Largo Resources Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : LGO

Largo Resources Ltd.

December 14, 2010 07:00 ET

Largo Reports Robust Economics from Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for Currias Novos Tungsten Project (Brazil)

- Pre-Tax IRR of 163%

- EBITDA Over Mine Life of Four Years Estimated to Be US$23.2 Million at a Price of US$260 Per mtu of WO3

- Indicated Mineral Resource Estimated to Be 3,460,000 Tonnes at 0.120% WO3 and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimated to Be 810,000 Tonnes at 0.093% WO3

- Site Work Underway for Planned Initial Production in June 2011

- Further Potential for Additional Tungsten Resources and Biproducts

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2010) - Largo Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:LGO) ("Largo" or the "Company") is pleased to report the results of a NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (the "PEA") on the Currais Novos Tungsten Project, which is currently under the Company's option, in Rio Grande de Norte, northeastern Brazil. The PEA has been completed by D.E.N.M Ltd. ("DENM") of Burlington, Ontario.

The results of the PEA are very positive and construction for the project is underway for the recovery of tungsten from mine tailings. Production of Tungsten (WO3 concentrate) from the Currais Novos Project is expected to commence by June 2011. 

Largo remains confident that there is potential to significantly increase the tungsten asset base in the Currais Novos region. Largo also hopes to develop bi-product credits in order to increase production volumes and the production life at Currais Novos.

Projected Cash Flows and Economic Results

Based on an estimated initial capital investment of US$6.1 million (including resource purchase price) and the milling of 4,270,000 tonnes of tailings material at a grade of 0.115% WO3, the project has a discounted payback of less than one year and is expected to generate net revenues of US$29.8 million over its estimated production life of four years on a pre-tax basis.

This results in a pre-tax IRR of 163% and a NPV of US$15.2 million at a discount rate of 10% per year. Total WO3 concentrate produced over the projected life of the operation is estimated to be 4.9 million lbs (221,000 mtu).

Price forecasts for WO3 concentrate are based on the assumed long-term price of US$260 per mtu versus current tungsten prices at $325 per mtu. 

The PEA was based on work carried out by DENM and other consultants, including Mr. Milko Rivera, P. Eng., an independent Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, with DENM taking overall responsibility for compiling the study.

Project Description

The Currais Novos property is located 179 kilometres west-southwest of Natal in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, in northeastern Brazil. The project is in the municipality of Currais Novos. The tungsten tailings deposits are the result of the processing of ore from the Barra Verde and Boca de Laje Tungsten mines. The project has previously been explored by a number of companies including Union Carbide and Anglo American and from these workings the project has been described as a scheelite (tungsten) skarn type deposit.

Test work and process flow sheet development was carried out by CETEC, a mineral processing laboratory located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Two composite samples (approximately 10 tonnes) were processed to obtain a scheelite concentrate with, at least 65% WO3, and an economically acceptable recovery. The laboratory results highlights are as follows:

  • 45% recovery of WO3;
  • Concentrate grade from testwork resulted in a +65% WO3 product;
  • Recovery technique was carried out which includes the repulping of 100% of tailings followed by gravity preconcentration using centrifuges, preconcentrate classification and regrinding, vibratory tabling cleaning and upgrading, and scheelite concentrate roasting followed by a high-intensity magnetic separation stage to remove iron sulphide impurities; and
  • Preliminary Fluorine work and recovery was carried out, but the results have not proved conclusive at this time.

The processing facilities are expected to include equipment and infrastructure capable of processing a minimum of 3,288 tonnes per day of reclaimed tailings. The plant will consist of gravity concentration, gravity tabling upgrade, concentrate cleaning, roasting and magnetic separation to produce the final concentrate. Tailings from the process will be pumped to a new tailings area nearby.

The town of Currais Novos has well established infrastructure for the transport of supplies as well as access to local labour, accommodations, power lines and communications systems – telephone, both land and cellular, as well as internet connections. A paved main road services the project from outside Currais Novos which allows for accessible transportation of equipment, and for the shipping of the concentrate to the required port facility of Natal. 

Estimated Mineral Resources

Largo has completed a new block model and updated mineral resource estimate incorporating the results from its 2010 auger drill program consisting of 121 holes totalling 794 metres and 556 samples.

The updated mineral resource for the two tailings deposits at a cut-off grade of 0.06 % WO3 is estimated as Indicated mineral resources of 3.46 million tonnes grading 0.12% WO3 and 1.74% F. The Indicated mineral resource estimate contains 7.2 million pounds of WO3. Inferred mineral resources were estimated to be 810,000 tonnes grading 0.093% WO3 and 1.44% F containing 1.3 million pounds of WO3.

Mineral Resources are presented in Table 1 below for the two tailings deposits for each resource category, which are included within the overall resource. The cut-off grade was determined based on comparison to similar deposit types that are being mined or planned to be mined by open pit methods, but has not been confirmed by appropriate economic studies.

Table 1: Mineral Resources in the Barra Verde and Boca de Laje Tailings Deposits, as at December 10, 2010*, based on 0.06 % WO3 cut off grade.

