With the inferred resource now complete, the exploration focus at the Victoria property will shift from infill to step out drilling. The company will focus on testing the up-dip extension of Zone 4, including the area between Zone 4 and the previously discovered Zone 1. The program will also evaluate the down-dip potential of the orebody and test other nearby targets.
The company’s current development scenario is to concurrently sink a production shaft and a ventilation shaf tthat could support initial exploration as well as a 2,500 to 4,000 tpd mining operation. This development approach would allow access for definition drilling from the ventilation shaft as well as support production during the underground development stage, allowing for the shortest timeline to full production. Due to the cylindrical and steeply dipping shape of Zone 4, the deposit appears amenable to lower cost semi-bulk mining methods such as long-hole stoping. Including underground development, the capital costs are estimated to be approximately three quarters of a billion dollars, over a seven-year development period.
Development will be performed by Quadra FNX subsidiary, DMC Mining Services.
Advance permitting, First Nations consultations and discussions with other stakeholders in the project area will take place through the balance of 2011. Discussions with Vale will continue with respect to processing terms and the back-in right to the project. The company has also commenced the engineering studies that will form part of a pre-feasibility study.
The up-dip margin to the Victoria Zone 4 mineral resource reported is approximately 3,000 feet (914 m) below surface whereas the lower margin of the deposit currently extends to approximately 6,500 feet (1,981 m). The Zone 4 sulphide mineralization is open in all directions.
The down-dip extension of the inferred resource contains spectacular values of 5.0% Cu, 3.6% Ni and 61.4 g/t total precious metals at a depth of approximately 6,200 feet (1,981 m).
Victoria was one of five so-called “non core”properties acquired by FNX Mining from Inco in 2001.The other properties were McCreedy West, Levack, Kirkwood and Podolsky.