Duluth Metals Announces Increased Tonnage, Metal Content and an Upgraded Measured Classification in new updated AMEC Resource Study on the Twin Metals Project
TORONTO, February 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, AMEC estimated a Measured Mineral Resource of 295 million tons, an Indicated Mineral Resource of 977 million tons, and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.313 billion tons on four deposits (Maturi, Maturi Southwest, Birch Lake and Spruce Road) occurring on approximately 13% of the footprint of the prospective portion of the Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) property block.
- The AMEC update confirms an increase in contained metal for all products: copper, nickel, palladium, platinum and gold.
- Exceptional continuity and correlation in the closely spaced Maturi Deposit fence drilling results enabled AMEC to upgrade a portion of the Maturi deposit to the Measured classification.
- The AMEC updated mineral resource estimate highlights a growing Platinum Group Metal (PGM) and gold resource of 5.0 million ozs Measured, 17.2 million ozs Indicated and 13.4 million ozs Inferred in the Maturi, Maturi Southwest and Birch Lake deposits. The TMM project has one of the world's largest palladium and platinum resources outside of South Africa.
Duluth Metals Limited ("Duluth", "Duluth Metals") (TSX: DM) (TSX:DM.U) today announced that it has received an updated draft NI 43-101 Technical Report on the consolidated mineral resources for the Twin Metals Minnesota Project in Northeastern Minnesota prepared by an AMEC E&C Services Inc. (AMEC) team led by Dr. Harry Parker, RM, SME. This updated study utilizes 916 drill holes and 312 wedge offsets, and reports a significant portion of the Maturi deposit upgraded to the Measured Resource category. A full report will be filed in 45 days on http://www.SEDAR.com.
The majority of the increase in total contained metals in the 2014 resource estimates reflects the addition of the Maturi Southwest Deposit. The change in category for a significant portion of the Indicated Resource to Measured Resource reflects the excellent continuity of the resource demonstrated by the close spaced fence drilling completed at Maturi. The new classification by category is shown in the following table:
Table 1 - Contained Metals in the TMM Resource (effective date October 8, 2013)*
Measured Indicated Measured+Indicated Inferred Metal Resource Resource Resource Resource 12.3 billion Copper 3.7 billion lbs. 11.0 billion lbs. 14.7 billion lbs. lbs. 4.2 billion Nickel 1.2 billion lbs. 3.5 billion lbs. 4.7 billion lbs. lbs. 3.6 million Platinum 1.3 million ozs. 4.5 million ozs. 5.8 million ozs. ozs.** 8.0 million Palladium 3.0 million ozs. 10.2 million ozs. 13.2 million ozs. ozs.** 1.8 million Gold 0.7 million ozs. 2.5 million ozs. 3.2 million ozs. ozs.**
* Note - Based on mineral resources estimated at base case 0.3% copper cut-off grade; for tons and grade see Tables 2-5 in this press release.
** Note - Contained ounces of platinum, palladium, and gold in the Inferred category do not include the Spruce Roaddeposit.
 All tonnages are reported as short tons.
Vern Baker, President of Duluth Metals, commented: "The ability of the Twin Metals Project to move 295 million tons of resource into the Measured category confirms the excellent consistency of the mineralized material in the Maturi Deposit. It is early in the project development cycle to have such a large Measured Resource. The potential scale of the project resource is exceptional, considering that only 13% of the prospective portion of the Twin Metals Property contains such a large total resource of Measured, Indicated, and Inferred tonnage."