  Indicated Mineral Resources Inferred Mineral Resources
Tailings Tonnage (Mt) WO3 (%) F (%) WO3 (Mlbs) F (Mlbs) Tonnage (Mt) WO3 (%) F (%) WO3 (Mlbs) F (Mlbs)
Barra Verde 2.61 0.12 1.82 5.4 105.1 0.70 0.09 1.42 1.1 22.0
Boca De Laje 0.85 0.12 1.51 1.8 28.1 0.11 0.11 1.57 0.22 4.0
Total 3.46 0.12 1.74 7.2 133.2 0.81 0.093 1.44 1.32 26.0

Notes: * The above resource classifications conform to CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves referred to in National Instrument 43-101. Although 0.06% WO3 is considered a likely cut-off grade for this deposit, based on comparisons with other similar deposit types, it has not been confirmed by the appropriate economic studies. Totals may not add up exactly due to rounding. The mineral resource estimate was prepared by Largo and reviewed by Dr. Fernando Tallarico, Ph.D., P.Geo., an independent Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

At Currais Novos, tungsten mineralization is concentrated in two tailings piles known as Barra Verde and Boca de Laje. Barra Verde is the larger of the two. The mineralization is fairly homogeneous throughout the piles. 

The Mineral Resource estimate was generated using lithological, mineralogical, WO3 and F assay data from 121 auger holes totalling 794 metres of drilling and 556 samples. The deposits were modeled into two domains using the Gemcom mining software. Samples were composited over 5 metre intervals. WO3 grades were interpolated into estimation domains using Ordinary Kriging.

The Mineral Resource estimate has been prepared by Largo, and reviewed and validated by Dr. Fernando Tallarico, Ph.D., P.Geo a Senior Consulting geologist. Dr. Tallarico, an independent Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101, visited the site from February 5 to 7, 2010. Dr. Tallarico has verified the scientific and technical information contained in this news release.

Assaying for the 2010 auger drill program was carried out by SGS Minerals Laboratories in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Lakefield, Ontario, Canada; both are ISO 9001-2000 certified laboratories. Largo employs a systematic industry standard QA/QC program including standards, duplicates and blanks. The samples were crushed to 70% passing 10 mesh, split to 250 g and pulverized to 95% passing 150 mesh. A 5 g split was analyzed for W using a phosphoric acid leach followed by ICP-emission spectrometry. A second 5 g split is analyzed for Fluorine by ICP-mass spectrometry. Routine check assays are performed on sample rejects by SGS. Mr. Andy Campbell, P.Geo. is the Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 responsible for the scientific and technical work on the program.

Readers should note that the PEA is preliminary in nature, 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, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.

Costs

Capital costs associated with tailings acquisition, infrastructure, mining and construction of the process plant are estimated to be US$6.1 million including a contingency of US$0.9 million. The estimate has an intended level of accuracy of 20% as engineering and cost estimation has progressed beyond the PEA stage with site construction already having been commenced and orders for certain equipment having already been placed.

Operating costs over the life of the operation are estimated to be US$57.61 per mtu.

All dollar amounts in this press release are in U.S. dollars (US$). For the dollar amounts in this press release, Largo has used an exchange rate assumption of 1.75 Brazilian Reais (R$) for each U.S. dollar.

Geological Potential

The Currais Novos property is underlain by a portion of the Seridó Mobile Belt (SMB) which is located in northeastern Brazil and consists of a gneiss basement (Paleo-Proterozoic), a metasedimentary sequence (marble, quartzites, and schists), and the Brasiliano igneous suite (both of Neo-Proterozoic age). In this region, numerous mineralized skarns occur within marble and at the marble–schist contact in the metasedimentary sequence and have been known since at least the 1940s. and several mines currently operate on a small scale in this part of northeastern Brazil producing tungsten concentrate.

About Largo

Largo is a Canadian-based mineral resource exploration and development company focused on creating a world leading strategic metals company. The Company currently holds an 80% interest in the Maracás Vanadium Project, 100% interest in the Currais Novos Tungsten Tailing Project, a 100% interest in the Campo Alegre de Lourdes Iron-Vanadium Project, all in Brazil, and a 70% interest in the Northern Dancer Tungsten-Molybdenum property located in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The immediate goal of the Company is to develop the Maracás Vanadium Project by Q1 2013 and begin production of WO3 concentrate from the reprocessing of tungsten tailings from Currais Novos by June, 2011. Largo has a very skilled management team both in Canada and Brazil with the ability to advance these projects.

Largo is a publicly listed company on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol LGO. For more information please refer to Largo's website: www.largoresources.com

Mr. Tim Mann, an officer of the Company, is the Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 responsible for the scientific and technical disclosure in this press release.

Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking information under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, informationwith respect to the estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources; conclusions of the preliminary economic assessment; the timing and amount of estimated future production, development and exploration; costs of future activities; capital and operating expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; currency exchange rates; government regulation of mining operations; and environmental risks. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Largo to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to risks related to: timing and availability of external financing on acceptable terms; unexpected events and delays during construction, expansion and start-up; variations in ore grade and recovery rates; receipt and revocation of government approvals; actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of ferrovanadium; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry. Although management of Largo has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such Information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Largo does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

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