Construction of Pilot Plant - Phase I Underway
Leach Pad Construction Complete
Initial Loading of Agglomerated Mineralized Material Achieved on June 28, 2013
Target Date for Initial Treatment of Solution July 18, 2013
Vancouver, BC - Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (the "Company") (TSX.V: NEE) is pleased to provide a construction update on its phased project development plans for the reactivation of the Moss Mine Gold-Silver project located in Mohave County, Arizona, USA with highlights as follows:
- Amended Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") reconfirmed key metrics and recommendations, including continuation of Pilot Plant - Phase I construction and economics of Operations - Phase II
- Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management contract awarded
- Construction of pilot plant ponds and process facilities - Phase I underway
- 700 foot x 300 foot leach pad completed
- Initial loading of fine crushed (95% -1/4 inch) agglomerated mineralized material achieved June 28, 2013, ahead of schedule
- Target date for initial treatment of solution July 18, 2013
- Operations team strengthened
Amended Project Economics:
The Company filed an Amended Preliminary Economic Assessment on June 18, 2013 (please see News Release dated June 18, 2013) reconfirming the principal conclusions of the original PEA. Highlights of the PEA economics for Phase II (at $1500 Au and $30 Ag) are as follows:
- IRR of 117.9% (pre-tax, pre-royalty)
- NPV of US $110 million (pre-tax, pre-royalty) (at 5%)
- Payback of 15 months (pre-tax, pre-royalty)
- Capex of US $26.6 million
- Cash costs of US $490/oz
Recommendations include the continuation of current activities on the Pilot Plant - Phase I and the advancement of project economics including conducting Pilot Plant operations to further evaluate test mining, heap leach processing and gold and silver recovery.
The Company reiterates that the Amended PEA is preliminary in nature, and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and that there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.
Construction Commencement of Pilot Plant - Phase I:
Following Board approval, construction commenced May 1, 2013 on the infrastructure necessary to carry out pilot scale open pit mining and heap leach processing of an aggregate of approximately 90,000 tonnes of mineralized rock. The Pilot Plant leach pad, designed to test the economic and technical viability of heap leaching finely crushed, agglomerated material, is approximately 700 feet in length and 300 feet wide. The phase I pit will be surface mined at a strip ratio of 0.79:1 and a production rate of 1,000 tonnes of mineralized rock, crushed to 95% -1/4 inch, per day. All activities will be restricted to patented property.
A contract has been signed with CDM Constructors Inc., a division of CDM Smith, for the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) of the Moss Mine Gold-Silver Project, Phase I, including oversight of the design and construction of the Phase I heap leach pad, process ponds, canopy structures and pumping systems. Engineering has been advanced from a 30% completion level to approximately 60% completion and is now supporting the design-build construction effort that is underway, including procurement of equipment, supplies and subcontractors.
JDS Energy & Mining Inc. has been appointed as the "owner's representative" and is on site to oversee all EPCM and related activities, to ensure the Moss Mine Gold-Silver Project remains on time and on budget and to ensure adherence to the high level of safety standards set by the Company.
Mining activity and processing operations for Pilot Plant - Phase I will be carried out under the control of Northern Vertex. Official bid packages for both mining and processing were sent out and tenders were analyzed and narrowed down on the basis of competitiveness, competency and project suitability.
Tri-R Construction, headquartered in Bullhead City, Arizona was awarded the contract for mining and processing operations for Phase I which includes pit development, drilling and blasting, loading and hauling of mined material as well as roads and leach pad development, waste rock hauling and crushing of mineralized material to 1 inch. Arizona Drilling and Blasting, Tempe, Arizona was awarded a subcontract from Tri-R for the ongoing drilling and blasting of phase I material. FNF Construction out of Tempe, Arizona has been awarded the subcontract for fine crushing of mineralized material, agglomerating and stacking of mineralized material onto the leach pads.
Construction activities for the Pilot Plant - Phase I are progressing on time and on budget and include:
- Improvements to onsite haul roads are underway and 90% complete
- Earthworks for the heap leach pad, crusher pad and onsite process building complete
- Earthworks for process ponds 90% complete
- Concrete works for onsite process building complete
- Placement of a homogeneous fine crushed material underliner on entirety of leach pad complete
- Installation of 60ml clay composite GLC white liner on leach pad complete
- Installation of black felt geomembrane on top of GLC liner complete
- Processing of 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch drain rock crush material for 18 inch layer on top of overliner underway 50% complete
- Construction and operation of sample preparation facility complete
- Placement on site of pre-constructed buildings for assay labs complete and modifications and installation of instruments and equipment underway
- Drilling and installation of four on-site water wells and pumps complete
- Installation of water pipeline from storage tanks to heap leach ponds complete
Initial placement of fine crushed agglomerated material (95% -1/4 inch) onto leach pads completed June 28, 2013, ahead of schedule. Initial treatment of solution through carbon columns for heap leaching anticipated by July 18, 2013. Total Phase I mineralized material of 90,000 mt expected to be placed onto the leach pads by September 15, 2013.
