Creation of 270 direct and indirect jobs
Annual zinc production of over 100 million pounds
Bathurst, NB. - August 9, 2006 - Blue Note Metals Inc (“Blue Note” TSX Venture: BNT)
today announced an investment of $48 million over
the next twelve months to re-open the Caribou and Restigouche mines located near Bathurst, New Brunswick. Production is expected to resume in the second quarter of 2007, reaching 100 million pounds
of zinc annually and resulting in the creation of 270 direct and indirect jobs in the region. The announcement was made in the presence of New Brunswick’s Premier, Bernard Lord, and New Brunswick’s
Minister of Natural Resources, Keith Ashfield, who visited the Caribou mine this morning.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to launch this project which will bring significant economic benefits to the region, said Michael Judson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blue
Note Metals Inc. “We are also extremely grateful to the New Brunswick Government, particularly Premier Bernard Lord, Minister Ashfield and their respective staff who have been very supportive
of our project from the beginning,” added Michael Judson.
Work on mine dewatering and detailed engineering plans is already underway. Construction of the concentrator and related mine infrastructure is expected to begin in the fall of this year for completion
in March 2007.
"We are truly excited about the re-opening of the Caribou and Restigouche mines. With state-of-the-art milling technology designed to handle the finely grained-ore that characterizes the
mine, we expect to produce over 100 million pounds of zinc annually,“ said John Martin, President of Blue Note Metals Inc. “We are in a strong zinc market which is expected to continue
for several more years and are confident that Caribou will be a consistent and profitable producer of zinc, lead and copper concentrates. With the commencement of production scheduled for mid-2007,
we will be the first producer to add zinc concentrate in Canada and, as a result, we will be in a good position to benefit from strong zinc prices. Our project has won the confidence of sophisticated
Canadian and international mining investors who invested $75 million in our capital in April of this year,” concluded Mr. Martin.
Blue Note has assembled a senior management team led by Chris Zahovskis, Vice-President, Operations, to oversee the re-opening of the Caribou and Restigouche mines, including the appointments of
Denis Doucet as General Manager and Paul Laframboise as Mill Manager. John Middlemiss has been named as Project Manager and owner’s representative with the engineering firms that will be
charged with the engineering, construction, procurement and management of the development and re-opening of the Caribou Mine.
270 direct and indirect jobs
Blue Note’s re-opening plans focus on production and flow sheet improvements as well as state-of-the-art grinding technology to improve recoveries to over 80% for zinc using new IsaMill
technology. The plans also include the addition of a new copper recovery circuit which will further increase the economic returns of the project. Once full production is achieved, the mines are
expected to employ approximately 220 people and produce 3,000 tonnes per day. An additional 50 contractual jobs are expected to be created as a result of the project.
Based on a report by Micon International Limited, the project at the Caribou and Restigouche mines will produce over 476 million pounds of zinc, 223 million pounds of lead and 5 million ounces
of silver over its five-year mine life. The metallurgical recovery rates are 79.9% for zinc and 64.5% for lead produced.
The potential exists to extend this five-year period by firming up and expanding on the estimated additional resources at Caribou evaluated to be almost 4 million tonnes grading 7.36% zinc, 3.59%
lead, and 107 grams of silver per tonne. A preliminary assessment suggests that the project life could be extended to nine years if all the inferred resource can be converted to measured and indicated
Blue Note Metals purchased the Caribou and Restigouche mines from Breakwater Resources in July 2006. After investing over $100 million to develop the mines from 1994 until 1998, Breakwater put
the mines under a care and maintenance program because weak Zinc price per pound and capital investments necessary to improve the production processes and grinding technologies to increase recoveries
made the project uneconomical.
For more information, please contact:
Vice President, Investor Relations
Blue Note Mining Inc.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains discussion of items that may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities laws that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the company believes the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurances that its expectations will be achieved. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include the effects of general economic conditions, actions by government authorities, uncertainties associated with contract negotiations, additional financing requirements, market acceptance of the Company's products and competitive pressures. These factors and others are more fully discussed in Company filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities.
"Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release."