29.05.2014 • Q1 MD&A Report March 31, 2014
31.03.2014 • 2014 Q1 Interim Financials
31.03.2014 • 2014 Q1 MD&A Report
Recent Minco Acquisitions
Minco Completes Acquisition of Buchans Minerals Corp. and focuses on its Canadian, UK and Irish Projects
Minco previously a base metals exploration and development company with zinc exploration in Ireland and zinc-silver investment in Mexico, the latter held through a 29% shareholding in Xtierra Inc. (XAG) listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (Toronto) has now acquired interests in Canadian mine properties as well as starting a new exploration initiative in northern England. Minco shares are listed on London's AIM stock exchange, Symbol: MIO.
New Brunswick, Canada - In May 2013, Minco announced a new Inferred Resource of 43.7 million tonnes, grading 9.98% manganese ("Mn"), for the Plymouth deposit located on the Woodstock Manganese Project in New Brunswick, Canada.
The new resource estimate was calculated by Mercator Geological Services of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada ("Mercator") following the drilling by Minco of 16 surface diamond drill holes completed in 2013. The resource estimate prepared by Mercator is based on a 5% Mn cut-off value. Total contained manganese metal in the new Plymouth resource, at the 5% cut-off value, is 9.6 Billion pounds of manganese. Using higher cut-offs of 10% Mn and 12% Mn,Mercator has calculated inferred resources of 22.5 million tonnes grading 11.86% Mn at a 10% Mn cut-off, or 9.1 million tonnes grading 13.19% Mn at a 12% Mn cut-off, respectively, within the Plymouth deposit.
In addition the Plymouth deposit remains open at depth and along strike to the north-east and south-west. The Plymouth deposit is one of three manganese deposits within the Woodstock Project area.
Based on historical exploration work, the Woodstock deposits are potentially one of the largest undeveloped manganese carbonate resources in North America. Woodstock, although still at an early stage, is believed to have the potential to be developed into a significant producer of Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM), which is used primarily in the production of stainless steel.
North Pennines, England - Minco has commenced a new exploration initiative in the North Pennine Orefield located in the northern English counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham. Minco has completed 5,800 metres of exploration drilling to date centred around the historical mining town of Nenthead.
Exploration is focused on the search for stratiform, replacement-style zinc and lead deposits in the unexplored, more massive limestone formations of the basal Carboniferous stratigraphy. There is significant untested potential for such mineralization approximately 300-400m below previous, adit-accessed workings, and such deposits could be significantly larger than any previously discovered.
Specific exploration targets have already been identified by Minco and initial exploration drilling has focussed on defining strataform mineralization in dseveral target horizons at the Scaleburn, Coalcleugh, Nentsbury, and Gudhamgill mines between 50 and 500 metres depth.
Newfoundland, Canada - Minco has four advanced base metal properties in the Buchans area of central Newfoundland that contain numerous exploration prospects. At the core of these base metal properties is the Lundberg copper-zinc-lead/deposit, which was the subject of a positive preliminary economic assessment completed in August of 2011.
The Buchans Mine operated from 1928 to 1984 and was regarded as one of Canada's richest base metal mines and is reported to have produced about 16 million tonnes of high grade zinc, lead and copper over that period. The Lundberg deposit is a stockwork-type VMS deposit surrounding and extending from the old Buchans mine, containing lower grade zinc, copper, lead and minor silver, which was identified by Buchans in a review of the historical archives of the old Buchans mine and upon which Buchans Minerals Corp has reported an Inferred Resource of 22.21 million tonnes averaging grades of 1.62% zinc, 0.69% lead, 0.38% copper and 5.81 g/t silver.
In August 2011, a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) was completed on the Lundberg project by Wardrop Engineering, based on a 5,000 tonne per day open pit mining and milling operation over a 10 year mine life. The PEA is based on Inferred Mineral Resources, which are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. Wardrop has recommended a number of programs to optimize and improve the Lundberg project to move it towards completion of a pre-feasibility study.
Minco has completed a comprehensive metallurgical test program on the Lundberg deposit carried out by SGS Canada Inc., at its laboratories in Lakefield Ontario (Lakefield). The test program focused on determining the recoveries and concentrate grades for years 1-3 and years 4-8 of the operation. The locked cycle tests (LCT) for this programme demonstrated that saleable concentrates can be produced for all three primary metals, although the copper concentrate grades were lower than the optimum concentrate grade for international markets.
In addition to the flotation testwork, the Company carried out a series of pre flotation feed upgrade tests, aimed at upgrading the feed prior to grinding and flotation, using both Optical Sorting (X-ray, or “XRT”) and Dense Media Separation; (“DMS”). Both the XRT sorting and DMS techniques indicate that significant mass could be rejected prior to grinding and flotation, with minimal loss of metal content and subsequent upgrading of feed grades to the flotation circuit, leading to improved recoveries.
Minco is now expanding the scope of the project to include an internal economic scoping study to determine if three satellite deposits in the region can positively contribute to a central milling facility at Lundberg. This internal economic scoping study will involve completing new whittle open pit shell designs for the Lundberg open pit and underground mine plans for the Bobbys Pond deposit (100%), Daniels Pond deposit (100%) and Tulks Hill deposit (49%).
Should this internal economic analysis indicate the satellite deposits could enhance the overall economics, then detailed mine plans will be completed for each satellite deposit and further metallurgical tests performed to determine if the satellite deposit ores can be successfully incorporated, either by blending or campaign processing at the proposed Lundberg processing facility.
Ireland - Minco is also engaged in zinc-lead exploration in Ireland, adjacent to the Galmoy and Tara mines and also holds a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold deposit located near Omagh, in Northern Ireland which is being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc.