TORONTO, ON – October 30, 2019 – Itafos (TSX VENTURE: IFOS) (the “Company”) announced today the results of an independent technical report encompassing Itafos Conda and Itafos Paris Hills deposits concluding increased existing Mineral Resource estimates and defining the Husky1/North Dry Ridge (“H1/NDR”) deposits as the Company’s path forward for mine development. The technical report compiled by Golder Associates Ltd. (“Golder”) and titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Itafos Conda and Itafos Paris Hills Mineral Projects, Idaho, USA” (the “Itafos Conda Technical Report”) will be filed on SEDAR within the next 45 days.
“This is a significant step towards executing on our key objective at Itafos Conda of extending phosphate ore supply from a combination of additional resources in existing mines and defining the path forward for long-term ore continuity by focusing efforts and resources on H1/NDR. In addition, these results provide further flexibility in terms of timing of required growth capex,” said Tim Vedder, General Manager of Itafos Conda.
The Itafos Conda Technical Report concluded that, with respect to Itafos Conda’s existing mines, the Rasmussen Valley Mine (“RVM”) deposit contains Mineral Resource estimates of 15.2 million short tons. This Mineral Resource estimate for RVM is a 37% increase over Itafos Conda’s historical internal estimates. Further, the Itafos Conda Technical Report concluded that, with respect to Itafos Conda’s mine development options, the H1/NDR deposits contain Mineral Resource estimates of 38.1 million short tons at approximately 24.3% P2O5. This Mineral Resource estimate for H1/NDR is a 60% increase over Itafos Conda’s historical internal estimates.
The Itafos Conda Technical Report includes Mineral Resource estimates for RVM, Lanes Creek Mine (“LCM”) and H1/NDR deposits, all of which are wholly owned by Itafos Conda. The Mineral Resource estimates for these deposits were prepared by Golder and this news release is the initial public disclosure of such Mineral Resource estimates. The Itafos Conda Technical Report also includes an update of the previous Mineral Resource estimate for the Paris Hills (“PH”) deposit, which is wholly owned by Stonegate Agricom Ltd. (“STG”), the owner of Itafos Paris Hills. The previous Mineral Resource estimate for PH was prepared by Agapito Associates Ltd. on behalf of STG within the technical report titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report Paris Hills Phosphate Project Bloomington, Idaho, USA” dated as of January 18, 2013 and restated as of July 8, 2013 and filed under STG’s profile on SEDAR.
The effective date for the Mineral Resource estimates is July 1, 2019. There have been no material changes in the available information for the deposits between the effective date of the Mineral Resource estimates and the date of this news release. Only Mineral Resource estimates are being reported at this time. The Company intends to report Mineral Reserve estimates for RVM and LCM once current mine planning and other modifying factors studies have been completed to a minimum of a Pre-Feasibility level of study.
About the Deposits
The phosphate mineralization encountered at the deposits considered in the Itafos Conda Technical Report occur as stratigraphically controlled sedimentary phosphate mineralization within the Meade Peak Member of the Early Permian Phosphoria Formation. The Meade Peak Member is further subdivided into an Upper Phosphate Zone and a Lower Phosphate Zone, separated by an unmineralized Center Waste Zone. The Mineral Resource estimates include mineralization from both the Upper Phosphate Zone and Lower Phosphate Zone.
The Mineral Resource estimates were prepared by Golder under the supervision of an independent Qualified Person in accordance with the definitions presented in NI 43-101 and the CIM Definition Standards, 2014. The Mineral Resource estimates were based on all verified exploration and pre-production drill holes and analytical samples drilled to date for the deposits considered in the Itafos Conda Technical Report. Data verification was performed under the supervision of an independent Qualified Person while exploration data collection was performed under the supervision of Itafos Conda geologists and engineers that also meet the standard for Qualified Persons under the applicable definitions.
Reverse Circulation (“RC”) drilling was the predominant drilling method for RVM, LCM, NDR and H1 deposits while all PH deposit drill holes were cored. Wireline gamma logs were performed on most of the drill holes across the deposits considered in the Itafos Conda Technical Report and were used to perform bed picks for lithological domain correlation and analytical sampling purposes.
A summary of the drill hole and sample data used in the geological models and Mineral Resource estimates are presented for each of the deposits considered in the Itafos Conda Technical Report as follows:
Summary of Drill Hole and Sample Data
|Property||Drill Hole Count||Total Drilling (ft)||Sample Count||Nominal Drill Section Line Spacing (ft)|
|LCM||142||21,957||3,057||300 (locally irregular spacing)|
|H1||305||109,094||17,005||400 (locally 200)|
|PH||65||73,042||1,865||700 (south half) & 1,600 (north half)|
- RVM = Rasmussen Valley Mine; LCM = Lanes Creek Mine; NDR = North Dry Ridge Deposit; H1 = Husky1 Deposit; PH = Itafos Paris Hills Deposit.
- Sample counts are based on samples containing P2O5 values of greater than 0%.