Significant Tonnage in the Measured Category
The study includes four mineral resources in close proximity to one another within the Twin Metals Minnesota Project, referred to as the Maturi, Maturi Southwest, Birch Lake, and Spruce Road Deposits. The updated mineral resources estimate has 295 million tons in the Measured category at a 0.3% copper cut-off in the Maturi Deposit, which may potentially provide an early start-up area for future mining. The Maturi Deposit resource estimate does not incorporate new assay or geological data from drilling results received after September 15, 2012. The Maturi Southwest Deposit is a newly classified resource which was defined by drilling in 2013:
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, the Maturi Deposit** contains 295 million tons of Measured Mineral Resources grading 0.63% copper, 0.20% nickel, 0.58 parts per million TPM (TPM = Pt + Pd + Au) and 774 million tons of Indicated Mineral Resources grading 0.58% copper, 0.19% nickel, 0.61 parts per million TPM, plus an additional 562 million tons of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 0.51% copper, 0.17% nickel, 0.53 parts per million TPM. (Note: Full grade and tonnage tabulation is shown in the Detailed Resource Tabulations section later in this press release)
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, the Maturi Southwest Deposit** contains 103 million tons of Indicated Mineral Resources grading 0.48% copper, 0.17% nickel, 0.31 parts per million TPM, plus an additional 32 million tons of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 0.43% copper, 0.15% nickel, 0.26 parts per million TPM.
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, the Birch Lake Deposit** contains 100 million tons of Indicated Mineral Resources grading 0.52% copper, 0.16% nickel, 0.86 parts per million TPM, plus an additional 239 million tons of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 0.46% copper, 0.15% nickel, 0.64 parts per million TPM
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, the Spruce Road Deposit** contains 480 million tons of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 0.43% copper, 0.16% nickel.*
* Note - The Spruce Road resource was estimated using Inco legacy assay data. Platinum, palladium, and gold were not assayed by Inco, and the core is not available for re-assay.
** Note - These mineral resource estimates include 100% of the estimated resource in each deposit, and include interests in mineral resources held by Franconia Minerals (US) LLC (f.k.a. Franconia Minerals Corporation), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Twin Metals. Twin Metals acquired 100% of the ownership units of Franconia in 2011. Franconia's principal assets are a 70% interest in the Birch Lake, 'old' Maturi, Maturi Southwest, and Spruce Road deposits in northeastern Minnesota through the Birch Lake Joint Venture. Franconia announced in November, 2010 its intention to increase its ownership at the Birch Lake Joint Venture to 82%; see Franconia's company profile at http://www.SEDAR.com for Technical Reports. TMM's ownership of the resource will be factored by these percentages where applicable.
Updated Mineral Resources
Twin Metals Minnesota LLC, is the joint venture company between Duluth Metals Limited (60% ownership interest) and Antofagasta plc (40% ownership interest). In 2011, Twin Metals Minnesota LLC acquired Franconia Minerals Corporation. Franconia`s principal assets are a 70% interest in the Birch Lake, "old Maturi" (not including former Nokomis property), Maturi Southwest, and Spruce Road deposits through the Birch Lake Joint Venture, with Beaver Bay, Inc., owning the remaining 30%. Franconia announced in November, 2010 its intention to increase its ownership at the Birch Lake Joint Venture to 82% upon commencement of production. All of the forgoing Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources, and Exploration Target tonnages are expressed as a 100% ownership position.
The Mineral Resource estimate for the Maturi deposit incorporates assay data from 444 drill holes and 154 wedge off-set holes totalling 1,328,000 feet drilled on the Maturi deposit between 2006 and 2012, in addition to information from 99 legacy holes also in the geologic data base. The effective date of the Maturi mineral resource estimate is October 8, 2013. The Maturi Southwest deposit resource estimate incorporates assay data from 49 drill holes and four wedge off-set holes totalling 46,000 feet drilled in 2013, and information from an additional six legacy holes. The effective date of the Maturi Southwest mineral resource estimate is June 15, 2013.The Birch Lake deposit resource estimate incorporates assay data from 97 drill holes and 146 wedge off-set holes totalling 297,000 feet drilled between 2000 and 2012, and information from an additional 17 legacy drill holes and 8 wedge off-set holes. The Spruce Road deposit resource estimate incorporates assay data from 210 legacy holes. The effective date of the Birch Lake and Spruce Road mineral resource estimates is September 15, 2012. The mineral resources have been estimated using CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Reserves dated November 2010.
