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UPDATE: Avanti Mining Updates Kitsault Feasibility Study

VANCOUVER, BC -- (Marketwire) -- 02/06/13 -- Avanti Mining Inc. (TSX VENTURE: AVT) (PINKSHEETS: AVNMF) ("Avanti") is pleased to provide the results of an update to its 2010 National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 compliant Feasibility Study ("FS") prepared by AMEC on its 100% owned Kitsault Molybdenum property in northwest British Columbia, Canada. The technical report summarizing the complete FS update report will be filed on SEDAR and Avanti's web site,, within 45 days of the issue of this press release. All figures are in Canadian dollars (converted at a long term rate of US$ 0.93 = C$ 1.00) except where noted.

Highlights include:

  • Initial capital costs including working capital are estimated at $938 million and LOM sustaining capital at $ 106 million (+/- 15% accuracy);
  • Cash operating cost at the mine site are estimated at $6.65 per pound of Mo produced, but it drops to $5.73 per pound of Mo (US$ 5.33), after a by-product silver credit of $0.91 per pound of molybdenum is realized. Total cash cost including transportation and beneficiation would be $6.73 (US$ 6.26) per pound of Mo.
  • The new mine plan based upon an updated resource model developed in 2012 calls for a total of 228 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves grading 0.083% molybdenum and 5.0 g/t silver to be mined over a 16-year mine life, producing 374 million pounds of molybdenum and 14.4 million ounces of silver. The molybdenum grade to the mill over the first five years of production averages 0.103% Mo;
  • At a long term molybdenum price of US$14.50/lb, that approximates the 3 year trailing average price, the project has an after tax Net Present Value (NPV) at an 8% discount rate of $433 million and a 16.6% IRR.
  • The mine has certain infrastructure in place with road access and will be serviced by the existing BC Hydro transmission grid;
  • The reopening of the mine is projected to create over 300 high paying local jobs during its 16-year life, and at the peak of construction, over 700 jobs. The construction period is estimated at 25 months;
  • The project is progressing through the environmental assessment process under the BC and federal legislation as well as the Nisga'a Final Agreement. The Referral Report to the BC Ministries of Environment and Energy, Mines and Natural Gas is expected to be submitted by mid-February. The Ministries then have up to 45 days to render their decision on the Environmental Assessment Certificate. The federal environmental assessment process, although largely coordinated with the province, is expected to be completed two months after the BC process because of statutory differences in the approval process between the two Acts.
  • Inaugural NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource statements were prepared at the Roundy Creek and Bell Moly prospects. Roundy Creek is located 4 km due west of Kitsault, yielded an Indicated Mineral Resource of 1.94 million tonnes grading 0.109% Mo at the Sunshine and Sunlight Areas containing 4.7 million pounds molybdenum, and an additional Inferred Mineral Resource of 0.33 million tonnes grading 0.079% Mo for 0.6 million pounds of molybdenum. The adjacent Roundy Area contains an additional Inferred Mineral Resource of 4.32 million tonnes grading 0.073% Mo containing 7.0 million pounds of molybdenum.
  • The Bell Moly prospect located 6.5 km northeast of Kitsault, yielded an Inferred Mineral Resource of 109.7 million tonnes grading 0.048% Mo containing 115.8 million pounds of molybdenum.

"We are pleased to present the cost update of our 2010 Feasibility Study by AMEC and other contributors on the Kitsault Mine Project," stated Craig J. Nelsen, Avanti's President and CEO. "The project continues to show robust economics despite the sharp industry-wide rise in capital and operating cost. In fact, Kitsault's projected cash costs are in the lowest quartile of primary molybdenum producers worldwide. We are fortunate to have been able to add silver by-product revenue to help offset the increased operating costs. Initial NI 43-101 resources at the neighboring Roundy Creek and Bell Moly prospects continue to add value to the long term reserve expansion possibilities of the Kitsault property." Mark Premo, Avanti's Chief Operating Officer, added, "Although pleased with this update, Avanti is currently engaging a third party engineering and business optimization group to review this FS update and examine ways of further optimizing the project's initial capital cost by potentially staging production increases funded largely out of free cash flow. This additional project optimization review will allow us an opportunity to select the best-fit initial production level combined with planned staged development to achieve the mine's increased production levels. This staged approach also is supported by short term supply demand outlook."