To view photos of the Moss Mine Gold-Silver Project construction, please click on the following link:
Permitting for Phase I - Pilot Plant is underway, with the aquifer protection permit, the last permit to be received, just through the public comment period and final permit anticipated by mid-July. Permitting status for the Pilot Plant - Phase I is as follows:
|Air Quality Authorization||Arizona Department Of Environmental Quality||Exempt|
|Mined Land Reclamation Permit (MSGP)||Arizona Mine Inspectors Office||Received|
|Stormwater Discharge Authorization||Arizona Mine Inspectors Office||Received|
|Bonding Requirements||Arizona Department of Environmental Quality||Completed|
|Bonding Requirements||Arizona Mine Inspector||Final Stages|
|Aquifer Protection Permit||Arizona Department Of Environmental Quality||Public comment period complete|
Operations Team Strengthened:
Golden Vertex Corp., located in Bullhead City, Arizona, the Arizona subsidiary of Northern Vertex Mining Corp. has been adding key members to the operations team. Joe Bardswich, General Manager of the Moss Project, advises, "Our Moss Mine operation is moving forward at an advanced pace. In large measure our achievements are due to the extra-ordinary efforts of our field operations personnel and those of our contractors working in unpleasantly hot weather conditions. We thank them for their efforts and the efforts of our experience and talented staff. In the last few months, 8 key additions to the operations staff in Bullhead City have been made and include:
- Cindy Jones, Chief Metallurgist
- David Kinsey, Safety Director
- Ken Ainsworth, Senior Mine Engineer
- Gene Archunde, Mine Superintendent
- Sara Clark, Senior Production Geologist
- Ruth Ann Gray, Office Manager
- John Masterson, Chief Information Officer
- Ron Rae, Chief Assayer
Additional employment opportunities will come with each successive phase and hiring and training locally, wherever possible, is part of our Company mandate."
Dick Whittington, President and CEO Northern Vertex Mining Corp, commented, "We are very pleased with the PEA's strong economic fundamentals for Phase I and Phase II of the Moss Mine Gold-Silver Project, and now, after commencing construction, we will continue to advance the project forward towards production. Based on the in-field metallurgical results from the Pilot Plant, sufficient financing being available and necessary permitting, we hope to capitalize on the economic and social opportunities that full operations in Phase II will allow. We continue to work in partnership with the local communities surrounding the historical Moss Mine to support community activities, support business in those communities and to foster open and transparent communications about our ongoing corporate activities."
About Northern Vertex:
Northern Vertex Mining Corp. is a Canadian based exploration and mining company focused on the reactivation of the Moss Mine Gold-Silver Project located in NW Arizona, USA. The Moss gold-Silver Project is an epithermal, low sulphidation quartz-calcite vein and stockwork system which extends over a strike length of 1,400 meters and has been drill tested to depths of 200 meters vertically. It is a potential heap leach, open pit project being advanced under a three phase business plan, specifically designed to ensure that technical, economic, permitting and funding requirements are met prior to each phase proceeding. The Company's management comprises an experienced management team with a strong background in all aspects of acquisition, exploration, development, operations and financing of mining projects worldwide. The Company is focused on working effectively and respectfully with our stakeholders in the vicinity of the historical Moss Mine and enhancing the capacity of the local communities in the area.
Northern Vertex has the right to earn a 70% interest in the Moss Gold-Silver Property located in Mohave County, Arizona from Patriot Gold Corp. Subsequent to the Northern Vertex earn-in, financing of the project will be on a 70:30 proportional basis. The Company paid a $500,000 upfront cash payment, and that, along with an $8 million work expenditure requirement and the preparation of a feasibility study (as defined in the earn-in agreement) are conditions of the 70% earn-in.
The foregoing technical information contained in this news release has also been reviewed and verified by Mr. Robert H. Lambert, P.E., P.G., L.HG., Consulting Mining and Geological Engineer, and a Qualified Person ("QP") for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 (Disclosure Standards for Mineral Projects).
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
J.R.H. (Dick) Whittington, President & CEO
For further information, please visit www.northernvertex.com
or contact Investor Relations at: 604-601-3656 or 1-855-633-8798
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note About Forward Looking Information
This news release contains statements about our future business and planned activities. These are "forward-looking" because we have used what we know and expect today to make a statement about the future. Forward-looking statements including but are not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work and analyses. Forward-looking statements usually include words such as may, intend, plan, expect, anticipate, believe or other similar words. We believe the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable. However, actual events and results could be substantially different because of the risks and uncertainties associated with our business or events that happen after the date of this news release. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. As a general policy, we do not update forward-looking statements except as required by securities laws and regulations.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors:
This news release uses the terms "Measured", "Indicated", and "Inferred" resources. U.S. investors are advised that while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, 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. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources will ever be converted into Mineral Reserves. U.S. Investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a Mineral Resource is economically or legally mineable.
2013 number 13