Wallbridge provides update on Broken Hammer Mine production

TORONTO, July 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX: WM, FWB: WC7) ("Wallbridge") is pleased to provide an update on its Broken Hammer open pit Cu-PGE mine located in the Sudbury area of Ontario.  Hedging contracts have been put in place for approximately 20% of projected payable copper, platinum, palladium and gold (PGE) from the Broken Hammer Mine production, to ensure this short-life project meets management's cash flow objectives.

Highlights:

  • Site infrastructure construction is nearly complete
  • Processing of ore at Redstone Mill has commenced and is targeting 800 tonnes per day
  • Mine Production is in line with our forecast at 800 tonnes of ore per day
  • Ore stockpile of 12,000 tonnes at the Redstone Mill
  • Approximately 20% of production of payable copper and PGE has been hedged at average prices of $1,441 per ounce of Pt, $826 per ounce of Pd, $1,266 per ounce of gold and $3.07 per pound of copper
  • Expected revenues of $39 million will provide the Company net cash flow of $5.6 million

Mining at the Broken Hammer open pit operation which commenced earlier this year continues to meet the targeted production rate, averaging 800 tonnes per day.  Construction of the site infrastructure, which is continuing concurrently with mining, is nearly complete.  As planned, approximately 18,000 tonnes of ore has been produced to date. An ore stockpiled of 12,000 tonnes remains at the Redstone mill in Timmins, Ontario operated by Northern Sun Mining Corporation (TSX-V: NSM) ('Northern Sun'). Modifications to the mill have now been completed in order to customize the mill and provide optimal metal recoveries from the Broken Hammer ore. In particular, use of the Redstone gravity separation circuit should result in improved recoveries of coarse platinum and gold from the ore.  Commissioning and ore processing at the mill has been ongoing since late last week and the Mill is targeting a rate of 800 tonnes per day. 

Marz Kord, President and CEO of Wallbridge Mining is proud to say "We are now entering a new chapter in Wallbridge's story.  We are a seasoned exploration company that has now successfully made the transition to mining.  By generating revenues from producing saleable concentrate and delivering our concentrates to the smelters, we will strengthen our balance sheet.  This opens up opportunities for Wallbridge to selectively redeploy these funds to create further shareholder value. We have been continuously reviewing our operation in order to not only maximize returns for our shareholders but also de-risk our investment.  We have entered into conservative hedging arrangements for some of the payable metals from the Broken Hammer production to help ensure the project meets our financial objectives".

Broken Hammer Mine Description

The Broken Hammer project was discovered by Wallbridge's exploration team, with the first identification of mineralization in 2003. Wallbridge commenced construction in March of this year and has advanced the project into an open pit operation, with the first material already shipped to the mill.  An in-pit Cu-PGE-Ni mineable reserve of approximately 193,000 tonnes will be mined utilizing the services of William Day Construction Limited, a local mining contractor. Mining is expected to be maintained at an average of approximately 800 tonnes of ore per day.  The ore is being transported to Northern Sun's Redstone facility in Timmins, Ontario where two types of concentrates will be produced namely a gravity concentrate (a high grade platinum, palladium, and gold concentrate) and a copper concentrate. The gravity concentrate will be sold to a PGM facility in Europe and the copper concentrate will be sold to a nearby copper smelter. The open pit mining is expected to achieve a payback of capital expenditures by the end of November 2014, with mining to be completed by April, 2015.

Summary of the Broken Hammer Updated Mineral Reserve Estimate

Wallbridge has prepared an updated in-pit mineral reserve estimate incorporating results from initial mining, the 2011 bulk sample at the Broken Hammer Project as well as mining, milling, smelting and refining contracts.  This in-pit mineral reserve update builds upon previous NI 43-101 reports, including the independent prefeasibility report prepared by Genivar Inc. ("GENIVAR") entitled "Prefeasibility Report on the Broken Hammer Project, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada" according to CIM Standards that was filed on November 29, 2012 (refer to November 29, 2012 press release).

A global mining recovery of 95% and 5% dilution (at zero grade) was used in the calculation. Table 1 below summarizes the in-pit reserve estimate.

