Ontario Graphite Receives Important Approval of Kearney Mine Closure Plan
Canadian Graphite Mine on Schedule to Begin Production in Q3 2012
Kearney, Ontario – March 5, 2012 – Ontario Graphite Limited today announced that the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) approved the Closure Plan submitted for the company’s Kearney Mine project. This approval marks a significant milestone for the company and for the Kearney Mine – the largest confirmed graphite mineral resource prospect in North America – to begin production as planned in the third quarter of 2012.”We have a unique operation. We are an industrial minerals facility and reactivation project with big local economic benefit. Kearney Mine will be an open pit mining operation using straightforward, environmentally sound processes,” said Tom Myatt, President and CFO of Ontario Graphite. “This makes the Kearney Mine and its Close-Out distinctive; and to support it, we have developed an equally distinctive Closure Plan that reflects our commitment to the Kearney community, including local Aboriginal communities and the surrounding environment.”
Ontario Graphite’s Closure Plan is a comprehensive decommissioning strategy, required from all proposed projects before mining operations can begin. The Plan reflects current and expected Mine conditions, and defines a program safeguarding long-term stability at the Mine; ensuring environmental sustainability; and returning the site to a forest ecosystem. This includes:
• Engagement: The Closure Plan reflects, in part, Ontario Graphite’s commitment to an effective and ongoing engagement process with Aboriginal communities and other stakeholders in the surrounding area of the Mine site, ensuring any questions or potential issues are addressed in an efficient manner.
• Close-Out Rehabilitation Measures: Upon Closure, milling operations at the Mine will cease and the Mine site will be converted in a safe and environmentally sound manner ensuring its return to pre-mining conditions, a forested wilderness area. The Mill Yard, the Tailings Management Area, most mine roads and the Waste Rock Area will be cleared of infrastructure and ultimately restored by growth of local woody vegetation.
• Financial Assurance: As a result of the assessment carried out in the Closure Plan, Ontario Graphite will provide financial assurance to the MNDM in the form of Certificates of Deposit totalling CAN$4.9 million. This amount is expected to fully cover the cost of closure.
The Kearney Mine was last operated in 1994 and will take advantage of approximately $60 million of existing infrastructure and mineral resources to support a mine life of more than 30 years. In addition, Ontario Graphite is fully funded through the re-start of production and ongoing operations at the Kearney Mine. When reactivated, it is estimated the Kearney Mine will process approximately one million tonnes of ore per year while producing 20,000 tonnes of natural, large flake, high carbon graphite concentrate.
Previously associated with lead pencils and golf clubs, graphite is now a key mineral in new, more sophisticated applications, including lithium-ion batteries used in electric and hybrid electric cars. A promising new mineral investment, the price of high-quality flake graphite has risen from a low of $600 per tonne in the 1990s to more than $2,500 per tonne in 2011, and has ongoing high growth rate potential.
About Ontario Graphite Limited
Ontario Graphite Ltd. is a privately owned Canadian mining company committed to the responsible re-commissioning and operation of the Kearney Mine, the largest confirmed graphite mineral resource in North America and one of the largest individual deposits outside China and North Korea. The Kearney Mine, located in Kearney, Ontario, Canada (approximately 300 km north of Toronto), is slated to begin production in the third quarter of 2012. To learn more about Ontario Graphite and the Kearney Mine, please visit www.ontariographite.com.
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