VAL-D'OR, QC, Feb. 28, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Abitex Resources Inc. (TSXV: ABE) (the "Company"; "Abitex") is pleased to announce that the Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") report for the Lavoie uranium-gold deposit is now available on SEDAR. The report will also be made available on the Company's website. Summary results of the PEA were previously announced by way of a press release dated January 20, 2012.
Abitex mandated InnovExplo Inc. of Val d'Or, Quebec to complete the PEA for the Lavoie deposit as per CIM standards for technical studies and NI 43-101 standards for technical disclosures. InnovExplo had previously completed an NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Lavoie project in February, 2010. InnovExplo estimated that the deposit contains Indicated Resources of 391,000 tonnes grading 0.45% eU3O8 (3,910,000 lbs eU3O8) and Inferred resources of 749,000 tonnes grading 0.56% eU3O8 (9,260,000 lbs eU3O8) (report available on SEDAR). InnovExplo was responsible for all aspects of the PEA except for environmental considerations which were prepared and authored by Golder Associates of Val d'Or, Quebec. Metallurgical tests were completed at SGS Minerals Services of Lakefield, Ontario.
Base Case Scenario: Uranium price of US$65.00/lb U3O8 and an exchange rate of US$1.00 = C$1.05; all dollar amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.
|Resources amenable to mining @ 0.24% eU3O8 cut-off grade||919,401 tonnes at 0.47% U3O8|
|Total contained metal||9.5 M lbs|
|Mine life (including 1 year exploration and 1 year pre-production periods)||6 years|
|Average daily mine production||700 tpd|
|Average cash operating cost||$332.72/t|
|US$ 30.87/lb U3O8|
|Capital cost (including sustaining capital)||$110.0 million|
|Total gross revenue||$636.0 million|
|Total operating cost||$277.4 million|
|Total project cost||$387.4 million|
|Salvage of equipment||$6.95 million|
|Closure cost estimate||$38.3 million|
|Net cash flow (including salvage and closure cost)||$165.6 million|
|Pre-tax NPV (10% discount )||$88.2 million|
|Pre-tax NPV excluding exploration (10% discount )||$152.8 million *|
|Pre-tax IRR excluding exploration||162% *|
|Payback period||39 months|
*Corrected after publication of January 20, 2012 press release
One of the main underlying assumptions to this PEA is that the ore would be sorted on-site, transported and processed off-site on Strateco Resources' Matoush property. There have been no formal discussions between Abitex and Strateco to this effect and there cannot be any certainty that a mill will be built at the Matoush project.
As a result of the positive PEA, Abitex intends to proceed with further evaluation of the Lavoie project. This work will include additional definition drilling within the Deposit area to increase and upgrade the resources to the Indicated category. The definition of additional near-surface high grade resources could lead to a review of the potential to mine the deposit by open pit method.
Completing the earn-in option is the priority for the Company, as the Lavoie project clearly has significant potential at this (still) very early stage of development. Deep drilling below the Lavoie Deposit in search of prospective "Matoush-style" mineralization could also lead to significant new discoveries. Additionally, the Company's discovery of quasi-identical mineralized zones at surface on its 100% owned Epsilon property only 10km to the west of the Lavoie property is a clear indication of the potential for a stand-alone uranium-gold operation in the central Otish Mtns area. This requires the Company to invest approx. $12M over the next three years to complete the option and acquire a 50% interest from AREVA Resources Canada and SOQUEM. The Company is in discussions with various parties in order to finance these obligations going forward.
The information in this release has been prepared, reviewed and approved by Yves Rougerie, geo, President and CEO of Abitex. Mr. Rougerie is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
Neither 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.
This press release contains "forward-looking information" which is subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual events or results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information.
For further information:
Yves J. Rougerie
President and CEO
Tel: (819) 874-6200