Press ReleasesJanuary 20, 2011
Wallbridge Mining and JV Partners Plan a Busy 2011
- A 30,000 tonne bulk sampling program is underway at the Broken Hammer Zone in Sudbury to confirm grade and recoveries of the NI 43-101 compliant resource and to determine economic viability of mining the deposit.
- A 2500 metre winter drill program is being initiated to follow-up on 2010 results and to test several high-priority targets near the Amy Lake PGE Zone, Frost Lake Project.
- Drill results from Parkin Offset Property, Milnet 1500 Zone are being reviewed with joint venture partner Impala Platinum as next phase of drilling is planned.
- An 82.5 line-kilometre, deep-penetrating EM geophysical survey currently underway along the 18 kilometre length of Hess Offset Dike, North Range to identify anomalies for drill testing.
- Holdings in two other exploration and development companies add to shareholder value.
Toronto, Ontario - January 20, 2011 - Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX:WM, FWB: WC7) ("Wallbridge") is anticipating a busy year as exploration and development plans will focus on advancing key projects in Sudbury, Ontario - one of the most prolific mining regions in North America. Currently, Wallbridge is advancing many of its priority projects in Sudbury including the Broken Hammer Resource, the Frost Lake Project -- Amy Lake PGE Zone, the Parkin Offset Property and the North Range -- Hess Offset Dike.
The 98.5% owned Broken Hammer Resource is currently being advanced towards development through the extraction of a 30,000 tonne bulk sample (see Wallbridge press release dated December 14th, 2010). All environmental and mining permitting has been completed with mining and extraction of the bulk sample to commence the fourth week of January 2011. The material will be processed at Xstrata Nickel's Strathcona Mill in Sudbury. The purpose of the bulk sampling is to confirm the grades and metal recoveries and establish the economic viability of the deposit for potential mining.
The bulk sampling is being completed through an agreement recently announced with Sudbury mining contractor Technica Group Inc., which combines the operating experience of Technica with Wallbridge's geological expertise and offers the potential to pursue new mining ventures for future growth.
Drilling at the Amy Lake PGE Zone in late 2010 yielded encouraging platinum, palladium and gold results, which led to a new structural model and identified several high-priority drill targets (see Wallbridge press release dated December 2nd, 2010). An aggressive drilling program is being initiated this winter to extend the zone and to test similar targets in the immediate area. A budget of $750,000 for 2011 was approved by the Frost Lake Joint Venture Management Committee, including approximately 2500 metres of drilling. The Frost Lake Project is being explored through a joint venture with Xstrata Nickel; Wallbridge is operator and holds a 58% interest.
The Amy Lake PGE Zone is in the same Sudbury breccia structure as the Capre deposits on the adjacent Vale-Lonmin Plc property, as well as Vale's Victor Deep deposit and ore zones at Xstrata Nickel's Nickel Rim South Mine farther south. This Sudbury breccia structure extends northwards 7 kilometres across Wallbridge's Frost Lake Project and adjacent Skynner Lake Property. A 47.5 line kilometre, deep-penetrating EM geophysical survey is being completed this winter over the entire 7 kilometre length of this structure to identify conductive anomalies for drill testing later in the year. The Skynner Lake property is being explored through the Sudbury Camp Joint Venture ("SCJV") with Lonmin Plc ("Lonmin"). The SCJV has an approved 2011 exploration budget of $1.25 million with Lonmin contributing $1 million.
Drilling at the Parkin Offset Property in 2010 continued to intersect the Milnet 1500 Zone discovered in 2009 beneath the Milnet mine (see Wallbridge press release dated November 25th, 2010). These offset types of deposits are important producers in Sudbury with well-known examples at Vale's Totten, Copper Cliff North and South, and Frood-Stobie mines, and at Quadra FNX Mining Limited's Podolsky mine and the recent Victoria discovery.
The Parkin Offset Property is being explored through a joint venture with Impala Platinum Holdings Limited ("Impala"), one of the most significant producers of platinum and platinum group metals globally. Results at the Parkin Offset Property are being reviewed and the next phase of drilling is being planned. At this time, Impala has completed the $5 million expenditure required for it to earn a 50% interest in the property and may earn an additional 15% interest by funding a feasibility study.
Recent grassroots exploration by Wallbridge has been very successful in developing a better understanding of the offset dikes in Sudbury, particularly in the North Range where numerous new dikes have been discovered. The underexplored Hess Offset Dike was mapped in detail this past summer over an 18 kilometre length across Wallbridge's joint ventures with Champion Bear Resources Ltd. ("Champion Bear") and Pele Mountain Resources. An 82.5-line kilometre, deep-penetrating EM geophysical survey is currently underway along the entire 18 kilometre length of this dike to identify conductive anomalies for drill testing.