Summary of Mineral Resource Estimates
|RVM||UPZ & LPZ|
|LCM||UPZ & LPZ|
|NDR||UPZ & LPZ|
|H1||UPZ & LPZ|
|Totals||UPZ & LPZ|
- RVM = Rasmussen Valley Mine; LCM = Lanes Creek Mine; NDR = North Dry Ridge Deposit; H1 = Husky-1 Deposit; PH = Paris Hills Deposit; UPZ = Upper Phosphate Zone; LPZ = Lower Phosphate Zone; bcf = bank cubic feet; wt.% = weight percent.
- The effective date of the Mineral Resource estimates is July 1, 2019.
- The categorization of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources is presented in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards, 2014.
- The Mineral Resource estimates are reported on a dry in-situ basis. Masses have been converted from wet to dry basis using a 10% moisture factor.
- No recovery, dilution or other similar mining parameters have been applied.
- The Mineral Resource estimates for RVM and LCM reflect remaining in-situ resources using end of June 2019 mining surfaces; material mined from the deposits prior to this date has been depleted from the Mineral Resource estimates.
- The Mineral Resource estimates presented are not Mineral Reserve estimates and do not reflect demonstrated economic viability. The reported Inferred Mineral Resource estimates are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserve estimates. There is no certainty that all or any part of Mineral Resource estimates will be converted into Mineral Reserve estimates.
- Mineral Resource estimates are not precise calculations, being dependent on the interpretation of limited information on the location, shape and continuity of the occurrence and on the available sampling results. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimates and totals may not add correctly.
- The Mineral Resource estimates for the potentially surface mineable resources (RVM, LCM, NDR and H1) were constrained by conceptual pit shells for the purpose of establishing reasonable prospects of eventual economic extraction based on potential mining, metallurgical and processing grade parameters identified by mining, metallurgical and processing studies performed to date on the resources.
- The Mineral Resource estimates for the potentially underground mineable resources at PH were constrained by property boundaries on north, south and east sides. A vertical limb on the west side of the property would require an alternative mining method and to date has not been drilled to the extent to support an estimate of geologic resources.
- Key constraint inputs included reasonable assumptions for operating costs, CRU fertilizer product forecast prices and a 20% minimum P2O5 grade, based on current Itafos Conda plant specifications, for all estimated resources except for the Lower phosphate Zone Mineralization at PH. The Lower Phosphate Zone at PH was defined using a 24% minimum P2O5 grade to allow for a head-grade of 30% P2O5 which is amenable to direct-shipping without the need for beneficiation.
Qualified Persons Statement
Unless otherwise indicated, the responsible Qualified Person, within the guidelines set forth in NI 43-101, who has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release is Jerry DeWolfe, a Qualified Person who is a Professional Geologist (P.Geo.) with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. Mr. DeWolfe is a full-time employee of Golder and is independent of Itafos and its affiliates. Mr. DeWolfe has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 and the CIM Definition Standards, 2014. Mr. DeWolfe consents to the inclusion in the news release of the matters based on this information in the form and context in which it appears.
The Company is a vertically integrated phosphate fertilizers and specialty products company with an attractive portfolio of long-term strategic businesses and projects located in key fertilizer markets worldwide.
The Company owns, operates and is developing the following businesses and projects:
- Itafos Conda – a vertically integrated phosphate mine and fertilizer business with production and sales capacity of approximately 550kt per year of monoammonium phosphate (“MAP”), MAP with micronutrients (“MAP+”), superphosphoric acid (“SPA”), merchant grade phosphoric acid (“MGA”) and specialty products including ammonium polyphosphate (“APP”) located in Idaho, US;
- Itafos Arraias – a phosphate fertilizer business with production and sales capacity of approximately 500kt per year of single superphosphate (“SSP”), SSP with micronutrients (“SSP+”), premium PK compounds and approximately 40kt per year of excess sulfuric acid located in Tocantins, Brazil;
- Itafos Paris Hills – a high-grade phosphate mine project located in Idaho, US;
- Itafos Farim – a high-grade phosphate mine project located in Farim, Guinea-Bissau;
- Itafos Santana – a vertically integrated high-grade phosphate mine and fertilizer plant project located in Pará, Brazil;
- Itafos Mantaro – a large phosphate mine project located in Junin, Peru; and
- Itafos Araxá – a vertically integrated rare earth elements and niobium mine and extraction plant project located in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
For more information, or to join the Company’s mailing list to receive notification of future news releases, please visit the Company’s website, www.itafos.com.
Forward Looking Information
Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward looking information. All information other than information of historical fact is forward looking information. The use of any of the words “intend”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “continue”, “estimate”, “expect”, “may”, “will”, “project”, “should”, “would”, “believe”, “predict” and “potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking information. This information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward looking information. No assurance can be given that this information will prove to be correct and such forward looking information included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon.
Forward looking information is subject to a number of risks and other factors that could cause actual results and events to vary materially from that anticipated by such forward looking information. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expected results described in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those risk factors set out in the Company’s Management Discussion and Analysis and other disclosure documents available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risks, uncertainties and assumptions are not exhaustive. The forward-looking information included in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement and is made as of the date of this news release. Itafos undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information except as required by applicable securities laws.
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Itafos Announces Results of Itafos Conda Technical Report, Increased Mineral Resource Estimates and Path Forward for Mine Life Extension