A feasibility study was completed in 2007 for the building of a mill and the opening of an open pit mine at Abcourt-Barvue mine at Barraute, north of Val-d'Or, Quebec, Canada.
The 100% owned Abcourt-Barvue property is conveniently located at Barraute, 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of the mining community of Val-d'Or, Quebec. It covers 5,865 hectares with 139 claims and two (2) mining concessions.
In 1950, zinc was discovered on surface on the Barvue claims. An intensive drill program soon confirmed an important zinc-silver ore body. From 1952 to 1957, an open pit mine was operated by Barvue Mines Limited and produced 3,200 metric tonnes per day. The open pit reached a depth of 76 m (250 feet) and preparation work for underground mining was well advanced by the excavation of a ramp and sub-levels at 15-meter (50-foot) intervals between the 76-meter (250-foot) and the 152-meter (500-foot) depth.
Barvue Mines, which later became Manitou-Barvue Mines Limited, spent about $11 million to open the mine and produced 5,500,000 short tons of ore grading 1.13 ounces of silver per short ton and 2.98% zinc (equivalent to 6,200,000 ounces of silver and 164,000 tons of zinc). Following a drop in the price of zinc, the mine was closed.
The Barvue property was purchased by Abcourt in 1983. A $0.25 per short ton royalty is payable to a former owner.
The original Abcourt property is adjacent to the Barvue property and is on strike with the ore zone.
The joint Abcourt-Barvue property, was placed into production by Abcourt in 1985 after an expenditure of $20 M. At that time, the ore was extracted underground and hauled by trucks to Matagami, a distance of 250 km (150 miles) to be custom milled by Noranda Mines Ltd. In 1990, with falling prices for silver and an anticipated drop in the price of zinc, production was stopped. Abcourt produced 697,016 short tons of ore grading 3.84 ounces of silver per short ton and 5.04% zinc representing 2.67 M ounces of silver and 34,850 tons of zinc.
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The ore at the Abcourt-Barvue mine is found in several ore shoots over a distance of 2.2 km (7,000 feet) in a major corridor of deformation that runs across the property in an east-west direction. The ore is found in altered volcanic rocks and dips at approximately 75o to the north. This mine has barely been explored below the 300-meter (1,000-foot) depth, and within the Abitibi region, similar deposits have reached depths ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 meters (3,300 to 6,600 feet).
The resources at Abcourt-Barvue were revised in 2006 by an independant qualified engineer in accordance with National Instrument 43-101. Open pit measured and indicated resources are 5,126,129 metric tons with a grade of 46.65 g/t silver and 3.30% zinc for a total of 7.7 M ounces of silver and 169,352 tonnes of zinc. The underground measured and indicated resources total 1,389,734 tonnes with a grade of 101.36 g/t silver and 3.40% zinc. In addition, there are 1,505,687 tonnes of inferred resources with a grade of 120.33 g/t silver and 2.98% zinc.
Several composite samples assayed for gold gave an average grade of 0.138 g/t.
In the pits, in addition to the resources indicated above, there are 4,173,131 tonnes of mineralized material with a grade of 15.12 g/t silver and 1.44% zinc.
All technical information on Abcourt-Barvue has been digitalized and a geo-technical study on the stability of the pit walls was completed.
The open pit limits were provided by ABCOURT and were accepted by the qualified person.
Criteria used for the calculation of resources
For the calculation of the Abcourt-Barvue resource estimates, the reasonable parameters established by INNOVEXPLO INC. in 2005 were used. These parameters are based on recommendations of the CIM Standing Committee on reserves definitions (CIM Definition Standards, Nov. 1st, 2004).
A fixed density of 3.0 g/cm3 as obtained from tests done on core samples was used for the tonnage estimate. The minimum horizontal width used was 1.5 m (5.0'). No dilution factor was included.
The Abcourt-Barvue deposit is characterised by some high grade silver values (mainly in the Abcourt zone), requiring that a high grade assay cutting value be established in order to reduce the risks of overestimating the total silver content of the deposit. The high grade assay cutting value has been established by ABCOURT. A high grade cutting value of 15 oz/s.t. Ag was used by ABCOURT during previous mining operations (between 1985 and 1990) and in previous resource estimates. For zinc, no cutting value was used.