Detailed Resource Tabulations
Tables of the updated mineral resource tons and grades for various cut-offs are shown below for each deposit. The base case (0.3% Cu cut-off) is highlighted. The remaining cases are included to show the sensitivity of the estimates to changes in cut-off grades:
Table 2 - Maturi Deposit Measured, Indicated, and Inferred Mineral Resources (effective date October 8, 2013)
Maturi Deposit Measured Mineral Resource Cu% cut-off Million tons Cu % Ni % Pt ppm Pd ppm Au ppm TPM ppm 0.2 313 0.61 0.20 0.14 0.33 0.08 0.56 0.3 295 0.63 0.20 0.15 0.35 0.08 0.58 0.4 262 0.66 0.21 0.16 0.37 0.09 0.61 0.5 225 0.70 0.22 0.17 0.39 0.09 0.65 0.6 174 0.74 0.24 0.18 0.42 0.10 0.70 Indicated Mineral Resource Cu% cut-off Million tons Cu % Ni % Pt ppm Pd ppm Au ppm TPM ppm 0.2 829 0.56 0.18 0.15 0.35 0.08 0.58 0.3 774 0.58 0.19 0.16 0.36 0.09 0.61 0.4 678 0.61 0.20 0.17 0.38 0.09 0.65 0.5 518 0.66 0.21 0.19 0.43 0.10 0.72 0.6 367 0.71 0.22 0.21 0.47 0.11 0.79 Measured+Indicated Mineral Resource Cu% cut-off Million tons Cu % Ni % Pt ppm Pd ppm Au ppm TPM ppm 0.2 1142 0.57 0.18 0.15 0.34 0.08 0.57 0.3 1069 0.59 0.19 0.16 0.36 0.08 0.60 0.4 940 0.63 0.20 0.17 0.38 0.09 0.64 0.5 743 0.67 0.21 0.18 0.42 0.10 0.70 0.6 541 0.72 0.23 0.20 0.45 0.11 0.76 Inferred Mineral Resource Cu% cut-off Million tons Cu % Ni % Pt ppm Pd ppm Au ppm TPM ppm 0.2 804 0.43 0.14 0.12 0.27 0.06 0.44 0.3 562 0.51 0.17 0.14 0.32 0.07 0.53 0.4 399 0.57 0.19 0.16 0.37 0.08 0.62 0.5 266 0.63 0.20 0.19 0.44 0.10 0.73 0.6 147 0.70 0.22 0.23 0.52 0.11 0.87
- Maturi Deposit tonnages do not include 114 million tons of mineralized material excluded from the underground resource in a crown pillar.
- CIM Definition Standards (2010) were followed for Mineral Resource estimation and classification.
- TPM is defined as Au + Pt + Pd.
