Vancouver, BC - Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (the "Company") (TSX.V: NEE) is pleased to provide a corporate update on its phased project development plans, now being parallel tracked, for the Moss Gold-Silver Project located in Mohave County, Arizona, USA with highlights as follows:
- Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) expected in Q1 2013
- Phased Development Plan on schedule
- Mine Exploration Program resource definition drilling to continue
- Metallurgical test-work underway
- Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) for Phase I Pilot Plant now underway
- Construction commencement for Phase I Pilot Plant targeted Q1/Q2 2013
- Permitting for Phase I Pilot Plant anticipated Q1 2013
- Moss Project Advisory Council established
- Local office in Bullhead City, Arizona, USA opened
- Board of Directors strengthened
- Consultant Advisory Services strengthened
Dick Whittington, President and CEO, Northern Vertex Mining Corp. states, "We have undertaken the target of putting the Moss Project into commercial production in an expedient but well executed manner by early 2014 and the "parallel track approach" is now being utilized to progress the Company towards this target in a streamlined fashion. The Preliminary Economic Assessment and the commencement of construction for the Phase I Pilot Plant by Q2 2013 are on track. We are also excited by the participation of local stakeholders at such an early stage and look forward to fruitful collaboration with them as we seek to create both shareholder value and community capacity in Mohave County."
Preliminary Economic Assessment:
CDM Smith Engineering of Arizona, Project Engineers for the Moss Project, is on target to complete the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) by the end of March 2013. This economic assessment, focused on Phase I and Phase II, will address expected cash flows, operating costs and capital costs as well as mine and processing designs and other related aspects of mine design and operation. Pending the outcome of the PEA, the Company will initiate a feasibility study focusing on Phase II, with a target production rate of 5,000 tpd.
3 Phase Mine Development Plan Update:
The 3 Phase mine development plan, designed to move the project forward from conceptual design and laboratory test work to on-site pilot plant testing (Phase I) and then commercial operations (Phase II) is moving forward according to schedule. As outlined in the News Release dated Nov 29, 2012, this phased development approach with commercial production commencing at 5,000 tpd in an open pit, heap leach operation in Phase II, allows for a low initial Capex and shorter lead times in reaching these production levels. The natural attributes of the Moss Deposit can be capitalized upon, hereby reducing development risk and capital risk. As a feasibility study has yet to be completed, there is no certainty the proposed operation will be economically viable.
The proposed 3 Phase Development Schedule is outlined below:
Mine Exploration and Resources:
Running concurrently to the Phased Mine Development Plan are two Explorations Programs: the Mine Exploration Program and the Property Exploration Program. As part of the Mine Exploration Program, extensive resource definition drilling is planned to continue in the area surrounding the Phase I and Phase II open pit, where the gold stock-work vein system outcrops at surface. Several targets adjacent to the initial open pit will also be explored as part of this program.
Drill results, expected over the next few months and throughout the next two years, will be utilized to further define the known mineralization, to streamline the mine design for Phase II and to expand the resource adjacent to the mine area. The current NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate is 956,800 AuEq ounces (measured and indicated) and 266,340 AuEq ounces (inferred).
On September 10, 2012, an updated NI 43-101 mineral resource estimation was announced for the Moss Property with results as follows:
Scott E. Wilson Consulting Inc. Summarized Updated Resource Estimate: Table 1
Reported at 0.3 gpt Au Cutoff
|Resource Category||AuEq* (oz)||Au (oz)||Ag (oz)||Tonnes||Grade|
* Gold equivalency is based on a silver:gold ratio of 50:1 and assumes 100% recovery of all metals.;* Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resources estimated will be converted into Mineral Reserves estimate.;* Mineral resource tonnage and contained metal have been rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate, and numbers may not add due to rounding.;* Resources were based on 28,871 m of drilling in 330 exploration drill holes and 590 meters of channel sampling from surface and underground trenches and cross-cuts. There were a total of 5,872 drill composite samples and 269 rock channel samples used in the estimation of gold and silver. SEWC used Inverse Power Distance (ID3) as the preferred estimation technique for the Moss Project.
