URSA Major Minerals Incorporated
TSX : UMJ

URSA Major Minerals Incorporated

July 14, 2011 16:48 ET

URSA Major Minerals Reports Operational Profit of $324,031 at Shakespeare Mine for Quarter Ended April 30, 2011

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2011) -

THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO ANY U.S. NEWS WIRE SERVICE OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

URSA Major Minerals Incorporated ("URSA Major" or the "Company") (TSX:UMJ) announces its financial and operating results for the three months ended April 30, 2010. URSA Major produces nickel, copper and precious metals from the Shakespeare Nickel-Copper Mine located 70 kilometers west of Sudbury, Ontario. The Company is focused on development and exploration of nickel, copper and precious metal deposits primarily in Ontario, Canada. URSA Major has a variety of properties ranging from the operating Shakespeare Mine through to early stage exploration projects.

The quarterly financial statements and related Management Discussion and Analysis will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). Additionally, these documents are available on URSA Major's website at www.ursamajorminerals.com. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

Financial and Operating Highlights

  • For the three months ended April 30, 2011, the Company recorded gross revenue of $3,341,928 on the sale of metals from the Shakespeare Mine, located 70 km west of Sudbury, Ontario.
  • The Company reported a mine operating profit on mining activities of $324,031, net loss of $387,303, and comprehensive loss of $367,303 for the three months ended April 30, 2011.
  • During the three months of operation ending April 30, 2011, the Company delivered a total of 41,917 tonnes of ore to the Strathcona Mill at a grade of 0.332% nickel, 0.388% copper, 0.020% cobalt, 0.356 g/t platinum, 0.396 g/t palladium, 0.186 g/t gold and 2.267 g/t silver. The Company did not ship ore from March 15, 2011 to the end of the quarter as a result of the annual spring half-load trucking restriction imposed by the Municipality of Sudbury.
  • In February 2011, the Company retained Raymond James Ltd. ("Raymond James") as its strategic advisor. Raymond James will assist the Company in evaluating strategic merger and acquisition opportunities. In connection with the Company's plan to expand the Shakespeare Nickel-Copper Mine and construct an on-site concentrator, Raymond James will assist with evaluating development options and financing alternatives.
  • In February 2011, the Company received a favourable decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) regarding the Company's cancellation of a previously scheduled special meeting of shareholders called in response to a requisition for a shareholder meeting received from Inspiration Mining Corporation ("ISM") in October 2010. ISM requisitioned the meeting for the purpose of "the election of a board of directors as proposed by [ISM]", however, ISM refused to provide their proposed nominations for the board of directors of URSA Major.
  • In March 2011, the Company announced that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Inspiration Mining Corporation's ("ISM") court application, in which ISM sought, among other relief, to reverse the private placement that URSA Major closed on January 31, 2011 and to restrict the rights of the private placees to vote at the next shareholder meeting of URSA Major. After legal argument, a judge of the Ontario Superior Court confirmed that ISM's application was dismissed in its entirety.
  • During the quarter, URSA Major drilled five holes for a total of approximately 2,682 meters at the Shakespeare East deposit consisting of both infill and step out drilling. The intent is to update the resource estimate beneath the Shakespeare East Deposit, and to assess the economics of underground mining operations, with the Company's own mill onsite.
  • During the quarter, URSA Major completed two holes for a total of 513 meters of drilling at the Company's 100%-owned Fox Mountain Project, located 75 km north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and identified a sub-horizontal four to five meter thick layer of massive magnetite-iron sulphide skarn mineralization within the Sibley Group sedimentary rocks. During the quarter, the Company also carried out surface EM surveys of the Nickel Offsets Property in the Sudbury area.

Richard Sutcliffe, URSA Major's CEO commented, "We are pleased that the Shakespeare Nickel-Copper Mine returned an operational profit again this quarter despite the reduced ore shipments that occurred during the spring half-load season. In the first quarter, the Company incurred significant increases in legal, professional and shareholder information expenses that are largely a result of the shareholder meeting requisition and the subsequent two court applications by Inspiration Mining Corporation. While the Company was successful in having the court applications dismissed, these expanses have contributed to a loss for the quarter. These actions are now successfully behind us and we look forward to executing our vision of growing URSA Major into a profitable mid-tier nickel producer through successful exploration, production expansion and project acquisition."

URSA Major is committed to the following strategic priorities to enhance and increase shareholder value: expanding profitable production at the Shakespeare deposit; developing new mining properties; increasing metal resources and reserves through active exploration in areas with excellent mining infrastructure; maintaining a safe work place; and operating with sound environmental practices. URSA Major has entered into an agreement with Xstrata Nickel ("Xstrata") to process ore from the open-pit Shakespeare mine at the Strathcona mill in Sudbury for a 24 month period beginning in January 2010. The rates for milling, treatment and refining charges were established under contract with Xstrata Nickel in December 2006.

