Issued Capital: 150,526,976
LONDON, ON, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQX: FTMDF) ("Fortune" or the "Company") (www.fortuneminerals.com) has concluded its 2013 summer field work at the Company's Arctos Anthracite metallurgical coal project site in northwestern British Columbia ("BC"). On September 23, 2013, following several weeks of drilling and environmental surveys and monitoring, the Company announced its withdrawal of drilling equipment and camp facilities from the area in order to support a new course of mediation between the Government of British Columbia and the Tahltan Central Council (see Fortune News Release dated September 23, 2013). This withdrawal is now substantially complete, and only periodic helicopter-supported environmental monitoring and maintenance will continue to take place during the mediation.
"Fortune Minerals is stepping back to allow the BC and Tahltan Governments the space they need to engage in a constructive mediation process that peacefully resolves the issues that have impacted work in and around our Arctos project site," said Robin Goad, President and CEO of Fortune Minerals. "We have taken this measure to allow the two parties to discuss land and resource management issues without the pressure of protests taking place on or near our site."
Fortune's work to date at the Arctos project site has involved a limited amount of drilling to gather geochemical and geotechnical information along with archeological exploration and wildlife surveys that will be used in the BC Government's Environmental Assessment ("EA") of the proposed project. All of Fortune's work has been duly authorized by permits issued by the BC Government.
"Right now, Fortune's goal is to do everything required to support a comprehensive, fair and open BC EA process. It will evaluate the Arctos Anthracite Project's merits and impacts, taking into account environmental, social and other values, including Traditional Knowledge," said Goad. "The EA process provides opportunities for all voices with an opinion about the proposed project to be heard."
"We have worked closely with the province of BC in determining this course of action, which comes with cost and delay for our Company. We therefore look forward to the province and the Tahltan Central Council making the best of this opportunity," said Mr. Goad.
Arctos is a proposed mine that would produce anthracite, a unique and rare metallurgical coal used primarily for steel manufacturing, metals processing and other products such as filters for water purification. To date, over $100 million worth of work has been completed to safely advance the project, including funds dedicated to supporting local community involvement. The project has the potential to generate $10 billion in revenues and $900 million in combined federal and provincial taxes over the mine's expected 25-year lifespan, while creating over 500 high-paying jobs and employment for a 1,000 more in supporting activities. The proposed rail transportation of coal products uses an existing railway roadbed to help minimize the environmental impacts from this project and provide important legacy infrastructure to serve the future needs of the region.
Development of the Arctos project is consistent with the 2000 Cassiar Iskut-Stikine Land Resource Management Plan ("LRMP"). This LRMP was developed by the BC Government with extensive local input, including the Tahltan Tribal Council and, set aside 26% of 5.2 million hectares as 'Protected Area', while also identifying the "substantial resources of high grade metallurgical coal" at the Arctos Anthracite Project area as appropriate for mining.
About the Arctos Anthracite Project
The Arctos project is one of the world's premier metallurgical coal developments with very large resources and reserves of high rank anthracite coal in northwest BC. The project is an international collaboration between Fortune (80%) and POSCAN (20%), the Canadian subsidiary of South Korea's POSCO, one of the world's largest steel producers.
The Arctos Project is located 330 km northeast of the Port of Prince Rupert and straddles the existing BC Railway right-of-way that was constructed by the BC Government in the 1970's and was substantially completed to the site. This existing brownfield transportation corridor is planned to be completed with rail to the current terminus of track, 150 km south of the proposed mine where the Canadian National Railway is operating. The railway provides a simple and scalable transportation solution to the Ridley Coal Terminal in Prince Rupert for export of metallurgical coal products to overseas steel manufacturers and metal processors.
A positive feasibility study for the Arctos Project was completed in 2012 by Marston & Marston Inc., a division of Golder Associates Inc. (see "Technical Report on the 2012 Update of the Arctos Anthracite Project Mine Feasibility Study", dated November 28, 2012, filed on SEDAR on November 29, 2012 and available at www.SEDAR.com (the "Arctos Technical Report").
The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and CEO of the Company, who is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101.
About Fortune Minerals
Fortune is a diversified resource company with several mineral deposits and a number of exploration projects, all located in Canada. The Company is focused on the development of the Arctos Anthracite Project in BC and the vertically integrated NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project that is comprised of a mine and mill in the Northwest Territories ("NT") that will produce a bulk concentrate for shipment to a refinery for processing to high value metal products. In addition, the Company owns the Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit and other exploration projects in the NT. Fortune is focused on outstanding performance and growth of shareholder value through assembly and development of high quality mineral resource projects.
This news release contains forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes statements with respect to, among other things: the Company's expectations with respect to the anticipated development of the Arctos and NICO Projects (the "Projects"); the anticipated revenues from and jobs and taxes to be generated from the Arctos Project; and the expected mine life at the Arctos Project. Forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on the opinions and estimates of management as well as certain assumptions considered by management to be reasonable and which are made as at the date the information is given (including, in respect of the forward-looking information contained in this press release, assumptions contained in the Arctos Technical Report and other assumptions regarding the Company's business). Readers should be cautioned that forward-looking information is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. These factors include without limitation: the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties; the inherent volatility of metal prices; the risk that the Company may not be able to arrange the necessary additional financing to construct and operate the Projects; uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of all applicable permits for the development of the Projects; the possibility of delays in the commencement of production from the Projects; uncertainties relating to the estimation of mineral reserves; and other factors. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information because it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by the Company. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
SOURCE Fortune Minerals Limited