Helio Reports Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Porcupine and Kenge Resource Areas - SMP Gold Project, Tanzania

500,000 Ounce Production Base Case - NPV of US $85.7M (IRR of 24%)
800,000 Ounce Production Upside - NPV of US $146.1M (IRR of 23%)

TSX-V Trading Symbol: HRC
Toll Free: +1 888 955 4728
E-mail: info@helioresource.com
Website: www.helioresource.com

VANCOUVER, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Helio Resource Corp (TSX-V: HRC) is pleased to report that it has received an independent NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for the SMP Gold Project in Tanzania. The PEA was conducted on Measured and Indicated Resources only, with production envisaged from the Porcupine, Kenge and Mbenge targets. The exact location of the targets is presented in the map at http://www.helioresource.com/i/maps/2012-09-13_NRM1.pdf.

It is also important to note that this PEA evaluates only 3 of the 30 targets within the SMP Gold Project area.

The PEA was conducted by SRK Consulting (Australia) Pty. Ltd., of Perth, Australia ("SRK").  As required, the full NI 43-101 compliant technical report will be published and filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.

SRK has provided two scenarios for the PEA, a Base-Case outcome, and an Upside outcome.  The Upside case requires geotechnical work to confirm that a pit wall angle of 55 degrees is viable.

Summary (all monetary values in US$)

  Base Case Upside Case
     
Gold Price (per ounce) $1,450 $1,450
NPV $85.7M $146.1M
IRR 24% 23%
Pre-production CAPEX1 $100M $127M
Sustaining Capital1 $43M $61M
Total Gold Produced (ounces) 510,000 803,000
Life of Mine (years) 9 10
Processing Capacity (ore / year) 1.6Mt 2.4Mt
Cash Operating Cost1,2 (US$/t processed) $34.64 $31.47
Total Cash Cost (inc 5% Royalty and 15% contingency) $807.00 $799.00
Discount Rate 8% 8%
1 including 15% contingency  2 including royalty

Chris MacKenzie, the Company's COO, states: "We are very pleased with the outcome of the PEA which demonstrates the potential economic viability of the current resource.  We will use this as the basis for advancing the project through pre-feasibility.  The Upside Case requires confirmation that the enclosing rock can support a 55 degree pit wall.  Given that the country rock is competent massive granite we believe this is eminently possible.  In addition to the study, we have identified seven areas of high-grade gold mineralisation that are not included in the resource base - these will be the focus for ongoing exploration, with the objective of adding higher-grade ounces to the resource base."

Parameters of the PEA

  • The PEA uses a gold price of USD 1,450 per ounce, an 8% discount rate and is on a pre-tax basis;
  • Sustaining capital is 5% of the initial capital requirements;
  • Capital cost contingencies are 15% of the total capital requirements;
  • Operating cost contingencies are 5% of the total mining, processing, tailings and environmental and social operating costs;
  • The PEA was authored by Qualified Person Duncan Pratt, BEng (Mining), MAusIMM, using the Mineral Resource Estimate completed by Qualified Person Robin Simpson (MSc, MAIG), both of SRK Consulting (Australia) Pty. Ltd.  Duncan Pratt has provided written permission for the release of this PEA summary in the form and context in which it is provided here. Helio has informed SRK that there are no known environmental, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issues that may materially affect the potential development of the mineral resources.

Sensitivity Analysis

The PEA concludes that the project is most sensitive to changes in gold price.  The following table demonstrates the sensitivity of the PEA to gold price.

Base Case Scenario
  -20% -10% 0% +10% +20%
Gold Price /oz $1,160 $1,305 $1,450 $1,595 $1,740
NPV ($9.4M) $38.1M $85.7M $133.2M $180.7M
IRR 6% 16% 24% 31% 38%
 
Upside Scenario
  -20% -10% 0% +10% +20%
Gold Price /oz $1,160 $1,305 $1,450 $1,595 $1,740
NPV $4.8M $75.5M $146.1M $216.7M $287.4M
IRR 9% 16% 23% 30% 36%

According to NI 43-101 guidelines, mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability but may have reasonable potential for economic extraction.

About the SMP Gold Project

The SMP Gold Project covers an area of 238km2.  Gold mineralisation has been identified in 30 targets within the project area.  Four of these targets, Porcupine, Kenge, Konokono and Tumbili, have been advanced to the resource stage and all still have potential to grow significantly. In February 2012, SRK Consulting (Australia) Pty. Ltd. produced an independent NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource estimate for the SMP Gold Project.  The estimate reports 1,020,000 ounces in the Measured and Indicated category (24.1Mt grading 1.32g/t Au), plus 240,000 ounces in the Inferred category (7.2Mt grading 1.05g/t Au).

In November 2010, Golder Associates (UK) Ltd. provided an initial NI43-101 compliant Mineral Resource estimate for the SMP.  The restrained estimate at a 0.5g/t Au cut-off reports 498,075 ounces (10.94MT grading 1.41g/t Au) in the Measured and Indicated category, plus 273,847 ounces (7.06MT grading 1.2g/t Au) in the inferred category.

Mineralisation at all 30 targets outcrops at surface, and varies from narrow, high-grade gold mineralisation hosted in quartz veins and shear zones, to wide zones (up to 110m+ in width) of lower grade, bulk mineable / open pittable mineralisation.

Helio owns a 100% interest in four of five licences, subject to a 2% NSR to the vendors (Tanzanian small mining companies), and the Company is in the process of earning a 100% interest in the fifth licence.

Chris MacKenzie, M.Sc., C.Geol., Helio's COO and a Qualified Person as designated by NI 43-101, supervises the exploration at the SMP project, including the sampling and quality assurance / quality control programmes, and has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

"Richard D. Williams"    
Richard D. Williams, P.Geo  
CEO      
"Chris MacKenzie"
Christopher J. MacKenzie, C.Geol.
COO

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release

SOURCE: Helio Resource Corp.

For further information:

please contact Richard Williams or Irene Dorsman at +1 888 955 4728 or by e-mail to richard@helioresource.com or irene@helioresource.com


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