Niblack Mineral Development Inc.
TSX VENTURE : NIB

Niblack Mineral Development Inc.

March 07, 2011 08:00 ET

Niblack Announces 54% Increase to Mineral Resources

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 7, 2011) - Niblack Mineral Development Inc. ("Niblack" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:NIB) and joint venture partner Heatherdale Resources Ltd. (Heatherdale) (TSX VENTURE:HTR) announce a new mineral resource estimate for the Lookout Deposit and adjacent Trio Deposit at the Niblack copper-gold-zinc-silver project in southeast Alaska, increasing total Indicated resources by 60% and Inferred resources by 46%. Lookout and Trio are two of six known polymetallic volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits within the 10 square mile Niblack property, all of which remain open and are candidates for future resource expansion.

The new Niblack resource estimate in the indicated category reflects a substantial increase in total metal contained in the expanded Lookout and Trio deposits. Contained gold has increased by 59%, while silver, copper and zinc have grown by 86%, 53% and 66%, respectively.

In addition, ongoing drilling has delineated a 1.5 million tonne higher-grade zone (at a US $150 Net Smelter Return (NSR) cut-off) within the Lookout Deposit. This high-grade core is considered to be ideal as a starter-zone for successful underground mine development.

"Drilling activity at Niblack has been virtually nonstop over the past 15 months. The hard work directed toward understanding the geology and expanding the Lookout deposit has proven to be very successful. Mineral resources for the Niblack Project in both categories have increased when compared to the previous (July 2009) estimate. But more importantly, is the 60% rise in the indicated resources with respective 59% and 86% increases in contained gold and silver. The Lookout high grade zone could positively impact the initial years of production and the payback of capital," said Niblack President and CEO John Williamson.

"This positive outcome demonstrates both the strength of our geological model and the robust nature of the mineralization within the Lookout deposit. Further opportunities exist to expand the resources at Niblack with additional drilling. Our current task is to continue to follow the mineralization at Lookout and Trio, which are still open, and to begin drill testing other high priority targets on the property."

The mineral resource estimate for the Lookout and Trio deposits is based on drilling completed to December 23, 2010, and includes 308 drill holes. Mineralization has been modeled as sub-seafloor replacement and accumulation style VMS deposits. The resource estimate utilizes three-dimensional modeling techniques and estimation parameters based on prior experience at Niblack. Mineral resources at a US$50 NSR cutoff and long-term metal prices, as estimated by geostatistical methods, are tabulated below.

LOOKOUT AND TRIO MINERAL RESOURCES MARCH 2011
Indicated
Deposit Tonnes Cu (%) Au (g/t) Zn (%) Ag (g/t)
Lookout (oxide) 183,000 0.22 3.71 0.20 57.43
Lookout (sulphide) 3,954,000 1.17 2.25 2.36 37.82
TOTAL 4,136,000 1.13 2.32 2.27 38.70
Inferred
Zone Tonnes Cu (%) Au (g/t) Zn (%) Ag (g/t)
Trio (sulphide) 756,000 1.50 1.75 2.91 26.65
Lookout (sulphide) 1,736,000 1.09 1.77 2.02 25.52
TOTAL 2,493,000 1.21 1.77 2.29 25.90
 
Notes: US$50 Net Smelter Return (NSR) uses long-term metal forecasts: gold US$1050/oz, silver US$18.00/oz, copper US$2.50/lb, and zinc US$1.00/lb; Recoveries used to Cu concentrate of 95% Cu, 56% Au and 53% Ag with payable metal factors of 96.5% for Cu, 90.7% for Au, and 89.5% for Ag; to Zn concentrate of 93% Zn, 16% Au, and 24% Ag with payable metal factors of 85% for Zn, 80% for Au and 20% for Ag. Detailed engineering studies will determine the best cutoff.

Building on the 2008 discovery of high-grade VMS mineralization within the Lookout Deposit, exploration and delineation drilling undertaken in 2009 and 2010 has achieved substantial increases to the size, grade and extent of the resource. The currently outlined dimensions of the Lookout Deposit are approximately 2,200 feet by 1,500 feet, with an average thickness of 55 feet. The currently outlined dimensions of the Trio Deposit are approximately 750 feet by 400 feet, with an average thickness of 220 feet. In addition to tonnes and grade, the continuity and geometry of the Lookout and Trio deposits – in particular their thickness – makes them attractive candidates for low-cost underground mining.

