MINCO RECEIVES FINAL ASSAYS FROM LUNDBERG DRILLING ON THE BUCHANS PROJECT, NEWFOUNLAND, CANADA
Dublin, 09 January 2013 - Minco Plc (AIM - "MIO") (the "Company") is pleased to announce remaining assays from its recently completed drilling program on the Lundberg and Engine House base metal deposits in Buchans, central Newfoundland, Canada.
The three month program was completed in October and consisted of 58 holes totaling 8,184 metres of drilling. Results for the final seven (7) holes of the program are now available and include additional favourable results confirming thick mineralization extending to depth within the resource's northwestern area. The holes also confirm that base metal mineralization extends further east than was previously interpreted, with two shallow step-out holes intersecting the mineralized zone immediately beneath the overburden.
Highlights from the east margin of the Lundberg zone include an intercept of 37.7 metres averaging 1.01% combined based metals comprised of 0.23% copper, 0.15% lead and 0.63% zinc beneath 11.3 metres of overburden in hole H-12-3482. A second hole drilled in this area, H-12-3483, also intersected mineralization immediately below overburden coring 16.55 metres averaging 1.79% combined base metals comprised of 0.26% copper, 0.42% lead and 1.11% zinc. Results from these two holes suggest the zone remains open beyond the eastern limits of the previous resource estimate.
Other results include multiple broad intersections which confirm the resource in the northwest portion of the Lundberg Deposit area including 73.10 metres averaging 2.01% combined base metals comprised of 0.32% copper, 0.49% lead, and 1.20% zinc in hole H-12-3479 and 43 metres averaging 2.37% combined base metals comprised of 0.15% copper, 0.69% lead, and 1.52% zinc in hole H-12-3477. Assay highlights for the final seven holes of the program are summarized below.
NEW LUNDBERG ASSAY RESULTS
Note: All holes drilled vertically from surface. Drill hole details including assays are available at http://www.minco.ie/pdf/20130109Assays.pdf. Intercepts quoted are core lengths and true widths have not been estimated due to the stockwork and disseminated nature of mineralization intersected. Vertical core length intercepts are considered close to true widths as the mineralization is interpreted to consist of flat-lying to shallowly dipping sheets.A map showing hole locations relative to the known resource are available on the Company's website at http://www.minco.ie/pdf/20130109Map.pdf.
Minco has retained Mercator Geological Services of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to undertake to calculate new resource estimates for the Lundberg and Engine House deposits that will estimate resources within both Indicated and Inferred categories. Together with Buchans Minerals, the companies anticipate that the resource estimates will be completed within the next 4 to 5 weeks which will allow Inferred Resources previously assessed by a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment undertaken by Wardrop in 2011 to be reassessed as Indicated Resources within a NI-43-101 compliant Prefeasibility study.
"Results appear to confirm the concept of the Engine House and Lundberg deposits as a potential open-pit development project. The program has successfully confirmed several key aspects of the project including: delineation of a higher grade corridor of mineralization running the length of the Lundberg Zone, the potential expansion of near surface resources on the east margin of Lundberg, and the potential for further expansion of the Engine House deposit down dip to the south and west." commented Terence McKillen, President and CEO of Minco.
THE LUNDBERG AND ENGINE HOUSE DEPOSITS
The Lundberg and Engine House deposits were assessed by a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") completed by Wardrop, a Tetra Tech Company ("Wardrop"), in 2011 that identified the deposit has the potential to become a stand-alone mine. A summary of the PEA can be found in the Company's news release of August 11, 2011.
The Lundberg and Engine House deposits are primarily stockwork-type volcanogenic massive sulphide ("VMS") deposits, surrounding and extending from the former Lucky Strike orebody of the former Buchans mine. This stockwork mineralization typically hosts lower grades than ores previously mined at Buchans which is being evaluated as near surface bulk tonnage mineralization that may be potentially amenable to open pit mine development. Current Inferred Resources within the Lundberg-Engine House conceptual open pit, as defined by Wardrop in the PEA, are estimated as 17.28 million tonnes with average grades of 1.63% zinc, 0.69% lead, 0.40% copper, and 5.96 g/t silver.
MINCO JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT
On April 30th, 2012, Buchans Minerals and Minco announced an agreement granting Minco the right to earn a 51% interest in the Company's base metal properties in central Newfoundland by spending CDN$8 million to advance the Lundberg deposit to final feasibility over four (4) years and further explore the extensive mineral properties in the region held by Buchans Minerals.
Minco is initially required to spend CDN$3.5 million over the next two years to advance the project to the pre-feasibility stage. During this period Minco plans to undertake a range of development activities that will include drilling, resource estimation, geotechnical engineering, open-pit mine plan, metallurgy, plant design, engineering, environmental studies and an economic evaluation. Following the expenditure of CDN$3.5 million, Minco will have the option to proceed to complete a final feasibility study by spending a further CDN$4.5 million over the following two years.
The drill program was managed by Buchans Minerals Corporation. Logging, sampling and assaying procedures were completed as per QA/QC protocols as described in Buchans Minerals' press release dated September 13th, 2012. Paul Moore, M.Sc., P.Geo., (NL), Buchans Minerals' Vice President Exploration, is acting as Qualified Person in compliance with National Instrument 43-101 with respect to this release and has reviewed the contents for accuracy.
Mr. Benjamin Batson, P. Geo., Vice President (Exploration - North America) of Centrerock Mining Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Minco plc), is a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators has reviewed the contents of this release for accuracy.
Mr. Terence N McKillen, B.A. (MOD), M.A., M.Sc., P.Geo, Chief Executive Officer, is the Qualified Person for the purposes of the AIM Guidance Note on Mining, Oil and Gas Companies dated March 2006. Mr. McKillen is a graduate in Natural Sciences (Geology) from Trinity College Dublin and holds a Master of Science degree in Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology from the University of Leicester. He has over 40 years of exploration experience in Ireland and internationally.
Minco Plc, registered in the Republic of Ireland and listed on the AIM Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange ("MIO"), is an exploration and development company, currently engaged in zinc-lead exploration in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada and with investments in zinc-silver projects in Mexico through holding 30 million shares (~29%) in Xtierra Inc. listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV-"XAG"). Minco holds 15.4 million shares (~10%) in Buchans Minerals Corporation also listed on the TSXV ("BMC"). Minco also holds a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold property in Northern Ireland which is being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc. (TSX-"DNA").
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