Strathmore Minerals Corp.

Strathmore Minerals Corp.

September 13, 2012 13:43 ET

Strathmore Reports Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for Copper King Gold-Copper Project

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2012) - STRATHMORE MINERALS CORP. ("Strathmore" or the "Company") (TSX:STM)(OTCQX:STHJF) is pleased to report positive results from a National Instrument 43-101 technical report entitled "Technical Report on the Copper King Project, Laramie County, Wyoming," dated August 24th 2012, and prepared by Mine Development Associates ("MDA") of Reno, Nevada. The technical report includes an initial NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate and a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for the gold-copper resources outlined to date at Strathmore's recently acquired "Copper King" project located in southern Wyoming.

PEA Summary

  • Base case estimated pre-tax Net Present Value (5% discount), including the 5% Wyoming State Royalty, of US $159.5 million and internal rate of return of 31.2%, using US $1,100/oz gold and US $3.00/lb copper;
  • Mine life (LOM) of 18 years by open-pit method, with an average processing rate of 10,000 tons/day using a flotation plant producing a gold-copper concentrate;
  • Average annual production over the life of the mine is 38,655 ounces of gold and 10.47 million lbs of copper; Estimated initial base case capital cost, including contingencies, of ~ US $104.06 million. Payback 2.365 years.

Economic Evaluation

A summary of pre-tax financial evaluation using the base case gold price of US $1,100/oz and a base case copper price of US $3.00 per pound is presented below. These prices are considerably below current market prices. Comparing the base case metal prices with the current metal prices was considered for this study but was not calculated because the increased price would not materially increase the resource estimate or the size of the optimized pit. However, higher gold and copper prices does substantially increase the internal rate of return and net present value as described in Section 22.0 of the report.

Table 1: Summary of Copper King Pre-Tax Economic Results
Gold price (US$/ounce) $1,100
Copper Price (US$/lb) $3.00
Net Cash Flow $273.7 million
Net Present Value (5.0%
Discount rate) US $159.5
Internal Rate of Return 31.2%
Payback 2.365 years
Exchange Rate (US$: C$) 1.00:1.00

Production and Processing

Table 2: Projected Production and Processing Summary
Mine Type Open Pit
Total Production 62.6 million tons
Processing Rate 10,000 tons per day
Gold Copper
Average Mill Feed Grade 0.015 oz/ton or 0.425 grams/ton 0.19% or 12.07 grams/ton
Average Metal Recoveries 72% 79%
Average Annual Production Gold (oz) Copper (lbs)
Years 1-10 44,710 11.13 million
LOM: 18 years 38,655 10.47 million
Total Production Gold (oz) Copper (lbs)
Years 1-10 447,100 111.38 million
LOM (18 years) 695,800 188.60 million
Estimated Number of Jobs Created > 100 jobs

The economic evaluation of the Copper King gold and copper resources was prepared under the supervision of Neil Prenn of Mine Development Associates, Reno, Nevada. Mr. Prenn is a Registered Professional Mining Engineer in the state of Nevada (#7844), member of the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, and an independent and Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101. Strathmore cautions that the PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred resources that are considered to be too speculative geologically for economic consideration that would enable them to be classified as mineral reserves. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.

Table 3- Summary of Copper King Resources:

The Copper King resource is summarized in the table below. Approximately 85% of the total resource is classified as Measured or Indicated due to the consistent nature of the mineralization and the current drill spacing. Additional drilling within the currently defined deposit is not expected to materially change the existing resource. There is potential to expand lower-grade mineralization. The deposit is open at depth, and to the southeast and west.

Measured and Indicated Resource:
class Au‐equiv.
tons tonnes oz
oz Au % Cu lbs Cu
Measured 0.015 0.51 15,130,000 13,730,000 0.018 0.62 272,000 0.199 60,120,000
Indicated 0.015 0.51 44,620,000 40,480,000 0.015 0.50 654,000 0.183 162,880,000
Total M+I 0.015 0.51 59,750,000 54,210,000 0.015 0.53 926,000 0.187 223,000,000
Inferred Resource:
class Au‐equiv.
tons tonnes oz
oz Au % Cu lbs Cu
Inferred 0.015 0.51 15,620,000 14,170,000 0.011 0.38 174,000 0.20 62,530,000

The modeling and estimation of gold and copper resources were prepared under the supervision of Paul G. Tietz, of Mine Development Associates, Reno, Nevada. Mr. Tietz is a Certified Professional Geologist (#11004) with the American Institute of Professional Geologists, and an independent and Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101. Mr. Tietz visited the Copper King Property on May 29, 2012 and inspected the project site and the core storage facility. Mr. Tietz is of the opinion that the data verification procedures support the geologic interpretations and confirm the quality of the data base. It should be noted that mineral resources, which are not mineral reserves, do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Copper and gold mineralization at Copper King is associated with disseminated and minor fracture and vein-filling sulfide mineralization within a Proterozoic-age granodiorite intrusive body cut by numerous quartz monzonite and lamprophyre dikes. The Copper King deposit consists of a near-surface, central core of high-grade (>1.71g Au/t) mineralization, 175m long, 50m wide, and 150m thick, associated with moderate to pervasive silicification and near-vertical, thin sulfide-bearing quartz veins and stockwork. The high-grade core is surrounded by a large envelope of low-grade disseminated mineralization, 760m long along its N60°W strike, up to 300m wide at the widest part, and over 330m in thickness. The low-grade mineralization is open along strike, both to the northwest and southeast, and also at depth, where historic core holes have encountered mineralization to a depth of at least 305m.

