North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd.: Underground Probable Mineral Reserve at Cantungadmin
North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. is pleased to announce an updated National Instrument 43-101 compliant mineral reserve estimate for the underground portion of the Cantung Mine. This mineral reserve estimate, dated September 1, 2006, was prepared by NATC and audited by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates (“Scott Wilson RPA”). An additional mineral resource estimate by Scott Wilson RPA for the Open Pit and associated Pit Underground Zone (“PUG”) is presently being prepared.
– As of September 1, 2006 UNDERGROUND PROBABLE MINERAL RESERVE OF 1,030,600 tons grading 1.17% WO3; – OPEN PIT AND PIT UNDERGROUND RESOURCE ESTIMATE TO FOLLOW; – UNDERGROUND Probable Mineral reserves provide for approximately 2.7 years of operations as of September 2006; – Additional possibilities for extending the mine life lie in the Open Pit and PUG resources;
– When production is taken into account, mineral reserves have increased since the last public estimate. Increases are due to exploration of new zones, inclusion of lower-grade areas rendered economic by higher prices, and planned pillar recovery in previously mined areas through the use of longhole mining methods. Overall, replacement of mineral reserves has exceeded production over the period 2002 to 2006.
The Cantung Mine is located in the Northwest Territories approximately 300 km northeast of Watson Lake, Yukon.
The major features and facilities associated with the Cantung Mine are as follows:
– The Cantung deposit consisting of underground zones, open pit, the PUG, and associated satellite deposits.
– The physical plant site including the underground mine, the open pit, an 1,100 ton/day mill, diesel power plants, workshops, warehouses, administration buildings, a town site and single status accommodation, and an airstrip.
– Waste rock dumps and several tailings storage facilities.
The Cantung mine presently employs 191 people.
North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. (the “Company” or “NATC”) purchased the Cantung mine, together with the related assets of the former Canada Tungsten Inc., from Aur Resources Inc. and re-opened the Cantung mine in December 2001. Underground production and milling continued through 2003 and in December 2003 the mine was placed on care and maintenance. NATC reopened the Cantung mine in September 2005 and the mine has operated continuously since then, and the mill has processed 270,074 tons of ore grading 1.19% WO3 from underground and 63,936 tons of open pit ore grading 0.51% WO3.
MINERAL RESOURCE AND MINERAL RESERVE ESTIMATES
A new National Instrument 43-101 compliant mineral reserve estimate has been prepared for the underground mine at Cantung, which amounts to 1,030,600 tons grading 1.17% WO3 as summarized below. This estimate comprises Mineral Reserves prepared by NATC and audited by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates (“Scott Wilson RPA”) for the E Zone, the Main Pillar Zone, South Flats, Shop Zone and West Extension. A new mineral resource estimate by Scott Wilson RPA for the Open Pit and associated Pit Underground Zone (“PUG”) zone is being prepared. In Scott Wilson RPA’s opinion, all Mineral Reserves at Cantung should be classified as Probable.
The Qualified Persons for this estimate are Graham G. Clow, P.Eng, David W. Rennie, P.Eng., and Jason J. Cox., P.Eng, all employees of Scott Wilson RPA.
MINING PLAN AND RESERVES
The Probable mineral reserves provide for approximately 2.7 years of operations and are the basis of the Company’s underground life of mine plan. Mine staff are reviewing additional pillars and other smaller bodies of mineralization that are not included in reserves to determine if they can be mined economically.
The Cantung Mine comprises the main underground mine on the E Zone, Shop Zone, the Main Zone, the South Flats and West Extension ore zones, and an open pit. There is also a zone of higher grade mineralization in the high wall of the pit, the PUG that has been test mined by underground methods. The operating season at the PUG and in the adjacent open pit is generally from early June until late September. Resources for the PUG and Open Pit are currently under review and are not included in this summary.
Currently the main underground mining method is longhole mining, with some cut and fill stoping.
The mine production schedule is based on providing ore to the processing facilities at a rate of approximately 1,100 tons per day.
63,936 tons of ore grading 0.51% WO3 was mined from the open pit in the summer of 2005 and stockpiled. This ore was processed in the mill over the past year of milling.
The PUG underground ore zone was developed by a single drift over the summer of 2006, and test mined with approximately 11,000 tons of broken material stockpiled.
METALLURGY AND PROCESSING
The mill processing facilities at Cantung are comprised of:
– A primary crushing and coarse ore storage installation;
– Secondary and tertiary crushing circuits;
– Fine ore storage;
– Offices, assay lab and maintenance shop;
– Reagents, supplies storage building; and
– Backfill preparation building (inactive)
Although the mill was designed to process 1,000 tons per day, it has achieved continuous processing rates of up to 1,200 tons per day. The mine plan assumes an average processing rate of 1,100 tons per day at an average metallurgical recovery rate of 75% of WO3. These target numbers are based on projected ore metallurgical characteristics and the past performance of the operation. The mill products are a premium gravity concentrate (G1) containing approximately 65% WO3, a gravity concentrate (G2) containing approximately 55% WO3 and a flotation concentrate containing approximately 40 – 50% WO3.
Over the past year NATC has been shipping to customers in the United States of America, Europe and Asia.
Current September 2006 LMB mid APT pricing is US$257.50 per mtu, an increase of more than two times year over year. Mineral Reserves have been estimated using a price of US$205 per mtu.
North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. is a publicly listed Tier 1 junior resource Company engaged primarily in the acquisition, exploration, development, and operation of Tungsten and related mineral properties in the Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory. The Company is currently in production at the Cantung Mine and owns the Mactung deposit, which borders the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Stephen M. Leahy, Chairman & CEO
Safe Harbour Statement under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and similar Canadian legislation: Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, the information presented contains “Forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and similar Canadian legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes”, or variation of such words and phrases that refer to certain actions, events or results to be taken, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. To be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the actual results of reclamation activities, the estimation or realization of mineral reserves and resources, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, future prices of commodities, possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates, efficacy and efficiency of milling process, failure of plant, equipments or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents, labour disputes and other risks in the mining industry. Although North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained herein and in North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd.’s other filing incorporated by reference.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources: This press release may use the terms “Measured”, “indicated” and “inferred” Resources. United States investors are advised that while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulators, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize them. “Inferred Mineral Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. United States investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources will ever be converted into Mineral Reserves. United States investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Gordon Aldcorn Brisco Capital Investor Contact (403) 262-9888
(403) 263-1339 (FAX)
Source: North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd.