Preliminary Assessment indicates Strong Economics for the Meliadine Gold Property


    CALGARY, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - Comaplex Minerals Corp. (TSX-CMF) is pleased to
report the results of an independent NI 43-101-compliant Preliminary
Assessment (PA or Scoping Study) on the Meliadine gold property located near
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. The PA includes gold deposits located on both the
Meliadine West property (owned 78% by Comaplex and 22% by Meliadine Resources
Ltd. (a private company owned 100% by Resource Capital Fund III L.P. of
Denver) and the neighboring Meliadine East property (owned 50-50 with
Meliadine Resources). Comaplex has an option to increase its interest to 80%
on the Meliadine West property.
    In July, 2008, Comaplex entered into a Technical Services Agreement with
independent consultant, Micon International Limited, to complete an NI
43-101-compliant Preliminary Assessment for public release during the fourth
quarter of 2008. In view of the rapid changes in world economic conditions
that have taken place in the last 5 months, Comaplex modified and
re-calculated numerous areas of the Study. This has resulted in delays in its
completion. A positive aspect of the delay is that it enabled Comaplex to
complete an NI 43-101-compliant resource estimate for the F Zone on the
Meliadine West property that included 2008 drilling results, and to add this
deposit to the Study. The PA does not include the results of the 2008 drilling
programs on the Tiriganiaq and Discovery gold deposits. Updated resource
estimates for these deposits are presently being compiled.
    The Preliminary Assessment indicates that production of gold from the
Meliadine property is feasible using current and projected future economic
conditions. This preliminary assessment is preliminary in nature; it includes
inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to
have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be
categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the results of
the preliminary assessment will be realized.
    The proposed gold mine at Meliadine would be a combination of open pit
and underground mining. A series of three different open pits at Tiriganiaq,
Discovery, and F Zone will contribute ore sequentially to the mill. The open
pits would be conventionally mined at a rate of 500,000 tonnes per year.
    The underground mine on the Tiriganiaq deposit would be a ramp-access
operation with mining by blasthole and cut-and-fill methods. The study
proposes to access and mine potentially higher grade underground material from
the Western Deeps area of the Tiriganiaq gold deposit early in the mine life,
which will result in higher initial capital costs, but will accelerate payback
of capital.
    The postulated facility would mill 985,000 tonnes per annum of diluted
mineralized material (Indicated and Inferred Resources) over a mine life of
9.5 years for the production of 2.29 million ounces of gold. The nominal
processing rate would be 3,000 tonnes per day, 328 days per year. Of this,
approximately 1,700 tonnes per day would come from the Tiriganiaq underground
mine and the balance from the pits. The combined open pit (500,000 tonnes per
annum) and underground mining rate (approximately 720,000 tonnes per annum)
will typically exceed the mill capacity. This will result in the buildup of a
stockpile, but will ensure a continuous maximum processing rate.
    A mill would be built on the site, treating mineralized material by
conventional crushing and grinding with a gravity-flotation-cyanidation
circuit with a 92.6% gold recovery. All tailings would be treated via a
cyanide destruction circuit. The PA reviews two alternative tailings
deposition sites: a land based option and a sub-aqueous (shallow lake) option.
    A fully catered permanent camp would be built on the site for employee
accommodation, together with infrastructure appropriate to an isolated mine
site. Site power would be diesel-generated with the fullest possible use of
waste heat. An all-season road would connect the mine site with the hamlet of
Rankin Inlet.
    Total payroll is estimated in the order of 430 people, with a total
workforce on-site at any time of 230-240 people. These people would be
employed partially from local Inuit communities, with the balance on a
fly-in-fly-out rotation. Recruitment would maximize employment opportunities
for inhabitants of Rankin Inlet and other Arctic communities.

    Life of mine costs (including appropriate contingencies) are estimated

    Capital expenditure: (note 1) 	                     $ 382 million Cdn.
    Operating cost per tonne of ore processed:           $ 91 Cdn./tonne
    Cash operating cost per ounce of gold produced:      $ 366 Cdn./oz gold
    Payback                                              2.6 years

    Note 1: includes approximately $85 million of Sustaining Capital (of
    which $28.75 million is for reclamation costs) that will be financed from
    cash flow after the commencement of production.

    At a gold price of $US 700.00 per ounce and $US 0.85 exchange rate, the
    economic performance of the project would be as follows:

    After-tax IRR:                                       22.9 %
    After-tax NPV; 7.5% discount rate:                   $ 194 million Cdn.
    Net cash flow before tax; 0% discount (note 1):      $ 626 million Cdn.
    Net cash flow after tax; 0% discount (note 1):       $ 444 million Cdn.