The Hess Offset Dike hosts several surface showings on Wallbridge's Champion Bear joint venture property. As well, there is a near surface zone on the adjacent Vale claims, which was estimated in the 1960s to contain 20,900 tons averaging 1.5% nickel and 0.82% copper (non-compliant NI 43-101 resource); one drill hole at the time reported 1.27% nickel, 1.07% copper and 2.34 g/t platinum, palladium and gold over 7.25 metres.
Wallbridge also reports on its major investment in Duluth Metals Limited (TSX:DM) ("Duluth"), of which Wallbridge owns 11.2%; as well as its investment in Miocene Metals Limited ("Miocene"), formed to explore Wallbridge's British Columbia porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum properties and expecting to launch an IPO in early 2011.
Duluth is a company that was spun out of Wallbridge in 2005 to finance the exploration of Wallbridge's Minnesota properties. Duluth's principal asset is the Nokomis Project, (National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource of 550 million tonnes of Indicated Resources grading 0.639% copper, 0.200% nickel, 0.660 grams per tonne TPM (TPM = Pt + Pd + Au, plus an additional 274 million tonnes of Inferred Resources grading 0.632% copper, 0.207% nickel, 0.685 grams per tonne TPM) which is held in a joint venture with Antofagasta plc ("Antofagasta") known as Twin Metals Minnesota LLC ("Twin Metals") that is 60% owned by Duluth and 40% owned by Antofagasta. Twin Metals will spend US$130 million over the next three years to advance the Nokomis Project towards bankable feasibility
Recently, Duluth entered into an arrangement agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding common shares in the capital of Franconia Minerals Corporation ("Franconia"). Some of Franconia's deposits and their land holdings are contiguous with those of Twin Metals, and the acquisition will consolidate Twin Metals' position in the Duluth Complex region in northeastern Minnesota.
Miocene Metals Limited is a spin-out company from Wallbridge, which is focused on the exploration and development of porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum deposits within the Cascade Magmatic Arc of southwestern British Columbia. Miocene has seven properties covering approximately 1300 square kilometres in what is considered a poorly documented belt of prospective Miocene-age intrusive rocks that has seen little modern exploration activity. Wallbridge currently holds 21.3 million shares of Miocene.
During 2010, Miocene, as a private company, conducted exploration work on its portfolio of properties. Work on the Salal Property focused on a 15 kilometre trend of molybdenum occurrences, while initial work on the MacKenzie Property traced fracture controlled copper mineralization over a strike length in excess of one kilometer. Work on the Rogers Creek Property continued to define the limits of a large mineralized alteration system in the central part of the property and defined a new target area 18 kilometres to the south, on the southern edge of the property.
Miocene is currently working towards an Initial Public Offering and listing, and planning an aggressive 2011 exploration program.
The Qualified Person responsible for the technical content of this press release is Mark Croteau P.Geo., Manager of Operations for Wallbridge Mining Company Limited.
About the Company
Wallbridge Mining Company Limited's primary focus is the exploration for platinum group elements ("PGE"), nickel and copper deposits in the Sudbury area of Ontario. The Sudbury area hosts the world's largest concentration of nickel deposits and is currently the most active mining camp in North America. Major joint venture partners in Sudbury include Vale, Xstrata Nickel, Lonmin Plc and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited. Wallbridge also has a major shareholding in Duluth Metals Limited, which has defined a large copper-nickel-PGE resource in the rapidly emerging Duluth Complex base metal camp in Minnesota and recently announced a joint venture with Antofagasta plc, which will see the project financed through feasibility. Wallbridge also holds a portfolio of porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum properties in southwestern British Columbia, which is currently being spun-out into a new company, Miocene Metals Limited, which was formed to finance the exploration of these properties.
For further information
Please visit the Company's website at www.wallbridgemining.com, or contact:
Wallbridge Mining Company Limited
Mara Strazdins, Vice-President, Investor Relations
Tel: (416) 369-1500 ext 222
Email: [email protected]
Ron Poirier, Investor Relations
Tel: (705) 682-9297 ext 263
Email: [email protected]
This document may contain forward-looking statements relating to Wallbridge's operations or to the environment in which it operates. Such statements are based on operations, estimates, forecasts and projections. They are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and may be beyond Wallbridge's control. A number of important factors could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements, including those set forth in other public filings. In addition, such statements relate to the date on which they are made. Consequently, undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements. Wallbridge disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, save and except as may be required by applicable securities laws.