VANCOUVER, July 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Tasman Metals Ltd. ("Tasman" or the "Company") (TSXV:TSM) (Frankfurt:T61) (NYSE-MKT:TAS). Mark Saxon, President & CEO, is pleased to announce the achievement of a significant milestone in the development of the Company, with the submission of an application for a Mining Lease (ML) covering the Norra Karr heavy rare earth element (REE) and zirconium (Zr) project in Sweden. Given Norra Karr was virtually unknown as an REE project prior to Tasman's first drilling program in December 2009, the application for a mining lease in such a short timeframe is particularly notable. The application documents for the ML were prepared by consulting group Golder Associates AB and have been submitted to the Swedish Mining Inspectorate (Bergsstaten). Tasman anticipates processing of the ML application by the Bergsstaten shall take approximately 6 months.
The filing of this ML application required that Tasman complete extensive environmental monitoring, flora and fauna surveys, anthropological and social impact studies, ground water testing, leach testing of waste rock, community and stakeholder meetings and basic infrastructure planning for the Norra Karr site. A granted ML under the Swedish Mining Act is valid for 25 years, when it is available for renewal.
Tasman's 100% owned Norra Karr project is the only NI 43-101 compliant REE resource in mainland Europe. Norra Karr lies 15km NNE of the township of Gränna and 300km SW of the capital Stockholm in mixed forestry and farming land. The short time taken from discovery to ML application demonstrates the efficiency and advantage of operating in a jurisdiction with a strong and transparent Mining Act and a long term association with resource industries. The project is proximal to road, rail, power and operating ports, plus skilled personnel, minimizing the need for offsite infrastructure to be built by the Company.
Norra Karr is one of the largest and most economically robust projects amongst its peers, due to the high contribution of the high value critical REE's (dysprosium (Dy), yttrium (Y), neodymium (Nd), terbium (Tb)). Substantial capital and operating cost benefits are provided by the existing infrastructure and the simple mineralogy that allows ambient temperature and pressure processing. Norra Karr's proximity and easy road access to European markets stands as a unique operating advantage for the project.
"Submitting this Mine Lease application is a major step forward in the development of our flagship Norra Karr project. The location of this project in Sweden, with a simple and well tested Mining Act, easy all year round operating conditions and excellent existing infrastructure has allowed progress to be made at a fast pace" said Mark Saxon, Tasman's President and CEO. "I congratulate and thank Tasman's staff and the consultants at Golder Associates for their assistance in achieving this milestone so early in the life of the Company."
Tasman recently reported on an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for Norra Karr, completed by Pincock Allen & Holt of Denver, USA. The PEA was press released on the March 21, 2012, the full report for which can be found on the Company's website at www.tasmanmetals.com , on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, or on EDGAR at www.sec.gov . The PEA was based on an open pittable recoverable resource of 58.1 million tonnes grading 0.59% TREO (total rare earth oxide) where 50.0% of the TREO is the high value heavy rare earth oxide (HREO) and 1.70% ZrO2 (zirconium oxide) in the inferred and indicated categories. The current assumptions (see Table 1) are for a mining rate of 1.5 million tonnes per year with average TREO recoveries of 80% and average ZrO2 recovery of 60%. Average annual mixed TREO concentrate production is forecast to be 6,800 tonnes including 290 tonnes of dysprosium oxide (Dy2O3), 43 tonnes of terbium oxide (Tb2O3), 773 tonnes of neodymium oxide (Nd2O3) and 2,360 tonnes of yttrium oxide (Y2O3).
Based upon the total capital cost estimate of $290 million over a 1.5 year construction period, the before tax NPV at a 10% discount rate and conservative metal pricing is $1,464 million as detailed in Table 2. Payback on the project is within 3 years from the start of production, and generates a pre-tax IRR of 49.6%.
The qualified person for the Company's exploration projects, Mark Saxon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tasman and a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, who has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.
About Tasman Metals Ltd.
Tasman Metals Ltd is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company focused on Rare Earth Elements (REE's) in the European region and is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "TSM" and the NYSE-MKT under the symbol "TAS". REE demand is increasing, due to the metals' unique properties that make them essential for high technology and environmentally-beneficial applications. Since over 95% of REE supply is sourced from China, the European Union is actively supporting policy to promote domestic supply of REE's, to ensure the security of high-tech industry. Tasman's exploration portfolio is uniquely placed, with the capacity to deliver "high-tech" metals from politically stable, mining friendly jurisdictions with developed infrastructure.
The Company's Norra Karr project in Sweden is one of the most significant heavy REE resources in the world, and the only NI43-101 compliant REE resource in mainland Europe. The resource is unusually low in radioactive metals relative to peer projects, with less than 15 ppm each of uranium and thorium.
For more information regarding rare earth elements, see the Rare Metal Blog at www.raremetalblog.com or Resource Stock Digest at http://strategicmetalstocks.resourcestockdigest.com
On behalf of the Board,
Mark Saxon, President & CEO
The TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange), the American Stock Exchange or the Frankfurt Stock Exchange accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors Concerning Estimates of Inferred Resources. This news release uses the term "inferred mineral resource." We advise U.S. investors that this term is not recognized by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The estimation of inferrred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that estimates of inferred mineral resources exist, are economically minable, or will be upgraded into measured or indicated mineral resources.
Cautionary Statements. Certain statements found in this release may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect the speaker's current views with respect to future events and financial performance and include any statement that does not directly relate to a current or historical fact. Such statements reflect the current risks, uncertainties and assumptions related to certain factors including, without limitations, competitive factors, general economic conditions, customer relations, relationships with vendors and strategic partners, the interest rate environment, governmental regulation and supervision, seasonality, technological change, changes in industry practices, and one-time events. Should any one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed and actual results may vary materially due to the uncertainties and risks, known and unknown, associated with such statements.
Shareholders and other readers should not place undue reliance on "forward-looking statements," as such statements speak only as of the date of this release.
|Table 1: Norra Karr Project, Annual Operating Summary|
|Production||Units||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3-20 (avg)||Year 21-40 (avg)|
|Total Tonnes mined (ore+waste)||Mt||2.91||2.54||2.82||2.58|
|Strip Ratio||Waste : Ore||2.86||1.24||0.87||0.75|
|Mixed TREO concentrate||Tonnes||3,165||5,067||6,946||7,004|
|Zirconium Carbonate concentrate||Tonnes||7,260||10,893||14,831||15,492|
|Table 2: Norra Karr Project, Summary of Projected Revenue, Expenditure and NPV|
| First 20 Years
($ million CAD)
| 40 Year Mine Life
($ million CAD)
|Initial Capital Expenditures (including contingency)||290.2||290.2|
|Sustaining Capital Expenditures||74.1||217.1|
|Mine Reclamation Costs||10.9||10.9|
|Total Before-tax Cash Flow (undiscounted)||3,419.4||7,376.1|
|Before-tax NPV @ 10%||1,214.7||1,464.1|
|Before-tax NPV @ 12%||1,015.9||1,168.0|
|Before-tax NPV @ 14%||855.0||949.4|
|Before-tax IRR (%)||49.6%||49.6%|
|Before-tax Payback Period (years)||2.6||2.6|
|Long-term Average REE Basket Price||US$51.00||US$51.00|
|REE Basket Price Discounted for Refining||US$31.60||US$31.60|
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Investor Information: Jim Powell +1 (647) 226 8626