Prefeasibility and Feasibility Studies

Hope Bay Project, Nunavut

CLIENT:
TMAC Resources Inc.

SCOPE OF WORK:
Completed a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) for the Hope Bay Project, located in Nunavut territory, Canada.  The PFS had an issue date of May 28, 2015, and assessed the economics of carrying out mining operations at the Project.  Results of the study were disclosed in an independent Technical Report in compliance with National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

RPA had previously completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment Study for the Project issued March 31, 2014, which resulted in positive project economics using the existing resources and estimated capital and operating costs at that time. These results were also disclosed in a NI 43-101 report.

The Hope Bay Project will consist of a 2,000 tonnes per day underground mining operation and a processing facility producing an average of 160,000 ounces of gold per year as doré. Both longhole and cut and fill mining methods will be used, with a combination of cemented rock fill and loose rock fill.  Mining will commence at the Doris North deposit and advance to the Madrid and Boston deposits.

The Project is expected to have a 20 year mine life, with Mineral Reserves of 3.5 million ounces of gold as of March 31, 2015.  Hope Bay will be a fly in/fly out operation from Yellowknife with supplies provided by sealift and regular aircraft.

In the PFS, RPA determined project economics including a 40% after-tax IRR, an after-tax NPV at a 5% discount rate of US$626 million, and a 1.7 year payback period.

RPA concluded that the Project represents a significant opportunity for the development of a new mining camp in the Canadian Arctic.  Issuance of the PFS in April 2015 was a key factor in TMAC signing a credit agreement with a syndicate of lenders in July 2015 for a $120 million senior secured term loan facility.

Currently, TMAC is focused on developing initial production headings and commissioning the processing plant and related infrastructure.  Initial production is expected in January 2017.

Thor Lake Rare Earth Element Project, Canada

CLIENT:
Avalon Rare Metals Inc.

SCOPE OF WORK:
Lead consultant on a Prefeasibility Study on the Thor Lake rare earth elements project. Covering geology, mining, and infrastructure, RPA updated the Mineral Resource estimate, and prepared a first-time Mineral Reserve estimate. Results of the study were disclosed in an independent Technical Report in compliance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

The Thor Lake Project will consist of a rare earth mine and concentrator located at Thor Lake, in addition to a hydrometallurgical upgrade facility at Pine Point, both in the North West Territories.

The Project will ramp up to a production rate of 2,000 tpd, and has a mine life of 18 years. The hydrometallurgical plant will produce a mixed rare earth oxide concentrate, as well as zirconium, niobium and tantalum products. RPA recommended that the Project be advanced to the Feasibility Study stage.

In 2011, RPA was responsible for an updated Prefeasibility Study and an updated Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimate based on recent drilling at the Thor Lake project. The estimate was disclosed in an NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report. This report also included updated financial projections, cost estimates and cash flows.

The Thor Lake Project is now known as the Nechalacho Project. The Project has advanced to the Feasibility Study phase.

St. Lawrence Fluorspar Project, Quebec

CLIENT:
Canada Fluorspar (NL) Inc.

SCOPE OF WORK:
To prepare a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) and a National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) Technical Report on the St. Lawrence Fluorspar Project, located in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland.

The St. Lawrence Fluorspar Project, located on the Burin Peninsula 350 road km southwest of St. John’s, Newfoundland, is an advanced stage exploration property. It hosts at least 40 fluorite bearing veins up to three kilometres long and up to 30 m thick. The project is a past producing mine, with approximately 4.6 million tonnes of fluorspar ore mined by previous operators. Canada Fluorspar (NL) Inc. plans to put the project back into production.

RPA estimated mineral resources of two mineralized veins, Tarefare and Blue Beach North, and converted them to mineral reserves. Two mining methods, Alimak and sublevel longhole stoping, were evaluated, with Alimak considered to be the better, less costly stoping alternative given ground support and development requirements at the property. The current plan is to develop two mines, Blue Beach North and Tarefare, with an overall mine life of 15 years to produce 1.8 million tonnes of fluorspar concentrate. The veins will be mined in series and some equipment will be transferred between the sites. The mill site will be a combination of new and existing facilities, which will be expanded and furnished with new equipment. An all-season, deep sea port will be constructed to replace the old wharf in the shallow St. Lawrence Harbour.

The project shows positive economics. In RPA’s opinion, the construction of a deep sea port, which would provide direct shipping of aggregates and other products from the area, will increase the value of the project. RPA recommends evaluation of the numerous other fluorite veins, such as the Canal Vein, to extend the mine life beyond the current 15 year plan.

Canada Fluorspar Inc. was acquired by CF Acquisition Inc., a subsidiary of Golden Gate Capital, in May 2014, with the intention of continuing project development.