Fortune Minerals & Tahltan Nation Enter into Environmental Assessment Cooperation Agreement for the Mount Klappan Anthracite Coal Project, British Columbia
February 09, 2009
Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX-FT) (“Fortune Minerals” or the “Company”) and the Tahltan Central Council (“TCC”) on behalf of the Tahltan Nation announce that they have entered into an agreement that commits the parties to the principles of cooperation and mutual respect. Fortune Minerals is currently engaged in the Environmental Assessment (EA) process for the Mount Klappan anthracite coal project in northwest British Columbia, Canada. An EA is a regulatory process to determine the economic, environmental and social impacts of major projects like Mount Klappan. In British Columbia, this is typically completed through the BC Environmental Assessment Office. Mount Klappan is already in the EA pre-screening process and Fortune Minerals has received its Section 10 and 11 Orders from the BC Government. This Agreement between Fortune Minerals and the TCC does not commit the TCC to support the Mount Klappan project.The Agreement recognizes that the Tahltan Nation holds aboriginal title and rights in their traditional territory, which includes the location for the proposed Mount Klappan project. In addition, the Agreement does not displace the Crown’s obligations to consult and accommodate the Tahltan with respect to the Mount Klappan project and does not imply Tahltan consent for the EA process.
Fortune Minerals and the TCC entered into this agreement to facilitate an orderly and timely review of the proposed Mount Klappan development. Highlights of the agreement are as follows:
Mutual recognition of each others interests in the area;
Effective and timely participation in the EA process;
Open and regular dialogue and communication about each others interests and concerns.
The Mount Klappan project is located within Tahltan traditional territory and consists of 15,000 hectares of contiguous coal licenses located 150 km northeast of the port of Stewart, 330 km northeast of the port of Prince Rupert and 100 km south of the Tahltan community of Iskut. The property straddles the BC Railway right-of-way, which provides road access to the site from Highway 37. The Canadian National Railway Company operates on the portion of the right-of-way between Prince George and Minaret, 150 km south of the proposed mine.
Mount Klappan contains very large resources of high quality anthracite coal situated in four distinct deposit areas that are referred to as the Lost Fox, Hobbit-Broatch, Summit and Nass deposits. (*Note) Collectively, these contain Measured Resources of 107.9 million tonnes, Indicated Resources of 123 million tonnes, plus 2.572 billion tonnes in the Inferred and Speculative classes. Proven and Probable In-Situ Reserves in the initial pit in the Lost Fox deposit are 101.7 million tonnes.
(*Note) The Mount Klappan Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates were prepared by Marston & Marston Inc. and Richard Marston, P.E. is the Qualified Person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101. Further details on the Mount Klappan Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves can be found in the Company’s disclosures filed on the Sedar website at www.sedar.com.
The economics of Mount Klappan has been assessed in a positive definitive feasibility study by Marston & Marston Inc. in 2005 that was updated in 2008 (see Fortune Minerals news releases dated January 8, 2009 and August 7, 2008). The studies show an attractive rate of return for the development at current coal prices and currency exchange rates. The feasibility studies assessed annual production of 3 million tonnes of ultra-low volatile pulverized coal injection (PCI) products used in the manufacture of steel, and options to produce other coal products. Mining would be carried out using conventional open pit methods, with the coal processed in a wash plant constructed at the site, and clean coal products trucked to the port of Stewart for export to overseas steel customers.
Anthracite is a hard coal with the highest rank, carbon and energy content and lowest moisture and volatile content of all coals. Unique properties make anthracite ideal for use in a broad range of metallurgical and thermal applications, including metallurgical processing, blend coals for blast furnace coke replacement, and charge carbon, sinter and PCI coals used in the manufacture of steel. Only about 1% of World Coal Reserves are anthracite grade, making the Mount Klappan coal a relatively uncommon premium product. Notably, the two largest producers of anthracite products in the world, China and Vietnam, have curtailed exports in order to satisfy their domestic requirements, creating an attractive development opportunity for Mount Klappan.
Fortune Minerals and the TCC are pleased to enter into this agreement to assess the impacts of developing Mount Klappan.
About Fortune Minerals
Fortune Minerals is a diversified natural resource company with several mineral deposits and a number of exploration projects, all located in Canada. They include the Mount Klappan anthracite coal deposits in British Columbia, and the NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper deposit, the Sue-Dianne copper-silver deposit and other base and precious metals exploration projects in the Northwest Territories. Fortune Minerals is focussed on outstanding performance and growth of shareholder value through assembly and development of high quality mineral resource projects.
For further information please contact:
Fortune Minerals Limited
Robin Goad, President – or –
Lindsay Simmons, IR Coordinator
Tel.: (519) 858-8188
Fax: (519) 858-8155
Renmark Financial Communications
Dan Symons, Account Manager – or –
Rea Unson, Junior Account Manager
Tel. (514) 939-3989
Fax. (514) 939-3717