TSX: ST and ST.WT
TORONTO, April 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Stonegate Agricom Ltd. ("Company") (TSX: ST) today announced the appointment of David P. Kramer, P.E., as Vice President, Operations and General Manager, Paris Hills Agricom Inc., effective May 14, 2012.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome David to our Paris Hills Phosphate Project team. David is a seasoned soft-rock continuous mining specialist who has supervised the startup and operation of over 10 greenfield U.S. underground coal mines utilizing the same room and pillar mining method with continuous miners as outlined in the Paris Hills Pre-Feasibility Study. He has an ideal skill set for this new role as General Manager for the design, construction and operation of our planned underground phosphate mine," said Mark Ashcroft, Stonegate's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"In mining underground at Paris Hills, we will be applying existing technology used in modern coal mines to historical underground phosphate mining techniques," Mr. Ashcroft added. "From the early 1900s to the late 1960s, underground phosphate mining was common in western U.S. states such as Idaho, Montana and Utah. The industry then gradually shifted to high volume, lower grade open-pit mining and the last underground phosphate mine closed in the 1990s.
"However, with the development of new techniques and machinery for the mining of coal beds, the phosphate industry now has access to more cost-effective means for underground mining. This was amply demonstrated by the robust results of the Pre-Feasibility Study we announced on March 26, 2012, which concluded that that an underground mine in the Lower Phosphate Zone at Paris Hills would have competitive operating costs and would be well-positioned as a supplier of phosphate rock to North American fertilizer producers and/or via U.S. west coast ports to Asian fertilizer producers," Mr. Ashcroft said.
Mr. Kramer stated: "This is an exciting project. I am very happy to be joining the Paris Hills team and applying my coal-based operational and technical experience to establish the Paris Hills Mine and thereby re-launch underground phosphate mining in the western United States."
Mr. Kramer has over 20 years of experience in the coal mining industry, specializing in underground mine operations management. From 1996 to 2011, he held increasing senior positions with Massey Energy Company and gained broad experience at various coal mines in new operation start up, rehabilitation of idle operations and materials handling. His most recent position was President of Knox Creek Coal Corporation located in southwestern Virginia where he was responsible for two underground coal operations with five producing sections, two surface/high wall miner operations, a 700-ton per hour preparation plant, and the safety and environmentally sound operations for 250 staff members. From 1993 to 1996, he held several supervisory positions at Canterbury Coal Co. in Pennsylvania including the position of Plant Shift Foreman. From 1987 to 1992, he worked part-time as Assistant Surveyor at N.D. Remy Associates in Pennsylvania while he completed a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, licensed Professional Land Surveyor and licensed Commercial Pilot, and has served on the Board of the Virginia Mining Institute, a volunteer organization involved with mine rescue competitions, for the past five years.
Stonegate's planned high-grade underground mine in the Lower Phosphate Zone at Paris Hills would produce direct-ship, concentrate-quality phosphate rock without the need for beneficiation (processing). The Company is scheduled to update NI 43-101 estimates of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, initiate permit applications, and complete a bankable Feasibility Study for the Lower Phosphate Zone by the end of 2012. If permitting proceeds as expected, the Company would be in a position to begin construction in the third quarter of 2014 and begin production by the end of that year.
In addition, the Company expects to release a NI 43-101 estimate of Mineral Resources for the Upper Phosphate Zone in the second half of 2012.
The Pre-Feasibility Study for the Paris Hills Lower Phosphate Zone was compiled by Agapito Associates Inc. of Grand Junction, Colorado, supervised by Leo J. Gilbride, P.E., Vanessa Santos, P.G., and Gary L. Skaggs, P.E., P.Eng., each of whom are independent qualified persons under the standards set forth by National Instrument 43-101. Additional information is available in the 43-101 Technical Report on the Paris Hills Phosphate Project filed March 26, 2012 on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and posted on the Company's website.
About Stonegate Agricom
Stonegate Agricom, which is actively engaged in acquiring and developing agricultural nutrient projects, is currently focused on the development of two potentially world-class, long-life phosphate deposits, the Paris Hills Phosphate Project located in Idaho and the Mantaro Phosphate Project located in Peru. The Company is confident that the two deposits have sufficient size and grade to become strategic, cost-effective sources of phosphate supply for major fertilizer producers. The Company intends to continue definition and exploration drilling to confirm and expand estimates of NI 43-101 compliant mineral resources in the deposits and then complete feasibility studies leading to a decision to proceed with extracting and processing the phosphate. More information is available at www.stonegateagricom.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable law. Generally, forward-looking statements and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". All forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are based on reasonable assumptions that have been made by the Company as at the date of such information. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, including but not limited to: risks relating to assumptions used in preparation of the Pre-Feasibility Study on the Lower Phosphate Zone of the Paris Hills Phosphate Project including government regulation, phosphate prices, labour costs and capital costs, and project risks including a project location, permitting requirements, project delays, ground control and dilution and water management; the general risks associated with the speculative nature of the Company's business, commodity prices, current global financial conditions, uncertainty of additional capital, price volatility, the Paris Hills and Mantaro projects are advanced exploration stage projects, limited operating history, no history of earnings, government regulation in the mining industry, environmental risks and hazards, impending climate change legislation, required approvals and permits, foreign subsidiaries, risks relating to the retention of the Paris Hills project, expiration of leases and permits for the Paris Hills Project, political and economic risk in Peru, risks relating to the retention of the Mantaro project, title to mineral properties, obtaining and converting mineral concessions and surface rights, community relations and project support, water rights, exploration, development and operating risks, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, uncertainty of inferred mineral resources, mineral exploration, reliability of historical exploration work, absence of public trading market, risks associated with having a controlling shareholder, arbitrary offering price, dilution to the common shares, dependence on key personnel, currency fluctuations, insurance and uninsured risks, competition, legal proceedings, conflicts of interest and lack of dividends as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recently filed annual information form available at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements or information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. The forward-looking statements and forward-looking information contained in this press release are included for the purpose of providing investors with information to assist them in understanding the offering as well as the Company's expected financial and operational performance and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Stonegate does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement or forward-looking information that is included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
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