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Jul 16, 2008
Drill Results From Agata North Nickel Laterite Project
EDMONTON, Alberta; July 16, 2008 - Mindoro Resources Ltd. (TSXV: MIO; Frankfurt: WKN 906167) is pleased to report results for the first 31 drill holes from the Phase 2 drill program on the Agata North Nickel Laterite Project, Philippines. The limonite horizon averages 1.10 percent nickel and 42.55 percent iron over an average thickness of 4.53 meters. The underlying saprolite horizon averages 1.16 percent nickel over an average thickness of 6.66 meters. Grades and thicknesses are consistent with those previously reported and are of potential economic interest. The program confirmed internal continuity of mineralization and is continuing to expand the resource. An updated NI 43-101 resource estimate will be released during August.
From December 2007 to May 2008, 49 holes were drilled, including 10 twinned holes, for a total of 782.26 meters. Results for 16 holes are awaited. One hole, which failed to meet cut-off threshold (two meters at one percent nickel), and falls outside the mineralization envelope, is not reported.
On April 30, 2008, Mindoro reported an initial NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate from Agata North (see About the Agata Nickel Laterite Project). Objectives of the Phase 2 drilling program were to confirm the internal continuity of mineralization with closer-spaced drill holes and to extend the initial resource. Drill hole spacing was 50 meter centers. The twinned holes are for QAQC and geostatistical purposes. Several of the twinned holes were also to compare assay results from wet versus dry drilling techniques and these showed reasonable consistency between the two. Results for an additional 16 holes are awaited. Drilling is ongoing.
The following summary table presents the average values from all assay results received to date (31 drillholes), except for one that fell below the economic cutoff. A full listing of drill results and a drill hole location map, is available with this release on Mindoro's website at www.mindoro.com.
Due to slow progress the previous drill contractor was replaced. All drilling is now directed at resource expansion. Drill spacing has been increased to 100 meter centers, which is adequate for at least the inferred resource category, and probably for the indicated resource category for much of the mineralization. The new contractor has completed an additional 41 drill holes in just 24 days.
ABOUT THE AGATA NICKEL LATERITE PROJECT
Location in the Prolific Surigao Copper-Gold and Nickel District
The Agata Nickel Laterite Project 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 discovery of two porphyry copper gold deposits by Anglo American, it also has high potential to become a major copper-gold camp. Mindoro has multiple gold and copper-gold targets in the Surigao District at varying stages of drill evaluation.
The Surigao Region is now emerging as a major nickel producing district and there are a number of nickel laterite deposits either in production or being developed, providing Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) to markets and processing plants in China, Japan, Korea and Australia. A preliminary, starter resource has been released for Agata (see below).
Agata North Mineral Resource Estimate
In April 30, 2008, Mindoro announced an early-stage 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for the Agata Nickel Laterite Project. The estimate for combined Measured and Indicated Resources, for both limonite and saprolite combined, 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. A total of 134 drill holes, comprising 2,921 meters of diamond drill core and 2,874 assay samples, were used for the estimate. The resource area is a small part of Agata North as mapped to date and resource expansion drilling is continuing. Additional areas of potential laterite mineralization have been mapped on other projects and are being evaluated.
The reader is cautioned that mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading the Inferred mineral resources to an Indicated or Measured mineral resource or the Indicated mineral resource to a measured Resource category.
Enhanced Value, On-Site Processing Alternatives
While sulphide nickel deposits have dominated historical nickel production, the future belongs to nickel laterite deposits. Once regarded as too difficult metallurgically, break-throughs and technological refinements, still in their relative infancy, are leading rapidly to a new generation of much larger nickel production centers from laterite deposits. The Agata Project with its excellent infrastructure, proximity to tide water and the markets that really count, is attractively placed for potential development.
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; constructing an on-site blast or electric arc furnace for nickel pig iron production (a low grade ferronickel product); ferronickel smelting (a ferronickel smelter recently commenced operation not far away in NW Mindanao); heap-leaching, for which pilot testing on another Philippine laterite deposit has produced promising results; atmospheric (tank) leaching; and an improved 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 several HPAL operations previously attempted in Australia, and is ideally suited to the low-grade Philippine nickel laterites.
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. Mindoro expects that the prolifically nickel laterite-mineralized Surigao District will be an important part of this evolution.
While options are being kept open for DSO production in the short term, on-site processing offers much more exciting and high value opportunities. Construction of a local processing plant, rather than simply shipping out raw product, would greatly increase the returns to all stakeholders; including Mindoro's shareholders, our Philippine partner, the local people, local government units, and to the Philippines itself.
Programs are carried out under the supervision of Tony Climie, P.Geol., CEO and COO 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. Mindoro has also conducted assay verification using standard samples and re-assaying field, coarse and pulp duplicates.
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, 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 is currently involved in several advanced joint venture discussions.
For further information, contact:
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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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