International Nickel Ventures Corporation: Process Scoping Study on Santa Fe/Ipora Nickel Laterite
TORONTO, ONTARIO – (CCNMatthews – January 23, 2007) – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV”) (TSX:INV), is pleased to release the GRD Minproc (“Minproc”) process scoping study on its joint ventured Santa Fe/Ipora nickel laterite project in Brazil with Teck Cominco Limited (“Teck Cominco”).
Minproc Scoping Study
Minproc was engaged in August 2006 by Mineradora INVI Ltda. (100% owned indirectly by INV and Teck Cominco) to prepare scoping studies on the Santa Fe/Ipora deposits. The purpose of the Minproc scoping study was to evaluate the capital and operating costs of a hydrometallurgical plant for processing nickel laterite ores at two production rates – 30,000 and 60,000 tonnes per annum nickel product in order to confirm the commercial and technical viability of the processing for the proposed project and define the scope for future studies.
The Minproc study focused on the high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) process, although atmospheric leaching was also considered. Minproc examined nickel outputs of 31,700 and 36,800 tonnes per annum, assuming feed from the Santa Fe and Ipora resources with head grades of 1.35% Ni and 0.07% Co. In addition, cases were also included at 55,100 and 58,450 tonnes per annum, which contemplate additional resources being identified in the district to provide feed at the same grade to a central processing facility.
Process Plant Capital and Operating Costs
Process plant capital and operating costs were estimated in US$ as at the third quarter of 2006, within an accuracy of plus or minus30%. These exclude mining and infrastructure costs external to the plant boundary. A magnesium sulphate treatment plant (estimated to order-of-magnitude level) is only included for the higher throughput cases. Operating costs are based on estimates of commodity, reagent, power and personnel requirements.
Table 1.5 from Minproc Process Scoping Study dated January 22, 2007. Assumes US$8.00 cobalt price.
(US$ 1b Nickel
|31,700||1.78||875 (Mixed Hydroxide
|(69.7 million lbs)||2.27||1,075 (Nickel Cathode
(81.0 million lbs)
(121.2 million lbs)
(128.6 million lbs)
This press release was prepared under the supervision and review of Peter Nofal of Minproc, a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101. The text of the Minproc report has been filed on SEDAR.
Summary and Conclusions
The work to date has identified key areas to focus on over the next six months, including additional drilling, upgrading test work, metallurgical testing, resource evaluation and engineering studies. The Minproc numbers are initial estimates. Key areas identified by the work to date will be addressed over the next six months with the objective of achieving reductions in the capital and operating costs and estimating mined head grades from a scoping level scheduled mining plan of the defined resources. As announced, on December 22, 2006, INV and Teck Cominco have initiated, effective November 1, 2006, an $8.5 million work program on Santa Fe/Ipora to be completed by mid-2007.
New 43-101 Technical Report
INV issued new resource estimates on Santa Fe/Ipora of 109 million tonnes grading 1.11% nickel on November 23, 2006. A new technical report has been prepared to support these resource estimates by INV’s consultants, Spence Resources Management (“SRM”) and FSS Canada Consultants Inc. (“FSS”), which was filed on SEDAR on January 5, 2007.
INV is a Canadian mineral resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of nickel projects in Brazil. Its primary asset is an option to acquire, with partner and operator Teck Cominco, a 75% (INV’s interest equals 20.25%, Teck Cominco equals 54.75%) interest in two advanced-stage nickel laterite deposits, Santa Fe and Ipora, in the Goias nickel camp of Brazil. In addition, INV has 100% ownership in an extensive land package of prospective lateritic and sulphide nickel properties in Goias, Para and Tocantins States which now totals over 350,000 hectares. INV had a cash position of approximately $17.5 million at September 30, 2006 and has 34.5 million shares outstanding.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties beyond INV’s ability to control or predict, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parametres, future price of nickel, changes in labor costs or other costs of production, failure of plant equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, possible variations in mineral grade or recovery rates and other general risks of the mining industry. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, refer to INV’s filings with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or the Company’s website at www.nickelventures.com.