CHAMPION IRON FILES PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED UPDATED MINERAL RESOURCE AND RESERVE ESTIMATES FOR ITS BLOOM LAKE OPERATIONS
MONTRÉAL, Oct. 3, 2023 /CNW/ - (Sydney, October 4, 2023) - Champion Iron Limited (TSX: CIA) (ASX: CIA) (OTCQX: CIAFF) ("Champion" or the "Company") announces the filing on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca, the ASX at www.asx.com.au and the Company's website at www.championiron.com, of its technical report with respect to the mineral resource and reserve estimates and the life-of-mine ("LoM") plan for the Bloom Lake Mining Complex ("Bloom Lake") prepared pursuant to National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and Chapter 5 of the ASX Listing Rules entitled "Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for the Bloom Lake Mine, Fermont, Québec, Canada", prepared by BBA Inc., SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc., Soutex and Quebec Iron Ore Inc. and dated September 28, 2023 (the "2023 Technical Report").
The mineral resource and reserve estimates for Bloom Lake contained in the 2023 Technical Report were previously reported by the Company on August 22, 2023 (Montréal time) / August 23, 2023 (Sydney time) (the "Release"). The Company is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the Release and confirms that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the Release and in the 2023 Technical Report continue to apply and have not materially changed.
As noted in the Release, the optimized mine plan confirms the 18-year LoM, based on the mineral reserves. It also provides an opportunity to extend operations beyond the LoM plan, with a 40% increase to the measured and indicated resources and a 360% increase to inferred resources. Other highlights detailed in the 2023 Technical Report include an average iron metallurgical recovery of 82.0%, a plant feed grade of 28.6% Fe and average yearly production of 15.2 million wet metric tonnes of 66.2% Fe high purity iron ore concentrate.
Champion, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Quebec Iron Ore Inc., owns and operates the Bloom Lake Mining Complex, located on the south end of the Labrador Trough, approximately 13 km north of Fermont, Québec. Bloom Lake is an open-pit operation with two concentrators that primarily source energy from renewable hydroelectric power. The two concentrators have a combined nameplate capacity of 15 Mtpa and produce a low contaminant high-grade 66.2% Fe iron ore concentrate with a proven ability to produce a 67.5% Fe direct reduction quality iron ore concentrate. In January 2023, the Company announced the positive findings of a study evaluating the upgrade of half of the Bloom Lake mine capacity to a direct reduction quality pellet feed iron ore and approved an initial budget to advance the project. Bloom Lake's high-grade and low contaminant iron ore products have attracted a premium to the Platts IODEX 62% Fe iron ore benchmark. The Company ships iron ore concentrate from Bloom Lake by rail, to a ship loading port in Sept-Îles, Québec, and has sold its iron ore concentrate to customers globally, including in China, Japan, the Middle East, Europe, South Korea, India and Canada. In addition to Bloom Lake, Champion owns a portfolio of exploration and development projects in the Labrador Trough, including the Kamistiatusset Project, located a few kilometres south-east of Bloom Lake, and the Consolidated Fire Lake North iron ore project, located approximately 40 km south of Bloom Lake.
This press release includes certain information and statements that may constitute "forward-looking information" under applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "continues", "forecasts", "projects", "predicts", "intends", "anticipates", "aims", "targets" or "believes", or variations of, or the negatives of, such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Inherent in forward-looking statements are risks, uncertainties and other factors beyond the Company's ability to predict or control.
Specific Forward-Looking Statements
All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release that address future events, developments or performance that Champion expects to occur are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, Management's expectations regarding: (i) Bloom Lake's life of mine, recovery rates, production, economic and other benefits; (ii) the project to upgrade the Bloom Lake iron ore concentrate to a higher grade with lower contaminants and to convert approximately half of Bloom Lake's increased nameplate capacity of 15 Mtpa to commercially produce a DR quality pellet feed iron ore; (iii) production and recovery rate targets and the Company's performance; and (iv) the Company's growth and opportunities generally.
Deemed Forward-Looking Statements
Statements relating to "reserves" or "resources" are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions, that the reserves and resources described exist in the quantities predicted or estimated and that the reserves can be profitably mined in the future. Actual reserves and resources may be greater or less than the estimates provided herein.
Although Champion believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, most of which are beyond the control of the Company, which may cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements include, without limitation: (i) the results of feasibility studies; (ii) changes in the assumptions used to prepare feasibility studies; (iii) project delays; (iv) timing and uncertainty of industry shift to green steel and EAF; (v) continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions; (vi) general economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; (vii) future prices of iron ore; (viii) future transportation costs; (ix) failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; * delays in obtaining governmental approvals, necessary permitting or in the completion of development or construction activities; and (xi) the effects of catastrophes and public health crises, including the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, the iron ore market and Champion's operations, as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" of the Company's 2023 Annual Report, Annual Information Form and MD&A for the financial year ended March 31, 2023, which are available on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca, the ASX at www.asx.com.au and the Company's website at www.championiron.com. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
All of Champion's forward-looking information contained in this press release is given as of the date hereof or such other date or dates specified in forward-looking statements and is based upon the opinions and estimates of Champion's Management and information available to Management as at the date hereof. Champion disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any of the forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements. Champion cautions that the foregoing list of risks and uncertainties is not exhaustive. Readers should carefully consider the above factors as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risks they entail.
Mr. Vincent Blanchet, P. Eng., Engineer at QIO, the operator of Bloom Lake, is a QP as defined by NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved, or has prepared, as applicable, the disclosure of the scientific and technical information contained in this press release. Mr. Blanchet's review and approval does not include statements as to the Company's knowledge or awareness of new information or data or any material changes to the material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the 2023 Technical Report. Mr. Blanchet is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.
For additional information on Champion Iron Limited, please visit our website at: www.championiron.com.
This press release has been authorized for release to the market by the CEO of Champion Iron Limited, David Cataford.
SOURCE Champion Iron Limited