VANCOUVER, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Shares Outstanding: 62,738,850
Kootenay Silver Inc. (TSX VENTURE: KTN.V) ("Kootenay" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that an updated resource estimate prepared by SRK Consulting (U.S.) Inc. of Lakewood, Colorado ("SRK") incorporating the gold content contained into the mineral resources of its flagship Promontorio Silver Project, due to new metallurgical data and information which supports recovery of gold. This updated resource estimate does not incorporate any drilling completed since the resource estimate announced August 21, 2012.
The open pit mineral resources for the Promontorio Project are comprised of an estimated 44,504,000 tonnes grading an average of 64.32 gpt silver equivalent ("AgEq") classified as Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, with an additional 14,564,000 tonnes grading an average of 51.95 gpt AgEq classified as Inferred Mineral Resources. This resource is stated above a 20.00 gpt AgEq cut-off grade and is contained within a potentially economically mineable pit shell.
Underground mineral resources are approximately 215,000 tonnes grading an average of 56.96 gpt AgEq classified as Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, with an additional 1,265,000 tonnes grading an average of 61.17 gpt AgEq classified as Inferred Mineral Resources. This resource is stated above a 45.00 gpt AgEq cut-off grade to reflect the higher mining costs expected to be associated with underground production.
The updated Measured and IndicatedResource contains an estimated 92,035,000 oz AgEq with another 24,326,000 oz AgEq categorized as Inferred, summarized in Table 1:
Table 1: Resource Statement for the Promontorio Deposit, Sonora State, Mexico: SRK Consulting (U.S.) Inc., Effective Date March 31, 2013*
Pit-Constrained 20 gpt Avg Avg Avg Avg Avg AgEq AgEQ Tonnes AgEq Ag Au Pb Zn Oz Ag Oz Au Oz Pb lbs Zn lbs Cut-Off (000's) (gpt) (gpt) (gpt) (%) (%)(000's) (000's)(000's) (000's) (000's) Measured 10,289 74.79 32.69 0.40 0.46 0.55 24,741 10,814 134 105,328 123,715 Indicated 34,215 61.18 26.30 0.34 0.38 0.45 67,294 28,926 373 287,579 335,904 M+I 44,504 64.32 27.77 0.35 0.40 0.47 92,035 39,740 506 392,907 459,619 Inferred 14,564 51.95 24.95 0.28 0.28 0.31 24,326 11,683 132 89,430 98,462 Underground Potential 45 gpt Avg Avg Avg Avg Avg AgEq AgEQ Tonnes AgEq Ag Au Pb Zn Oz Ag Oz Au Oz Pb lbs Zn lbs Cut-Off (000's) (gpt) (gpt) (gpt) (%) (%) (000's) (000's) (000's) (000's) (000's) Measured 3 62.27 25.12 0.32 0.37 0.63 6 2 0 23 40 Indicated 212 56.88 22.86 0.28 0.40 0.55 387 156 2 1,889 2,551 M+I 215 56.96 22.89 0.28 0.40 0.55 393 158 2 1,913 2,591 Inferred 1,265 61.17 26.57 0.37 0.36 0.38 2,488 1,081 15 10,049 10,667
Notes: * Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resources estimated will be converted into Mineral Reserves.  Open pit resources stated as contained within a potentially economically minable pit shell;  Pit optimization is based on assumed silver, gold, lead, and zinc prices of CDN$31/oz, CDN$1650/oz, CDN$0.96/lb, and CDN$0.89/lb respectively, mill recoveries of 74%, 70%, 81% and 88% respectively, a 1.5% NSR, Estimated mining costs of CDN$1.20/t, and estimated processing and G&A cost of CDN$12.00/t; and an estimated POX cost of CDN$2/tonne (CDN$30/tonne of pyrite concentrate)  Break-even cut-off grades used were 20 gpt AgEq for open pit mill material and 45 gpt AgEq for underground material;  Silver equivalency is based on unit values calculated from the above metal prices, and assumes 100% recovery of all metals; and  Mineral resource tonnage and contained metal have been rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate, and numbers may not add due to rounding.
The following material changes incorporated into the updated resource estimation contributed to the significant increase in the mineral resource:
- Additional metallurgical test work has allowed for the inclusion of Au in the mineral resources, which has a significant impact on the AgEq grades and relative ounces.
- The estimated Measured and Indicated gold resources contained within the mineralized diatreme system total 508,000 ounces with an additional 155,000 ounces Inferred.
States Kootenay President and CEO James McDonald: "This is an exciting day for Kootenay and its shareholders. The Company is extremely pleased with the findings of the resource estimate and proud to be approaching the 100 Million ounces, silver equivalent milestone. Two key factors contributed to the success of the updated resource estimate. First, the important addition of the gold content to the resource has added significantly to the resource value. Secondly, resulting from the addition of gold, the resource is now contained in a single larger optimized Whittle Pit, as opposed to two individual smaller pits reported in the August 21, 2012 resource estimate. We look forward to providing a further resource update at the conclusion of our current drill and resource expansion program."
This mineral resource estimate has been completed by Matthew Hastings MSc, P.Geo and reviewed by Frank Daviess, MAusIMM, RM-SME, Associate Principal Resource Geologist with SRK. A site visit was conducted by Allan Moran, of SRK, R.G., C.P.G, who has reviewed pertinent geological information in sufficient detail to support the data incorporated in the mineral resource estimate. Mr. Daviess is an Independent Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") and is responsible for the mineral resource estimate presented in this release. Eric Olin, of SRK, MSc, MBA, RM-SME reviewed the metallurgical information contained in this release.
