Government upholds validity of fieldwork permits and appoints mediator
Issued Capital: 150,526,976
LONDON, ON, Sept. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQX: FTMDF) ("Fortune" or the "Company") (www.fortuneminerals.com) welcomes the September 17, 2013 statement from the British Columbia ("BC") Government that it supports the legal right of companies to safely perform permitted work, and the related appointment of mediator Geoff Freer. (http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2013-2017/2013ARR0044-001414.htm)
Fortune is currently assessing all available options to enable safe completion of the 2013 environmental fieldwork program at the Arctos Anthracite Project ("Arctos Project") in northwestern BC. Protestors have been and are currently hindering the Company's work program by encroaching on drill sites and other working areas, raising safety concerns for both workers and protestors themselves.
Fortune's activities are duly authorized through permits issued under the BC Mines Act, various coal tenures and other provincial laws. The permits authorize a limited amount of geotechnical drilling to gather information that will be used in the environmental assessment ("EA") process. The EA process will result in an informed decision on the merits and impacts of the project, and will consider environmental, social, health, heritage and economic impacts, as well as traditional knowledge. The EA process provides First Nations and other interested parties with extensive opportunities to participate in decision-making about a project.
The Arctos Project is also consistent with the stated objectives of the 2000 Cassiar Iskut-Stikine Land Resource Management Plan, which was developed with many interested parties including Tahltan representatives. (http://archive.ilmb.gov.bc.ca/slrp/lrmp/smithers/cassiar/plan/files/CIS-LRMP-November-2006.pdf)
Fortune respects the right to peaceful protest but it does not support illegal actions and will take all appropriate actions to protect its legal rights. It believes the appropriate forum to discuss interests and concerns is through the EA process where all opinions are heard and issues are examined in detail. It welcomes opportunities to engage, share information and receive advice and feedback through that process.
Fortune looks forward to working with governments, First Nations and local communities to develop a project that is a model of cooperation and environmental sustainability.
About the Arctos Project
The Arctos Project is one of the world's premier metallurgical coal projects with very large resources and reserves of high rank anthracite coal in northwest BC. Anthracite is the highest quality coal and is used in steel making, metals processing and other specialized products such as carbon filters for water purification. 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. Substantial work totalling more than $100 million has already been completed on the project to conduct resource delineation, engineering, feasibility and environmental studies as well as test mining and processing at the site for trial cargos of products to potential customers in North America, Asia and Europe.
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. This study indicates a 25-year mine life (see Fortune News Release dated October 15, 2012), expected to contribute 500 direct jobs and 1000 jobs in supporting activities and generate more than $10 billion in revenues and $900 million in combined federal and provincial taxes. There is good potential to extend the mine life from the very large mineral resource base currently recognized on the Arctos licenses.
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 Project; 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 regarding the Company's business and the viability of the Arctos Project). 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 Arctos Project; uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of all applicable permits for the development of the Arctos Project; the possibility of delays in the commencement of production from the Arctos Project; 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