Project Description

The Kitsault property is located about 140 km north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and south of the head of Alice Arm, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. The property includes three known molybdenum deposits, Kitsault, Bell Moly, and Roundy Creek. The Kitsault mine was a producer of molybdenum between 1967 and 1972 and from 1981 to 1982 with total production on the property during both periods being approximately 31 million pounds of molybdenum.

Kitsault has road access to the mine site and is serviced by the BC Hydro transmission grid. The FS update estimates that the Kitsault Mine would operate at an annual mill throughput rate of 14.6 million tonnes, or 40,000 tpd, with a strip ratio of 1.05:1 for a mine life of 16 years. The ore mined by conventional truck and shovel open pit methods will be crushed in a gyratory primary crusher, then ground using a SAG-ball mill configuration. Conventional flotation and five stages of cleaning will produce molybdenum concentrate that will be dried and packaged into bags for shipment. The life-of-mine molybdenum production is estimated at 374 million pounds of molybdenum contained in approximately 350,800 tonnes of molybdenum concentrate produced from the processing of 228 million tonnes of reserves grading 0.083% Mo. Total molybdenum recovery varies depending on mill head grade but is estimated to average 90% over the life of the mine. During the desulfidation of the tailings for environmental considerations, a process was developed to recover by-product silver that averages 5.0 g/t in the mill feed. Silver production of 14.4 million ounces is indicated at a metallurgical recovery of about 39%.

Mineral Reserves Statement

The Kitsault mine Mineral Reserves have been prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 standards and CIM Definition Standard (2010). This statement was prepared by Mr. Ramon Mendoza Reyes (P.Eng.) of AMEC, a QP as defined in NI 43-101. These reserves are sufficient for 16 years of operation at an annual production rate of 40,000 t/d. Mineral Reserves are summarized by category in Table 1. The notes accompanying Table 1 are an integral part of the Mineral Reserves and should be read in conjunction with the Mineral Reserve statement.

Table 1. Kitsault Mineral Reserves, Effective Date February 4, 2013, Ramon
Mendoza Reyes, P. Eng. (cut-off 0.026% Mo)

                                                         Contained Contained
Classification              Tonnage (Mt) Mo (%) Ag (g/t) Mo (M lb) Ag (M Oz)
Proven                          129.0     0.092    5.0     262.4      20.7
Probable                        99.2      0.070    5.0     153.1      15.9
Total Proven and Probable       228.2     0.083    5.0     415.5      36.6


1. Mineral Reserves are defined within a mine plan, with pit phase designs guided by Lerchs-Grossmann (LG) pit shells, and reported at a 0.026% Mo cut-off grade, after dilution and mining loss adjustments. The LG shell generation was performed on Measured and Indicated mineral resources only, using a molybdenum price of $13.58/lb, an average mining cost of $1.88/t mined, a combined ore based cost of $7.09/t milled, and a selling cost of $1.24 /lb of Mo sold. Metallurgical recovery used was a function of the head grade, defined as Recovery =7.5808*Ln (Mo %) +108.63 with a cap applied at 95%. Revenue from silver was not included in the LG shell generation. Overall pit slopes varied from 42 to 48 degrees.

2. Dilution and Mining loss have been accounted for based on a contact dilution approach assuming a dilution band of one meter around the contact edges. 2.6Mt of Measured and Indicated mineral resources above cut-off was routed as waste. 1.4Mt of Measured and Indicated material below cut-off has been included as dilution material. The grade of the diluting material was the grade of those blocks. An additional 0.3Mt of Inferred dilution material with grades set to zero is included in the mine plan as mill feed.

3. Tonnages are rounded to the nearest 100,000 tonnes; grades are rounded to three decimal places for Mo and one decimal place for Ag.

4. Rounding as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent summation differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal content.

5. Tonnage and grade measurements are in metric units; contained molybdenum is in imperial pounds and contained silver is in troy ounces.

