Wallbridge announces amendment to its North Range Joint Venture with Lonmin
TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX: WM, FWB: WC7) ("Wallbridge") today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Lonmin Plc and Lonmin Canada Limited (together "Lonmin") to amend the existing North Range Joint Venture ("NRJV") agreement. The amendment (the "Wisner Amendment") provides Lonmin the option to earn a 50% initial interest in Wallbridge's Wisner package of properties ("Wisner Properties"), excluding the Broken Hammer development project and its immediate down plunge extension, by making cash option payments and funding exploration totalling $6 million over three years.
The Wisner Properties cover a 10 kilometre strike length of prospective geology for footwall type Cu-PGE mineralization, including several known Cu-PGE occurrences. "This agreement provides us with the funding to explore along the mineralization trend for distal extensions of the Broken Hammer deposit and to test other targets in the immediate area", stated Marz Kord, President and CEO of Wallbridge. "It provides significant exploration funding without further diluting our shareholders. We are very pleased to be partnering with Lonmin on this prospective land package."
Joint Venture Terms
Under terms of the Wisner Amendment, Lonmin can earn a 50% interest in the Wisner Properties by making cash option payments and funding exploration totalling $6 million over three years, as follows:
|i.||Lonmin will fund exploration costs on the Wisner Properties totalling $3.6 million over three years, with minimum annual exploration expenditures of $1.2 million;|
|ii.||Lonmin will make cash option payments to Wallbridge totalling 2/3 of annual exploration costs with respect to the Wisner Properties (a minimum of $800,000 per year over three years); and|
|iii.||Wallbridge will fund 40% of exploration costs on the Wisner Properties over the same three year period.|
Upon vesting its initial interest, Lonmin will have the option to earn a 15% additional interest by committing to fund the Wisner Properties through to a definitive feasibility study.
This agreement will increase the 2013/2014 NRJV exploration budget to $3.5M including the previously approved $1.5M exploration budget on the 14 NRJV properties (refer to press release dated October 10, 2013), for the period from October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014.
The initial exploration program on the Wisner Properties is already underway with re-processing of existing geophysics, completion of airborne geophysics, and ground geophysical surveys this winter. Follow-up drilling is expected to start in mid-late winter.
Wisner Properties Description
Wallbridge's Wisner Properties include five contiguous properties including two mining leases, one patent and 31 mining claims covering 1,120 hectares. These include the 98.5% Wallbridge owned Broken Hammer property (excluding the Broken Hammer development project), the 100% Wallbridge owned Wisner West property, the 78% Wallbridge owned Wisner Glencore Joint Venture property, the 100% Wallbridge owned Wisner East property, and the 100% Wallbridge owned Bowell property.
Work to date has identified several priority exploration targets on the Wisner properties as follows:
- Extensions to the Broken Hammer Cu-PGE development project;
- A 1.5 km Cu-PGE trend at the Southwest Zone and South Zone occurrences;
- Anomalous PGE values in Sudbury breccia on the outer flank of the Wisner gabbro; and
- Surface EM, airborne EM, and IP anomalies in Sudbury breccia at Wisner East.
Exploration target areas are shown in Figures 1 and 2 below:
Figure 1: Wisner Package of Properties
About Wallbridge Mining
Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (WM:TSX) is an established junior company, formed in 1996, whose mission is to explore and develop platinum group elements (PGE's) in mining friendly jurisdictions of North America.
Wallbridge is currently exploring and developing a large package of properties in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada's premier mining district. These include the pre-feasibility stage Broken Hammer development project and significant exploration joint ventures with partners Lonmin Plc, Impala Platinum Holdings Limited and Glencore.
In 2005, Wallbridge created Duluth Metals Limited (TSX:DM) to explore and develop projects in Minnesota, USA. Duluth Metals has since defined the world's largest undeveloped sulfide PGEs, copper and nickel deposit which it is developing through Twin Metals Limited, a joint venture with copper producer Antofagasta Plc. Wallbridge currently retains 10.1 million shares of Duluth Metals (8.1%).
In 2010, Wallbridge created Miocene Metals Limited (TSXV:MII) to explore and develop seven porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum projects in British Columbia, Canada, within a previously under-recognized belt of Miocene-age intrusions. These projects are early stage with large mineralized structures and alteration zones that are ready for drilling with potential for large tonnage deposits. Wallbridge currently retains 28.4 million shares of Miocene Metals (40.5%).
This press release may contain forward-looking statements (including "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) relating to, among other things, the operations of Wallbridge and the environment in which it operates. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Wallbridge has relied on a number of assumptions and estimates in making such forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the costs associated with the development and operation of its properties. Such assumptions and estimates are made in light of the trends and conditions that are considered to be relevant and reasonable based on information available and the circumstances existing at this time. A number of risk factors may cause actual results, level of activity, performance or outcomes of such exploration and/or mine development to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including, without limitation, whether such discoveries will result in commercially viable quantities of such mineralized materials, the possibility of changes to project parameters as plans continue to be refined, the ability to execute planned exploration and future drilling programs, the need for additional funding to continue exploration and development efforts, changes in general economic, market and business conditions, and those other risks set forth in Wallbridge's most recent annual information form under the heading "Risk Factors" and in its other public filings. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and such information is inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and may be beyond the control of Wallbridge. Although Wallbridge has attempted to identify important risks and factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors and risks that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Consequently, undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements. In addition, all forward-looking statements in this press release are given as of the date hereof.
Wallbridge disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, save and except as may be required by applicable securities laws. The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this disclaimer.
SOURCE Wallbridge Mining Company Limited