Table 3 - Maturi Southwest Deposit Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources (effective date June 15, 2013)
Maturi Southwest Deposit Indicated Mineral Resource Cu% cut-off Million tons Cu % Ni % Pt ppm Pd ppm Au ppm TPM ppm 0.2 131 0.43 0.15 0.07 0.16 0.04 0.28 0.3 103 0.48 0.17 0.08 0.19 0.05 0.31 0.4 71 0.53 0.18 0.09 0.22 0.06 0.37 0.5 40 0.59 0.20 0.11 0.26 0.06 0.43 0.6 16 0.67 0.22 0.12 0.29 0.07 0.49 Inferred Mineral Resource Cu% cut-off Million tons Cu % Ni % Pt ppm Pd ppm Au ppm TPM ppm 0.2 57 0.35 0.13 0.05 0.13 0.03 0.21 0.3 32 0.43 0.15 0.07 0.16 0.04 0.26 0.4 16 0.51 0.17 0.08 0.20 0.05 0.33 0.5 7 0.60 0.20 0.10 0.25 0.06 0.42 0.6 3 0.66 0.22 0.12 0.28 0.07 0.46
Table 4 - Birch Lake Deposit Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources (effective date September 15, 2012)
Birch Lake Deposit Indicated Mineral Resource Cu % Million Cu Ni Pt Pd Au TPM cut-off Tons % % ppm ppm ppm ppm 0.2 112 0.49 0.15 0.22 0.48 0.11 0.81 0.3 100 0.52 0.16 0.23 0.51 0.11 0.85 0.4 85 0.55 0.17 0.25 0.54 0.12 0.91 0.5 55 0.60 0.18 0.27 0.59 0.13 0.99 0.6 23 0.67 0.21 0.29 0.63 0.14 1.06 Inferred Mineral Resource Cu % Million Cu Ni Pt Pd Au TPM cut-off Tons % % ppm ppm ppm ppm 0.2 313 0.41 0.13 0.16 0.32 0.08 0.56 0.3 239 0.46 0.15 0.18 0.37 0.09 0.64 0.4 158 0.51 0.16 0.20 0.42 0.10 0.72 0.5 77 0.58 0.18 0.23 0.48 0.11 0.82 0.6 24 0.66 0.20 0.27 0.57 0.13 0.97
Table 5 - Spruce Road Deposit Inferred Mineral Resources (effective date September 15, 2012)
Spruce Road Deposit Inferred Mineral Resource Cu % Million Cu Ni cut-off Tons % % 0.2 674 0.38 0.14 0.3 480 0.43 0.16 0.4 254 0.50 0.18 0.5 101 0.57 0.21 0.6 24 0.66 0.24
Exploration Target Area Tonnage and Grade Ranges
Additional exploration potential highlighted by AMEC outside of the four mineral resources (Maturi, Maturi Southwest, Birch Lake and Spruce Road deposits) and in addition to the TMM defined mineral resource are considered targets for further exploration.
An estimate of the exploration potential is between 1.3 to 2.1 billion tons contiguous to the boundaries of the four deposits. These exploration target areas occur on approximately 13% of the footprint of the prospective portion of the TMM property block. The grade and tonnage ranges of the four exploration targets are based on limited drill hole results and location within the favourable host rocks. The potential quantity and grade of the exploration target areas are conceptual in nature, and there has been insufficient exploration to define the target as a mineral resource, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
An estimate of the exploration target potential for Maturi North and Maturi South were determined by estimating a range of the tons within the modeled area at a range of the grades that are known to occur within that deposit area. Tonnage and grades of the Maturi North exploration target could range from 290 to 430 Mst (million short tons) grading 0.41 to 0.61% Cu, 0.14 to 0.21% Ni, 0.10 to 0.15 ppm Pt, 0.23 to 0.34 ppm Pd and 0.05 to 0.08 ppm Au. Tonnage and grades of the Maturi South exploration target could range from 330 to 500 Mst (million short tons) grading 0.42 to 0.62% Cu, 0.13 to 0.19% Ni, 0.14 to 0.21 ppm Pt, 0.31 to 0.46 ppm Pd and 0.07 to 0.10 ppm Au.
The estimated exploration target potential within the permit boundaries are based in part on mineralized intercepts from 11 drill holes; of these 7 are legacy drilling and 4 are recent Maturi Southwest (MSW) drill holes. Internal to the MSW exploration target is a low-grade area (below 0.30 % copper); this area was excluded from the estimated exploration target tonnage ranges. The southern boundary of the MSW exploration target was truncated against the exploration area defined for the Birch Lake. The tonnage potential of the MSW exploration target area could range from 500 to 820 Mst (million short tons) with grades ranging from 0.43 to 0.55 %Cu, 0.14 to 0.18 %Ni, 0.08 to 0.10 ppm Pt, 0.17 to 0.22 ppm Pd and 0.03 to 0.07 ppm Au.