As of June 20, 2012, 120 drill holes totaling 18,105m exist in the Copper King deposit area. The drill total includes 62 core holes totaling 11,276m (62% of total drill footage), 30 conventional rotary holes totaling 3,383m, 23 reverse circulation "RC" holes totaling 2,219m, and 5 holes started with RC but finished with core that total 1,227m. The Copper King drill-hole assay database contains 8,357 gold assays and 8,225 copper assays. The most recent drilling within the project area was conducted by Saratoga Gold "Saratoga" in 2008. The database includes down-hole survey information for all of Saratoga's 2007 and 2008 drilling and just one pre-Saratoga historic hole. Geologic information from the Saratoga drill logs, and some of the historic drill logs, when available, were entered by MDA into the database to assist in the development of the geologic model.

Upon completion of the database validation process, MDA constructed 26 cross sections spaced 50ft (15.24m) to 100ft (30.5m) apart and looking northwest at 302°. The sections were spaced to best fit the existing drilling with the tighter spacing within the center of the deposit. One set of sections was made for lithology and then another for gold/copper. Drill-hole information, including rock type and metal grades, along with the topographic surface were plotted on the cross sections. Using the cross-sectional interpretations as a framework, three-dimensional solids were created of the gold and copper mineral domains and the quartz monzonite and lamprophyre dikes. These solids were used to code domain percentages into the block model. Grade estimation was controlled by the metal domains and the unique rock types.

MDA classified the Copper King resources by a combination of distance to the nearest sample and the number of samples, while at the same time taking into account reliability of underlying data and understanding and use of the geology. There are Measured, Indicated, and Inferred resources within the Copper King deposit. There are no Measured resources associated with the pre-Saratoga Gold historic drilling due to limited geologic data and limited Quality Assurance/Quality Control data. Additional drilling within the core of the deposit is not expected to materially change the current resource, and any further drilling within the deposit should be driven primarily by metallurgical and geotechnical needs.

MDA has recommended the project proceed to a pre-feasibility stage with two phases of work to be conducted over three years. Phase I addresses permitting and environmental issues, including baseline environmental and water-quality studies, additional data acquisition, and further exploration drilling on nearby targets. Contingent on positive Phase I results, Phase II would involve continuing permitting work, additional metallurgical studies, drilling for resource expansion, condemnation drilling, and formal initiation of the mine permitting and development process. The total estimated cost for the two phases would be approximately US $2.55 million. Strathmore is reviewing these recommendations within its overall capital budget plans to determine how best to advance this project.

The technical information in this news release has been reviewed by David Miller, Chief Executive Officer for Strathmore Minerals Corp., and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101. The "Technical Report on the Copper King Project, Laramie County, Wyoming" was authored by Paul Tietz, CPG, and Neil Prenn, P.Eng, of Mine Development Associates, both independent and Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101. Mr. Tietz and, Mr. Prenn have reviewed and approved the technical information in this press release.

The Copper King Technical Report can be viewed in its entirety on the Company's website, or SEDAR,

STRATHMORE MINERALS CORP. is a Canadian based resource company specializing in the strategic acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties in the United States. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia with a branch administrative office in Kelowna, the Company also has U.S. based Development Offices in Riverton, Wyoming and Santa Fe, New Mexico. STRATHMORE MINERALS CORP. Common Shares are listed on the TSX under the symbol "STM" and trade on the OTCQX International electronic trading system in the United States under the symbol "STHJF".

This press release contains "forward-looking information" that is based on Strathmore Minerals Corp.'s current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections. This forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements with respect to Strathmore's NI 43-101 Copper King Technical report entitled: "Technical Report on the Copper King Project, Laramie County Wyoming", dated June 20th 2012; exploration, development, and permitting plans, advancement of the Copper King project, resource estimates, anticipated internal rates of return, payback periods, net present values, development activities, mine life, outlook and business strategy. The words "may", "would", "could", "should", "will", "likely", "expect," "anticipate," "intend", "estimate", "plan", "forecast", "project" and "believe" or other similar words and phrases are intended to identify forward-looking information.

Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Strathmore's actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include, but are not limited to: uncertainties related to the calculation of resource estimates, the work expenditure commitments; the ability to raise sufficient capital to fund future exploration or development programs; changes in economic conditions or financial markets; changes in input prices; litigation; legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments; technological or operational difficulties or an inability to obtain permits required in connection with maintaining, or advancing projects; and labour relations matters.

This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect our forward-looking information. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. Such forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.


David Miller, CEO

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