    Note 1: net after recovery of capital

    A complete NI 43-101 compliant report on the Preliminary Assessment will
be released on SEDAR within 45 days of the date of this release.
    The mineral resource estimates evaluated in the PA comprise the
Tiriganiaq, Discovery, and F Zone deposits. Mineral resources that are not
mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic potential. The Tiriganiaq
and Discovery resource estimates were previously released and follow. The F
Zone resource estimate is new and is detailed in the following section. Gold
mineralization in all three of the deposits is open to depth.

    Tiriganiaq Deposit - Mineral Resources above 9900m level (170m below
    cut-off grade
      (g/t Au)      category      tonnage    grade (g/t Au)   contained oz Au
    -------------   --------      -------    --------------   ---------------

         2.5       Indicated     6,136,000        6.4            1,257,700
         2.5        Inferred     1,622,200        4.1              216,300

    Tiriganiaq Deposit - Mineral Resources below 9900m level (below 170m from
       cut-off grade
           (g/t)        category    tonnage    grade (g/t)    contained oz Au
       -------------    --------    -------    -----------    ---------------
            6.5        Indicated   1,509,500      10.9            530,200
            6.5         Inferred   3,260,500      11.1          1,169,100

    Discovery Deposit - Mineral Resources from surface to 120 meters below
       cut-off grade
           (g/t)        category    tonnage    grade (g/t)    contained oz Au
       -------------    --------    -------    -----------    ---------------
            2.0        Indicated    697,400         6.9           155,600
            2.0         Inferred    322,000         7.0            72,250

    Discovery Deposit - Mineral Resources below 120 meters from surface
       cut-off grade
           (g/t)        category    tonnage    grade (g/t)    contained oz Au
       -------------    --------    -------    -----------    ---------------
            5.0        Indicated    333,000         9.7           103,500
            5.0         Inferred    300,600         7.9            76,700

    New Resource Estimate - F Zone Deposit (Meliadine West property)

    A total of 2014 meters in 19 holes were completed on the F Zone satellite
gold deposit in 2008. The drilling tested the open pit potential of four
shallow targets in the zone to contribute ore to a possible future mine at the
Tiriganiaq deposit located four kilometers to the northwest of the zone.
Modeling of the F Zone gold deposit took place in November and early December
    In late December 2008, an updated mineral resource estimate was completed
on the Company's F Zone gold deposit by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants
Inc. (Snowden) of Vancouver. The updated resource, disclosed in accordance
with NI 43-101 requirements, is incorporated into the Preliminary Assessment
report and includes all of the drilling conducted on the deposit, including
that completed during the 2008 field season.
    Multiple indicator kriging, restricted to the interpreted mineralized
iron formation domain, was used to estimate gold grades into the block model.
Ordinary kriging (OK), inverse power of distance (IPD) and nearest neighbor
estimates were also generated for the F Zone block model for model validation
    Mineral resources for the F Zone are reported and categorized in the
summary tables below, consistent with the CIM definitions required by NI
43-101. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have
demonstrated economic viability.

        Resource report for the F Zone deposit above 9980 m elevation
    Category  Cut-off (g/t Au)  Tonnes(*)  Grade (g/t Au)  Metal (oz Au)(*)
    Indicated       2.5        692,800        4.66              103,800
    Inferred        2.5        775,100        3.88               96,700
    (*) Note: Total may not tally exactly due to rounding.

        Resource report for the F Zone Deposit below 9980 m elevation
    Category  Cut-off (g/t Au)  Tonnes(*)  Grade (g/t Au)  Metal (oz Au)(*)
    Indicated       6.5         27,000        8.31                7,200
    Inferred        6.5         65,300        8.06               16,900
    (*) Note: Total may not tally exactly due to rounding.

    2008 Indicated Resources (F Zone) = 111,000 oz gold
    2008 Inferred Resources (F Zone) = 113,600 oz gold

    Current Total Indicated Resources (all 3 deposits) = 2,158,000
    oz gold
    Current Total Inferred Resources (all 3 deposits) = 1,647,950
    oz gold

