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TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Mar 28, 2016) - Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (TSX:DPM) ("DPM" or "the Company") has announced the results of the updated Mineral Reserve estimate for its Chelopech mine in Bulgaria, as prepared by CSA Global (UK) Pty. Ltd ("CSA").
This Mineral Reserve update follows the December 21, 2015 announcement regarding the 15% increase to the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource category of the Mineral Resource inventory at Chelopech. The Mineral Resource estimate, as reported in February 2016 (CSA, 2016), remains unchanged and has been used as a basis for Mineral Reserve estimates as outlined in this press release. This Mineral Resource estimate ("MRE") is reported as of December 31, 2015, which reflects the mined volumes used to deplete the resource.
"This update to the Chelopech Mineral Reserve has not been impacted by the 15% increase to Mineral Resources announced in December," said Rick Howes, President and CEO of DPM. "We are optimistic that with 28,000 metres of drilling planned for the upper areas of Chelopech in 2016, we will start to move these additional resources into the mine plan."
Chelopech Mineral Reserves
Mineral Reserves are reported using a net smelter return ("NSR") methodology and are summarized in the table below.
|Chelopech Mineral Reserves as at December 31, 2015|
|Total Proven and Probable*||21.51||3.16||7.08||0.94||12.91||0.29|
|* Including broken stocks and stockpiles|
|Mineral Reserves are based on long term metals prices of US$1,250/oz Au, US$23/oz Ag and US$2.75/lb Cu. Tonnage figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000t to reflect this as an estimate|
Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources in proximity to historical cave zones above 450 level were not considered in current Mineral Reserves. Resource drilling activity will continue in 2016 and geotechnical assessment, to better understand risk in cave zones, before consideration for conversion to Mineral Reserves in due course.
The Probable classification has been determined to be those designed stopes that lie further than 15 metres (1/2 stope height) away from any level, with crosscut development completely through the ore. That is, ore classified as Proven Mineral Reserve is within 15 metres of existing development, or stopes, where sampling takes place on a regular basis and classified as Measured Mineral Resources.
Net changes in tonnes and contained metals from the December 2014 to the 2015 Mineral Reserves estimate show reductions of 1.3 Mt, 120,000 ounces of gold, 264,000 ounces of silver and 23 million pounds of copper. This corresponds to a percentage reduction of 6% in tonnes and 5% in metal content each, for gold, silver and copper primarily as a result of depletion from mining. The grades are generally slightly higher by 1%, as a result of improvement in stope designs for blocks 151, 103, 19, 149, 144, 145, 147 and 149 south. The Mineral Reserves estimate is considered to be very robust. Chelopech is an established mine and it is anticipated that there will be no major changes in legislation which will affect the materiality of the current Mineral Reserves estimate. Considering that Bulgaria is part of the European Union ("EU"), the main likely changes are if the current legislations are not EU compliant.
The Mineral Reserves at Chelopech have been estimated by including a number of technical, economic and other factors. A change to any of the inputs would therefore have some effect on the overall results. Concerning mining and metallurgical factors, it is CSA's belief that sufficient work has been done by DPM to ensure that these are not likely to have any significant or material effect on Mineral Reserves.
Chelopech Mineral Resource Estimate
The MRE for the Chelopech deposit is presented in the table below, as at December 31, 2015, and is reported based on an operating net profit cut-off greater than USD 0 and a gold equivalent cut-off of 3.0 g/t. The MRE of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources are reported exclusive of those Mineral Resources modified to produce the Mineral Reserve Estimate.
|Chelopech Mineral Resource Estimate as at December 31, 2015|
|Resource Category||MTonnes||Grades||Metal Content|
|MRE is reported using a gold equivalent cut-off of 3 g/t and an operating net profit cut-off of >USD0|
|Tonnages are rounded to 1,000 tonnes and Metal to 100 tonnes or 100 oz as this is an estimate|
|Metal content is rounded to the nearest 100 tonnes or 100 ozs to reflect this as an estimate|
|Gold equivalent (AuEq) = [Au + Cu*2.06] based on a Cu price of $2.75/lb and Au price of $1250/oz|
|Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources are additional to the Mineral Reserves|
A comparison of the 2015 MRE with the previously reported 2014 MRE (DPM AIF, 2015), after depletion of Mineral Reserves, is presented below. The updated MRE shows an increase of 25% in the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource category, exclusive of Mineral Reserves.