At Birch Lake, blocks with extrapolated grades outside the area classified as Inferred are considered to be targets for further exploration. Exploration potential is in the range of 220 to 330 Mt and with grades ranging from 0.33 to 0.50% Cu, 0.11 to 0.16% Ni, 0.11 to 0.16 ppm Pt, 0.22 to 0.33 ppm Pd, and 0.05 to 0.08 ppm Au. The range of tonnage and grade is based on a 0.30% Cu cutoff of material outside of the Inferred Classification boundary using a range of grades that are known to occur within the favourable host rocks.
About the Resource Estimates
The figures for resources presented herein, including the anticipated tonnages and grades that may be achieved or the indicated level of recovery that may be realized, are estimates, and no assurances can be given that they will be realized during production. Such estimates are, in large part, based on interpretations of geological data obtained from drill holes and other sampling techniques. Actual mineralization or favourable host rock units may be different from those predicted. It may also take many years from the initial phase of drilling before production is possible, and during that time the economic feasibility of exploiting a deposit may change.
Duluth's business of mineral exploration has a high level of inherent risk. Although Duluth is optimistic about the potential of many of its projects, there is no guarantee that any mineral deposits will be economically feasible and that these deposits will be put into production. Duluth's exploration and development activities may also be affected by a number of risks, including environmental, metallurgical, financing, permitting, approval, legislative and other government risks which are common to the industry and are referenced in greater detail in the Company's Annual Information Form.
For the non-legacy assay data utilized in these resource estimates, half core samples were prepared at ALS Minerals laboratories in Thunder Bay and then shipped to the ALS analytical facilities in Vancouver. Samples were analyzed for Au, Pt, and Pd using a 30g standard fire assay with an ICP-AES finish. An additional 33 elements were analyzed for using a four acid (near total) digestion and a combination of ICP-MS and ICP-AES. ICP over-limits for copper and nickel are re-analyzed using dissolution four acid (near total) digestion followed by ICP-AES or AAS. The remaining half core samples are being stored in Minnesota. A system of blanks, standards and quarter-core duplicates were added to the sample stream by Twin Metals Minnesota LLC to verify accuracy and precision of assay results, supplementing and verifying a variety of internal QA/QC tests performed by ALS Minerals.
The Maturi resources are based on a concentrate sales plan that in turn assumes a mining cost of $12.54/t, a process cost of $5.96/t and general and administrative charges of $3.16/t. The prices, recoveries, and payabilities are shown in the table below. The metal prices used in the NSR calculation were mutually agreed upon by Duluth, TMM, Antofagasta plc and AMEC on February 4, 2014.
2013 Maturi NSR Parameters (US$)
Recovery Metal Price (US$) Concentrate Payable Copper $3.30/lb 93.4% 75.2% Nickel $10.00/lb 63.9% 48.8% Gold $1,350/troy oz 78.2% 56.6% Palladium $850/troy oz 76.2% 57.4% Platinum $2,000/troy oz 61.3% 43.3%
All data verification and quality assurance/quality control procedures of Twin Metals Minnesota LLC were applied specifically to the results contained in this press release, and the data herein have been verified by Phillip Larson, P. Geo., Senior Geologist with Duluth Metals and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101, in accordance with the procedures of the Company. The data verification procedures and quality assurance/control procedures adopted by the Company and applied to the work being reported in this press release can be found in Section 11 of the "NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Maturi, Birch Lake, and Spruce Road Copper-Nickel-PGE Projects, Ely, Minnesota, USA", with an effective date of June 15, 2012, and dated July 27, 2012. The Technical Report was filed on SEDAR under the Company's profile on July 27, 2012 (http://www.sedar.com).
