. Certain material factors or assumptions were applied in drawing a conclusion or making a forecast or projection as reflected in the forward-looking information.

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Contact Information

  • Laramide Resources Ltd. - Toronto, Canada
    Marc C. Henderson
    (416) 599-7363
    Laramide Resources Ltd. - Brisbane, Australia
    Peter Mullens
    VP Exploration
    +61 (7) 3831 3407