Located in the Partridge River Intrusion of the Duluth Complex, the NorthMet deposit is a large disseminated sulfide deposit in heterogeneous troctolitic rocks associated with the 1.1 billion-year-old Mid-Continent Rift. It contains copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, gold and silver. The majority of the metals are concentrated in, or associated with, four metallic minerals: chalcopyrite, cubanite, pentlandite and pyrrhotite.

Duluth Complex

The Duluth Complex is a massive geological formation near the eastern end of the Mesabi Iron Range which contains one of the world’s largest known undeveloped accumulations of copper, nickel and platinum group metals. Its southwestern-most extent is mapped just south of the City of Duluth, extends north toward Hoyt Lakes – our project site – and then strikes northeast toward Thunder Bay, Ontario. The NorthMet deposit and the bulk of the known copper-nickel-precious metals in the complex are found along the northern margin of the complex in a region running about 30 miles from Hoyt Lakes to seven miles east of Ely, Minnesota. The Duluth Complex northern contact cross cuts the Biwabik Iron Formation east of Babbitt. The Iron Range continues to be a major source of the domestic steel industry with continuous production dating back to the 1880s. See the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources map of the Duluth Complex here.

Our NorthMet ore body is near a number of former and current iron ore mines, including the operational Cliffs Natural Resources North Shore Mine immediately north of the site. The ore body comprises 254.7 million tons of Proven and Probable reserves grading 0.294 percent copper and 0.084 percent nickel. Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 649.3 million tons grading 0.245 percent copper and 0.07 percent nickel and 508.9 million tons of Inferred material at .240 percent copper and .070 percent nickel. [Please refer to the Technical Report (PDF) for assumptions and explanations; see “Cautionary note to U.S. investors” regarding disclosure on Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources here.]

 

NorthMet Resource

 Class   Grades (Undiluted)
Tonnage
(Mt)
Copper
(%)
Nickel
(%)
Platinum
(ppb)
Palladium
(ppb)
Gold
(ppb)
Cobalt
(ppm)
Silver
(ppm)
Measured
Indicated
M + I
237.2
412.2
649.3
0.270
0.230
0.245
0.080
0.070
0.074
69
63
65
241
210
221
35
32
33
72
70
71
0.97
0.87
0.91

Inferred 508.9 0.240 0.070 72 234 37 66 0.93
Source: Hard Rock Consulting, LLC, January 2018
Notes:
(1) Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
(2) All resources are stated above a $7.35 NSR cut-off. Cut-off is based on estimated mining, processing and G&A costs. Metal Prices and metallurgical recoveries used for the development of cut-off grade are presented in Table 14-33 of the 2018 Technical Report.
(3) Mineral resource tonnage and contained metal have been rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate, and numbers may not add due to rounding.
(4) Cu-Eq (copper equivalent grade) is based on the mill recovery to concentrates and metal prices presented in Table 14-33 of the 2018 Technical Report.
(5) The Measured and Indicated mineral resources are inclusive of the mineral reserves. 

NorthMet Reserve

 Class   Grades (Undiluted)
Tonnage
(x 1,000)
Copper
(%)
Nickel
(%)
Platinum
(ppb)
Palladium
(ppb)
Gold
(ppb)
Cobalt
(ppm)
Silver
(ppm)
Proven
Probable
121,849
132,820
0.308
0.281
0.087
0.081
82
78
282
256
41
37
74.81
74.06
1.11
1.02

Total 245,669 0.294 0.084 80 268 39 74.42 1.06
Notes:
(1)  Mineral reserve tonnage and contained metal have been rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate, and numbers may not add due to rounding.
(2)  All reserves are stated above a $7.98 NSR cutoff and bound within the final pit design.
(3)  Tonnage and grade estimates are in imperial units.
(4)  Total tonnage within the pit is 628,499 ktons; average waste: ore ratio = 1.47.
(5)  Cu-Eq values are based on the metal prices in Table 15-2 and total mill recoveries in Table 15-3 of the 2018 Technical Report and diluted mill feed.
(6)  Copper equivalent (CuEq) = ((Cu head grade x recovery x Cu Price) + (Ni head grade x recovery x Ni Price) + (Pt head grade x recovery x Pt Price) + (Pd head grade x recovery x Pd Price) + (Au head grade x recovery x Au Price) + (Co head grade x recovery x Co Price) + (Ag head grade x recovery x Ag Price)) / (Cu head grade x recovery x Cu Price).
(7)  NSR values include post property concentrate transportation, smelting and refining costs and payable metal calculations.

NorthMet Production

 Life of mine average annual production UOM Phase I Phase I & II
Copper
Nickel
Cobalt
Platinum
Palladium
Gold
Silver
000 lbs
000 lbs
000 lbs
koz
koz
koz
koz
54,792
6,646
281
8
42
2
48
57,754
8,711
311
14
59
4
48
 Average annual production (Years 2-6) UOM Phase I Phase I & II
Copper
Nickel
Cobalt
Platinum
Palladium
Gold
Silver
000 lbs
000 lbs
000 lbs
koz
koz
koz
koz
66,748
7,867
333
12
58
3
68
69,384
9,647
352
19
73
6
68

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