Drilling data includes a total of 45,118 samples from 65,092 meters of drilling. Of the 45,118 samples in the database, 22,658 lie within the wireframes and were used in the resource estimation. Wireframes are three-dimensional closed solids constructed in Vulcan™ and based on a combination of logged geology and assay information. These wireframes limit the estimation.
Three-dimensional wireframes were constructed for the modeled domains using Leapfrog 3D™ modeling software as well as Vulcan™. SRK modeled both the Pit and NE zones independently, and corrected inconsistencies with the Leapfrog solids using Vulcan.
The average sample length for all samples is 1.44 meters. Samples were composited to 3 m lengths within the breccia, stockwork, and PC zones. For the estimation, SRK used Ordinary Kriging in the densely-drilled areas and Inverse Distance Weighting for the areas with more widely-spaced drilling. SRK applied appropriate block model validation techniques for a resource estimation at this stage of project development.
Pit optimization was conducted using Whittle™ software and evaluating the block model which was constructed in Vulcan™. The purpose of the pit-optimization exercise is to satisfy the conditions of "reasonable prospects for economic extraction" as defined in the CIM Guidelines using pit shells based on a very simple "break-even" cash flow model. These pits are not representative of detailed mine plans or even the "best" pit design for the Project. A cut-off for the mineral resource of 20 gpt and 45 gpt AgEq for open pit and underground potential was used respectively.
Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources are categorized as Measured being where at least 3 drill holes occur within a 25 meters ellipsoid, Indicated being where at least 3 drill holes occur within a 50 meters ellipsoid and Inferred being where at least 2 drill holes occur within a 75 meters ellipsoid. Blocks estimated using Inverse Distance Weighting in the widely-spaced drilling intermediate to the two primary zones are categorized as Inferred.
Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resources estimated will be converted into Mineral Reserves.
Mineral Processing and Metallurgical Test Work
G&T Metallurgical Services Ltd, Kamloops, BC, Canada completed preliminary metallurgical programs on drill core composites from the Promontorio property for Kootenay in 2009, 2012 and 2013.
Several significant factors were noticed in SRK's review of the metallurgical process work conducted to date. The metallurgical program investigated a standard polymetallic sequential flotation flowsheet that includes:
- Lead Flotation;
- Zinc Flotation; and
- Pyrite/Arsenopyrite Flotation
Pressure oxidation (POX) of the pyrite/arsenopyrite concentrate is required to extract the contained gold by cyanidation.
SRK estimates metal recoveries shown in Table 2 are based on the average results from the preliminary metallurgical test programs conducted in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Overall gold recovery is estimated at 70% and is based on 65% gold recovery into the pyrite flotation concentrate followed by 94% cyanidation gold extraction from the pyrite concentrate after pressure oxidation, plus an average 9% gold recovery into the lead flotation concentrate.
Table 2: Metallurgical Recovery Assumptions
Metal Product Recovery (%) Silver Lead Concentrate 74 Lead Lead Concentrate 81 Zinc Zinc Concentrate 88 Gold Pyrite Concentrate 65 Gold Lead Concentrate 9 Gold Overall * 70
* Includes 94% cyanidation extraction from pyrite concentrate + gold contained in lead concentrate
The majority of holes were drilled with HQ sized diamond drill core with some sections reduced down to NQ sized core. Core samples were cut using a core saw with 1 to 2 meter long sample intervals. A select few holes drilled using reverse circulation methods were included in the resource estimation, but generally in the areas of more widely-spaced drilling between the two primary zones. Further Quality Assurance and Control procedures and details on assays are disclosed on the Kootenay Silver Inc. website.
SRK, with inputs from Kootenay on specific sections, will be the author of an NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Mineral Resource Estimate for the Promontorio Project, to be filed within 45 days of this release.
The foregoing geological disclosure has also been reviewed and verified by Kootenay's CEO, James McDonald, P.Geo (a qualified person for the purpose of NI 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects). Mr. McDonald is a director of Kootenay.
Kootenay Silver Inc. is actively developing mineral projects in the Sierra Madre Region of Mexico and in British Columbia, Canada. Its flagship property is the former producing Promontorio Silver mine in Sonora State, Mexico. Kootenay's objective is to develop near term discoveries and long-term sustainable growth. Its management and technical team are proven professionals with extensive international experience in all aspects of mineral exploration, operations and venture capital markets. Multiple, ongoing J/V partnerships in Mexico and Canada maximize potential for additional, new discoveries while maintaining minimal share dilution.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release. Cautionary Note to US Investors: This news release may contain information about adjacent properties on which we have no right to explore or mine. We advise U.S. investors that the SEC's mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned that mineral deposits on adjacent properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on our properties. This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
This press release uses the terms "Measured", "Indicated", and "Inferred" resources. United States investors are advised that while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize them. "Inferred Mineral Resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. United States investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources will ever be converted into Mineral Reserves. United States investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a Mineral Resource is economically or legally mineable.
Forward-Looking Statements: The information in this news release has been prepared as at May 13 2013. Certain statements in this news release, referred to herein as "forward-looking statements", constitute "forward-looking statements" under the provisions of Canadian provincial securities laws. These statements can be identified by the use of words such as "expected", "approaches", "approaching", "may", "will", "look forward" or similar terms.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of factors and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Kootenay as of the date of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, known and unknown, could cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by law, Kootenay expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in Kootenay's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
For further information:
James McDonald, CEO and President at +1-403-238-6986
Investor Relations at +1-604-601-5652; 1-888-601-5650
or visit: http://www.kootenaysilver.com
SOURCE Kootenay Silver Inc.