Search Minerals Phase III Drilling Increases Foxtrot REE Project Resource Estimate by 55% of Similar Grade
VANCOUVER, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Search Minerals Inc. (“Search” or the “Company”) (TSXV: SMY) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alterra Resources Inc., are pleased to
announce that Roscoe Postle Associates (RPA) have prepaed an updated
mineral resource estimates for the Foxtrot Project in the Port Hope Simpson Rare Earth Element (REE) District in
-- A 270% increase in Indicated Resources, largely from extending the initial resource to depth. -- 9,229,000 tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources with a grade of 0.17% heavy rare earth elements (HREE+Y), equivalent to 0.21% heavy rare earth oxides (HREO+Y), and o 0.88% total rare earth elements (TREE+Y), equivalent to 1.07% heavy rare earth oxides (HREO+Y), including 189 ppm dysprosium (218 ppm Dy2O3) and 1,442 ppm neodymium (1,687 Nd2O3). -- 5,165,000 tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources with a grade of 0.16% HREE+Y (0.20% HREO+Y) and 0.77% TREE+Y (0.93% TREO+Y), including 176 ppm Dy (202 ppm Dy2O3) and 1,233 ppm Nd (1,442 Nd2O3). -- A continuous band of higher-grade mineralization, amenable to lower tonnage underground mining, containing a majority of the resources. -- A broader zone with larger tonnages of mineralization slightly lower in grade, and amenable to open pit mining. -- The deposit remains open at depth along more than 500m of strike length.
Jim Clucas, President and CEO of Search Minerals, stated “The latest RPA resource estimate reflects the results from all three
successful drill programs at Foxtrot. The significant increase in both
size and quality of the resource gives us the flexibility to consider
different production scenarios including a starter pit and a smaller
high grade underground mine. This case should result in significantly
reduced capital costs and a faster payback as well as reducing the
MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATES
The resource estimate was carried out by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc.
(RPA), and is an update on the initial resource estimate, dated Sep.
30, 2011. Table 1 provides a summary of the mineral resource inventory
from the block model, using a reporting cutoff of 130 ppm Dy (150 ppm
Dy(2)O(3)), the heavy rare earth element with the greatest in situ value at
Foxtrot. This summary also reports the grade of neodymium, the light
rare earth with the greatest in situ value.
The focus of exploration has been a steeply dipping tabular zone that
has a true width of 60m to 100m. This zone consists of inter-layered
bands of mafic and felsic volcanics, with the felsic bands hosting the
economic mineralization. Mineral Resources are limited to the portions
of the zone logged as felsic. Drilling to date has established strong
REE mineralization over a near-surface strike length of more than 2,000
meters, and identified a Central Area with high economic potential, to
a depth of 450m. Horizontal extensions of the Central Area, primarily
to the west, are generally thinner; the HREE grades are similar to
those in the Central Area, and the LREE grades are generally lower. All
of the Indicated resources lie in the well-drilled heart of the Central
Area; Inferred resources lie at depth in the Central Area, and in the
eastern and western extensions.
Table 1. Estimated open pit mineral resources for the Foxtrot Project,
at a Dy cutoff
of 130 ppm (equivalent to a Dy(2)O(3) cutoff of 150 ppm), as of September 30(th), 2012.
