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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Fortune Minerals receives Environmental Assessment approval for Saskatchewan Metals Processing Plant

February 11, 2014

Issued Capital: 150,526,976

LONDON, ON, Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQX: FTMDF) (“Fortune” or the “Company”) (www.fortuneminerals.com) is pleased to announce that the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister
of Environment for the Province of Saskatchewan, has accepted the
Environmental Assessment Branch’s recommendation and approved the
Company’s proposed Saskatchewan Metals Processing Plant (“SMPP”),
subject to certain conditions. Today’s announcement by the Saskatchewan
Government states, “The proposal was assessed to be both
environmentally and technically sound, providing both environmental
safeguards and outlining company plans to ensure Saskatchewan’s air,
water, and natural resources are protected throughout the duration of
the project and after.”

The SMPP is a hydrometallurgical refinery planned near Langham,
Saskatchewan (27 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon) in the Rural
Municipality of Corman Park. With a capital cost estimated to be in
excess of $200 million, this plant is expected to bring 200 jobs during
construction, create approximately 100 long-term direct jobs for the
region, and produce new business opportunities to support the facility.
The SMPP will process metal concentrates from the Company’s proposed
NICO mine and mill in the Northwest Territories (“NT”). The combined
facilities will be an important vertically integrated and reliable
Canadian source of cobalt and bismuth metals and chemicals with a
highly liquid gold co-product, and copper.

“Saskatchewan has a rigorous environmental review process and we are
pleased to have received approval to advance our project,” said Robin
Goad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortune. “This is an
important milestone toward bringing this state of the art metals
processing facility to Saskatchewan. We intend to work closely with the
communities near our site to earn their support and demonstrate the
benefits of the project.”

With this approval, Fortune is now completing the process of rezoning
its land with the Rural Municipality of Corman Park. The Company is
also continuing its dialogue with nearby communities to explain the
opportunities of the refinery and exchange information about the
project with residents. The Company will host a meeting at the Affinity
Community Hall in Langham on February 19(th). The Company has undertaken extensive studies to develop a facility
that can deliver significant economic and social benefits to the area
while minimizing its environmental footprint.

Dr. Richard Schryer, Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs
for Fortune, said “The SMPP is a unique and technologically advanced
hydrometallurgical facility that will contribute to Canada’s and
Saskatchewan’s proven expertise in mining and processing.” Schryer, who
is based in Saskatoon, also commented, “Extensive test work and
piloting has been drawn on to design this facility, which incorporates
the most up-to-date metallurgical and environmental technologies.”

The approval for the SMPP includes conditions, several of which reflect
Fortune’s prior commitments made through the environmental assessment
process. They include among other conditions, establishment of an
independent community based monitoring program, submission of an annual
monitoring report to Saskatchewan Environment, providing effective dust
control for all components of the project, and submission of a detailed
quantitative and qualitative analysis of the process residue that will
be stored at the site.

Community Monitoring Program

With the introduction of metals refining to the Saskatoon area, Fortune
has proposed the creation of an independent community monitoring
program to give residents in the area confidence that the new facility
is meeting or exceeding all environmental standards. The Company will
commit to fund this independent body, which will have the freedom to
hire its own expert consultants to review the Company’s monitoring
plans prior to and during commercial operations. Appropriate
consultants will report to the committee and make recommendations to
the Environmental Protection Branch and Fortune.

“We recognize that Fortune and metals processing are new in this region
and that people who live in the area need to know that their land, air
and water supply will not be adversely affected,” said Mike Romaniuk,
Fortune’s Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer. “Just
as we’ve looked for innovative technology to treat metals at our
facility, we want to bring creative approaches to our community
relationships. By providing funding to set up an independent committee,
we hope to establish that our company and our operations can be trusted
to deliver the levels of safety and environmental responsibility that
we have promised.”

About the SMPP

The SMPP lands are adjacent to the Canadian National Railway, which will
be used to deliver 180 tonnes per day of bulk concentrate from the NICO
mine over its expected minimum 20-year lifespan. The Company is also
exploring other potential sources of concentrate that could be
processed at the SMPP and is also investigating opportunities for
entering the recycling business.

Once operational, the SMPP would have approximate average annual
production of:

        --  40,500 ounces of gold (contained in doré);
        --  1,600 tonnes of cobalt (contained in cobalt sulphate
            heptahydrate), needed to manufacture lithium ion and nickel
            metal hydride batteries used in portable electronic devices and
            electric vehicles;
        --  Additional cobalt products can be produced to meet changes in
            market conditions;
        --  1,700 tonnes of bismuth (contained in ingots, needles and an
            oxide compound), a non-toxic, environmentally safe replacement
            for lead with a broad range of industrial and commercial uses,
            including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electronics, pigments and
            alloys; and
        --  250 tonnes of copper (contained in a metal precipitate
            by-product that will be sold to smelters).

Current information about the proposed project can be found in the media
backgrounder, entitled, “Saskatchewan Metals Processing Plant” – click here to read.

About NICO

The NICO deposit is located approximately 160 km northwest of
Yellowknife and recently received its environmental assessment approval
in the NT. The deposit will be mined primarily by open pit methods with
underground ores also contributing mill feed during the first two years
from the existing underground workings that were established from
previous test mining programs. The ores will be processed at the rate
of 4,650 tonnes per day in a concentrator at the site, using simple
flotation to produce a bulk concentrate for shipment to the SMPP. More
than $110 million of work has already been invested to advance the
project, including completion of Front-End Engineering and Design and
feasibility studies, underground test mining, and pilot plant tests to
verify the process methods and products the Company plans to produce.

Fortune continues to work with Deloitte Corporate Finance Inc. to
complete project financing agreements for the NICO project. The Company
has already announced a strategic investment by Procon Resources Inc.
in 2013 to provide interim financing to advance work on the project,
and negotiations are ongoing to secure final project financing for the
development.

The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this
press release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President
and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, who is a “qualified person”
under National Instrument 43-101.

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 British Columbia and the NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project in
the NT and Saskatchewan. 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 statements with respect to, among
other things, the proposed development of the NICO project and the
SMPP, the permitting process for the NICO project and the SMPP, the
anticipated production from the SMPP, the number of jobs expected to be
created by the SMPP capital cost of and the possibility that the SMPP
may be able to source materials from other projects. Forward-looking
information is based on the opinions and estimates of management as
well as certain assumptions at the date the information is given
(including, in respect of the forward-looking information contained in
this press release, assumptions regarding the Company’s ability to
arrange necessary financing for the NICO project and the SMPP, obtain
all necessary permits for the NICO project and the SMPP and assumptions
regarding the capital costs of the SMPP, the production from the SMPP,
and the number of jobs to be created by the SMPP. However, such
forward-looking information 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 inherent risks
involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the
risk that the Company may not be able to arrange the necessary
financing to construct and operate the NICO mine or the SMPP,
uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits
for the development of the NICO project or the SMPP, the possibility of
delays in the commencement of production from the NICO project or
construction of the SMPP, the risk of cost overruns, the risk that the
Company may not be able to source materials for the SMPP from other
projects 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 made as of the date hereof and the
Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise it to reflect new
events or circumstances, except as required by law.

SOURCE Fortune Minerals Limited


Source: PR Newswire