TVI Pacific Inc. ("TVI" or the "Company") announced today that TVI Resource Development Philippines, Inc. ("TVIRD"), TVI's Philippine operating affiliate, has stopped milling operations at its Canatuan mine after having exhausted its remaining stockpile, pending the results of assessing various mine life extension and expansion opportunities. It is expected that at least one more shipment of copper concentrate will be scheduled.
The Company is proud to report that:
- Since completing construction in November 2008 of a sulphide production plant at Canatuan to process the underlying sulphide orebody containing copper and zinc, the Company has completed 38 shipments of copper concentrate for a total volume of 195,660 dmt and 7 shipments of zinc concentrate for a total volume of 30,548 dmt, as compared to an initially anticipated 119,800 dmt of copper concentrate and 6,100 dmt of zinc concentrate. Reserves mined significantly exceeded initial reserves as a result of additional material found and mined. This material, consisting of banded sulphides with low-grade chlorite schists, was used in ore blending to optimize mill recoveries and was located both inside and outside the pit shell and not included in the original ore reserves.
- The copper and zinc operations at the Canatuan mine have provided a 5.9 year mine life as compared to an initially anticipated 5 to 6 year mine life, but actual mill throughput has been much higher than planned. Actual mill throughput in recent months was increased to approximately 3,500 tonnes per day.
The processing plant will be cleaned but equipment will not be dismantled while the Company continues to assess mine life extension and expansion opportunities, including the possible processing of mineralized waste dump material, possible new discoveries from exploration drill targets outside of the pit area, possible production of pyrite concentrates, re-processing of tails and exploitation of possible economic deposits from outside the current MPSA (Malusok and SE Malusok). TVIRD is continuing to seek regulatory approval for expansion of the current MPSA to include these deposits.
On April 10, 2013 TVI filed an updated National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) technical report entitled "Independent Report on the Nickel Laterite Resource - Agata North, Philippines." The updated NI 43-101 reflects an updated and reclassified resource estimate for the Agata North nickel laterite resource. The new resource provides a robust foundation for moving forward, initially, with a direct shipping ore ("DSO") operation of high-iron limonite (upper laterite horizon), followed by atmospheric leach processing of the underlying saprolite horizon.
Highlights of the updated NI 43-101 include:
- An increase in measured and indicated resources to 33.9 million dry metric tonnes at 1.1% nickel as compared to the previous 31.8 million dry metric tonnes at 1.05% nickel;
- Inferred resources are 2.0 million dry metric tonnes at 1.04% nickel;
- Estimated contained nickel is 391 thousand tonnes.
At a cut-off grade of 44% iron, there are an estimated 7.0 million dry metric tonnes or approximately 10 million wet metric tonnes at 48.5% iron and 0.94% nickel - a DSO product grade currently much in demand in China. The joint venture is fast-tracking DSO development and is well into the permitting stage with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program and the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan under review by the Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee. TVIRD continues to wait final approval of the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility ("DMPF"), which will allow the project to move into development. Timing of receipt of this permit, however, is uncertain. The Agata high iron DSO project already has an existing Environmental Compliance Certificate ("ECC").
TVIRD has an option to earn a 60% interest in the Agata Mining Joint Venture upon commencement of commercial production subject to (i) TVIRD having expended a minimum of $2 million within 12 months of the date of the Agata Mining Option and Joint Venture Agreement ("AMVI Agreement"), and (ii) commercial production at Agata having commenced within 3 years of the date of the AMVI Agreement. Under the AMVI Agreement, TVIRD is required to fund all expenditures associated with the establishment of the Mining Operation.
An independent NI 43-101 technical report relating to the Balabag Gold-Silver project has been completed and filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) on August 15, 2012. Based on drilling completed to the end of June 2011, the independent qualified person estimates an indicated mineral resource of 1.78 million tonnes averaging 2.34 grams per tonne of gold and 72.3 grams per tonne of silver containing 134,262 ounces of gold and 4,148,196 ounces of silver. Readers are cautioned that such estimates remain conceptual in nature and mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
In October 2013, the Company received the ECC for the Balabag Project, marking a critical milestone towards the start of development which may commence once approval is received of the DMPF by the Philippines Mines and Geosciences Bureau ("MGB") of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources ("DENR"). All required documents have been submitted to the MGB. Timing as to the issuance of this required permit continues to be uncertain.
About TVI Pacific Inc.
TVI Pacific Inc. is a Canadian resource company focused on the production, development, exploration and acquisition of resource projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. TVI's affiliate, TVIRD, has to date produced copper and zinc concentrates from its Canatuan mine and is advancing its Balabag Gold-Silver project. TVI is a direct or indirect participant/operator in several joint venture projects in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea and also has an interest in an offshore Philippine oil property.