Macarthur Minerals Limited

TSX : MMS
OTCQX : MMSDF


Macarthur Minerals Limited

February 04, 2013 09:30 ET

Western Australian Government Commits to Expansion of the Iron Ore Export Facility at the Port of Esperance

- Commencement of procurement process for expansion of Port of Esperance capacity by 10-12 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa").

- Construction planned to commence early 2014 to be completed by early 2015.

- Positions Macarthur to secure development financing.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 4, 2013) -

THIS NEWS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

Macarthur Minerals Limited (TSX:MMS)(OTCQX:MMSDF) (the "Company" or "Macarthur") is pleased to report that on January 31, 2013 the Western Australian Treasurer; State Minister for Transport; Emergency Services, Honourable Troy Buswell, BEc MLA, announced that the Western Australian State Government has accepted an Esperance Port Authority ("EPSL") board recommendation to start a procurement process to identify a private sector consortium to design, finance, construct and operate a multi-user iron ore facility ("MUIOF") at the Port of Esperance ("Port").

Expansion to 10 to 12 million tonnes additional capacity

The Minister stated that:

"the size of the new facility will be determined by the proponent building the new infrastructure after entering into contracts with miners. Recent market sounding conducted by EPSL indicated that initially it may be commercially viable to develop a facility for an extra 10 to 12 Mtpa."

The announcement highlights that the proposed expansion of the Port's iron ore export capacity will facilitate growth of the emerging Yilgarn iron ore region. A copy of the Minister's Media Statement is attached as Appendix 1.

On January 31, 2013, EPSL released an Information Sheet on the proposed Esperance Port MUIOF (see Appendix 2), stating that:

"the Port's rail network will be upgraded and strengthened to cater for the increased tonnages of iron ore being handled. The Port transport corridor is currently being upgraded to streamline transport movements, including rail, into and out of the Port."

Procurement Process and Timing of Expansion

EPSL has adopted an approach to procurement which will start with the Registration of Interest and Pre- qualification ("ROIP") of potential proponents which will be followed by a Request for Proposal phase ("RFP"). EPSL has requested parties to register their interest by 5pm on March 1, 2013.

The purpose of the ROIP is to identify companies and consortia with the experience and financial capability to undertake the project. Following closure of registrations on March 1, 2013 an evaluation panel informed by technical advisers will develop the shortlist from which entities will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal phase. This is stated to occur by the end of April 2013.

The RFP Phase will enable short listed entities to prepare their bids, along similar lines to a tender process, to finance, design, build and operate the MUIOF at the Port. This Phase will be completed by the third quarter in 2013 after which the preferred proponent will be appointed. Following completion of this process, construction of the MUIOF is planned to commence in early 2014 and be completed by early 2015.

The Company intends to register its interest as a miner in the ROIP. Macarthur also intends to seek to register its interest as one of a number of foundation customers forming part of a larger consortium(s) whose members comprise experienced port developers, operators and project funders to undertake the project.

On August 8, 2012 Macarthur entered Capacity Reservation Deed with EPSL for 2 Mtpa capacity at the Port and participated in the market sounding exercise. Macarthur's proposed mining and export of its hematite product is planned to coincide with the completion of the MUIOF.

Macarthur's President, Chairman and CEO, Alan Phillips commented that "commencement of the process to procure a party to expand the Port's facilities by 10-12 Mtpa for completion by 2015, allows Macarthur to align its mine development program with this timetable. It also provides a clear timetable for discussions with strategic partners and securing development finance."

Macarthur looks forward to working with EPSL and the appointed operator to bring the Ularring Hematite Project to realization.

ABOUT BROOKFIELD FINANCIAL

As announced on October 22, 2012, Macarthur has appointed Brookfield Financial Australia Securities Limited ("Brookfield Financial") as financial advisor to advance development of Macarthur's iron ore projects. Brookfield Financial is a global investment bank with expertise in real assets, particularly property, power and infrastructure. The company has offices in Canada, the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, China and Australia. Established with a clear mandate to operate independently and profitably, Brookfield Financial is owned by Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield Financial provides its clients with unsurpassed transaction execution skills, access to financial capital and global opportunity, and, when needed, the resources and expertise of Brookfield Asset Management.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is a global alternative asset manager with approximately $150 billion in assets under management. The company has over a 100-year history of owning and operating assets with a focus on real estate, infrastructure, power and private equity. Brookfield Asset Management has a range of public and private investment products and services, which leverage its expertise and experience and provide the company with a distinct competitive advantage in the markets where it operates. Brookfield is co- listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges under the symbol BAM and on NYSE Euronext under the symbol BAMA.

ABOUT MACARTHUR MINERALS LIMITED (TSX:MMS)(OTCQX:MMSDF)

Macarthur Minerals Limited is an Australian based resource development company currently focused on developing its Ularring Hematite Project, located in the Yilgarn iron ore district in Western Australia. The Ularring Hematite Project is located 110 km from rail infrastructure with a direct connection to the iron ore exporting Port of Esperance, Western Australia.

The Ularring Hematite Project has an indicated Mineral Resource of 54.46 Mt at 47.2% Fe and an inferred Mineral Resource of 25.99 Mt at 45.4% Fe (press release dated June 14, 2012; NI43-101 Technical Report dated June 29, 2012). In addition, Macarthur's Moonshine Magnetite Project has an inferred Mineral Resource of 1.3 Bt at 30.1% Fe (press release dated December 15, 2010; NI43-101 Technical Report dated March 25, 2011).

A Positive Preliminary Feasibility Study was released to the market on the Ularring Hematite Project in August 2012, which included a probable Mineral Reserve of 42.95 Mt at 47% Fe (press release dated August 16, 2012; Technical Report dated September 27, 2012). A Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Moonshine Magnetite Project was released in February 2011 (press release dated February 7, 2011, Technical Report dated March 25, 2011).

ABOUT ESPERANCE PORT SEA AND LAND

ESPL is a corporatised entity that operates under the Western Australian Port Authority Act and oversees the operations of the Port of Esperance.

Esperance is the deepest Port in Southern Australia and is capable of handling cape size vessels to 225,000 tonnes. While the Western Australian Government owns the Port and will continue to own the Port, the private sector will finance and operate the MUIOF for a specified term. Currently the Port has an iron ore export licence limit of 11.5 million tonnes. In the 2011-12 financial year the Port handled 8.9 million tonnes. The proposed expansion could increase its handling capacity to more than 30 million tonnes annually.

UPCOMING EVENTS

MACARTHUR will be attending the 2013 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) International Convention and Investors Exchange in Toronto, March 3-6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building.

We invite you to meet the Macarthur team at Booth #2818. The conference will provide current and prospective shareholders an opportunity to speak with management about the Company's recent developments.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

MACARTHUR MINERALS LIMITED

Alan Phillips, President, Chairman & CEO

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Certain of the statements made and information contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The forward-looking statements in this press release reflect the current expectations, assumptions or beliefs of the Company based upon information currently available to the Company. With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this press release, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things, the reliability of information prepared and/or published by third parties that are referenced in this press release or was otherwise relied upon by the Company in preparing this press release. 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 no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct as actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include unforeseen technology changes that results in a reduction in iron or magnetite demand or substitution by other metals or materials, the discovery of new large low cost deposits of iron magnetite and the general level of global economic activity. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements due to the inherent uncertainty thereof. Such statements relate to future events and expectations and, as such, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and except as may otherwise be required pursuant to applicable laws, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise these forward- looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

To view Appendix 1, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/851060_Appendix_1.pdf.

To view Appendix 2, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/851060_Appendix_2.pdf.

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