Tonnage Dy Nd (in (in (in Y HREE+Y TREE+Y Classification Zone tonnes) ppm) ppm) (in ppm) (in %) (in %) Indicated Central 9,229,000 189 1,442 1,040 0.17 0.88 Indicated Extensions -- -- -- -- -- -- INDICATED TOTAL 9,229,000 189 1,442 1,040 0.17 0.88 Inferred Central 3,291,000 178 1,339 982 0.16 0.83 Inferred Extensions 1,874,000 171 1,046 960 0.16 0.67 INFERRED TOTAL 5,165,000 176 1,233 974 0.16 0.77 Tonnage Dy2O3 Nd2O3 (in (in (in Y2O3 HREO+Y TREO+Y Classification Zone tonnes) ppm) ppm) (in ppm) (in %) (in %) Indicated Central 9,229,000 218 1,687 1,345 0.21 1.07 Indicated Extensions -- -- -- -- -- -- INDICATED TOTAL 9,229,000 217 1,687 1,320 0.21 1.06 Inferred Central 3,291,000 205 1,567 1,247 0.20 1.00 Inferred Extensions 1,874,000 197 1,224 1,219 0.19 0.81 INFERRED TOTAL 5,165,000 202 1,442 1,237 0.20 0.93
1. The elements that contribute to the HREE+Y total, and whose oxides contribute to the HREO+Y total, are: Y, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu. 2. Numbers are rounded to reflect the precision of the estimated tonnages and grades. 3. Estimated mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. 4. An average dry bulk density of 2.71 tonnes per cubic meter (t/m3) was used for felsic rocks and 2.88 t/m3 for mafic rocks. 5. Grades were interpolated using ordinary kriging. 6. Resources have been classified using the Definition Standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM); details of the classification procedures are provided in the text below. 7. The decision to base the reporting cutoff on dysprosium is based on its current and recent market value and on its grade, the combination of which makes it the project's predominant heavy rare earth element in terms of in situ value. It is possible that, in the future, the project's reporting cutoff will incorporate other rare earth elements. 8. There are no known legal, political, environmental, or other risks that could materially affect the potential development of the mineral resources.
A complete tabulation of the grades of the entire suite of elements, and
their oxides, are given at the end of this news release in Table 3.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCE POTENTIAL
On every section through the Central Area, the deepest holes show strong
mineralization, including the section on which a hole reached
mineralization at a vertical depth of about 450m. This indicates
potential for a significant increase in resources at depth in the
Central Area, where the deposit remains open at depth along the entire
The eastern and western extensions have been tested to a depth of only
50-100m, and their down-dip extensions remain targets for future
drilling. In the west, where several sections show a consistent band of
high-grade mineralization that remains open at depth, future drilling
may add to the current resources.
HIGH-GRADE CENTRAL BAND
RPA carried out a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on a bulk open
pit mining scenario (results were disclosed in a press release dated
May 1, 2012). The PEA indicated that material at 130 ppm Dy has a net
smelter return (NSR) well above the marginal cost of mining and
processing. Since the project’s economic viability will depend on the
details of metal prices, metallurgical recovery factors, and costs, the
project’s mineral resources may, in future, be reported at lower or
higher cutoffs. Table 2 shows the sensitivity of tonnage and grade to
the reporting cutoff, using a range of Dy cutoffs.
Table 2 shows that there is a sizeable resource at higher cutoff grades,
with 80% of the Indicated tonnage and 70% of the Inferred tonnage being
above a 150 ppm Dy cutoff (173 ppm Dy(2)O(3)). The vast majority of these high-grade resources lie along three
continuous bands of felsic material that lie close to the footwall of
the broader felsic zone. With widths of 5-20m, and with near-vertical
dips, these bands are amenable to small-scale underground mining.
Table 2. Sensitivity of the project’s total open pit mineral
resources to changes in the Dy cutoff grade.