6. The life-of-mine strip ratio is 1.05:1

Capital Costs

Initial capital costs are estimated at $938 million compared with $837 million in the initial FS for an increase of approximately 12%. Life-of-Mine sustaining mine capital was estimated to be $106 million, which is comprised mainly of mobile equipment replacement, ongoing Tailings Management Facility ("TMF") embankment construction and estimated closure and reclamation cost requirements. This compares with $85 million in the initial FS for an increase of about 25%. All capital costs are [+/-15%] accuracy in this estimate.

The capital costs for the mine, plant and TMF and comparison with the 2010 FS are given in Table 2 below.

Table 2. Capital Cost Summary Comparison

                           Kitsault Capital Costs
                                                 2010     2013        %
Preproduction Capital                            FS      Update   Difference

1000 Mining                              $000  91,055   111,269      22%
2000 Site Preparation and Roads          $000  38,636   44,318       15%
3000 Process Facilities                  $000 212,069   238,665      13%
4000 Tailings Management and Reclaim
Systems                                  $000  97,614   120,936      24%
5000 Utilities                           $000  43,131   37,521      (13%)
6000 Ancillary Buildings and Facilities  $000  41,733   49,896       20%
8000 Owners Costs                        $000  22,858   22,069       (3%)
9000 Indirects, excluding contingency    $000 176,071   173,951      (1%)
9900 Contingency                         $000 113,834   139,597      23%

Total Pre-Production Capital             $000 837,000   938,221      12%

Sustaining Capital
            Closure and Reclamation Cost $000  31,368   33,960        8%
      Sustaining Capital Operating Years $000  53,806   72,357       34%

Total Sustaining Capital                 $000  85,174   106,317      25%

Total Capital Cost                       $000 922,174  1,044,538     13%

Operating Costs

LOM cash mine site operating costs are estimated at $6.65 per pound molybdenum (+/-15% accuracy). Total cash cost including a silver credit of $0.91 per pound molybdenum and transportation and beneficiation charges are $6.73 per pound molybdenum (US $6.26). These costs are about 11% higher than the 2010 FS. The Life-of-Mine (LOM) unit cash operating costs are also summarized in Table 3 below:

Table 3. Cash Operating Costs Summary Comparison (LOM average)

                          Kitsault Operating Cost
Area                                2010 FS        2013 Update   Difference
                                           Cash            Cash
                                           Cost            Cost
                                Total LOM  $/lb Total LOM  $/lb
                                   $000     Mo    C$000     Mo

Mine Operations                  573,954   1.54  933,896   2.50      63%
Processing Operations           1,102,207  2.95 1,244,879  3.33      13%
G&A                              252,984   0.68  307,166   0.82      21%
  Subtotal Mine Site            1,929,145  5.16 2,485,941  6.65      29%
Ag Credit                                       (340,878) (0.91)
Transportation and Beneficiation 342,146   0.92  371,195   0.91      8%

Total                           2,271,291  6.08 2,516,259  6.73      11%

Project Economics

The Feasibility Study economic results utilized assumptions summarized in the Table 4 below:

Table 4 Financial Analysis Parameters

                            Parameters                                Inputs
General Assumptions
  Mine Life                                                         16 years
  Available mill operating days per year                                 365
  Production Rate (average)                                       40,000 tpd
  Average Process Recovery (Mo)                                          90%
 Average Process Recovery (Ag)                                           39%
  Molybdenum Concentrate Production - LOM                          350.8 wmt
 Concentrate Grade (% Mo)                                                52%
 Long Term CDN$:US$ exchange rate                                       0.93
  Discount Rate                                                           8%
  Base Case LOM average molybdenum price                         US$14.50/lb
 Base Case LOM average silver price                              US$23.13/oz
  Amax Zinc (Newfoundland) Ltd Net profits Interest                    9.22%
  Alcoa Royalty                                                         1.0%

The FS economic model for the base case in this study assumes a long-term average molybdenum price of $14.50/lb for revenue purposes, as projected by Avanti for comparison with the project economics in the 2010 FS.

