Rambler Metals and Mining plc (TSX VENTURE:RAB)(AIM:RMM) has provided an update on a number of its active projects.
Progress at the Ming Mine measured by the first arrival of necessary equipment, continuation of exploration development, the 80% completion of the new office and dry facility and continued work with the Department of Natural Resources on necessary permitting
Update of Lower Footwall Zone resource estimate is on track for end of February 2011 with the NI43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment due for release in Q3 2011
At the Nugget Pond Crown Pillar Project the Environmental Assessment has been released by the Department of Environment and Conservation with no conditions. The Company has submitted the Development Plan to the Provincial Department of Natural Resources for approval.
The Tilt Cove East Mine Dump was officially registered for Environmental Assessment on February 15, 2011. Public comments due by March 22, 2011 with Ministers decision due on March 31, 2011.
George Ogilvie, President and CEO commented:
"We continue to make steady progress in bringing the Ming Mine back into production in the second half of this year. Once in production we anticipate releasing a NI43-101 preliminary economic study for the Lower Footwall Zone that is not currently in our production forecast. It's anticipated this economic study will reveal significant upside potential for the mine and will form the basis of future expansions.
In the short term we remain focused on bringing the Nugget Pond Crown Pillar and Tilt Cove East Mine Dumps into production to generate some early cashflow from operations. These projects remain on schedule to begin mining in Q2 2011."
The Ming Copper Gold Mine is quickly transitioning itself from an historic exploration target into a newly developed operation. It is anticipated that complete construction approval from the Provincial Department of Natural Resources will be granted in the coming weeks. Once received the third and final tranche of financing from Sandstorm Resources can be released.
Site construction is proceeding well with the new office and dry facility 80% complete. Mill foundation work is completed and all major mill components have arrived onsite and are ready to move to the next phase of construction.
Much of the underground equipment has also arrived at mine site including MT42 truck, ST1030 scooptram, 282 jumbo, production drill and McLean bolter. Other units are due for delivery in the forthcoming weeks. Finally, exploration development continues on the 1700 level targeting a historical reference to wire gold.
The project remains on schedule for first production in the second half of 2011.
Lower Footwall Zone
The Lower Footwall Zone ('LFZ') resource is currently estimated at 8.2 million tonnes grading 1.65% copper (see press release dated August 26, 2010). While none of this material has been included in the present Feasibility Study the company has engaged the services of two independent consultants to publish a NI43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment.
The LFZ has been defined with a strike length of 250 meters wide, plunge length of 1550 meters long, 200 meters thick and hosts disseminated stringer chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite. Importantly the zone is open both up and down plunge and has returned good copper grades over significant widths.
In 2007 SRK Consulting (Toronto) compiled the first Preliminary Economic Assessment on mining of the LFZ. While this report noted many positive elements for the estimated ten year operation, the LFZ resource was non-NI43-101 compliant which meant the study could not be published and could be used for internal purposes only. Since then the company has published two separate NI43-101 compliant resource estimates and is planning to update the LFZ resource again towards the end of February. This new resource will include the entire surface and underground drill database, updated 3D modeling of both the mineralization and mafic dykes and improved cut off grades representative of current longer term copper prices. Each of the improvements is expected to have a positive impact on the new resource estimate for the LFZ.
The new Preliminary Economic Assessment will include the new resource estimate in addition to all of the other advancements the project has made over the last four years. These include but are not limited to a permitted mill and tailings impoundment area; fully dewatered mine with air, electrical and water services installed; underground mobile fleet; complete surface support facilities and a rehabilitated shaft manway. All of these advancements should assist in reducing capital requirements as the project moves ahead.
The results of this study are expected to be released during Q3 2011 just prior to first production from the Ming Mine.
Nugget Pond Crown Pillar
On December 20, 2010 the company officially registered the mining of Nugget Pond's crown pillar for environmental assessment. We are pleased to announce that on February 15, 2011 this project has been released from further environmental assessment with no underlying conditions. As a result the development plan for this project has now been submitted and is under review by provincial authorities for their review and approval.
Rambler is anticipating mining this zone during Q2 2011.
Tilt Cove – East Mine Deposit
The Project was officially registered on February 15, 2011 with public comments due by March 22, 2011 and the Ministry's decision due on March 31, 2011.
The company anticipates that approvals to proceed with this project will be available in Q3 2010.
Larry Pilgrim, P.Geo. is the Qualified Person responsible for the technical content of this release and has reviewed and approved it accordingly. Mr. Pilgrim is an independent consultant contracted by Rambler Metals and Mining plc.
Source: Rambler Metals and Mining plc