    Preliminary mine planning and cost estimation studies were undertaken so
that possible cut-off criteria could be applied for the reporting of the F
Zone classified mineral resource. The analysis suggested that open pit mining
may be possible to a depth of approximately 80 m below surface (9980 m
elevation). A cut-off grade of 2.5 g/t Au has been applied to resources
reported above this elevation and is supported by the results of the
preliminary mine planning study. No economic study was conducted on the F Zone
mineral resource below the 9980 m elevation. The resource below the 9980 m
elevation is reported at the same preliminary cut-off grade of 6.5 g/t Au as
that proposed for the Tiriganiaq deposit. Further studies will be required to
determine if this remains an appropriate cut-off and if underground mining is
economically viable in the F Zone deposit. A gold price of $700 US per ounce
(0.85 exchange) has been assumed in the preliminary analysis for the deposit.
    Snowden conducted numerous validation steps on the F Zone resource model
and considers that the model reasonably reflects grade and geological
continuity of the input drilling data in the Inferred and Indicated parts of
the Resource. Snowden notes that the block model is in particularly good
agreement with the input drilling data in that portion of the Resource
classified as Indicated.

    2009 Meliadine West Exploration Program

    In view of the results from the PA, Comaplex intends to continue with the
rapid advancement of the Meliadine project towards feasibility and production.
While details on field exploration programs for the Meliadine West and East
properties have not been finalized, regulatory permitting for the project will
commence as soon as possible. Comaplex has a long history of effective
engagement with the local community and will continue to develop this


    Comaplex is competently staffed to advance its studies on the Meliadine
project and will commence with financing as required. Comaplex presently has
cash and liquid investments of approximately $21.25 million.

    Key near term objectives include:
    -   Final metallurgical, geotechnical, environmental, or other studies
        required prior to or during a Feasibility level study of the Project.
    -   Arrange financial requirements.
    -   Completion of updated Tiriganiaq and Discovery resource estimates
        (plus resource estimation of additional satellite deposits);
    -   Investigation of the potential for additional production from
        underground at the Discovery and F Zone deposits;
    -   Refinement of underground and open pit mine plans;
    -   Movement of additional ounces from inferred to the indicated and
        measured resource categories.

    Dr. Warwick Board (P.Geo., MAusIMM, Pr.Sci.Nat.) of Snowden Mining
Industry Consultants Inc., Doug Dumka (P. Geo.) and Mark Balog, (P.Geol.) of
Comaplex Minerals Corp. are Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101. Dr.
Board is independent of Comaplex. Snowden has verified the technical
information contained in this news release pertaining only to the F Zone
deposit gold resource estimate. Mr. Balog and Mr. Dumka have verified the
technical information contained in this news release. Doug Dumka, P.Geo. is
the Chief Geologist for Comaplex and is the designated Qualified Person as
defined by NI 43-101 for the Meliadine West Project.
    Drill core analysis is performed on cut, half NQ core with standard fire
assay procedures and a gravimetric finish (2 assay ton, 1000 gram pulp). QA/QC
programs employ the insertion of external standards (low to high grade Au),
blanks, and core duplicates every 20 samples. All assaying was completed by
TSL Laboratories Ltd. based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. TSL completes its own
internal QA/QC by inserting a standard, blank, pulp duplicate, and coarse
reject duplicate in every batch of 20 analyses. QA/QC compliance was
rigorously checked on a continuous basis during the exploration program.

    The footnotes below apply to the resource tables within this release.
    1.  Resource classifications conform to the CIM Standard Definitions
        (2005) on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves referred to in
        National Instrument 43-101.
    2.  Mineral resources that are not reserves do not have demonstrated
        economic viability;
    3.  'Measured' and 'Indicated' mineral resources are that part of a
        mineral resource for which quantity and grade can be estimated with a
        level of confidence sufficient to allow for the application of
        technical and economic parameters to support mine planning and
        evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit;
    4.  An 'Inferred' mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for
        which quantity and grade can be estimated on the basis of geological
        confidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not
    5.  The ounces of gold represent contained metal in the ground and have
        not been adjusted for the metallurgical recovery of gold.

    The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the
    adequacy or accuracy of this release.

    Forward Looking Statements - This news release contains "forward-looking
statements", including, but not limited to, statements regarding our
expectations as to the mineral resource estimates. Forward-looking statements
express, as at the date of this report, our plans, estimates, forecasts,
projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events or results. We
caution that forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and
uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove
to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ
materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause
results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or
implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to,
factors associated with fluctuations in the market price of precious metals,
mining industry risks and hazards, environmental risks and hazards,
uncertainty as to calculation of mineral resources, requirement of additional
financing, and other risks.

    %SEDAR: 00001166E

For further information:

For further information: George F. Fink, President and CEO, Mark J.
Balog, Chief Operating Officer, or Kirsten Kulyk, Manager - Investor Relations
at (403) 265-2846 or visit our website at or

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