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NICO Project advancing towards construction activities
LONDON, ON, Nov. 14, 2013 – Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQX: FTMDF) (“Fortune” or the “Company”) (www.fortuneminerals.com) is pleased to announce that it has selected Hatch Ltd. (“Hatch”) to conduct detailed engineering and design for the construction of the NICO gold-gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories (“NT”). Hatch is providing detailed design engineering services for the NICO project including, the overall coordination of engineering for the open pit mine, underground mine, ore handling and storage, processing plant and facilities, concentrate production, storage and loading, tailing storage, site support structures, water and power supply, camp facilities and all civil road and drainage designs needed to commence construction.
Mr. Mike Romaniuk, Vice President of Operations and COO of Fortune commented, “Our effort with Procon to complete project financing arrangements is progressing and the selection of Hatch demonstrates the continued momentum the Company has towards developing the NICO Project.”
The selected Hatch team is well known for the design and construction of mineral beneficiation process plants and supporting infrastructure, particularly projects in remote and cold climate regions and Arctic regions of Canada. Experience from recent projects will be applied to the NICO Project. The alliance with Hatch is also consistent with Fortune’s commitment to progressive Aboriginal relations. Hatch has a history of working with and for Aboriginal communities, providing support for inclusion and capacity building through engagement, employment and on-the-job training of Aboriginal individuals and participation of Aboriginal businesses.
Fortune continues to work with Deloitte Corporate Finance Inc. to complete project financing agreements for the NICO Project. The Company recently announced a strategic investment by Procon Resources Inc. to provide financing to advance NICO and discussions are ongoing with several parties interested in participating in the development.
Final step in refinery environmental assessment process
Fortune has filed the final Environmental Impact Study (“EIS”) for its Saskatchewan Metals Processing Plant (“SMPP”) with the Saskatchewan Environmental Assessment Branch (“SEAB”). The EIS and associated documentation has been posted for public comment over a 60 day period that started on October 5, 2013. The public comment period will be followed by the SEAB’s recommendation to the Saskatchewan Minister of Environment. Fortune believes it has addressed all of the questions brought forward by the SEAB during the review of the EIS.
The Company recently announced that it had received approval for the NICO mine and mill in the NT from the federal and Tlicho governments, allowing the Company to complete the water licensing and land use permits process and to secure the primary permits required for the mine development (see Fortune News Release dated July 19, 2013). Updated permit applications for the mine were submitted to the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board on October 11 along with several management plans that will aid reviewers in the development of the water license and land use permit.
NICO is positioned to become a reliable Canadian-based producer of gold, cobalt and bismuth co-products with minor by-product copper. Mining will be conducted primarily by open pit methods with underground ores also contributing mill feed during the first two years from the existing underground workings that were established from previous test mining programs. The ores will be processed in a concentrator at the site, using simple flotation to produce a bulk concentrate for shipment to a refinery and additional processing to high value metal products. More than $110 million of work has already been invested to advance the project, including completion of Front-End Engineering and Design and feasibility studies, underground test mining, and pilot plant tests to verify the process methods and products. NICO is located 50 km north of the Tlicho community of Whati and 160 km northwest of the City of Yellowknife.
The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this press release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and CEO of the Company, who is a “qualified person” under National Instrument 43-101.
Hatch supplies engineering, project and construction management services, process and business consulting and operational services to the mining, metallurgical, energy and infrastructure industries and has its head office in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Hatch is an employee-owned, multidisciplinary professional services firm that delivers a comprehensive array of technical and strategic services, including consulting, information technology, engineering, process development, and project and construction management to the Mining, Metallurgical, Energy, and Infrastructure sectors. Hatch has served clients for over 55 years and has project experience in more than 150 countries around the world. With over 11,000 people in over 65 offices, the firm has more than $35 billion in projects currently under management.
About Fortune Minerals
Fortune is a diversified resource company with several mineral deposits and a number of exploration projects, all located in Canada. The Company is focused on the development of the Arctos Anthracite Project in British Columbia and the vertically integrated NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project that is comprised of a mine and mill in the NT that will produce a bulk concentrate for shipment to a refinery for processing to high value metal products. In addition, the Company owns the Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit and other exploration projects in the NT. Fortune is focused on outstanding performance and growth of shareholder value through assembly and development of high quality mineral resource projects.
This press release contains forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes statements with respect to, among other things, the Company’s expectations with respect to advancing the permitting process relating to the NICO project as well as the anticipated development of, and construction at, the NICO project [and the timing thereof], the anticipated mining and processing methods to be used at the NICO project, arranging financing for the NICO project and the proposed development of the Arctos project. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management as well as certain assumptions at the date the information is given (including, in respect of the forward-looking information contained in this press release, assumptions regarding the Company’s business and ability to generate sufficient funds). However, such forward-looking information 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 mineral properties, the inherent volatility of metal prices, the risk that the Company may not be able to arrange the necessary financing to construct and operate the NICO mine, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of all applicable permits for the development of the NICO project 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.
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