Based on $10.00 US per ounce for silver, $1.00 US per pound for zinc and a rate of exchange of $0.86 US per $1.00 Can, it was found by ABCOURT that 1 ounce of silver in the ore is equivalent to 0.65% zinc. With the prices indicated above and estimated mining costs, the following cut-off grades were established by Abcourt for different mine sectors:
Abcourt open pit = 2.4% zinc equivalent
Barvue open pit = 2.55% zinc equivalent
Underground = 3.20% zinc equivalent
For more information on these resources, please see our press release dated June 1, 2006.
The Abcourt-Barvue data base has been digitalized and a geo-technical study of the proposed open pit has been completed.
Abcourt-Barvue longitudinal projection and two typical cross-sections are shown on the following pages.
Abcourt Mines Inc. announced on February 16, 2007, that a NI 43-101 feasability report prepared by Genivar Limited Partnership of Quebec City and Bumigeme Inc of Montreal on the Abcourt-Barvue project is now completed and has been filed. The authors conclude that the Abcourt-Barvue project contains an economic mineral reserve and, based on the cash flow analysis using realistic long-term metal prices, recommend to proceed with the development of a mine, apply for permits, prepare detailed engineering plans and begin the construction of an 1,800 tpd mine/mill complex. Mr. Florent Baril, mettalurgical engineer for Bumigeme, supervised the laboratory validation tests work, prepared the mill flow sheet, sized the equipment and estimated the operating and construction costs of the mill. The mill is designed to treat 1,800 tonnes of ore per day. Mr. Marc Lavigne, Eng., M. Sc., mining engineer for Genivar, designed the open pit, selected the mining equipment, estimated capital and operating mining costs, did the financial analyses and was responsible for the preparation of the report. All the contributing parties are qualified persons. The waste to ore ratio is 5.29:1 if marginal ore is considered as waste. If the pre-stripping is capitalized and excluded the waste to ore ratio drops to 4.8:1.
An in-situ mineral resource for Abcourt-Barvue was calculated in May 2006 according to guides set forth in NI 43-101. With the feasibility study, most of these resources have been converted into ore reserves after taking into account mine dilution and mining recovery. See table below:
Mineral Reserves Statement (including dilution) (43-101)
Remaining resources after the first 10 years of production are as follows:
Description Tonnes Ag g/t Zn %From sections 315E to 1185E under theBarvue pit, measured and indicated 453,166 71.23 3.52
From sections 5100E to 5280E in the Gs,Abcourt area, measured and indicated 109,582 71.38 4.74
Total 562,748 71.26 3.76
Inferred resources 1,505,687 120.53 2.98
After the first 10 (ten) years of production (6,446,000 t), there are several additional years of production at the same milling rate with the remaining underground proven and probables reserves, the underground measured and indicated resources under the Barvue pit and in the Gs zone which can potentially become mineral reserves and the stockpiled marginal ore. This could be extended further with inferred resources after additional exploration and development and production from satellite properties with historical resources when these resources become 43-101.
The pre-production capital expenditure including working capital for scenario B, revision 2 required for the Abcourt-Barvue project is estimated at $46.1 M Canadian dollars including the working capital estimated at $3.07 M.
Estimate of capital expenditures to bring the mine into production - Scenario B, revision 2
Estimate of mine operating costsScenario B, revision 2
$ Can 000
$16.39 / t
$29.21 / t
Subsequent on-going cap., expenditures for surface, open pit, mill expension and U/G mine development
With scenario B, revision 2, the mill will be built with reconditionned used equipment. At first, 80% of silver and 96.0% of zinc will be recovered by a straight flotation and a pyrite concentrate will be produced. During year 1, a cyanidation circuit will be added in the mill to recover 15% of the gold and 9% of the silver from a pyrite concentrate.
