Anglesey’s major activity derives from its 41% share of Toronto-listed Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Limited (TSX:LIM) which is developing twenty direct shipping iron ore deposits in western Labrador and north-eastern Quebec. Commercial production is planned for April 2011 with a forecast shipments of 1.5 million tonnes of direct shipping lump and sinter fine hematite iron ores for 2011, rising to up to 6 million tonnes annually after several years.
Anglesey also has 100% of the Parys Mountain zinc-copper-lead deposit in North Wales, UK with a total historical resource in excess of 7 million tonnes at over 9% combined copper, lead and zinc.
Waste stripping at the James North deposit commenced in January 2011 and most of the James North pit area has now been stripped of overburden and the ore body is exposed along the first production bench. Further mine development is continuing, the ore haul road and the settling pond have been completed and full scale mining operations are planned to commence in April 2011. They will continue for eight months until November, at an anticipated initial mining rate starting at 6,000 tonnes of ore per day, increasing to over 10,000 tonnes of ore per day, using conventional open-pit mining methods and eventually employing standard drilling and blasting operations as required.
Plant commissioning is on track for start-up in April 2011 and the accommodation camp at Bean Lake should be ready for occupation shortly.
Plant Upgrades and Expansion
The Silver Yards plant as currently installed has a design capacity to process 10,000 tonnes per day and the equipment to crush, wash and screen to recover about 65% of the contained iron in the blue ore, which will produce two products, the first a coarse lump ore and the second a sinter feed. It is expected that initially the lump ore will represent about one third of the product. It is planned to upgrade and expand this plant during 2011 with the aim of increasing recoveries to about 75% and output by 13%. Further upgrades and expansions are also planned.
2010 Exploration Program
The 2010 exploration program completed 4,500 metres of drilling and 1,400 metres of trenching at the Denault, Ruth 8, and Houston properties.
Exploration drilling at Houston during 2010 has significantly increased the size of the resources to 19.49 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources which represents a significant increase over previous estimates. The Houston deposits remain open along strike particularly to the southeast and further drilling is planned on Houston 3 during 2011 – see press release of 11 February 2011.
As a result of this significant increase, the Houston deposits are now of sufficient tonnage that merits evaluation of a stand-alone operation. LIM intends to evaluate the development of a new separate South Central Zone, as Stage 2 of its Schefferville Area Projects, possibly with its own dedicated processing plant which, subject to environmental assessment, permitting and detailed engineering, could be brought into production in 2013 at a rate of 2 to 3 million tonnes of iron ore per year.
Drilling at Denault has indicated some extensions to that deposit which will be incorporated into revised resource estimates for the Denault deposit when the results have been analysed.
During the 2010 exploration season an airborne gravity and magnetic survey identified a number of new drill targets with the potential to expand currently known resources. Several of the new targets identified will be tested in 2011 using reverse circulation or diamond drilling.
LIM is in advanced negotiations with each of the railroad companies that will transport LIM’s ore to port with regard to the transportation of its iron ore products in 2011 and future years. To date no agreements have been concluded not have leasing agreements with the equipment leasing companies for the leasing of railcars or locomotives been signed.
Port – Shipping Facilities
In February 2010 LIM signed an agreement with the Sept-Iles Port Authority for the use of the Pointe-Noire facilities at the Port to ship LIM’s iron ore products. LIM agreed to a base fee schedule with the Port Authority regarding wharfage fees for iron ore loading for LIM’s shipping operations.
LIM is evaluating a number of different options for its Sept-Îles operations including use of the facilities of Wabush Mines or other facilities of the Sept-Îles Port Authority. LIM is in negotiations with Wabush Mines and with the Sept-Iles Port Authority, and with other port operators, with regard to transportation, storage, handling and loading of LIM’s iron ore products at Pointe-Noire.
LIM has not yet concluded agreements with the relevant rail companies or port operators for the transportation and handling of LIM’s planned production of iron ore.