Dy Cutoff Grade Tonnage Dy (in (in (in Nd Y HREE+Y TREE+Y Classification ppm) tonnes) ppm) (in ppm) (in ppm) (in %) (in %) Indicated 130 9,229,000 189 1,442 1,040 0.17 0.88 150 7,653,000 199 1,515 1,094 0.18 0.93 170 6,056,000 210 1,594 1,149 0.19 0.97 190 4,605,000 219 1,660 1,198 0.20 1.01 Inferred 130 5,165,000 176 1,233 974 0.16 0.77 150 3,661,000 191 1,371 1,058 0.18 0.86 170 2,537,000 204 1,523 1,137 0.19 0.95 190 1,654,000 218 1,673 1,217 0.20 1.04 Dy2O3 Cutoff Grade Tonnage Dy2O3 (in (in (in Nd2O3 Y2O3 HREO+Y TREO+Y Classification ppm) tonnes) ppm) (in ppm) (in ppm) (in %) (in %) Indicated 150 9,229,000 217 1,687 1,320 0.21 1.06 173 7,653,000 229 1,772 1,389 0.22 1.11 196 6,056,000 241 1,865 1,459 0.24 1.17 219 4,605,000 252 1,943 1,521 0.25 1.22 Inferred 150 5,165,000 202 1,442 1,237 0.20 0.93 173 3,661,000 219 1,604 1,343 0.22 1.03 196 2,537,000 235 1,782 1,444 0.23 1.14 219 1,654,000 251 1,957 1,545 0.25 1.25
MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATION AND CLASSIFICATION PROCEDURES
The mineral resource estimates are based on assay results obtained from
channel samples and from three drilling campaigns. The Phase I drilling
campaign was completed in 2010/2011 and consisted of 23 diamond drill
holes totaling 3,955m. The Phase II drilling program was completed in
the summer of 2011 and consisted of 20 diamond drill holes totaling
4,083m. The Phase III drilling campaign was completed in spring 2012
and consisted of 29 diamond drill holes totaling 10,836m. The channel
sampling program was completed in 2011 and consisted of 269m of samples
taken from ten channel cuts across the full width of the mineralized
zone exposed at surface.
Mineral resources were estimated by ordinary kriging, a geostatistical
estimation method that uses information on the spatial continuity of
grades. A search ellipse with a radius of 140m (along strike) by 70m
(down dip) by 5m (across the mineralized zone) was used. The search
ellipse was sub-divided into octants (eight sectors) and within each
octant the assay data from a maximum of three sample intervals were
used for grade estimation. The variogram model used for ordinary
kriging had ranges of correlation equal to the radiuses of the search
ellipse and its orientation was aligned with the search ellipse. With
the rare earth elements all being strongly correlated with each other,
the same variogram model was used for the estimation of all rare earth
Within 10x5x10m blocks, the tonnage of felsic material was estimated
using the nearby samples, and the grades of the complete rare earth
element suite were estimated using the assays from the nearby felsic
Mineral resources were classified as Indicated if the block estimate was
based on samples in all eight octants, which restricts the Indicated
resources to the well-drilled heart of the felsic zone. Blocks were
classified as Inferred if their estimate was based on assays from at
least two different drill holes within the range of correlation as
defined by the variogram. In the down-dip direction, Inferred resources
were required to be within 50m of the base of current drilling.
Two ISO-certified commercial laboratories have been used for the assays
used in these resource estimates. The primary lab is the Activation
Laboratories Ltd. (ActLabs) facility in Ancaster, Ontario; the
secondary lab, used for check purposes, is the SGS facility in Toronto,
Ontario. The reliability of the assay information was established
through two quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) programs, one
conducted and monitored by Search Minerals and its consultants and the
other conducted and monitored internally by ActLabs. Both QA/QC
programs use certified reference materials and blanks to check the
accuracy and precision of the assay information provided by the
laboratory; the internal program of ActLabs also uses pulp duplicates
to monitor the reliability of the data.
Mohan Srivastava (P.Geo), an independent consultant, is the Qualified
Person (QP) responsible for the calculation and classification of the
mineral resource estimate; Mr. Srivastava has also reviewed and
approved the technical disclosure in this news release. A National
Instrument 43-101 Technical Report will be filed by Search Minerals on
SEDAR within 45 days of the date of this news release.
Table 3. Element and oxide grades for open pit mineral resources, at a
Dy cutoff grade
of 130 ppm (equivalent to a Dy(2)O(3) cutoff of 150 ppm), as of September 30(th), 2012.