Comparison of Chelopech MRE as at December 31, 2015 with
MRE as at December 31, 2014
|Mineral Resources exclude all blocks already classified as Mineral Reserves|
|Resource Category||2015 MTonnes||2014 MTonnes||Grades||% Difference|
|Tonnes % diff||
This increase in Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources is largely attributed to the re-classification of Mineral Resource volumes in proximity to historical mining areas (sub-level caving) following targeted infill drilling completed in 2015. These volumes, which were restricted from mining by the Bulgarian authorities due to perceived technical difficulties in mining in proximity to historical sub-level caving zones, are now believed to be mineable. Over the last two years, Dundee Precious Metals Chelopech EAD ("DPMC") has successfully demonstrated the safe and efficient recovery of some 151,000 tonnes of ore from the block 150 crown pillar. This proof of concept is to be further evaluated by DPMC with the intention of using the same mining approach to continue to extract material in proximity to historical sub-level caves. DPMC considers that Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources that have not been included in Mineral Reserve estimates can be potentially mined ("reasonable chances of eventual economic extraction") in due course, and will be considered in future Mineral Reserve estimates once sufficient, additional data collection and technical evaluation has been completed.
In addition, ongoing infill and resource development drilling programs, which have defined and re-classified resources in blocks 19, 103, 151, 149 and 149 south, have also been completed.
The Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates and other scientific and technical information contained in this news release was prepared by CSA, in accordance with the Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"), and has been reviewed and approved by, as it relates to Mineral Resources, Malcolm Titley, BSc, MAIG, Principal Geologist of CSA, and by Karl van Olden, BSc (Eng)(Mining), GDE, MBA, FAusIMM, MAICD, Manager Mining of CSA Global Ltd., as it relates to Mineral Reserves. Both Malcolm Titley and Karl van Olden are independent Qualified Persons ("QP"), as defined under NI 43-101. The NI 43-101 compliant technical report, dated March 28, 2016, in respect of the Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves estimates disclosed herein, is being filed today on SEDAR (the "Technical Report").
Ross Overall, Corporate Senior Resource Geologist of DPM, and Simon Meik, Technical Consultant and former Corporate Director, Processing of DPM, both of whom are QPs and not independent of the Company, have reviewed and approved the contents of this release.
The Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates contained herein may be subject to legal, political, environmental or other risks that could materially affect the potential development of such Mineral Resources. See the Technical Report for more information with respect to the key assumptions, parameters, methods and risks of determination associated with the foregoing.
Cautionary note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Mineral Resources. These estimates have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Canadian securities laws, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. The terms "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are defined in NI 43-101 and recognized by Canadian securities laws but are not defined terms under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Guide 7 ("SEC Guide 7") or recognized under U.S. securities laws. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be upgraded to mineral reserves. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian securities laws, estimates of "inferred mineral resources" may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource exists or is economically or legally mineable. Accordingly, these mineral resource estimates and related information may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder, including SEC Guide 7.
About Dundee Precious Metals
Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is a Canadian based, international gold mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals. The Company's principal operating assets include the Chelopech operation, which produces a copper concentrate containing gold and silver, located east of Sofia, Bulgaria; the Kapan operation, which produces a copper concentrate and a zinc concentrate, both containing gold and silver, located in southern Armenia; and the Tsumeb smelter, a concentrate processing facility located in Namibia. DPM also holds interests in a number of developing gold properties located in Bulgaria, Serbia, and northern Canada, including the Krumovgrad project and interests held through its 50.1% owned subsidiary, Avala Resources Ltd., and its 12.0% interest in Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward looking statements" that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the technical potential to mine resources proximal to the historic area which was previously restricted from mining, the future price of gold, copper, zinc and silver, the estimation of Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources, the realization of such mineral estimates, the potential to upgrade Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves, and the potential to increase future production and output, the timing and amount of estimated future production and output, life of mine, costs of production, capital expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, success of permitting activities, permitting time lines, currency fluctuations, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks, reclamation expenses, the potential or anticipated outcome of title disputes or claims and timing and possible outcome of pending litigation. Often, but not always, forward looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or that state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.
Forward looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any other future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the actual results of current exploration activities; conclusions of technical and economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold, copper, zinc and silver; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, uncertainties inherent with conducting business in foreign jurisdictions where corruption, civil unrest, political instability and uncertainties with the rule of law may impact the Company's activities; fluctuations in metal prices; unanticipated title disputes; claims or litigation; limitation on insurance coverage; as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the Company's continuous disclosure documents filed from time to time with the securities regulatory authorities in all provinces and territories of Canada and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. There can be no assurance that forward looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Unless required by securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward looking statements.
Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
Senior Vice President, Governance, and Corporate Secretary