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Apr 30, 2008
Starter Resource Estimates Released for Agata North Nickel Laterite Project
EDMONTON, Alberta; April 30, 2008 - Mindoro Resources Ltd. (TSXV: MIO; Frankfurt: WKN 906167) is pleased to report results of a National Instrument 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for its Agata Nickel Laterite Project, Philippines. The estimate covers approximately 15 percent of the Agata North nickel laterite prospect and will constitute the starter resource for the early Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) production planned for this year.
The estimate for combined Measured and Indicated Resources is 4.40 million wet metric tonnes (WMT) grading 1.25 percent nickel, 0.063 percent cobalt and 23 percent iron, at a cut-off grade of 0.80 percent nickel. In addition, the Inferred Resource estimate is 2.45 million WMT grading 1.23 percent nickel, 0.062 percent cobalt and 22 percent iron, also at a cut-off grade of 0.80 percent nickel. The resource estimate lies within a 57 hectare area (as shown on the accompanying map), which also includes an additional 30 hectares where mineralized drill intersections are at a wider spacing of 100 meters by 200 meters, and which have not yet been included in the resource estimate. Infill drilling is in progress on the latter. Updated resource figures will be released as they come to hand.
Tony Climie, president of Mindoro, commented, "We are delighted with this early stage resource estimate, which is double our original Exploration Target. This estimate provides the basis for a scoping study, which is in progress, and on which a production decision for the DSO scenario will be made. The resource area represents a small part of Agata North, and does not include Agata South, or recently defined areas of potential nickel laterite mineralization on our Tapian and Mat-I Projects. This reinforces our expectations of defining a major resource on our Surigao Projects, potentially justifying establishing a local processing plant to maximize economic returns to all stakeholders".
Mineral Resource Estimate
The Mineral Resource model was generated by Dallas Cox, BE (Min), an independent qualified person as defined by NI 43-101. A total of 134 drill holes, comprising 2,921 meters of diamond drill core and 2,874 assay samples, have been used for the estimate. An Inverse Distance Squared grade estimation method was utilized within tightly constrained lithological and grade domains. Mr. Cox has indicated that the density of drilling and continuity of mineralization is sufficient to classify the estimated resource and has verified and authorized the technical information detailed in this release. The accompanying map shows the area of the current resource in relation to the Agata North Project. Both dry metric tonnes (DMT) and wet metric tonnes (WMT) are quoted since the saleable unit for DSO production is actually WMT.
Summary of the Mineral Resource Estimate:
• Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
• The tonnage and nickel grades above have been rounded to the nearest 2nd decimal, and iron grades to the nearest whole number, which may have resulted in minor discrepancies.
• The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues.
• It is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading the Inferred mineral resource to an Indicated or Measured mineral resource or the Indicated mineral resource to a Measured Resource category.
Mr. Dallas Cox has 26 years of experience in open pit mine technical services, mine operations and management in China, Indonesia and the Philippines. His engineering, mine design and development experience in the Philippines includes the Rusina Mining (ASX, AIM) Acoje nickel project, the Platinum Group Metals Corp. (unlisted) Caga nickel project, and the Filminera Resources and Thistle Mining (TSX) Masbate gold project. Mr. Cox has also been involved in writing Mineral Resource reports on both copper-gold and nickel projects that are compliant with either the National Instrument 43-101 or the JORC reporting codes. The NI 43-101 Technical Report will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days. Details of mineral resource estimation methods, parameters, and assumptions used will be described in this technical report.
ABOUT THE AGATA NICKEL LATERITE PROJECT
The nickel laterite prospect is situated on the Agata Project, Surigao Gold District, northern Mindanao, Philippines. The Surigao Gold District is not only a current and historical gold producing district but, with the recent discovery of a cluster of porphyry copper gold deposits, it also has high potential to become a major copper-gold camp. Mindoro has multiple gold and copper-gold targets in the District at varying stages of drill evaluation.
The Surigao Region is now emerging as a major nickel producing district, and there are at least eight nickel laterite deposits either in production or being developed; providing DSO to markets and processing plants in China, Japan, Korea and Australia. These include the SR Metals Mine, immediately adjacent to Mindoro's Agata nickel laterite project. At Agata, significant drill results have previously been reported by Mindoro (see releases on Mindoro website). Agata has strong competitive advantages, with good grades, just two to three kilometers from tide water, with corresponding low haul distance and costs, and only two days shipping from China. Uniquely, DSO nickel laterite operations have a low-capital cost and offer a rapid route to production and cash-flow.