Metallurgical Test Work:
Additional metallurgical test-work is currently underway at McLelland Laboratories, Inc. in Nevada, specialists in gold heap leaching operations. This additional testing is designed to improve upon results from the initial analysis of bottle roll and column leach test work analysis outlined in the 2012 Technical Report to an optimized balance of crush size, solution consumption and leach times vs. metallurgical recovery rates. The Company is exploring high pressure roll crushers and agglomeration as a means to unlock gold which can then be recovered through traditional heap leach technology, leading to higher recovery rates. These results will form a key component of the Preliminary Economic Assessment and will be further tested through the Phase I Pilot Plant operations phase.
Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM):
CDM Smith Engineering (CDM) has been retained to assist the Company with the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management of the Company's Phase I development plan.
Engineering for Phase I is anticipated to move from a 30% completion rate to a 60% completion rate prior the anticipated release of the Preliminary Economic Assessment at the end of March. This work is being carried out in parallel with completion of the PEA and is intended to substantially advance the engineering progress of the mine design, mine infrastructure and heap leach design in a parallel track, thereby enabling the advancement of the production timeline of Phase I. The "Parallel Tracking" concept, a concept whereby stages of development are done in parallel without waiting for one stage to complete prior to the start of another, was also utilized successfully in mine design and development at Farallon Mining's G9 Mine in Mexico, under the direction of Mr. Dick Whittington, President and CEO Northern Vertex Mining Corp.
Also being "parallel tracked" prior to the release of the PEA is the procurement of certain long lead time items such as the pumps used throughout the leach circuit process, the agglomeration drum for mixing crushed ore with agglomeration materials and a 5 column carbon absorption unit used in the gold extraction process.
In addition to equipment procurement, the Company is currently sending out official Bid Packages for competent mining contractors specifically for the Phase I Pilot Plant but also for Phase II, where production levels of 5,000 tpd are targeted. Depending on the competitiveness of these bids, the mine will be either contractor operated or owner operated.
With equipment procured and mining contractors secured, construction on Phase I could commence at the end of Q1 or early in Q2 of this year, once all necessary permits are received and Northern Vertex's Board has approved the Project.
The Company is actively working with the necessary authorities to secure the permits required to proceed with the Phase I Pilot Plant. Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has advised that the Substantive Review is now in progress for Phase I Aquifer Protection Permit. The Company anticipates that final permit authorization will be received in Q1 2013. The Air Quality Permit Determination Request for Phase 1 is also currently being reviewed by ADEQ.
Permit applications for Phase II will be pursued in due course should the PEA indicate Phase II is an economically viable option for the Company.
The Company has established a local "Moss Project Advisory Council". A diverse group of local stakeholders have agreed to participate in this forum as a means to facilitate open and transparent communications of the Company's plans going forward. Advisory Council meetings will be held regularly throughout the development and operations of the Moss Project.
Local Office Opened in Arizona:
Golden Vertex Corp, an Arizona corporation wholly owned by Northern Vertex Mining Corp. has opened an office in Bullhead City, Mohave County, NW Arizona, 90 miles south of Las Vegas and a short 20 minute drive from the Moss Project site. "Establishing a Northern Vertex presence in Bullhead City is an important step for us" says Joe Bardswich, General Manager -- Moss Project. "Logistically and administratively it makes sense from a mine development point of view but it also allows us to establish a presence for the local community. A mine of this nature brings employment and business opportunities for the communities but will inevitably have unanticipated impacts on the local communities as well so we want the lines of communication to be open." The Company will be, wherever possible, hiring locally and securing supplies locally to support local business. Where possible, training programs will be set up to facilitate this objective.
Board of Directors Strengthened:
On December 28, 2012, at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Northern Vertex Mining Corp. approval was given to increase the number of Board Members from four to six. Both Mr. Dick Whittington, P.Eng, President and CEO Northern Vertex Mining Corp. as well as Mr. Jim McDonald, P.Geo will bring their extensive mining expertise and business acumen to an already qualified and skilled Board including Mr. Ken Berry, B.Comm, Chairman of the Board, Mr. David Farrell, B.Comm, LL.B, Director, Mr. Joe Bardswich, P.Eng, General Manager - Moss Project, Director and Mr. Mark Schnarr, BA, Director.