The on-going investment for additional equipment purchase, overburden and waste stripping, marginal ore mining and stockpiling, dam raising of tailings pond, the addition of a cyanidation circuit in the mill, underground mine development and progressive rehabilitation is estimated at 35.4M$ over the first 10-year life of the project.
The cash flow analyses for the first ten years of production are based first on the assumption of 40% equity / 60% debt financing at 7% interest per year and secondly with 100% equity financing. The scenario B, revision 2 was established with declining metal prices from year 1 to year 10, averaging $US 0.87 per pound of zinc, $US 15.00 per ounce of silver and $US 850 per ounce of gold with a rate of exchange of $1.00 CAN / $1.00 US.
SCENARIO B, REVISION 2
With 60 % debt / 40 % equity financing, the following results are obtained before and after taxes:
$ 36.5 M Can
$ 44.7 M Can
$ 26.8 M Can
With 100 % equity financing, the following results are obtained:
$47.7 M Can
$108.5 M Can
$69.1 M Can
$39.4 M Can
$185.0 M Can
Sensitivity calculations indicate that the project is highly sensitive to changes in revenues, consequently in metal price variations. Higher metal prices would have a tremendous positive effect on the project. Inversely, lower metal prices would have a negative effect on the profitability of the project. If this happens, it could be mitigated by increasing the zinc-equivalent cut-off grade during low metal price periods to increase zinc and silver grades fed to the mill. The production cost of zinc production, net of precious metal credits, is very low.
See the following table and graph:
Etbita = Earnings before interest, taxes,depreciation and amortisation without considering any investment.
We are currently at the permitting and financing stage. We wish to take advantage of the delay brought about by the 2008 financial crisis to complete the restoration work presently being done, to ensure that all mining equipment is well preserved, to complete some tests to find a way to store sulphide residues and to complete our application for permits. Several anaysts forecast an economic recovery in the near term. In fact, the price of zinc is now (March 2012) over $0.90 US per pound and silver is trading between $30 US and $35 US per ounce. These prices are considerably higher than the prices used in scenario B, revision 2 ($0.88 US/lb for zinc and $15.00 US/ounce for silver). The work that we are doing now will enable us to take a quick decision as soon as financing becomes available.
1. The NI 43-101 resources evaluation report for the Abcourt-Barvue project prepared by Jean-Pierre Bérubé, P. Eng., consultant for MRB & Associates was published on June 1, 2006.
2. The feasibility study prepared by Genivar and Bumigeme is completed. Validation tests of the new ore treatment process gave good results and they were used for a preliminary design of the new mill.
3. A soil testing program for the tailings pond area was completed in the Fall of 2008 by Golder & Associates.
4. The foundations of the old Barvue mill have recently been dug out. These foundations are well preserved and in good conditions. We will try to fit the new mill inside the old mill area.
5. Purchase of a water treatment plant on January 30, 2007.
6. Optimalization of the feasibility study by Genivar completed in July 2008.
7. Purchase of mill equipment (see Press Release dated February 1st and 7, 2008).
Arrival of large mill drum on Abcourt-Barvue property (June 2008)
Flotation circuit before dismantling. Notice good condition of equipment!
8- In 2008 and 2009, clean-up of old tailings spilled on mine site in the past.
9- Test done at the URSTM laboratory on paste fill prepared with our sulphide tailings. This process is being considered for the disposal of our sulphide tailings.
10- Applications for permits are being prepared.
11- Restoration work on the settling basin
12- 2010-2012 drilling program From October 2010 to January 2012, a definition drilling program was realized in the western part of the orebody, generally between 150 and 200 meters of depth, but with a few holes down to 300 meters. This program has given excellent results and has augmented and upgrade the resources in that area. Fore more details, please see the various Press Releases which were issued.
The Vendome property is located 11 kilometres (seven miles) south of the Abcourt-Barvue property. It comprises 59 full claims for a total of 2,546 hectares owned 100% by Abcourt.
Léo Côté, P.Eng.
Gov't report MB98-06
These historical resources were calculated before the publication of N.I. 43-101.
