New Cantech Ventures Inc.

New Cantech Ventures Inc.

May 04, 2007 13:53 ET

New Cantech Ventures Inc. Lucky Ship Molybdenum Project: Independent Preliminary Economic Assessment Demonstrates the Economic Potential Of a 10,000 Tonne Per Day Open Pit Molybdenum Mine

WHITE ROCK, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - May 4, 2007) - New Cantech Ventures Inc. ("New Cantech" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:NCV)(FRANKFURT:C7X) announces that A.C.A. Howe International Limited ("Howe") has completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Lucky Ship Molybdenum Project. The Preliminary Economic Assessment demonstrates that at current molybdenum oxide prices the Lucky Ship Molybdenum Project has positive economics as a 10,000 tonne per day open pit mine. Howe's lead Qualified Person responsible for the NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) is David Orava, M.Eng., P.Eng.

Between years 1994 to 2004, the average molybdenum price had been about US$4.50 lb Mo. In 2004, molybdenum product prices rose in response to growing demand for molybdenum principally in use as a component of stainless steel, and limited global roasting capacity. Molybdenum prices peaked in the range of US$40 to US$50/lb Mo in Q2 2005, and thereafter reduced to between US$20 to US$30/lb Mo in year 2006, with the price presently in the range of US$30/lb Mo.

New Cantech's Lucky Ship molybdenum property is situated near Morice Lake and south of Smithers in west-central British Columbia.

Howe has assessed the economics of operating a 10,000 tonne per day open pit molybdenum mine and conventional concentrator at the Lucky Ship Molybdenum property. The mine would operate continuously using conventional open pit equipment over a 16 year operating life. Open pit waste rock would be trucked to a gyratory crusher and crushed to minus 25 cm (10 inch) before conveyed seven kilometres to a waste rock management area. The concentrator would use conventional crushing, grinding, flotation, thickening and dewatering operations, and produce a molybdenite (MoS2) concentrate for direct sale. The concentrator tailings would be pumped from the concentrator to a tailings management facility. A power line would be constructed to provide hydropower to the Lucky Ship Molybdenum Project.

New Cantech's current NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate of January 23, 2007 (refer to New Cantech press releases of December 11, 2006 and February 7, 2007 and NI 43-101 technical report dated February 7, 2007 filed on SEDAR) had been developed using the polygonal mineral resource estimation technique. As part of the PEA, Howe subsequently audited New Cantech's geological digital database and geological/mineralization model and carried out a revised mineral resource estimate using Micromine block modeling and Inverse Distance Square ("IDW2") grade interpolation technique. Indicated and inferred mineral resources based on a cut-off grade of 0.030% Mo, as separately estimated by New Cantech and Howe are summarized in the following table.

Indicated Mineral Resource Inferred Mineral Resource
Mineral Resource Tonnes Mo Tonnes Mo
Estimate(3) (million) (%) (million) (%)
New Cantech
estimate(1) dated
January 23, 2007. 52.6 0.071 8.3 0.070
Howe estimate(2)
of May 1, 2007. 45.0 0.070 16.5 0.060
1. January 23, 2007 mineral resource estimate was prepared by N.C. Carter,
PhD, P.Eng., Independent Qualified Person under NI 43-101
2. May 1, 2007 Howe mineral resource estimate was prepared by Galen White,
B.Sc.,FGS, MAusIMM under the supervision of Steve Priesmeyer, M.Sc.
C.P.G., Independent Qualified Persons under NI 43-101.
3. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have
demonstrated economic viability.

The decrease in the Indicated Mineral Resource and associated increase in the Inferred Mineral Resource from the New Cantech estimate is related to the method used to calculate the resource (IDW2 versus polygonal) and the more rigorous criteria applied by Howe.

The estimated CDN$247 million capital cost for the project is based on the use of a used and refurbished concentrator, and new equipment for the mine and waste rock crusher and conveyor system, and a pre-production 10 million tonne waste rock stripping program. The capital cost breakdown is as follows: used and refurbished mill CDN$90 million, pit equipment CDN$29 million, waste rock pre-stripping CDN$26 million, waste rock crusher and conveyor system CDN$37 million, powerline and substation CDN$25 million, and tailings and water management system CDN$40 million. The estimated mine operating and processing costs are CDN$8.19/tonne mined and CDN$10.35/tonne milled respectively.

Howe has assessed the project cashflow and economics based on molybdenum product prices of US$20/lb Mo, US$30/lb Mo and US$40/lb/Mo, and for concentrator molybdenum recoveries of 80%, 85% and 90%. As an example, the before-tax estimated internal rate of return for a molybdenum price of US$30/lb Mo and a concentrator molybdenum recovery of 85% is 30%. The following table provides the estimated "before tax" internal rate of return summary for the 10,000 tonne per day open pit and concentrator operation.

Estimates internal rates of return (IRR)(4)
for selected molybdenum recoveries and molybdenum prices.

Molybdenum oxide price (US$/lb Mo)
Molybdenum Recovery ---------------------------------------------
in Concentrator US$20/lb Mo US$30/lb Mo US$40/lb Mo
90% 8% 34% 59%
85% 5% 30% 53%
80% 2% 25% 48%
(4) Analysis is done on a "before tax" basis.

The preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature and 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 preliminary economic assessment will be realized.

Howe's mineral resource estimate of May 1, 2007 does not include results from the current 2007 drilling program including the Company's "deep hole" results. Howe anticipates that it will use available new diamond drilling and assay information to update the Preliminary Economic Assessment report. Howe expects to receive this additional diamond drilling information including assay data from New Cantech by June 2007 to enable Howe to revise the Preliminary Economic Assessment by or before September 2007. The results of New Cantech's present surface diamond drilling program are expected to provide information that may allow some of the presently estimated inferred mineral resource to be reclassified and included within the indicated mineral resource. Howe will also include the results of other technical assessments presently underway including additional metallurgical testing, environmental studies including assessments of waste rock and tailings management techniques, a power line routing and costing study and waste rock crushing and conveyor cost study in updating the Preliminary Economic Assessment.

Howe recommends that the present diamond drilling program include infill drilling to provide further definition for mineral resource re-estimation purposes. Studies underway including metallurgical test work to further assess processing requirements and molybdenum and rhenium recoveries, environmental studies, a power line and substation cost study, a mine waste rock crusher and conveyor study; and geotechnical assessments at potential concentrator, and waste rock and tailings management areas are warranted.

Howe also recommends that a molybdenite (MoS2) concentrate marketing study be completed over the coming three months and that the Preliminary Economic Analysis report be updated by or before September 2007 to include new available information from the marketing study and other studies underway. The current PEA will be filed within the 45 day period as dictated under NI 43-101.

Pending the results of the PEA, New Cantech's Board of Directors are proposing to complete a prefeasibility study (PFS) on the Lucky Ship Project.

Qualified Person

Mr. David Orava, M.Eng., P.Eng. Associate Mining Engineer for Howe is the NI 43-101 Qualified Person responsible for the preparation of this news release.

This release was originally released in Vancouver, British Columbia on May 2, 2007.


Dalton DuPasquier


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Contact Information

  • New Cantech Ventures Inc.
    Dalton B. DuPasquier
    President & CEO
    (604) 541-7288