Mr. McDonald brings Northern Vertex's Board over 25 years' experience in the international mining sector. His proven track record in developing and advancing projects from the start-up phase to production includes acquiring the Mulatos Gold Project in the State of Sonora, Mexico and subsequently co-founding Alamos Gold, a gold heap leach operation in Mexico. His vast experience, as well as Board and Technical Committee experience, will be welcomed by the Board of Northern Vertex.
Mr. Whittington's career encompasses senior executive and mine management roles that include numerous feasibility studies, mine evaluations, mine development, production, marketing, capital raising, mergers, acquisitions and successful company takeovers. As former President and CEO of Farallon Mining, Mr. Whittington took the company from the discovery stage through to commercial production in less than four years with a paradigm shift from sequential exploration and mine development to a parallel track development philosophy -- earning him a finalist place in the 2010 Ernst and Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award in the mining category for the Pacific Region. His commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility in mining has earned him a Governor General Canada Special Gold Medal and he will work with the Board in sharing that same focus and corporate commitment to stakeholders and communities involved with the Company's projects.
Consultant Advisory Services Strengthened:
Mr. Dan Kilby has over 40 years' experience in the mining sector. Most recently, he was General Manager of Exploration for Farallon Mining where he discovered the G9 deposit and assisted in the development of the G9 mine under the direction of Mr. Dick Whittington, President and CEO, Northern Vertex Mining Corp. Prior to that, he was with the Hunter Dickinson Group and worked on projects located in Mexico, Nevada and South Africa. He is a co-discoverer of the Gataga lead-zinc district in northeast British Columbia and has extensive experience in gold exploration in Nevada where he was involved in projects, including heap leach, from early exploration, through feasibility, to development and production. Dan holds a B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering. He will be working closely with Mr. Colin McKenzie, General Manager of Exploration and Mr. Jim McDonald, Director to expand and increase the mineral resources of the Moss deposit.
Subject the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, Northern Vertex has issued 350,000 incentive stock options exercisable for a period of 5 years at a price of $1.40 to directors, officers and contractors of the Company.
The mineral resource is reported in accordance with Canadian Securities Administration (CSA) NI 43-101 and has been classified in accordance with standards as defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves.
The mineral resource estimate was prepared by Scott E. Wilson Consultants of Denver, an independent QP under NI 43-101. The foregoing geological disclosure has also been reviewed and verified by Northern Vertex's General Manager of Exploration, Mr. Colin McKenzie (a qualified person ("QP") for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects). For full QC/QA procedures please visit: http://www.northernvertex.com/s/QCQA.asp. For complete drill results and estimates please visit: http://www.northernvertex.com/s/drillresults.asp
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 proportional basis. The Company paid $500,000 upfront with a work plan commitment of $8 million to earn the 70%. A Bankable Feasibility Study is a condition of the earn-in and will be included in the $8 million requirement. The Company has spent $4.5 million to date and expects to earn its 70% interest during Phase I.
About Northern Vertex:
Northern Vertex Mining Corp. is a Canadian based exploration and mining company focused on the development of precious metals deposits in the United States. The Company comprises an experienced management team with a strong background in all aspects of acquisition, exploration, development, operations and financing of precious metal mining projects. Its flagship Moss Gold-Silver Project located in Arizona, USA contains 956,800 oz of AuEq in the measured and indicated categories. The Moss Project is a low strip ratio, heap leach, open pit project and is 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 is focused on working effectively and respectfully with our stakeholders and enhancing the capacity of the communities we work within.
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
Cautionary Note to US Investors: This news release may contain information about adjacent properties on which we have no right to explore or mine. We advise U.S. investors that the SEC's mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned that mineral deposits on adjacent properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on our properties. This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such Statements.
This news release uses the terms "Measured", "Indicated", and "Inferred" resources. United States 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. 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 a Mineral Resource is economically or legally mineable.
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 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 press 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.
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.
2013 number 27