Ursa Major updates Shakespeare resource (April 15, 2004)

Ursa Major Minerals (UMJ-V) has tabled an in-pit resource estimate for its Shakespeare copper-nickel-platinum-group-element project west of Sudbury, Ont.

Based on previous drilling by Falconbridge (FL-T) plus nearly 11,000 metres in 55 holes sunk by Ursa, indicated resources are pegged at 12 million tonnes running 0.35% nickel, 0.36% copper, 0.02% cobalt, 0.19 gram gold, 0.34 gram platinum and 0.38 gram palladium per tonne. The estimate employs a cutoff value of $43.65 per tonne of total in-situ metal, whereas the previous estimate used $50 per tonne.

The resource includes both the Shakespeare East and West deposits, with the bulk of the material (9 million tonnes) contained in the East deposit. The two deposits are also host to 115,000 tonnes of inferred material running 0.27% nickel, 0.29% copper, 0.02% cobalt, 0.17 gram gold, 0.31 gram platinum and 0.33 gram palladium.

The resource estimate is also based on an assumed mining cost of $1.75 per tonne, processing costs of $10.50 per tonne, haulage costs of $4.40 per tonne, and general and administrative costs totalling $1 per tonne. No external dilution has been applied.

Assumed metal prices are: US$4.21 per lb. of nickel; US82 per lb. of copper, US$10.48 per lb. of cobalt, US$351.43 per oz. of gold, US$635.40 per platinum oz. and US$300 per oz. of palladium. The Canadian-U.S.-dollar exchange rate is 0.7067.

Last July, Micon International pegged the East deposit’s indicated resource at 4.9 million tonnes grading 0.4% nickel, 0.4% copper, 0.03% cobalt, 0.2 gram gold, 0.4 gram platinum and 0.45 gram palladium, based on a cutoff grade of $50 per tonne total in-situ metal value. The estimate excluded 1.9 million tonnes of near-surface inferred resource grading 0.4% nickel, 0.4% copper, 0.4 gram palladium, 0.4 gram platinum and 0.2 gram gold, elsewhere on the property.

Initial plans at Shakespeare call for the resources to be targeted by a 5,000-tonne-per-day open-pit operation; ore would be mined at existing facilities. The stripping ratio is 6.38, and pit slope is set at 45. Ursa figures that 66% of the contained metal value will be payable after concentrator losses and smelter charges.

Ongoing drilling continues to test higher-grade mineralization that correlates with the location of a conductor plunging at 30 to the northeast. Surface electromagnetic geophysical surveying indicates that the conductor extends some 488 metres beyond the current resource.

Ursa has a 75% interest in the Shakespeare property, which is subject to a joint venture with Falconbridge.


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