Duluth Metals Announces an Updated Mineral Resource Estimate Confirming Large Increases to Twin Metals Contained Metal, Grade and Indicated Tonnage 6 hours ago
Figure 1 - Map of Twin Metals Minnesota Indicated Resources, Inferred Resources, and Exploration Target Areas. …
- Amongst the world's largest Cu-Ni-PGM polymetallic sulphide deposits with contained metals (using a 0.3% Cu cut-off) of 13.7 billion lbs copper, 4.4 billion lbs nickel, and 21.2 million ozs palladium+platinum+gold (TPM)1 in the Indicated category and 11.8 billion lbs copper, 4.0 billion lbs nickel, and 12.8 million ozs TPM1 in the Inferred category, representing an average 19% increase from the June 2012 interim AMEC Report.
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, AMEC estimated an Indicated Mineral Resource of 1.17 billion tons2 and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.26 billion tons on the three deposits (Birch Lake, Maturi and Spruce Road) occurring on approximately 11% of the footprint of the prospective portion of the Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) property block, representing a 60% increase in Indicated Tons and a 9% increase in Inferred Tons from the June 2012 interim report.
- The S3 Subunit (which is a subset of the base case mineral resource estimate for the Maturi Deposit) using a higher 0.5% Cu cut-off contains 622 million tons in the Indicated category and 198 million tons in the Inferred category. This material may have potential to provide higher-grade mill feed for the early stages of any planned mining operation.
- Exploration Target areas include additional potential resources of between 1.4 and 2.2 billion tons contiguous to the boundaries of the three deposits. These Exploration Target areas occur on approximately 12% of the footprint of the prospective portion of the TMM property block.
- The AMEC updated mineral resource estimate highlights a growing Platinum Group Metal (PGM) and gold resource of 21.2 million ozs Indicated and 12.8 million ozs Inferred in the Maturi and Birch Lake deposits. A decline of 3.0 million ozs contained in the Inferred Resource from the June 2012 interim report is offset by a 9.1 million ozs (75%) increase in the Indicated Resource. The TMM project has one of the world's largest palladium and platinum resources outside of South Africa.
TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Duluth Metals Limited ("Duluth") (TSX:DM.TO - News) (TSX:DM-U.TO - News) today announced that Twin Metals Minnesota LLC (TMM) has received a draft NI 43-101 Technical Report on the consolidated mineral resources for the Twin Metals Minnesota Project in Northeastern Minnesota prepared by an AMEC E&C Services Inc. (AMEC) team led by Dr. Harry Parker. This final study utilizes 867 drill holes and 308 wedge offsets to confirm the Twin Metals Minnesota Project to be one of the largest base and precious metal deposits in the world of this type. In addition, the PGM resource estimate confirms the project to be one of the largest palladium and platinum resources outside of South Africa. The final NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report will be delivered by AMEC and filed on SEDAR within 45 days from today's date.
Vern Baker, President of Duluth Metals, commenting on the report stated: "This final AMEC report confirms the impressive nature of the deposits, with very large qualified resources on only 11% of the Twin Metals Minnesota property. All key parameters including grade, tonnage, and contained metal have grown substantially since the June 2012 interim report. The updated resource statement provides greater clarity on continuous zones of higher grade mineralization for TMM's ongoing prefeasibility study. Mine planning will focus on utilizing the higher grade areas for initial mine sequencing, potentially improving the business/ economic model significantly."
1 Values for the Pt, Pd and Au components of TPM are shown in Table 5 and Table 6.
2 All tonnages are reported as short tons.
Significant Increase in the TMM Global Resource
The study includes three mineral resources in close proximity to one another within the Twin Metals Minnesota Project referred to as the Maturi, Birch Lake and Spruce Road Deposits:
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, the Maturi Deposit** contains 1065 million tons of Indicated Mineral Resources grading 0.59% copper, 0.19% nickel, 0.60 parts per million TPM (TPM = Pt + Pd + Au), plus an additional 542 million tons of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 0.51% copper, 0.17% nickel, 0.53 parts per million TPM. (Maturi Deposit tonnages do not include 139 million tons of mineralized material excluded from the underground resource in a safety pillar)
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, the Birch Lake Deposit** contains 99.7 million tons of Indicated Mineral Resources grading 0.52% copper, 0.16% nickel, 0.86 parts per million TPM, plus an additional 239.2 million tons of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 0.46% copper, 0.15% nickel, 0.64 parts per million TPM
- Using a base case 0.3% Cu cut-off, the Spruce Road Deposit** contains 480 million tons of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 0.43% copper, 0.16% nickel.*
* Note - The Spruce Road resource was estimated using Inco legacy assay data. Platinum, palladium, and gold were not assayed by Inco, and the core is not available for re-assay.
** Note - These mineral resource estimates include 100% of the estimated resource in each deposit, and include mineral resources acquired as a part of TMM's acquisition of Franconia Minerals Corporation in 2011. Franconia's principal assets are a 70% interest in the Birch Lake, 'old' Maturi and Spruce Road deposits in northeastern Minnesota through the Birch Lake Joint Venture. Franconia announced in November, 2010 its intention to increase its ownership at the Birch Lake Joint Venture to 82%; see Franconia's company profile at www.SEDAR.com for Technical Reports. TMM's ownership of the resource will be factored by these percentages where applicable.
Higher Grade core delineated in the Maturi Deposit - Potential Earlier Economic Mining Opportunities
The current Maturi Deposit resource estimate is based on a refined geological model. One geological subunit within the Maturi Deposit, known as the S3, hosts a higher-grade area that is a subset of the base case mineral resource estimate that may have potential as an early start-up area. AMEC estimated that the S3 Subunit in the Maturi Deposit, using a 0.5% Cu cut-off, contains 622 million tons grading 0.69% Cu, 0.22% Ni and 0.76 ppm TPM of Indicated Mineral Resources and 198 million tons grading 0.65% Cu, 0.21% Ni and 0.82 ppm TPM in the Inferred category. This material is a higher grade sub-set of the global resources estimated for Maturi. Within the Maturi Deposit, the bulk of mineralization is hosted by two subunits of the Basal Mineralized Zone (BMZ). The S2 and S3 subunits are stratiform, with the S3 subunit overlying the S2 subunit. Both subunits are laterally extensive, and are present over the vast majority of the deposit footprint. Within the Indicated Mineral Resource areal footprint, the S3 subunit ranges in vertical thickness from 0 to 355 feet, averaging 108 feet thick (0 to 276 feet, average 91 feet true thickness) and within the Indicated Mineral Resource areal footprint, the S2 subunit ranges in vertical thickness from 0 to 423 feet, averaging 72 feet thick (0 to 329 feet, averaging 59 feet true thickness). Table 1 shows tabulation range of sensitivity cases at different copper cut-off grades for the S3 Subunit of the Maturi Deposit. The base case subset estimate at a 0.3% Cu cut-off grade for the unit is shown in bold, and the 0.5% Cu cut-off grade sensitivity case subset is indicated in italics.
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