Alexis Minerals Corporation

Alexis Minerals Corporation

April 19, 2007 08:00 ET

Scoping Study Confirms Strong Economic Potential at Alexis' Lac Pelletier Gold Project, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 19, 2007) - Alexis Minerals Corporation (TSX VENTURE:AMC) is pleased to announce that it has completed a Scoping Study (Preliminary Economic Evaluation) on the Lac Pelletier gold deposit located 4 kilometers southwest of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. The study was prepared by Kirk Rogers, P.Eng and Qualified Person under 43-101 guidelines, through Ontario-based engineering firm Golder Associates Ltd ("Golder"). The report (filed on "Preliminary Assessment Study Review of the Scope and Potential of the Lac Pelletier Gold Project") confirms that the Lac Pelletier Deposit is potentially economic at current gold prices. The Scoping Study demonstrates that the Lac Pelletier Project has the potential to produce in excess of 40,000 ounces per year at a cash cost of US$423 per ounce and can be in production within one year.

The report is based on the recently completed resource estimate prepared by Carl Pelletier, P.Geo., of Innovexplo Inc., Independent Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 guidelines (see Press Release: August 31, 2006). Measured & Indicated Resources for the project are currently 1,240,800 tonnes grading 5.42 grams gold per tonne (g Au/t) for approximately 217,000 ounces gold with an additional Inferred Resource of 491,000 tonnes grading 4.94 g Au/t for 78,029 ounces gold. Based upon the preliminary investigations of the economies of mining this Resource, Golder has recommended that steps be taken to advance the property towards a commercial production decision.

"The Scoping Study clearly makes the case for the potential to develop a robust underground mining operation at a US$550 per ounce gold price with considerable upside potential," stated David Rigg, President and CEO. "The project has the potential to produce 40,000 ounces of gold per year initially over 3.0 years as a satellite operation to the Lac Herbin project in Val d'Or. There is good potential for further resource expansion, improved mining costs and approach, and better milling recoveries; all of which have substantial impact on profitability. The project offers a short lead time for start up and the low capital cost of bringing Lac Pelletier into production. Alexis will focus on dewatering of existing underground infrastructure and carrying out an underground exploration program to upgrade and expand the resource, test mining to confirm grade, and further metallurgical work."

The study resulted in:

- Daily mining rate of 700 metric tonnes per day (252,000 tonnes/year)

- Capital costs estimated to be $CDN4.031 million

- Sustaining Capital of $CDN4.5 million over a minimum 3-year mine life

- Operating costs estimated to be $CDN77.55 per tonne

- Pre-production period of 6-months to bring the deposit into full production

Conclusions from the study were calculated using gold prices of US$550.00 to $US800 per ounce and the base case gives the following cash flows and rates of return:

Gold Price Pre-tax Cash IRR(%) Life of
Flow ($CDN) Mine
550 2.8 M 39 3.0
575 5.5 M 72 3.0
600 8.2 M 103 3.0
700 20.2 M 154 4.0
800 34.4 M 211 4.5

Scoping Study Parameters

The financial analysis is based on diluted Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources with production rates, development quantities and costs calculated by Golder. Potential "mineable" tonnes were estimated using the gold resource inventory below a recommended 30-meter crown pillar. Golder assessed the deposit using 'stepped room and pillar' and blasthole mining methods and employing a cut-off grade of 4.42 g/t Au. The two mining methods apply the following:

Stepped Room and Pillar Blasthole Mining
----------------------- ----------------
Proportion of Deposit Mined 90% 10%
Minimum Zone Thickness 2.0 metres 2.5 metres
Mining Recovery 70% 80%
Dilution (@1 gAu/t) 30% 10%

The cost estimates assume processing of the mined ore at the company's Aurbel Gold Mill in Val-'Or located roughly 130 kilometres east of the deposit. Cost estimates and recovery for the operation of this mill were developed from historical records and by comparison with other similar operations where costs are known.

Input parameters include:

- Diluted Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources, less provision for a crown pillar, with a mining recovery factor of 90% - 600,732 tonnes at 5.8 g Au/t

- Production rate of 700 tonnes per day over a 3.0 year underground mine life, providing production of 40,000 ounces of gold per annum.

- Gold price of US$550 per ounce - Gold recovery of 90%

- Exchange rate of US$1 equals CDN$1.10

- Mining costs of CDN$77.55 per tonne (includes stoping, delineation drilling, ore transportation to mill and milling)

- Overhead costs of CDN$2.025 million per year (CDN$8.04 per tonne)

- Capital costs of CDN$4.04 million for pre-production is estimated

- Ongoing underground development costs of CDN$2.02 million per year

- Provision for environmental reclamation of $500,000

- No provision for Quebec Tax Refunds (up to 47%) generated from exploration expenditures.

