INV Announces $8.5 Million Work Plan at Santa Fe/Ipora: Scoping Studies Being Reviewed
TORONTO, ONTARIO – (CCNMatthews – December 22, 2006) – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV”)(TSX:INV), and Teck Cominco Limited (“Teck Cominco”), have initiated, effective November 1, 2006, a $8.5 million (INV’s share C $2.3 million) work program on their Santa Fe and Ipora nickel laterite joint venture in Brazil, to be completed by mid-2007.
The principal components of the program are:
- Up to 18,000 metres of drilling on both Santa Fe and Ipora to define and expand higher grade mineralization.
- Metallurgical testing of Ipora material and upgrading test work on material for Santa Fe and Ipora.
- Additional resource evaluation and engineering studies to update the resource models with new data, estimate mined grades and complete project scoping study.
The budget provides a contingency for a test mining project at Santa Fe to open a pit (150 metres by 100 metres by 10-15 metres deep) over one of the high grade zones to test continuity, grade control procedures and selective mining methods.
Minproc and Golder Scoping Studies Update
GRD Minproc (“Minproc”) and Golder Associates Ltd (“Golder”) were engaged by Mineradora INVI Ltda. (owned indirectly by INV and Teck Cominco) to prepare scoping studies on the Santa Fe/Ipora deposits in August 2006. As stated in a July 27, 2006 press release, 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 proposed project and define the scope for future studies. The Golder study’s focus was on geotechnical and hydrological considerations such as plant site, water supply, effluent and tailings disposal, water balance and reclamation.
Preliminary reports have now been received and are being reviewed by Teck Cominco and INV. The preliminary reports have focused on the high pressure acid leach (HPAL) process for laterite leaching followed by production of a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP).
Dr. David Dreisinger, an INV board member who holds the Industrial Chair in Hydrometallurgy at University of British Columbia, states “The Minproc preliminary study provides scoping level capital and operating costs (plus or minus 30%) for treatment of the Santa Fe/Ipora resources by conventional pressure acid leaching. In my judgment, the preliminary capital and operating cost estimates are in line with other current and proposed HPAL projects”.
INV will release the final results of a scoping study as soon as available.
INV issued new resource estimates on Santa Fe/Ipora 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”). The new technical report will be filed on SEDAR prior to January 8, 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 = 20.25%, Teck Cominco = 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 press 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.