Issued Capital: 117,076,976
Review process winding down - Advancing towards final report and recommendation
TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX-FT) (OTCQX-FTMDF) ("Fortune" or the "Company") (www.fortuneminerals.com) is pleased to report that it has completed a key public hearings session related to the Environmental Assessment ("EA") review process for the permitting of the mine and mill for the Company's 100% owned NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project in the Northwest Territories ("NT"). With the EA review nearly concluded, the project is advancing towards the preparation of the final report and recommendation. After the public registry closes on October 22, 2012, the Mackenzie Valley Review Board ("MVRB") will prepare the Report of Environmental Assessment which will contain the recommendation on the project to the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Dr. Richard Schryer, Fortune's Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs, commented that, "it has been a long and thorough review process and we eagerly anticipate its completion in the coming months." "With over 1 million ounces of gold, significant cobalt and 15% of global bismuth reserves, NICO is well positioned to become a reliable Canadian source of metals of critical importance to the world economy" said Robin Goad, Fortune's President and CEO.
The public hearings for the NICO project were held in the city of Yellowknife and the Tlicho communities of Whati and Behchoko over a four day period between August 27 and August 31, 2012. Participants in these hearings included federal and territorial regulators and First Nations delegations, including the Tlicho Government. As part of the EA review process, these hearings provided a public venue for residents to provide their comments to the MVRB and to hear Fortune's responses and project amendments addressing concerns. The Company presented an updated plan for closure of the project that included details on the use of constructed wetlands to passively treat water. Fortune was not assigned any undertakings during these public hearings and believes that it adequately addressed the few remaining environmental concerns associated with the project that were raised at the hearings.
Due to logistical constraints, the MVRB was unable to complete the entire agenda at the August session and two additional days of hearings have been scheduled to take place in Behchoko on October 10 and 11, 2012. Outstanding items that will be addressed include the presentation of the Tlicho Government's Traditional Knowledge Study, the NICO Project Access Road, and a comment session for Tlicho citizens. The public registry will then close on October 22, 2012 at which point the MVRB will prepare the Report of Environmental Assessment and Reasons for Decision. This report is expected to take between two and three months to complete.
The Company is also in the latter stages of the EA process in Saskatchewan for the planned hydrometallurgical refinery, the Saskatchewan Metals Processing Plant ("SMPP"), where Fortune will process concentrates from the NICO mill to high value metal products. Fortune is set to submit its addendum to the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") that will address questions submitted by the Saskatchewan Environmental Assessment Branch ("SEAB"). The EIS, technical review comments and addendum will then be posted for public comment, followed by SEAB's recommendation to the Saskatchewan Minister of Environment for approval.
Fortune is concurrently working to secure strategic partner(s) to help finance the NICO project and has engaged Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance Canada Inc. ("Deloitte") as the Company's financial advisor. Deloitte was re-engaged after successfully helping Fortune secure POSCO, the third largest steel producer in the world, as its first stage partner for its Arctos Anthracite Metallurgical Coal Project in British Columbia ("BC").
About Fortune Minerals:
Fortune 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 Arctos Anthracite Project in BC and the NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper deposit in the NT. As part of the development of the NICO deposit, Fortune is developing the SMPP in Saskatchewan to process NICO concentrates to high value metal products. The Company has acquired and dismantled equipment from the Golden Giant Mine at Hemlo, Ontario 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, or may be based upon, estimates, forecasts, and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things, the completion of the EA processes for the NICO project and the SMPP and the proposed development of and anticipated production from the NICO project. 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 risk that the Company may not receive favourable recommendations from the applicable regulatory authorities pursuant to the EA processes for NICO and/or the SMPP, the risk that the Company may not be able to arrange the necessary financing to construct and operate the NICO mine and/or the SMPP, the possibility of delays in the commencement of production from the NICO project, the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the risk that actual capital and operating costs for the NICO project may differ from those anticipated, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits and regulatory approvals, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal prices 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 given as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
SOURCE: Fortune Minerals Limited
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