Based on these parameters, the base case financial analysis gives:

- A cash operating cost of US$423 per ounce

- An undiscounted, pre-tax internal rate of return of 39%.

Investors should be cautioned that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability and that the preliminary assessment (the scoping study) 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 preliminary assessment will be realized.

Upside Potential/Sensitivity Analysis

Sensitivity analysis shows several areas where significant improvement can be realized. For each of the following variables, the improvement of project viability is clear:

- Operating cost: Decrease of 5% increases base case Cash Flow to $5.17 M and IRR to 68%

- Gold Recovery: Increased gold recovery by 5% increases base case Cash Flow to $5.8M and IRR to 75%

- Grade: Increasing grade by 5% increases base case Cash Flow to $5.8M and IRR to 75%

- Resources: 10% tonnage increase increases base case Cash Flow to $4.0 M and IRR to 54%

Alexis considers that improvements can be realized in all four of these areas through additional work.

Project Optimization

Additional engineering studies are underway focused on:

- Mining method optimization and cost reduction studies with consideration to more extensive use of mechanized blasthole mining.

Recent engineering and metallurgical work supports conversion of the Aurbel Mill to a total cyanidation plant:

- Recoveries are indicated to increase by 5% on Pelletier ores, and capital costs for the conversion are recovered in 12 months from the higher gold recoveries.

The project has good potential for additional resource growth. C. Pelletier, P.Geol. and Independent QP and author of the report on Resources (filed on, considers that "the potential to delineate additional resources in the Lac Pelletier area to be high." Additional resource growth through exploration will occur through:

- additional diamond drilling of the downdip and strike extensions of Zone 3 and 4 mineralization

- in-fill drilling to tie-in currently isolated mineralized intercepts from historical exploration of the deposit, converting Inferred Resources into Measured Resources

- further exploration on extensions to the deposit

Block modeling of the deposit has identified several potential large tonnage blocks at the intersection of the Zone 3 and Zone 4 zones, measuring 70 x 100 metres and with up to 30 metre vertical heights. These areas offer potential for mining using more efficient bulk mining methods.

Surface Drilling Programs

Two programs of surface diamond drilling will be advanced. Diamond drilling will initially drill define one near surface block at the intersection of Zone 3 and Zone 4 in May. A second program, continued from barge based drilling in June, will further test the down-plunge extension of this intersection and several additional potential bulk mining areas. Barge based drilling will also infill drill higher grade areas and on steeply dipping sectors of the deposit recognized on the extension of the zone 4.3 to the east of current Resources.

Future Underground Exploration and Development Program

Alexis' view is that significant resource potential has been developed on the property that can now be advanced through a program of underground exploration towards feasibility study. The program will focus upon dewatering the ramp and underground drifts developed previously in 1990-1991, subsequent level development and delineation drilling to upgrade and expand current resources, with additional bulk sampling and metallurgical work. Initial permitting for reopening of the ramp and to provide immediate access to the deposit is in progress.

Quality Control

The Lac Pelletier program is supervised by Philippe Berthelot, P.Geo., Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 guidelines. Engineering work is supervised by Robert Inglis, P.Eng and Claude Perrault P.Ing.

About Alexis Minerals

Alexis Minerals Corporation is a Canadian exploration and development company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Alexis holds an outstanding portfolio of properties covering the Val-d'Or and Rouyn-Noranda Mining Camps in Quebec. Alexis is following strategic exploration approaches across these properties for both gold and base metals, with a focus on the potential for gold production from the Lac Herbin and Lac Pelletier deposits during 2007 - 2008. Alexis has a clear route to 100% ownership of all interests of Aur Resources on approximately 212 square kilometres of the Val-d'Or Mining Camp and has recently purchased the 1400 tonne per day Aurbel gold mill. The Company is also currently advancing towards a 50% interest in 825 square kilometres of the Rouyn-Noranda Mining Camp, all of the property holdings of Falconbridge Limited (formerly Noranda Inc.). Alexis has the right to earn-in into a 100% interest in the Lac Pelletier property.

Statements in this release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual developments or results may vary materially from those in these "forward looking statements."

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Alexis Minerals Corporation
    David Rigg
    President and CEO
    (416) 861-5889
    (416) 861-8165 (FAX)
    Alexis Minerals Corporation
    Peter Cashin
    Investor & Corporate Affairs
    (416) 861-5905
    Alexis Minerals Corporation
    Louis Baribeau
    Relationiste, Quebec
    (514) 667-2304