The after-tax NPV at an 8% discount rate over the estimated mine life is $433 million. The after-tax IRR is 16.6%. Payback of the initial capital investment is estimated to occur in 4.3 years after the start of production. When the same molybdenum long term price of US$14.50/lb is applied to the 2010 FS model, the after-tax NPV at an 8% discount rate was $585 million, the after tax IRR was 21.7% and the payback of initial capital was 2.9 years. Figure 1 shows a comparison of the 2010 FS model with the 2013 Update by area and net contribution. This comparison was made by comparing Present Values of both studies to the start of construction in each case.


Sensitivity analysis for key economic parameters is shown in Table 5 after tax effects. This analysis suggests that the project is most sensitive to exchange rates followed by commodity prices. The project is least sensitive to operating and capital costs.

Table 5 Base Case Sensitivity to After-Tax NPV at 8% Discount Rate

@ 8%                                           Change in Factor

                            Factor -30%  -20%  -10%   0%    10%   20%   30%
       Exchange rate           1   1,210  888   636   433   264   120  (11)
Factor Capital expenditure     2    618   557   495   433   369   304   238
       Operating expenditure   3    696   608   521   433   344   256   166
       Metal price             4   (167)  51    245   433   617   801   983

The financial model also examines the primary financial outputs at various long-term molybdenum prices and various discount rates. These results are displayed in Table 6.

Table 6 Sensitivity of Project as Various Metal Prices and Discount

Moly Price  (Undisc.)  NPV @ 6%   NPV @ 8%   NPV @ 10%   IRR   Payback
 (US$/lb)   (CDN $M)   (CDN $M)   (CDN $M)   (CDN $M)     %    (Years)
   12.50       913        302        173        67      11.5%    5.6
   14.50      1,367       597        433        299     16.6%    4.3
   15.00      1,482       669        497        355     17.8%    4.0
   17.50      2,058      1,032       814        635     23.4%    3.2

Bell Moly and Roundy Creek NI 43-101 Resource Statement

Initial NI 43-101 compliant resources are presented for the Roundy Creek and Bell Moly prospects located 4 and 6.5 km west and northeast respectively from the Kitsault deposit. The mineral resources are reported in accordance with Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards and Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practices, and are compliant with NI 43-101. The resource estimates were prepared under the supervision of David Thomas, P.Geo, an independent Qualified Person (QP), as this term is defined in NI 43-101. The mineral resource statement for the Kitsault molybdenum project is presented in Table 7 and 8 below:

Table 7 Roundy Creek Mineral Resources, Effective date 1 May 2012, David
Thomas P. Geo. (0.022% Mo Cut-Off)

Sunshine and Sunlight Area                      Tonnage     Mo        Mo
Category                                         (Mt)        %       (Mlb)
Indicated                                        1.94      0.109      4.7
Inferred                                         0.33      0.079      0.6

Roundy Area                                     Tonnage     Mo        Mo
Category                                         (Mt)        %       (Mlb)
Inferred                                         4.32      0.073      7.0


1. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability

2. Mineral Resources are defined with a Lerchs-Grossmann pit shell, and reported at a 0.022% Mo cut-off grade

3. An incremental mining cost of $1.20/t of resource was used to account for trucking of mineralized material to the Kitsault processing facility located approximately 7 Km to the east. A contractor mining cost of $2.90/t has been assumed.

4. Mineral Resources are reported using a commodity price of C$17.39/lb Mo, an average process recovery of 89%, a process cost of C$5.83/t and selling cost of C$1.24/lb of Mo sold.

5. Rounding as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent summation differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal.

6. Tonnage and grade measurements are in metric units; contained molybdenum is in imperial pounds.

Table 8 Bell Moly Mineral Resources, Effective date 1 May 2012, David Thomas
P. Geo. (0.020% Mo Cut-Off)

Bell Moly                                       Tonnage     Mo        Mo
Category                                         (Mt)        %       (Mlb)
Inferred                                         109.7     0.048     115.8


1. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability

2. Mineral Resources are defined with a Lerchs-Grossmann pit shell, and reported at a 0.020% Mo cut-off grade

3. An incremental mining cost of $0.60/t of resource was used to account for trucking of mineralized material to the Kitsault processing facility located approximately 7 Km to the southeast.

4. Mineral Resources are reported using a commodity price of C$17.39/lb Mo, an average process recovery of 89%, a process cost of C$5.83/t and selling cost of C$1.24/lb of Mo sold.