As these resources were not calculated in accordance with N.I. 43-101, they are not dependable. This declaration is made by Mr. Renaud Hinse, P. Eng., President of the Company.
In the 1950's a small ore body was discovered on the Vendôme claims. A three-compartment shaft was sunk to a depth of 160 meters (525 feet) and three levels were established at depths of 76 meters (250 feet), 114 meters (375 feet) and 152 meters (500 feet). A total of 2,134 meters (7,000 feet) of drifts and raises were excavated and 351 holes were drilled underground for a total of 19,595 meters (64,600 feet). At the same time, two deposits, the Barvallee and the Belfort were found on strike to the west by surface drilling. Some drill holes on the Mogador batholith found some gold values.
In 1987, a surface plant was installed and a short (76 meters) ramp was excavated on the Barvallee part of the property.
In 1998, the Company drilled nine holes for a total of 1,505 meters (4,936 feet) in the Barvallee sector of the zone and results were very encouraging. The rock types, the alteration and the widespread sulphide mineralization with significant gold, silver, copper and zinc values that were intersected are characteristic of proximal zones found around volcanogenic massive sulphide ore deposits. The best results were obtained in hole 98-3 with 1.30 m assaying 92.7 g/m.t. of silver, 2.33% of copper and 4.46% of zinc and in hole 98-7 with two intersections: 115.2 g/m.t. silver, 3.05 g/m.t. gold, 0.54% copper and 12.90% zinc over 1.56 m and 32.0 g/m.t. silver, 1.78 g/m.t. gold, 0.44% copper and 4.38% zinc over 2.34 m.
In February 2011, Abcourt purchased the interest held in 15 half claims by Xstrata, successor to Falconbridge and Noranda.
During the 2011 Summer, Abcourt drilled four confirmation holes which gave excellent results (see Press Release dated August 9, 2011).
The Aldermac mine is a former producer with about 1.7 M short tons of historical resources with a grade of 1.5 to 1.6 % copper, about 3.0% zinc and some precious metal values.
The property is located about 13 km west of Rouyn-Noranda, in north-western Quebec, along highway 117, near the Ontario Northland Railway line. It comprises 18 claims covering 590 ha. The mine is serviced by a three-compartment 1625-foot shaft (495 meters) and drifts on nine levels. The mine was in production from 1936 to 1943 and about two million short tons of massive sulphides containing 1.78 % copper, 0.2 opt silver, 0.02 opt gold and an unknown amount of zinc were extracted. Because the price of zinc was very low, it was usual at that time to discard the zinc in the tailings rather than make a zinc concentrate.
In the old mine, the Aldermac ore bodies are comprised of three major lenses (no. 3, 4, 5) accompanied by several small pods considered uneconomic in the past. The ore lenses strike roughly east, dip steeply to the south and are only roughly conformable with the enclosing rocks. The contact of massive ore with the underlying stringer-type mineralization and host tuff units suggest that the ore formed dome-like features. The entire ore body measures 180 feet in thickness, 300 feet along strike and 1,400 feet in the down-dip direction.
The mineralogy of the ore is quite simple, being comprised principally of pyrite with lesser pyrrhotite and carrying minor chalcopyrite, sphalerite and magnetite in a gangue of quartz. From this ore, two concentrates were produced in the past: a copper concentrate which ran 22% copper, 0.06 oz/t gold and 3.5 oz/t silver and a pyrite concentrate assaying 46% sulphur (Northern Miner; Nov. 5, 1936). One hundred short tons of ore produced 8.18 short tons of copper concentrate and 55 short tons of pyrite concentrate.
The No. 4 lens was a one million-ton massive pyrite body containing an average content of 1.75% copper and 1.23% zinc with the marginal vein-like bodies of pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite rich material. A small amount of the present dump material on the property consists of significant amounts of visible banded sphalerite with the zinc rich layers averaging 1-2 cm in thickness alternating with pyrite layering up to 10 cm thick. This type of mineralization was either ignored by the miners and left as uneconomic pods of massive sulphides or discarded in the tailings as smelters charges penalized concentrates with a high zinc content.