INDICATED INFERRED Central Extensions TOTAL Central Extensions TOTAL Tonnage (t) 9,229,000 -- 9,229,00 3,291,000 1,874,000 5,165,000 Element Units Y Ppm 1,040 -- 1,040 982 960 974 La Ppm 1,646 -- 1,646 1,564 1,183 1,426 Ce Ppm 3,337 -- 3,337 3,139 2,429 2,881 Pr Ppm 384 -- 384 359 280 330 Nd Ppm 1,442 -- 1,442 1,339 1,046 1,233 Sm Ppm 262 -- 262 245 197 228 Eu Ppm 13 -- 13 12 9 11 Gd Ppm 205 -- 205 193 165 183 Tb Ppm 33 -- 33 30 28 30 Dy Ppm 189 -- 189 178 171 176 Ho Ppm 37 -- 37 35 34 34 Er Ppm 103 -- 103 98 98 98 Tm Ppm 15 -- 15 14 15 14 Yb Ppm 92 -- 92 88 95 91 Lu Ppm 14 -- 14 13 15 14 Zr Ppm 9,619 -- 9,619 9,538 10,987 10,064 Nb Ppm 626 -- 626 585 455 538 LREE % 0.71 -- 0.71 0.66 0.51 0.61 HREE % 0.17 -- 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.16 TREE % 0.88 -- 0.88 0.83 0.67 0.77 Oxide Units Y2O3 Ppm 1,320 -- 1,320 1,247 1,219 1,237 La2O3 Ppm 1,926 -- 1,926 1,830 1,385 1,669 CeO2 Ppm 4,105 -- 4,105 3,861 2,988 3,544 Pr6O11 Ppm 465 -- 465 434 339 400 Nd2O3 Ppm 1,687 -- 1,687 1,567 1,224 1,442 Sm2O3 Ppm 303 -- 303 285 228 264 Eu2O3 Ppm 15 -- 15 14 10 13 Gd2O3 Ppm 236 -- 236 222 190 210 Tb4O7 Ppm 38 -- 38 36 33 35 Dy2O3 Ppm 217 -- 217 205 197 202 Ho2O3 Ppm 42 -- 42 40 39 39 Er2O3 Ppm 118 -- 118 112 112 112 Tm2O3 Ppm 17 -- 17 16 17 16 Yb2O3 Ppm 105 -- 105 100 109 103 Lu2O3 Ppm 16 -- 16 15 17 16 ZrO2 Ppm 12,985 -- 12,985 12,877 14,832 13,586 Nb2O5 Ppm 789 -- 789 737 573 677 LREO % 0.85 -- 0.85 0.8 0.62 0.73 HREO % 0.21 -- 0.21 0.2 0.19 0.2 TREO % 1.06 -- 1.07 1.05 0.81 0.93
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider
(as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange)
accepts responsibility of the adequacy or accuracy of this release
Search Minerals Inc. (TSXV:SMY) is a TSX Venture Exchange listed
company, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. Search is the discoverer of
the Port Hope Simpson REE District, a highly prospective light and
heavy REE belt located in southeast Labrador. The company controls a
dominant land position in a belt 135km long and up to 12km wide. In
addition, Search has a number of other mineral prospects in its
portfolio located in Newfoundland and Labrador, including a number of
claims in the Strange Lake Complex, where Quest Rare Minerals has an
earn-in agreement with the Company; and at the Red Wine Complex, where
Great Western Minerals Group has a Joint Venture with the Company.
Furthermore, Search Minerals is the owner of the Starved Acid Leaching
Technology (patents pending) (“SALT”), a process with the potential to
economically recover nickel and cobalt from known deposits currently
considered sub economic.
Search Minerals is led by a management team and Board of Directors with
a proven track record in the mining industry. The Company has
experienced geological and metallurgical teams led by Dr. Randy Miller
and Dr. David Dreisinger respectively.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are not
historical facts. Forward-looking statements involve risks,
uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results,
performance, prospects, and opportunities to differ materially from
those expressed or implied by such forward- looking statements. Factors
that could cause actual results to differ materially from these
forward- looking statements include those risks set out in Search’s
public documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although Search believes that the assumptions and factors used in
preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance
should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the
date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such
events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Except where
required by law, Search disclaims any intention or obligation to update
or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Search Minerals Inc.