Strongbow Exploration Inc.
TSX VENTURE : SBW

Strongbow Exploration Inc.

November 17, 2016 12:03 ET

Strongbow South Crofty Water Treatment Trials Commence

Surface Planning Conditions Satisfied

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 17, 2016) - Strongbow Exploration Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SBW) is pleased to provide the following update on its 100% owned South Crofty Tin Project:

Highlights:

  • Water treatment trials have now commenced at the South Crofty mine
  • All surface planning pre-commencement conditions satisfied on time
  • Application has been made to Cornwall Council for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development - this is expected to be granted before year end

Water Treatment Trials

Water treatment trials have commenced at South Crofty. The purpose of the testing is to demonstrate that suspended solids and metals in solution, principally iron oxide, in the historical South Crofty mine water can be successfully treated, reducing metal content to allow safe discharge of the water into the nearby Red River. Untreated mine water is presently discharging continuously into the Red River, so the proposal to treat the water during the dewatering phase represents a significant improvement over the current conditions of the Red River environment.

The large scale trial will treat 18 cubic metres per hour of mine water. This trial will utilise Siltbuster Processing Solutions' High Density Sludge process (HDS). This will provide performance data for both the design of the full-scale plant and to support the Company's Discharge Consent permit application. The trial is expected to last two to three months and will allow the permit application process to begin in Q1 2017. After completion of the tests the Company intends to apply for a permit to treat and discharge up to 25,000 cubic metres of mine water per day. This will allow the mine to be dewatered over an 18 - 24 month period.

Similar treatment facilities are already in place at the nearby former Wheal Jane tin mine, and have been operating successfully since 2000.

Surface Planning Permissions / Conditions Satisfied

The South Crofty mine benefits from having full Conditional Planning Permission to build new surface infrastructure and processing facilities in order to support future underground mining operations. The Planning Permission was granted in November 2011. There were seven pre-commencement conditions that needed to be satisfied and discharged before the permission could be implemented. All seven pre-conditions were satisfied by the Company and discharged by Cornwall Council on 14th October 2016. Construction work required to implement the planning permission was commenced and completed prior to the deadline of 3rd November 2016. The Company has now applied to Cornwall Council for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development and expects it to be granted before year end.

Richard Williams, the Company's CEO, stated:

"We continue to make good progress de-risking South Crofty and are hopeful we can get to the point where we are in a position to make a production decision. Implementing the Planning Permission was a critical step and we are very pleased to have completed this requirement on time. The next steps for us are the completion of the water treatment test work and related application to treat and discharge the mine water as well as publication of the Preliminary Economic Assessment. These are both scheduled for Q1, 2017."

About South Crofty

The South Crofty tin project comprises an Underground Mine Permission area that covers 1,490 Hectares, an area which includes twenty six (26) former producing mines. Production records go back to 1592, but full-scale mining activities commenced in the mid-17th century. The mine closed in 1998 as a result of the tin price collapse of 1985 and impending changes to mining laws and liabilities in the late 1990s.

A new Mine Permit was granted in 2013, and is valid until 2071.

Strongbow acquired the project from administration (receivership) in July 2016 (see news release dated July 12, 2016), following the publication of a new NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate (see news releases dated April 19, June 1, and July 20, 2016).

The NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate comprises two zones:

  1. A Lower Mine tin-only resource:
Lower Mine Mineral Resource Estimate at 0.60% Sn Cut-Off
Tonnes ('000s) Sn Grade Contained Sn (tonnes)
Indicated Resource 1,660 1.81% 30,000
Inferred Resource 738 1.91% 14,100
  1. An Upper Mine polymetallic resource, comprising tin, copper and zinc:
Upper Mine Mineral Resource Estimate at 0.60% SnEq Cut-off (1-12)
Tonnes (k) Sn % Cu % Zn % SnEq %
Indicated Resource 257 0.70 0.79 0.58 0.99
Inferred Resource 464 0.67 0.62 0.63 0.91