Below the 9th level, the massive ore of the No. 4 zone passes into disseminated sulphides contained within a highly chloritic alteration zone.
In contrast to the No. 4 zone, the No. 3 lens measured 260' along strike, 30' in thickness and extended 470 feet down-dip. This lens contained about 220,000 short tons of massive pyrrhotite averaging 2.68% copper and 2% zinc. This ore was zoned; massive pyrrhotite formed the bulk of the mass while pyrite occupied the margins and graded into pyritiferous-siliceous fragmental rocks.
No information can be found on the No. 5 lens which reportedly contained around 100,000 short tons of ore.
In 1987, prior to the discovery of the number 7 and 8 zones, Seadrift International Exploration Ltd. which later became Deak Resources Corporation and subsequently A.J Perron Gold Corporation estimated the resources in the old shaft area as follows:
1.50 to 2.00
This information comes from a Deak Resources Corporation report titled "Aldermac Technical Summary" dated November 1989 from an unknown author, filed with the Department of Natural Resources of Quebec.
Subsequently, detailed statigraphic drilling during 1987 and 1988 to the east of the Aldermac mine site resulted in the discovery by Seadrift International Exploration Ltd. of three new mineralized massive sulphide lenses less than 100 feet from an exploration drift on the 8th level. After the initial discovery hole in August of 1987, a total of 25 drill holes totalling some 41,400 feet of diamond drilling were collared to delineate these lenses.
The No. 8 sulphide zone lies approximately 1000 feet east of the Aldermac shaft at about a vertical depth of 1000 feet. The No. 7 zone, which may be the faulted extension of the No. 8 lens lies about 200 feet in the south. Detailed core logging by Seadrift geologists (principally Paul Jones) indicates that the new mineralization clearly represents a classical Noranda type massive sulphide deposit, as evidenced by the crude metal zoning between the copper and zinc mineralization as well as the presence of an underlying hydrothermal vent containing stringer-type copper mineralization.
The No.8 zone is currently understood to be an irregularly shaped pod or lens, dipping at 45° north along an east-west axis on strike with the mine series hosting the old Aldermac Mine ore lenses. The dimensions of the No. 8 lens has been established to be 300 feet along strike, 350 feet down-dip with a thickness of 60 feet. In addition to the main (no. 8) lens, an "upper zone" occurs 100 feet up-dip from the No. 8 pod. The No. 7 zone, which was actually intersected first, lies 200 feet to the south and east of the main No. 8 zone.
The massive sulphide mineralization in these lenses ranges in drill core intersections from 25 to 161 feet with the grades varying from 1 to 2 %copper, 1 to 5% zinc, 0.5 to 1.05 oz/t silver and trace to 0.04 oz/t gold. Individual assays ranged up to 7.4 % copper, 21.05% Zn and 0.15 oz Au/ton. A crude zonation from a copper rich base to a zinc enriched upper level within the massive sulphides has been noted.
In part, the No. 8 massive sulphide pod is in contact with a discordant, irregular pipe-shaped zone of intense chloritic alteration and copper sulphide, stringer-type mineralization.
The No. 7 zone differs from the No. 8 zone in that no chloritic alteration pipe is present. The syenite intrusive complex, which "abuts" the sulphides has either engulfed and destroyed the footwall rocks or displaced the alteration zone. Further drilling may yet enlarge the No. 7 zone.
The historical ore reserves of the No. 7 and No. 8 zones, as calculated by Wright Engineers, a well-known firm of consultants are as follows:
This information comes from a Deak Resources Corporation report titled "Aldermac Technical Summary" dated November 1989 from an unknown author, filed with the Department of Natural Resources of Quebec. The "ore reserves" reported in the Aldermac Technical Summary were prepared before the introduction of National Instrument 43-101. The historical resources have not been verified and should not be relied upon. However, Abcourt believes that these estimates, particularly the one prepared by Wright Engineers were estimated by competent persons. This statement is made by Mr. Renaud Hinse, professional engineer, President of the Company. Mr. Hinse is a qualified person.
