TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 23, 2013) -Chieftain Metals Corp. ("Chieftain or the Company") is pleased to announce a significant step toward the project financing of its advanced Tulsequah Chief polymetallic project in North Western British Columbia, Canada. IMC Group Consulting Limited ("IMC") completed its review of the NI-43-101 compliant Feasibility Study dated January 2013. This report is a key pre-requisite for a bank lending group to begin work on the detailed terms and conditions of the senior debt financing for the Tulsequah Chief project. Chieftain now intends to assemble its bank lending group and arrange necessary contracts or supplier credit as part of its overall project financing.
IMC thoroughly reviewed the Feasibility Study for the Tulsequah Chief Project. Based on the technical review, IMC's economic model demonstrates positive project economics essentially the same as those projected by Chieftain in its feasibility study. More specifically, IMC concluded, amongst other things, that:
- The Mineral Resource estimate is sound;
- IMC notes that Chieftain has continued to examine the geological modeling and interpretation and early indications are that there is considerable upside potential for extending the mineral resource base and, as a result, the mine life;
- The Mineral Reserves have been estimated in a sound manner, based on an appropriate level of mine and stope design for a project at this stage of development and are considered to be reliable. IMC noted that in order to control ore dilution to that assumed in the reserve estimate will require good mining techniques and stoping blast control;
- Chieftain holds all of the environmental certificates necessary for the project development and most of the critical authorizations required for construction activities or interference with land and surface waters. IMC would not expect any delays in obtaining either the remaining approvals required for construction or the further approvals required during operation;
- The mine design benefits from the fact that it has been operated before and the existing excavations are in reasonable condition for the new operations. The design makes the most of the existing entries and openings;
- The mine layout generally includes the facilities required for an underground mine. Chieftain has provided the background engineering to IMC and this generally confirms the cost estimates to be developed on an appropriate level of engineering for a feasibility study. IMC noted that further engineering refinement will be required during the detailed engineering phase;
- The strategy to advance the mine capital developments in the early years is sound as this opens access to a good proportion of the mine's reserves;
- While accepting that the projected mine development and production schedule is achievable, IMC considered that good mine planning and experienced/trained work crews are prerequisites for the success of the life-of mine plan
- Generally the cost estimates, both capital and operating, are well founded and appropriately detailed. Operating costs are estimated from first principles. Overall, IMC is of the view that the costs have been estimated accurately and costs could be expected to be within the overall accuracy of the study and as such provide a reasonable estimate of the expected mine operating costs;
- The process design is based on a substantive recent testwork program and a considerable database of historical information. The resulting flowsheet is reasonable and based on well proven technologies;
- IMC suggested using a metallurgical recovery curve instead of a fixed recovery rate to reflect grade variances in the mill feed. This recovery curve was applied in the IMC financial model.;
- IMC noted that the projected plant performance at Tulsequah, reflected in the recovery curve mentioned above, has been derived by interpolating between the best individual laboratory test results. IMC considered that the forecast performance therefore represents the best performance that can realistically be foreseen on the basis of the tests carried out;
- During the course of permitting, Chieftain and/or its predecessors have developed a number of management plans and mitigation measures to prevent or minimize the environmental and social effects. IMC considers that the current management plans are adequately detailed for the feasibility study and appear very flexible in the ability to handle a variety of scenarios;
- The timely construction and future maintenance of the 128 km access will be fundamental to the success of the project;
- IMC finds the overall project risks to be low. Some identified risks would have a medium to high impact on the Project but the demonstrated mitigation measures are sufficient to rate them as a low risk.
2013 Exploration Program
Chieftain has commenced its 2013 exploration program. The drilling campaign consists of a Surface and Underground Program comprising approximately 20 drill holes totaling 6,500m. The Surface Program contains 13 drill holes with 4,000m of helicopter supported drilling and includes planned holes at the Tulsequah Chief, Big Bull and Banker/Sparling areas. The Underground Program will be conducted from the 5400 level of the Tulsequah Chief Mine and contains 7 drill holes with 2,500m of drilling. Each of the planned drill holes will range in length from 100m to 600m. The program is expected to be completed by December 15, 2013.
Stock Option Grants
Chieftain also wishes to announce that it has granted 765,000 options to purchase common shares of the Company to certain directors, officers, employees and consultants. These options have an exercise price of $1.60 per share, expire ten years from the date of grant and are subject to regulatory approval.
About Chieftain Metals Corp.:
Chieftain Metals Corp. is the public holding company of Chieftain Metals Inc. ("Chieftain Inc."), whose principal business is the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties. Since incorporation, the Company's business has focused entirely on the acquisition, and thereafter the development, of the Tulsequah Chief Polymetallic Project, in north-western British Columbia, Canada. Chieftain Metals Inc.'s property consists of 54 mineral claims and Crown-grants covering approximately 30,547 hectares and covers two previously producing mines. For more information on Tulsequah and related projects, please refer to the NI 43-101 compliant technical reports, being "Technical Report for the Tulsequah Chief Project of Northern British Columbia, Canada" with an effective date of December 12, 2012 as well as "Tulsequah Chief Deposit, Tulsequah Chief Property, Northern British Columbia" and "Big Bull Project, Tulsequah Chief Property, Technical Report, Northern British Columbia", each dated as of November 8, 2010, which are available under the Company's profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
This press release contains forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes statements with respect to, among other things, the Private Placement, the expected timing of closing subsequent tranches of the Private Placement and the proposed development of the Tulsequah Chief project, Big Bull and the Company's other mineral properties. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is given, and 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 the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of minerals properties, the inherent volatility of metal prices, the risk that the Company may not be able to complete additional financing or arrange the necessary additional financing to construct and operate the Tulsequah Chief mine, the possibility of delays in the commencement of production from the Tulsequah Chief mine 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.