Dr. Harry Parker, SME, Registered Member, Technical Director of AMEC, is the Independent Qualified Person who prepared the Resource Estimate and is responsible for the mineral resource estimates summarized in this press release. Dr. Parker is a licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Minnesota. Phillip Larson, P. Geo. is the Qualified Person for Duluth Metals and Senior Geologist for Duluth Metals, in accordance with NI 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators, and reviewed and approved the technical content of this press release.
About Duluth Metals Limited
Duluth Metals Limited is committed to acquiring, exploring and developing copper, nickel and platinum group metal (PGM) deposits. Duluth Metals has a joint venture with Antofagasta plc on the Twin Metals Project, located within the rapidly emerging Duluth Complex mining camp in north-eastern Minnesota. The Duluth Complex hosts one of the world's largest undeveloped repositories of copper, nickel and PGMs, including the world's third largest accumulation of nickel sulphides, and one of the world's largest accumulations of polymetallic copper and platinum group metals. Aside from the Twin Metals Minnesota joint venture, Duluth Metals retains a 100% position on approximately 40,000 acres of mineral interests on exploration properties adjacent to and nearby the Twin Metals Minnesota LLC joint venture.
About Twin Metals Minnesota LLC
Twin Metals Minnesota, LLC, is a joint venture company, 60 percent owned by Duluth Metals Limited and 40 percent by Antofagasta. Twin Metals was formed in 2010 to pursue the development and operation of a copper, nickel and platinum group metals (strategic metals) underground mining project within the Duluth Complex in northeastern Minnesota. Twin Metals holds mineral and land assets of approximately 32,000 acres of leased, leased applications and permitted land.
This press release contains forward-looking statements (including "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) relating to, among other things, the results of drilling operations of Duluth Metals and exploration and mine development. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Duluth Metals has relied on a number of assumptions and estimates in making such forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the prices of copper, nickel and platinum group metals (PGMs) and the costs associated with continuing exploration and mining development. Such assumptions and estimates are made in light of the trends and conditions that are considered to be relevant and reasonable based on information available and the circumstances existing at this time. A number of risk factors may cause actual results, level of activity, performance or outcomes of such exploration and/or mine development to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including, without limitation, whether such discoveries will result in commercially viable quantities of such mineralized materials, the possibility of changes to project parameters as plans continue to be refined, the ability to execute planned exploration and future drilling programs, possible variations of copper, nickel and PGM grade or recovery rates, the need for additional funding to continue exploration efforts, changes in general economic, market and business conditions, and those other risks set forth in Duluth Metals' most recent annual information form under the heading "Risk Factors" and in its other public filings. Statements related to "reserves" and "resources" are deemed forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment, based on realistically assumed and justifiable technical and economic conditions, that an inventory of mineralization will become economically extractable. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and such information is inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and may be beyond the control of Duluth Metals. Although Duluth Metals has attempted to identify important risks and factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors and risks that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Consequently, undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements. In addition, all forward-looking statements in this press release are given as of the date hereof. Duluth Metals disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, save and except as may be required by applicable securities laws. The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this disclaimer.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources
This press release uses the terms "Indicated Mineral Resources" and "Inferred Mineral Resources" in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards. While such terms are recognized under Canadian securities legislation, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize these terms. The term "Inferred Mineral Resource" refers to a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. These estimates are based on limited information and it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an "Inferred Mineral Resource" will be upgraded to a higher classification resource, such as "Indicated" or "Measured", as a result of continued exploration. Accordingly, an estimate relating to an "Inferred Mineral Resource" is insufficient to allow meaningful application of technical and economic parameters or to enable an evaluation of economic viability. Under Canadian securities legislation, estimates of an "Inferred Mineral Resource" may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an "Inferred Mineral Resource" is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of "Indicated" will ever be converted into "Mineral Reserves" (being the economically mineable part of an "Indicated" or "Measured Mineral Resource").
For further information:
Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Telephone: +1(416)369-1500 ext. 222
SOURCE Duluth Metals Limited