Nuuk, 2013-12-06 11:46 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
NunaMinerals A/S (COPENHAGEN: NUNA.CO / NUNA.DC) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a Joint Exploration Agreement with Korea Resources Corporation (“KORES”), the Korean Government-owned mining and natural resources investment company. Following a period of due diligence and commercial negotiations, which were initiated following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in September 2012 between NunaMinerals and KORES followed by a MoU between the Government of Greenland and the Government of Korea, KORES and NunaMinerals formally entered a Joint Exploration Agreement at a signing ceremony held in Dubai on Friday 6th December 2013. The Agreement is designed to advance the development of NunaMinerals’ Qeqertaasaq rare earth element & niobium project (“Qeqertaasaq”) located 135 kilometres northeast of the Greenlandic capital, Nuuk, near the town of Maniitsoq in West Greenland.
Under the option agreement, KORES is able to earn, incrementally through three phases, a 51 % interest in Qeqertaasaq by funding US$ 3.5 million (c. DKK 20m) of exploration expenditures before the end of 2018 provided that the first stages of exploration worth US$1.5 million proves successful. Upon KORES earning a 51 % interest a joint venture to further develop the Qeqertaasaq project will be formed between NunaMinerals and KORES. The agreement is subject to NunaMinerals raising sufficient equity capital to meet the financial requirements of the agreement.
“We are very pleased to be working with an experienced and highly-reputed Korean group with a proven track record, with whom we have developed an excellent working relationship. NunaMinerals has advanced the Qeqertaasaq project since 2009, including 2593 metres of drilling in 2011. KORES’ participation demonstrates the potential of the project to contain a high-quality rare earth resource. Working closely together with our new partner, we are confident that we can successfully and rapidly advance the project during the coming years. This will commence with resource drilling during the 2014 field season, concurrent with continued metallurgical studies” says Ole Christiansen, President and CEO of NunaMinerals.
Acquisition of a strong strategic partner represents the most significant milestone achieved to date for the Qeqertaasaq project. The Korean government has identified rare earths as critical to Korea’s domestic industries and continued economic growth. Therefore acting on behalf of the Korean government, KORES has undertaken considerable work to identify the most favourable sources for future rare earth supply in politically stable jurisdictions worldwide. KORES’ willingness to partner with NunaMinerals is therefore a compelling endorsement of the economic potential that both parties recognise at Qeqertaasaq, and a testament to the exploration capabilities demonstrated by NunaMinerals during their advancement of the project to date.
Rare earth projects are distinctive from many commodities in their dependence upon mineralogy; the mineralogy of the ore deposit dictates the processing and liberation of the rare earths, which in turn drives the economics. NunaMinerals has been able to demonstrate through metallurgical test work by U.S. based IntelliMET that the rare earth mineralisation from Qeqertaasaq has a favourable carbonate mineralogy that is highly amenable to their low cost and environmentally responsible Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) technology. The rare earth ore from Qeqertaasaq can be directly leached without the need for grinding or pre-concentration – completely eliminating a substantial component of the processing costs projected for other rare earth projects. In addition to resource drilling in 2014, the definition of a robust metallurgical flow sheet, through continued test work will form a major component of a pre-feasibility study for the project, through which we believe we will be able to demonstrate a low CAPEX and OPEX potential, enabling us to competitively compete in the global rare earth sector.
About Korea Resources Corporation (“KORES”):
Established in 1967, KORES (http://www.kores.or.kr) is owned by the Korean government and is responsible for a policy mandate to further Korea's access to strategically important mineral resources, which includes the rare earth elements. KORES carries out the Korean government's mineral resources policy objectives by engaging directly or indirectly through Joint Exploration Agreements or in the form of investments in overseas exploration, development and production of mineral resources. KORES also manages Korea’s stockpile of rare mineral resources. In addition KORES closely liaises with all major Korean industry groups, who commonly participate with KORES in commercial ventures. KORES has a clearly defined and stated goal of becoming a global top 20 mining company by 2020 primarily through international investments and joint ventures.
NunaMinerals A/S is Greenland’s leading company in the exploration of precious and base metals as well as strategic metals. Firmly rooted in Greenland, the company is well positioned to exploit the mineral potential of one of the world’s few remaining unexplored regions. The geology of Greenland has a number of similarities with that of long-established mining countries such as Canada, South Africa and Australia, which all have substantial mineral deposits of gold, platinum, nickel and copper, among other commodities. Setting up partnerships that would bring further technical and financial expertise to the development of the company’s exploration prospects is a key element of NunaMinerals’ business model. NunaMinerals began operations in 1999 and is headquartered in Nuuk, Greenland. The company is listed at NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen A/S under the symbol “NUNA” (Copenhagen: NUNA.CO). For more information, please visit our website: www.nunaminerals.com.
On behalf of NunaMinerals A/S
Ole Christiansen, CEO & Birks Bovaird, Chairman
Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement, including descriptions of NunaMinerals’ exploration and development projects, strategy and plans, as well as expectations for future revenue and earnings, reflect NunaMinerals’ current views and assumptions with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. There are many factors that may cause actual results achieved by NunaMinerals to differ materially from expectations for future results and expectations that may be expressed in or form an assumption of such forward-looking statements. Such factors include risks related to exploration, development and mining activities, uncertainties related to the results of NunaMinerals’ exploration and development projects, including risks of delays or closure of projects, price falls, currency fluctuations and changes in concession terms, legislation and administrative practices, as well as competition risk and other unforeseen factors. If one or more of such risks or factors of uncertainty were to materialise, or should one or more of the statements provided prove to be incorrect, actual developments may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this announcement. NunaMinerals is not under any duty to update the forward-looking statements contained in this announcement or to adjust such statements to actual results, except as may be required by law.
For further information:
Ole Christiansen, CEO, phone: +299 36 20 01, mobile: +299 55 18 57 email@example.com