TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 14, 2017) -
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Melior Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:MLR) ("Melior" or the "Company"), today announced that it is looking to prepare for the restart of production at its Goondicum ilmenite mine in response to favorable recent market developments, including stronger demand and higher prices for its ilmenite product. The measures include discussions with potential strategic partners and review and update of the mine re-start plan and budget requirements.
"We are very encouraged by the recent market conditions we have observed that have resulted in significantly higher ilmenite prices," said Mark McCauley, CEO of Melior Resources. "With indicators suggesting that these prices will be sustained in the near term, we are exploring ways to efficiently re-start operations while continuing to pursue opportunities to enter into long-term arrangements with a strategic partner to facilitate growth opportunities and balance sheet strength."
Melior placed its 100% owned Goondicum industrial minerals mine on care and maintenance in July 2015 due to unfavorable market conditions and depressed ilmenite prices. Conditions in the titanium feedstock industry continued to worsen through the second half of 2015 and into 2016. By mid-2016 indications started to point to a prospective recovery. Over the past six months, conditions in the titanium feedstock industry, including the price of ilmenite, have continued to improve.
Recent information gathered by Melior management, including dialogue directly with customers in Asian markets, indicates that pricing for ilmenite is now at levels which, if sustained, would warrant a restart of production at the Goondicum Mine.
Consistent with its strategy for the re-start of production, Melior has initiated discussions with several prospective strategic groups. Melior is committed to ensuring that all options for value-adding, cooperative arrangements are being investigated. The objective of any such engagement is to enhance the financial, technical, and marketing strengths of the project to ensure any restart is robust and sustainable, and will be successful in all market scenarios going forward.
Melior anticipates that once a decision is made to restart the mine it will take up to six months of pre-commissioning time to finalize site preparations and recruit and train approximately 50 personnel, the majority of whom could be sourced locally.
In concert with the re-start process, Melior expects to complete a drilling program to upgrade a proportion of the Inferred and Indicated Resources to Measured status. Production is expected to commence after the pre-commissioning period and build up to a life-of-mine average of over 180ktpa of ilmenite and 40ktpa of apatite over a 12-month period.
At full production, it is anticipated that project operating costs will be approximately C$28 million per annum, most of which will be spent in Queensland.
Melior will continue to provide periodic updates on its progress.
About the Corporation
The Corporation is incorporated under the provisions of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) and has a registered office in Toronto, Ontario. The Corporation currently operates as a Tier 1 Mining Issuer under the policies of the Exchange.
Neither the 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.
Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer
Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward-looking information under the provisions of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", "projects", "potential", "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will" be taken, "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative connotation. Such statements and information include, without limitation, statements regarding, the estimated mineral resources at the Goondicum property, and other benefits of the Potential Transaction. This forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and assumptions, certain of which are beyond the control of Melior, including, without limitation, risks relating to acquisitions, such as the parties may be unable to complete the acquisition, problems may arise with the ability to successfully integrate the businesses of Belridge and Melior, the parties may be unable to obtain regulatory approvals required for the acquisition, Melior may not be able to achieve the benefits from the acquisition or it may take longer than expected to achieve those benefits; and the acquisition may involve unexpected costs or unexpected liabilities. Other risks include the impact of general economic conditions; industry conditions; volatility of minerals prices; volatility of commodity prices; currency fluctuations; mining risks; risks associated with foreign operations; governmental and environmental regulation; competition from other industry participants; the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management; stock market volatility. Readers are cautioned that the material assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise. Actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, this forward-looking information and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking information will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits Melior will derive therefrom. Melior disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.