The continuous, higher-grade zone of mineralization which has been outlined within the Lookout Deposit is tabulated below.

LOOKOUT HIGH GRADE ZONE
Category Cut-off (NSR) Tonnes Cu (%) Au (g/t) Zn (%) Ag (g/t)
Indicated 150 1,460,000 1.73 3.50 3.84 61.60

To date, 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimates have only been prepared for the Lookout and Trio deposits, although there are four other known VMS deposits at Niblack – including Mammoth, Dama, Lindsy and Niblack. All of the deposits, including Lookout and Trio, remain open and are candidates for future resource expansion. Two drill rigs are currently active at the Niblack property as part of a comprehensive 2011 drilling program to further expand and delineate high-grade VMS mineralization within the Lookout, Trio and Mammoth deposits.

A graphic representation of the Lookout and Trio deposits is available at www.niblack.com. A technical report documenting the results of the estimate will be filed at www.sedar.com within 45 days.

The Niblack property is located on Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska. Niblack's location at tidewater presents a number of project benefits, including year-round marine access, a well-trained labour force, a mature supply and service sector, proximity to Asian markets, and the support of community and Alaska Native corporation partners. The project is located 27 miles (44 kilometres) from Ketchikan, a community of 8,000 people with important services to support project development, including a deep water port and international airport. The State's burgeoning minerals industry also enjoys a competitive tax regime and stable, predictable permitting and regulatory oversight coordinated by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources', 'Large Mine Permitting Team'. For reference, Hecla's Greens Creek, a 2,100-ton per day underground massive sulphide mine, operates 225 miles (370 kilometres) to the northwest of Niblack on Admiralty Island.

The resource estimates were completed by Deon Van Der Heever, Pr. Sci. Nat., Senior Manager Mineral Resources for Hunter Dickinson Inc., a Qualified Person who is not independent of the Company. The 2011 mineral resource estimates were assessed by Independent Qualified Person Marek Nowak P.Geo., of SRK Consulting. The qualified persons reviewed and approved the contents of this news release.

Peter Kleespies, P.Geol., a Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101, is supervising the exploration and quality assurance and quality control programs on behalf of Niblack and has reviewed the content of this release.

About Niblack Mineral Development Inc.

Niblack Mineral Development Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NIB) is an exploration and development company with a number of mineral rich assets in South East Alaska. The Company's principal asset is the Niblack advanced stage copper-gold-zinc-silver project. This project is currently joint ventured to and operated by Heatherdale Resources Limited (a Hunter Dickinson Company) which has the right to earn up to a 70% interest in the project.

Niblack Mineral Development Inc. is a member of the Discovery Group of companies, for more information on the group visit www.discoveryexp.com.

On behalf of the Board

Niblack Mineral Development Inc.

John Williamson, President, CEO & Director

Sample preparation and analysis for the Niblack project is done at ISO 9001 accredited ALS Chemex laboratories in Vancouver, BC. All samples are assayed for gold by 30 g fire assay fusion with Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) finish. Copper, silver, zinc, lead and 29 additional elements are determined for all samples by four acid digestion, followed by ICP-AES finish. All over-limit copper, zinc or lead results (greater than 10%) and all over-limit silver results (greater than 200 grams per tonne) are re-assayed by high grade single element four acid digestion ICP-AES or AAS analysis. As part of a comprehensive QA/QC program, one standard is inserted into the sample stream in each group of 20 samples, as well as one or more field blanks in each analytical batch. One sample in each group of 20 is a duplicate, which is analyzed by Acme Analytical Laboratories in Vancouver.

This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that the company expects are forward looking statements. Although the company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, continuity of mineralization, uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and title and delays due to third party opposition, changes in government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on the Company, investors should review the Company's continuous disclosure filings that are available at www.sedar.com.

Information Concerning Estimates of Indicated and Inferred Resources

This news release uses the terms "indicated resources" and "inferred resources". Niblack advises investors that although these terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations (under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize them. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. In addition, "inferred resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, or economic studies except for Preliminary Assessment as defined under 43-101. Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.

"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."

Contact Information

  • Niblack Mineral Development Inc.
    Brian Budd
    Director of Corp. Development
    604-646-4525 or Toll-free: 1-888-331-2269
    brianb@niblack.com
    www.niblack.com or Mobile URL: m.niblack.com