Table 1: Mineral Reserve estimate, with an effective date of June 24, 2014

Category

Tonnes

Copper %

Nickel %

Gold

(gpt)

Silver

 (gpt)

Platinum

 (gpt)

Palladium

(gpt)



Probable

193,152

0.95

0.1

0.65

6.69

2.16

1.96


Waste Rock

1,621,683








Stripping Ratio

8.4








The Qualified Person for the Broken Hammer updated in-pit reserve estimate is Mr. Marz Kord, P. Eng., President & CEO for Wallbridge.  Mr. Kord is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. The in-pit reserve estimate is based on current economic inputs and does not represent a material difference from the previous prefeasibility report prepared by Genivar Inc. ("GENIVAR"). (see Press Release dated November 29, 2012). 

Wallbridge's management and internal Qualified Person estimate that the project should generate net cash flow of approximately $5.6 million. The parameters used in this evaluation of the project are as follows:

METAL

PRICE

RECOVERY

COPPER

 $       3.25

86.2%

NICKEL

 $       8.00

48.2%

GOLD

 $     1,310

84.8%

SILVER

 $          21

63.6%

PLATINUM

 $     1,500

82.5%

PALLADIUM

 $        850

80.3%

CAD/US 1.07:1

A summary of projected revenue, operating costs and capital expenses are as follows:

FORECASTED REVENUE ('000 CAD)

COPPER

 $         11,377

NICKEL

 $                 -  

GOLD

 $           4,409

SILVER

 $              411

PLATINUM

 $         15,193

PALLADIUM

 $           7,561

TOTAL REVENUE

 $         38,952

FORECASTED COSTS ('000 CAD)

Mining incl. G&A

 $         10,650

Crushing & Hauling

 $           8,058

Processing

 $         11,776

Royalties

 $           1,277

Capital Expenditures

 $           1,543

TOTAL COSTS

 $         33,305

FORECASTED CASHFLOW ('000 CAD)


TOTAL REVENUE

$         38,952


TOTAL COSTS INCL. CAPITAL & ROYALTIES

$         33,305



NET CASHFLOW

$           5,647


During month of June, in a move to ensure the Broken Hammer mine is able to achieve its financial targets over its short life span, Wallbridge hedged some of its payable metals from approximately 20% of production at the Broken Hammer open pit at the following average prices:

PAYABLE METAL

AVERAGE HEDGE PRICE

COPPER

 $                             3.07

GOLD

 $                           1,266

PLATINUM

 $                           1,441

PALLADIUM

 $                              826

Cautionary Notes regarding Forward Looking Statements

The Broken Hammer production and revenue forecast was not prepared based on a final feasibility study. The current forecasts are made based on the results of internal metallurgical study of recoveries expected at the Redstone mill using a gravity separation and flotation process. It is further based on the sale of concentrate to smelters, mining contractor's unit prices as being conducted by William Day Construction Limited, a local mining contractor whose invoices will be paid after the receipt of payments from the  smelters. These conditions can change significantly over relatively short periods of time. The achievability of life of mine plans, budgets and forecasts are inherently uncertain. There can be no assurance that the results from our production estimates will be realized. Readers are cautioned that, although our assumptions are considered reasonable at this time, they may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on them.

Qualified Persons

The Qualified Person responsible for the preparation of this press release is Mr. Marz Kord, P. Eng., MBA, President & CEO for Wallbridge Mining. Mr. Kord is an employee of Wallbridge Mining, and thus is not independent.

About Wallbridge Mining

Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (WM:TSX) is currently operating its first polymetallic mine, producing copper, platinum, palladium, and gold from the Broken Hammer open pit mine in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada's premier mining district.

Wallbridge is also actively exploring a large package of properties in Sudbury, including operating several significant exploration joint ventures with partners Lonmin Plc, Impala Platinum Holdings Limited and Glencore in Sudbury.

Wallbridge has a record of successfully generating high potential mineral projects and structuring partnerships and new companies to create value for its shareholders and its partners. As such, Wallbridge currently retains its founding stake in its first spin-out company, Duluth Metals Limited (TSX:DM), at 10.1 million shares (7.4%) as well as 28.4 million shares (40.5%) in its second spin-out company, Miocene Metals Limited (TSXV:MII).

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

For further information: Please visit the Company's website at www.wallbridgemining.com, or contact: Wallbridge Mining Company Limited: Marz Kord, P. Eng., M.Sc., MBA, President & CEO, Tel: (705) 682-9297 ext. 251, Email: mkord@wallbridgemining.com; Linda Zubal, Vice President Corporate Communications, Tel: (705) 682-9297 ext. 263, Email: lzubal@wallbridgemining.com