Marketing – iron ore markets
Marketing discussions have continued with potential customers, both in Europe and in Asia. Chinese consumers, in particular, are showing a growing interest in seeking iron ore from Canada, driven by continued strong demand and a desire to diversify from their traditional sources of supply.
LIM continues to review its options for marketing its planned iron ore production and is evaluating the optimum route to achieve these sales, while still maintaining maximum flexibility and independence. In particular LIM has had detailed discussions with a number of internationally recognized commodity traders with specialist knowledge of the iron and steel industry and expects to finalize marketing arrangements with one of these for the sales of its initial 2011 ore production in the near term. To date, LIM has not yet concluded any agreements for the sale of iron ore. It is expected that iron ore products produced in 2011 will be sold into the spot market on a “FOB Sept-Iles” basis.
As LIM nears commencement of production in the next quarter, the global iron ore market remains very positive with recent prices for 62% Fe sinter fines approaching US$190 per tonne CFR China. Despite efforts by the Chinese government to slow down some aspects of growth of the Chinese economy, demand for iron continues to grow. This demand, coupled with some interruptions in supply from Australia and Brazil, has driven iron ore prices to an all-time high.
LIM believes it is on track to conclude the required rail transportation and port related commercial agreements in the near term and to commence mining and processing activities in April 2011, followed shortly thereafter by sales into a robust iron ore market. It is also actively working on finalizing IBA agreements with the Innu Community of Matimekush-Lac John (Schefferville) and with the Innu of Uashat (Sept-Iles), the two remaining First Nations groups in which it does not already have IBA agreements.
LIM currently expects to mine in excess of 2 million tonnes of ore in 2011, which is partially a construction/start-up year. Assuming satisfactory plant commissioning and smooth start-up, and based on projected recoveries (expected to start initially at about 65% and increasing to about 75% with the installation of the fines recovery equipment), and assuming an operating season of about 210 days, (subject to weather conditions) this is expected to yield shipments of about 1.5 million tonnes of iron ore, prior to seasonal shutdown of operations at the end of November 2011.
With the high level of iron ore prices currently prevailing, the progress made to date in constructing the mine and beneficiation plant, and with mine operations expected to commence in April 2011, the outlook for LIM is positive. There are still a number of commercial agreements to be concluded, including final rail and port arrangements. Provided these remaining agreements are resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner, LIM can look forward to achieving commercial production around the middle of calendar 2011.
About Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Limited (LIM)
LIM’s Schefferville Project involves the development of twenty direct shipping iron ore deposits in western Labrador and north-eastern Quebec near Schefferville, Quebec. The properties are part of the historic Schefferville area iron ore district where mining of adjacent deposits was previously carried out by the Iron Ore Company of Canada from 1954 to 1982.
Labrador Iron Mines contemplates mining in stages, the first phase of Stage 1 comprising the James and Redmond deposits, which are located in close proximity to existing infrastructure, where construction is being completed and mine start-up is planned to commence in April 2011.
For further information, please view LIM’s website at www.labradorironmines.ca.
Although there have been no site activities at Parys Mountain over the past few months, the current high price levels for the copper, lead and zinc which can be produced there are encouraging and have generated interest in the project from third parties. It remains the intention to progress this project with a joint venture partner and further efforts are being made to move forward in this way.
About Anglesey Mining plc
Anglesey Mining with its LSE main board listing is primarily focused on its 41% interest in Labrador Iron Mines (TSX:LIM). In addition to any new projects that may be brought forward the company owns 100% of Parys Mountain in North Wales with an historical resource in excess of 7 million tonnes at over 9% combined copper, lead and zinc.
For further information, please contact:
Bill Hooley, Chief Executive +44 (0) 1492 541981
Ian Cuthbertson, Finance Director +44 (0) 1248 361333
Emily Fenton / Charlie Geller,
Tavistock Communications +44 (0) 20 7920 3155 / +44 (0) 7788 554035