Fortune Minerals and Tlicho Government Sign Co-operative Relationship Agreement

LONDON, ON, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX-FT) ("Fortune Minerals" or the "Company") and the Tlicho Government have signed a Co-operative Relationship Agreement for the NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project in the Northwest Territories ("NT").  This agreement, which is similar to a Memorandum of Understanding, establishes the framework and path forward for further negotiations, defines primary liaison officials, and sets the communication protocol for the two parties. The agreement states that the Tlicho Government and Fortune Minerals "wish to develop a co-operative relationship through which they will attempt to reach mutually beneficial agreement on matters affecting their respective interests."

"The signing of this agreement expands on our existing long-term relationship with the Tlicho Government and the Tlicho people", said Fortune Minerals President, Robin Goad.  "The agreement lays the foundation for discussions on fundamental topics of interest such as the possible environmental and cultural impacts of the NICO Project on Tlicho owned lands."

Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus stated "This agreement provides the resources for the Tlicho Government to collect knowledge critical to understanding the impacts of this project.  It also provides resources to ensure the robust engagement of the Tlicho Government in the regulatory process."

In the spirit of the Co-operative Relationship Agreement, Fortune Minerals has agreed to fund a Traditional Knowledge ("TK") Study that will focus on providing traditional knowledge and land use practice information for the environmental review of the NICO project.  This study, which will be carried out by the Tlicho Government, will contribute to the environmental assessment process that Fortune Minerals is currently undertaking. The objectives, scope and financial terms of the TK study were detailed in a separate agreement that was signed as part of the Co-operative Relationship Agreement. "The information provided in this TK study will be of great value, not only in the assessment of potential impacts and mitigation strategies for NICO, but also in the development of management plans that take into consideration the knowledge and concerns of the Tlicho people", stated Fortune Minerals Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs, Dr. Rick Schryer.

The Tlicho Government and Fortune Minerals have also signed an Environmental Assessment Funding Agreement to support the Tlicho Government with their review of the NICO Project's Developers Assessment Report ("DAR").  The environmental assessment is currently at the Information Request stage where stakeholders, including the Tlicho Government, submit questions on the DAR.  Fortune Minerals has received the first set of information requests from the Tlicho Government for which responses are currently being prepared.  The Tlicho Government has also formed the Kwe Beh Working Group which manages the Tlicho Government's involvement in the regulatory process of environmental assessment for the NICO project, among other tasks.  Representatives of Fortune Minerals will be meeting with this working group later next month to address questions that have been identified after their review of the DAR.

Project Background:

The NICO project is located 160 km northwest of the City of Yellowknife and 50 km north of the Tlicho community of Whati. The 31 million tonne deposit would be developed using a combination of open pit and underground mining methods with ores projected to be processed at the rate of 4,650 tonnes per day in a mill at the site over an 18-year mine life.  Other facilities that are proposed at the site include a camp to accommodate employees working on a rotation basis, ancillary buildings and a 27 km all-season access road. The mill is proposed to produce approximately 180 tonnes of bulk concentrate per day for shipment south to the Company's proposed hydrometallurgical refinery near Saskatoon for further processing. Fortune Minerals plans to be a significant, reliable North American-based supplier of high purity cobalt cathode, bismuth ingot, gold doré, and by-product copper cathode and nickel precipitates.

About Fortune Minerals Limited:

Fortune Minerals 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 Mount Klappan anthracite metallurgical coal deposits in British Columbia and the NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper deposit in the NT.  As part of the development of the NICO deposit, Fortune is developing a hydrometallurgical plant in Saskatchewan to process NICO concentrates to high value metal products. The company has also acquired the buildings and equipment from the Golden Giant Mine at Hemlo, Ontario, which have been dismantled, moved, and stored for relocation to NICO.  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 proposed development of the NICO project, and the proposed development of the Saskatchewan Metals Processing Plant ("SMPP"). Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is given, and 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 and the SMPP, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits for the development of the NICO project and the SMPP, the possibility of delays in the commencement of production from the NICO project and construction of the SMPP 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.

 

 

SOURCE Fortune Minerals Limited

For further information:


Fortune Minerals Limited
   
Renmark Financial Communications
Robin Goad, President, or
Troy Nazarewicz
Investor Relations Manager
info@fortuneminerals.com
Tel.: (519) 858-8188
Fax: (519) 858-8155
www.fortuneminerals.com
    Barbara Komorowski:    bkomorowski@renmarkfinancial.com, or
Bettina Filippone: bfilippone@renmarkfinancial.com
Montreal Tel: (514) 939-3989, Toronto Tel. (416) 644-2020
Montreal Fax: (514) 939-3717, Toronto Fax. (416) 644-2021
www.renmarkfinancial.com

 


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