Outlook

To January 31, 2012, the end of the Company's next fiscal year, URSA Major anticipates the production and delivery of approximately 199,000 tonnes of ore grading 0.373% nickel, 0.419% copper, 0.027% cobalt, 0.397 g/t platinum, 0.420 g/t palladium, 0.252 g/t gold (plus silver equivalent); from the Shakespeare Mine. Revenues from metal sales for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2012 are forecast to be CDN$18.2 million and were calculated using an exchange rate at par and metal prices quoted in US dollars as follows; nickel $11.00/lb, copper $4.00/lb, cobalt $17.00/lb, platinum $1,700/oz, palladium $700/oz and gold $1,350/oz. Metal prices are management's estimate of average metal prices for the fiscal year and are based on analyst consensus forecasts for the same period. The processing rates for milling, treatment and refining charges were established under contract with Xstrata Nickel in December 2006.

Total contained nickel and copper in ore are expected to be 1.6 million pounds and 1.8 million pounds, respectively, in fiscal 2012. Contained metals are subject to mill and smelter recoveries. Total production cost for fiscal 2012 is forecast to be CDN$43.65 per tonne of ore. Fiscal 2012 total production costs are forecast to increase over the previous fiscal year as a result of higher fuel costs and an increase in waste rock removal. After taking into account the cost of drilling and blasting, mucking and crushing, and haulage to the mill, net revenue for fiscal 2012 is forecasted at CDN$12.23 per tonne of ore. Gross operating margin for fiscal 2012 is forecast at $2.4 million.

Trucking operations are temporarily suspended from March 15, 2011, due to the spring season half-load trucking restriction. This restriction is an annual event and is taken into consideration in the annual operating plan for the Shakespeare Mine. This year, the spring load restriction was removed by the Municipality of Sudbury, on June 21, which is approximately three weeks later than budgeted. As a consequence of the half load trucking restriction, the Company's revenue is reduced in the first half of the fiscal year.

The Company's revenues are derived from base and precious metals and the company receives prices for the metals that are determined by global market conditions. The Company anticipates that demand for base and precious metals will likely remain robust for the first half of 2011. Nickel in particular is a very volatile in price and to reduce revenue risks associated with nickel price volatility, the Company has a facility with Auramet Trading to hedge the price of base metals between the time of ore delivery and final metals out-turn.

The Company's custom milling agreement with Xstrata Nickel expires on December 31, 2011 and the Company is currently in discussions to extend this agreement.

In 2010, the Company began using a portion of its cash flow from mining operations to fund part of its exploration program. The Company intends to continue this strategy in 2011. In January 2011, the Company completed a private placement financing of which part of the proceeds are being used to accelerate and expand the drilling campaign. In addition, and in accordance with the Company's strategic plan, management is evaluating further opportunities for base metal property acquisition, particularly for copper, nickel and PGM-rich deposits.

URSA Major has nearly completed a 7,000 metre drilling program at the Shakespeare East Deposit consisting of both infill and step out drilling at the (see press release dated February 10, 2011). The program has been successful in extending the down plunge extent of the Shakespeare East Deposit. The Company released assay results in June and further assays are pending. The intent of the program is to update the resource estimate beneath the Shakespeare East Deposit, and to assess the economics of underground mining operations, with the Company's own mill onsite. P&E Mining Consultants Inc. has been engaged to produce a technical report on the updated resource estimate and economic analysis. The work program will be completed in the third quarter.

The Company is encouraged by results from the 2010 program at the Nickel Offsets option and anticipates that it will continue to drill targets on this property in the first half of 2011. The results of 2010 drilling and the geophysical surveys are being compiled into a 3-dimensional model to generate targets for the next round of drilling. The Company plans to complete a five hole, 2,500 meter program with further bore-hole EM surveys at Nickel Offsets later this year.

URSA Major has also recently completed two drill holes to test magnetic and time domain electromagnetic anomalies and identified a sub-horizontal four to five meter thick layer of massive magnetite-iron sulphide skarn mineralization within the Sibley Group sedimentary rocks. The Company anticipates conducting further geological mapping and prospecting on this property in 2011. This property is interpreted to be a similar geological environment to Magma Metals' property that contains the Current Lake platinum group metal discovery.

The Company has completed a full positive feasibility study at Shakespeare that evaluated an open pit mine and 4,500 tpd on site concentrator. The execution of this project remains a baseline strategy for the Company and it continues to be evaluated at the management and board levels.

About URSA Major Minerals - URSA Major is a Canadian mining company with a nickel mine and two nickel sulphide projects containing significant NI43-101 compliant nickel and copper reserves and resources. The Company is focused on demonstrating profitable operations at the Shakespeare Mine and growing its nickel, copper and platinum group metal (PGM) deposits through exploration and development, primarily in Ontario, Canada.

This release was prepared by management of the Company who takes full responsibility for its contents. Some statements contained in this release are forward-looking and, therefore, involve uncertainties or risks that could cause actual results to differ materially. Such forward-looking statements include comments regarding mining and milling operations, mineral resource statements and exploration program performance. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include metal price volatility, economic and political events affecting metal supply and demand, fluctuations in mineralization grade, geological, technical, mining or processing problems, exploration programs and future results of exploration programs, future profitability and production.

The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Contact Information