In the 2008 winter, a 22-hole drilling program totalling 5,514 meters at a cost of $601,399 was completed. Several excellent values over important widths were cut. Here is a list of the best results obtained:
The true widths in these holes, except AL08-14 and AL08-21 is approximately 90% of the core lengths. In hole AL08-14, it is about 50% and in hole AL08-21, it is approximately 70% of the core lengths. These results have confirmed most of the results obtained previously and have added some extensions to the known zones.
Holes AL08-23 to AL08-25 were drilled to outline a north-south band of massive sulphides at the western limit of the mined out area between the 7th and 9th levels. True widths represent about 50-55% of core lengths. Holes AL08-27, AL08-28 and AL08-30 were drilled to outline additional mineralisation between surface and the second level. True widths represent about 90% of core length.
As most of the earlier plans have been lost or are incomplete, our drilling objectives were first to locate and outline the old underground openings (drifts and stopes), then validate the historical resources and possibly find new one. The results obtained will eventually contribute to the preparation of a NI 43-101 resource report.
The assays were done at Techni-Lab S.G.B. inc., a qualified laboratory.
The last payment on the option was made in February last (2012). The Aldermac property now belongs 100% to Abcourt.
In March 2007, Abcourt announced the signature of a 7-year option to purchase 100% of the Jonpol property located in Dalquier township near Amos, Quebec, Canada, with payments totalling $375,000 and a commitment to spend $4M. This 880-hectare property was subject to several exploration programs in the past and three shafts were sunks, the deepest reaching a depth of 152 meters.
This exploration work outlined the following historical resources:
1.11(1) S. Waisberg, 1969, Conigo Mines Ltd(2) H.B. Hicks, 1974, Kilborn Engineering Ltd, preliminary feasibility study for 1,000 TPD mining and milling plant(3) D. Titaro, 1983, Getty Canadian Mines Ltd, work summary
In addition, several significant gold intersections were obtained in the drilling.
This information comes from a report by C.M Cooke, senior project geologist for Aur Resources Inc., dated November 1992.
The historical resources reported above were prepared before the introduction of National Instrument 43-101 (43-101). The historical resources have not been verified and should not be relied upon. However Abcourt believes that these estimates, particularly the ones prepared by Kilborn and Getty, were estimated by competent persons. This statement is made by Mr. Renaud Hinse, professional engineer, President of Abcourt Mines Inc. Mr. Hinse is a qualified person under 43-101.
In the Fall of 2007, 22 holes were drilled for a total of 2,630 meters at a cost of $325,141. Several interesting values in silver, copper and zinc were cut. Additional drilling is planned. See press release dated November 15, 2007.
Aur Resources Inc. with whom we had negotiated the first agreement was amalgamated with Teck-Cominco Limited. We have recently re-negotiated this agreement with Teck Cominco Limited and obtained more advantageous conditions. This modified agreement involves a single payment of 400,000 units comprising one common share of Abcourt and one share purchase warrant with the right to purchase one common share of Abcourt for $0.30 up to September 30, 2010. The shares have a hold period of not more than 4 months and the warrants will include a standard anti-dilution clause. The work commitment is reduced to $1M with a minimum of $100,000 spent in each of 2009 and 2010.
Diamond drilling done for the Fall of 2009
A 1,329-meter diamond drilling program was completed in the Fall of 2009. Good silver values are indicated and interesting zinc and copper values were intersected (see Press Releases date January 12 and 22, 2010).
Diamond drilling in 2011
During the first quarter ended on September 30, 2011, we drilled nine holes. Eight of these holes were drilled on the western extension of a silver zone indicated by previous drilling. These holes only gave low values. The ninth hole was drilled to intersect a rhyolite-tuff contact. It cut a 1-meter mineralized section averaging 267.50 g/t silver and 0.24 % zinc at an approximate depth of 100 meters. This intersection is significative because a large zone of disseminated mineralization with silver, copper and zinc values was intersected in that area by a previous hole. Additional drilling will be done in 2012. Expenses incurred in the 1st and 2nd quarters totalled $200,000.