5. Rounding as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent summation differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal.

6. Tonnage and grade measurements are in metric units; contained molybdenum is in imperial pounds.

Financing and Environmental Assessment Update

Avanti continues to advance its strategy to finance the development of the Kitsault Mine. Toward that end it has signed a Letter of Intent with a major German steel maker for 50% of the production of Kitsault for the life of the mine and hopes to have a formal agreement in the near future. Contract volumes will be established annually based upon the mines plan and reference a market based monthly price for molybdenum. Based upon the strength of this off-take agreement and an application made by KFW, the German export credit bank and a member of our mandated banking syndicate, the project has received approval in principal for German government debt guarantee for up to US$300 million.

Avanti also continues discussions with a potential strategic partner that will assist in providing the equity component of the projects financing.

Avanti has received all the final comments on the review of its Environmental Assessment Application that is intended to fulfill its requirements under the BC EA Act. We expect the referral report prepared by BC EAO to be presented to the BC Ministers of Environment and Mines, Energy and Natural Gas in mid February 2013. The ministers then have up to 45 days to make their decision on the project. The federal process is expected to follow approximately two months after the provincial process because of statutory differences in the approval timeframes between the two Acts.

The NI 43-101 2013 Feasibility Study Update, Avanti Mining Inc., Kitsault Molybdenum Property, British Columbia, Canada was prepared by industry consultants, all of whom are independent of Avanti Mining Inc. and are QP's under NI 43-101. The QP's have reviewed and approved the content of this news release that summarizes the results of the 2013 Feasibility Study Update. The consultants (QP's) with their responsibilities are as follows:
AMEC Americas Limited, Mr. David Thomas (P. Geo.) for matters relating to geology and mineral resource reporting.

AMEC Americas Limited, Mr. Ramon Mendoza Reyes (P.Eng.) for matters relating to mineral reserve statements, mining plan, mining capital, and mine operating costs.

AMEC Americas Limited, Mr. Tony Lipiec (P.Eng.) for matters relating to the metallurgical testing review, mineral processing, and process operating costs.

AMEC Americas Limited under the direction of Mr. Gary Christie (P.Eng.) for matters relating to infrastructure, cost estimates, and financial analysis.

SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (SRK Canada) under the direction of Mr. Peter Healey (P.Eng) for matters and costs relating to mine closure and reclamation.

Knight Piésold Ltd. (KP) under the direction of Mr. Bruno Borntraeger (P.Eng.) for matters and costs relating to plant site geotechnical conditions, surface water diversions and the Tailings Management Facility (TMF).

Avanti Mining Inc. is focused on the development of the past producing Kitsault molybdenum mine located north of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. Mr. Mark Premo (P.Eng.MO), Chief Operating Officer for the Company and a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the scientific or technical information in this press release.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains certain forward-looking information concerning the business of Avanti Mining Inc. (the "Corporation"). All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation; statements about the recoverability of molybdenum and silver at the Kitsault property, the results of the feasibility study, the timing of the receipt of environmental approvals and other regulatory permits, operating cost, capital cost, cash flow, the anticipated dates of commencement of construction and production, production schedule, molybdenum products meeting the specifications of the London Metals Exchange, silver concentrate quality and other matters related to the development of the Kitsault molybdenum mine, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the opinions of management at the date the statements are made and are based on assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Corporation's expectations include fluctuations in commodity prices and currency exchange rates; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, recovery rates, production estimates and estimated economic return; the need for cooperation of government agencies and native groups in the exploration and development of properties and the issuance of required permits; the need to obtain additional financing to develop properties and uncertainty as to the availability and terms of future financing; the possibility of delay in exploration or development programs or in construction projects and uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones; uncertainty as to timely availability of permits and other governmental approvals; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Corporation's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2010, which is available at The Corporation is under no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's opinions should change, except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Image Available:

For further information, please visit, or contact:

Craig J. Nelsen
Chief Executive Officer
303-565-5491, extension 4471

Mark Premo
Chief Operating Officer

A.J. Ali
Chief Financial Officer
303-565-5491, extension 4472

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Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.