As reported on March 13, 2007, the initial objective on the Agata North project was to define a NI 43-101 compliant resource adequate, initially, for three to five years of production at a rate of 500,000 to 700,000 wet metric tonnes per annum of direct shipping-grade material for the ferro-nickel markets of China, India and Korea. Mindoro has a target production date for 2008, and would ramp up production to one million tonnes or more per year thereafter depending on market demand. The initial drill program covers less than 23 percent of the area of nickel laterite mineralization mapped to date at Agata North, and the resource itself, just 15 percent. Based on these results the Global Exploration Target for Agata North has been revised slightly as follows:
Combined ferruginous overburden, limonite and saprolite horizons: 40 to 60 million wet metric tonnes (WMT) at a grade of 0.9 to 1.5 percent nickel and 18 to 28 percent iron. This includes the following division of tonnage between the overburden/limonite horizon and the saprolite horizon:
• Combined ferruginous overburden and limonite horizons: 25 to 35 million WMT of material at a grade of 0.9 to 1.3 percent nickel and 40 to 44 percent iron.
• Underlying saprolite horizon: 15 to 25 million WMT of material at a grade of 1.0 to 1.6 percent nickel and 8 to 16 percent iron.
The Agata North nickel laterite mineralization covers approximately 379 hectares. A total of 150 drill holes have been completed to date within this area. The Exploration Target does not include additional areas of nickel laterite mineralization on the Agata South project (covering an estimated 260 hectares}, where Mindoro is in a joint venture with a Philippine mining contractor (Delta Earthmoving), nor does it include potential areas of nickel laterite covering a further 1,650 hectares on the adjacent Tapian Main, Tapian SF and Mat-I tenements (see news release dated Feb. 26, 2008).
While much of the Surigao District nickel laterite production has been as DSO to processing plants in Japan, Australia and China, several attractive alternatives are emerging for local processing, which include; at the low technology end of the spectrum, constructing a blast or electric furnace for nickel pig iron production (low grade ferro-nickel product which is increasingly entrenching itself as a substitute for refined nickel in stainless steel production), atmospheric leaching for which pilot testing on another Philippine laterite deposit has produced promising results, and a new generation of High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) plants. HPAL technology is currently being used with great success by Sumitomo on its Philippine Coral Bay operation, and shows considerable promise for the local processing of Surigao ores. In fact, Sumitomo recently announced plans to proceed with permitting to construct an HPAL plant in the Surigao District. This HPAL technology has a proven track record, in contrast to HPAL operations previously attempted in Australia.
Construction of a local processing plant, rather than simply shipping out raw product, would greatly increase the returns to all stakeholders; including Mindoro, its Philippine partner, the local people, local government units, and to the Philippines itself. Mindoro considers a tonnage threshold of 50 million WMT to be of potential interest for this scenario.
As noted in a February 7, 2008 news release, there is abundant evidence of the beginning of a trend for local/on-site processing of Philippine laterite ores and the growth of a large high-value industry in the Philippines. We expect that the prolifically nickel laterite-mineralized Surigao District will be an important part of this evolution.
Programs are carried out under the supervision of Tony Climie, P.Geol., president of Mindoro, who is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Sample preparation and assaying were performed by McPhar Laboratory of Manila, an ISO 9001/2000 accredited laboratory. Ni, Co, Fe, MgO and Al2O3 assays are performed by AAS after an HCl-HNO3-HClO4 digest, and SiO2 by gravimetric method. Normal Quality Control and Quality Assurance procedures are being carried out, using a system of duplicate samples. MRL has also conducted assays verification by using standard samples and re-assaying of field, coarse and pulp duplicates.
The potential quantity and grade of the exploration target described above is conceptual in nature. There has been insufficient exploration to define mineral resources other than those disclosed in this release, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the targets delineating additional mineral resources or that these resources, if delineated, will be economic or sufficient to support a commercial mining operation. Until a feasibility study has been completed there is no certainty that the company's projections will be economically viable.
Mindoro is a Tier 1 Issuer trading on the TSX Venture Exchange (MIO) and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (WKN 906167). In addition to advancing the Agata nickel laterite project towards production, Mindoro has announced an initial 43-101 compliant gold-silver mineral resource estimate on its Kay Tanda gold-silver project, and is proceeding to advance this project. The company has also identified 22 porphyry copper-gold prospects in the Philippines and has an aggressive strategy of drilling multiple targets in 2008.
For further information, contact:
Executive Vice President
Ascenta Capital Partners Inc.
Toll Free: 1.866.684.4209 ext. 228
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This release may contain forward-looking statements including management's assessments of future plans and operations, and expectations of future production. These statements are based on current expectations that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These risks include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with the mining and exploration industry (e.g. operational risks in development, exploration and production; delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to production). The assumptions used in the preparation of such statements, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.
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