Additional detail can be accessed from the NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Company's SEDAR page or from Strongbow's website at www.strongbowexploration.com, and key notes are provided below:

(1) CIM definitions were followed for Mineral Resources.
(2) The Qualified Persons for this Mineral Resource estimate are: Richard Routledge, M.Sc. (Applied), P.Geo. and Eugene Puritch, P.Eng. of P&E Mining Consultants Inc.
(3) Mineral Resources are estimated by conventional 3D block modelling based on wireframing at a 0.50% SnEq cut-off grade and inverse distance to the power of 3 grade interpolation. The 0.5% Sn/SnEq cut-off for wireframing vs 0.6% Sn/SnEq cut-off for resource reporting is due to a shift to lower Sn prices between the commencement and finalization of this report.
(4) SnEq is calculated using the formula: %SnEq = Sn% + (Cu% x 0.311) + (Zn% x 0.084).
(5) For the purpose of resource estimation, assays were capped at 20% Sn for the Lower Mine and 6% for Sn, 4% for Cu and 20% for Zn for the Upper Mine.
(6) The 0.6% Sn/SnEq resource cut-off grade was derived from the approximate March 31, 2016 two year LME trailing average Sn price of US$8.50/lb, Cu price of US$2.75/lb, and Zn price of US$0.90/lb, 88.5%, 85% and 70% respective process recoveries, smelter payable of 95% and Sn refining charges of US$0.25.lb. Operating costs used were US$55/t mining, US$27/t processing and US$9/t G&A.
(7) Bulk densities of 2.77 tonnes/m3 and 3.00 tonnes/m3 have been applied for volume to tonnes conversion for the Lower and Upper Mine, respectively.
(8) Mineral Resources are estimated from near surface to a depth of approximately 869 m.
(9) Mineral Resources are classified as Indicated and Inferred based on drill hole and channel sample distribution and density, interpreted geologic continuity and quality of data.
(10) The mineral resources have been depleted for past mining, however, they contain portions that may not be recoverable pending a future engineering study.
(11) Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource as a result of continued exploration.
(12) Figures in table are rounded and may not sum exactly.

About the Tin Market

Approximately 350,000 tonnes of tin is consumed annually worldwide. Close to 50% of the tin is used in high tech electronics, mainly in the form of lead-free solder. Major producers of tin include China, Indonesia, Peru, Bolivia and Myanmar. In 2016, the tin price has increased from a low point of US$13,000 / tonne (US$5.91 / lb) in January to its current level of approximately US$20,000 / tonne (US$9.09 / lb). For more information on tin, please visit https://www.itri.co.uk (the International Tin Research Institute).

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Richard D. Williams, P.Geo

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.

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" including but not limited to statements with respect to Strongbow's ability to successfully treat mine-water to Environmental Agency discharge guidelines, to obtain an increase to the water discharge permit and planning consents for the South Crofty tin project, to dewater the mine within the time-frames contemplated and to deliver a positive PEA for the South Crofty tin project.

Forward-looking statements, while based on management's best estimates and assumptions, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: risks related to receipt of regulatory approvals and project social acceptability; risks related to general economic and market conditions; risks related to the availability of financing; the timing and content of upcoming work programs; actual results of proposed exploration activities, the PEA and water treatment testing results; possible variations in mineral resources or grade; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes, title disputes, claims and limitations on insurance coverage and other risks of the mining industry; changes in national and local government regulation of mining operations, tax rules and regulations.

Although Strongbow has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Strongbow undertakes no obligation or responsibility to update forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Contact Information

  • Strongbow Exploration Inc.
    Richard Williams
    (604) 638-8005
    rwilliams@strongbowexploration.com

    Blytheweigh (Financial PR/IR - London)
    Camilla Horsfall
    Megan Ray
    +44 (0) 207 138 3204