Callinex Announces Results of Initial Preliminary Economic Assessment that Generates a 34% IRR and a $230M NPV8% at the Nash Creek and Superjack Projects

PEA Highlights:

  • Average annual production of 77M pounds of zinc, 15M pounds of lead and 437K ounces of silver over a ten year mine life;
  • Life of Mine (“LOM”) undiscounted pre-tax net cash flow of C$483M (C$293M post-tax);
  • Pre-tax IRR of a 34.1% (25.2% post-tax) and a pre-tax NPV8% of C$230M (C$128M post-tax) with a payback period of 2.4 years (2.8 years post-tax);
  • LOM all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”) of C$0.37 per pound of zinc produced, net by-product credits;
  • Total pre-production capital costs of C$168 million (including 18% contingency);
  • Assumed metal prices of US$1.25 per lb of zinc, US$1.10 per lb of lead, US$17 per ounce of silver and a C$/US$ exchange rate of 0.77; and
  • Potential to materially enhance the economic return with additional drilling over the district-scale land package.

Vancouver, British ColumbiaMay 14, 2018Callinex Mines Inc. (the “Company” or “Callinex”) (TSX-V: CNX; OTCQX: CLLXF) is pleased to announce results from an independent initial Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) on the Company’s 100% owned Nash Creek and Superjack Projects located in the Bathurst Mining District of New Brunswick, Canada (See Figure 1 and Figure 2).

The initial PEA outlines a 10-year, 3,900 tpd open-pit mining operation with a Dense Media Separation (“DMS”) plant and 1,950 tpd conventional flotation process facility at the Nash Creek Project (the “Project”). The mine plan generates a strong economic return with a pre-tax internal rate of return (“IRR”) of a 34.1% (25.2% post-tax) and a pre-tax Net Present Value (“NPV”) at an 8% discount rate of C$230 million (C$128 million post-tax) based on pre-production capital costs of C$168 million and a zinc price of US$1.25/lb (See Tables 1 and 2). The Company believes there is a clear opportunity to significantly enhance the project’s economics with additional exploration that allows for higher grade material to be scheduled earlier in the mine plan (See Figure 3).

Max Porterfield, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased with the results of this initial PEA that outlines the potential for a new zinc mine at our Nash Creek Project. The results of this PEA, combined with close proximity to infrastructure and a district-scale land package, represents a highly attractive scenario for Callinex shareholders.”

The Nash Creek Deposit is open for expansion in several directions with relatively few drill holes located outside of the Mineral Resource area. The 2017 drilling campaign on the Nash Creek Deposit, the first to ever be completed by the Company, led to a 74% increase in Indicated Mineral Resource zinc equivalent (“Zn Eq.”) pounds and a 385% increase in Inferred Mineral Resource zinc equivalent pounds (See News Release dated April 16, 2018). Additionally, the Project encompasses several untested high-grade mineral occurrences over a highly prospective 20 km long trend. The Company plans to commence permitting while aggressively advancing exploration opportunities within this underexplored 150 km² district-scale land package.

Video Overview of the Nash Creek Project

Cautionary Note on PEA. The PEA is preliminary in nature and it includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.

The Nash Creek and Superjack Projects benefit from world-class infrastructure within close proximity. The Nash Creek Deposit is located approximately 1 km from Provincial Highway 11 and a 230 Kv high-voltage transmission lines and only 25 km by road to Glencore’s Brunswick Smelter, deep water port, railway and power plant near the town of Belledune (See Figure 1 and Figure 2).

The Superjack Project is located 90 km by highway from the Company’s Nash Creek Project and 15 km southwest of the Brunswick No. 12 Mine, which was previously the largest underground mine in the world (See Figure 1).  Mineralization at the Superjack Project is hosted within a similar geological environment as the ‘supergiant’ Brunswick No. 12 Mine and Trevali’s nearby Caribou Mine.

Callinex anticipates that development of the Nash Creek Project will provide a major economic benefit to the community of Lorne and additional nearby communities within New Brunswick. The PEA assumes that development of the project would create approximately 225 full-time jobs and contribute nearly $200 million in direct tax benefits.

The PEA was prepared under the supervision of Eugene Puritch, P. Eng., FEC, CET of P&E Mining Consultants Inc. the technical report will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.

Opportunities and Exploration Potential

The Company’s management team is very encouraged about the strong economic results generated from its initial PEA and the opportunities for further improvement with additional exploration, especially considering that only limited drilling has occurred outside of the Mineral Resource area. Notable opportunities for further improvement include:

  • Exploration or acquisition activities resulting in the addition of higher-grade material after year one of the mine plan which could have potential to significantly increase the IRR and NPV8% (See Figure 3);
  • Expand the 10-year mine life with additional exploration success at the Nash Creek Deposit, which is open for expansion, to increase the NPV8% and evaluate increasing process plant throughput with potential to lower unit costs and increase production volumes; and
  • Potential for new discoveries within a 150 km2 land package where a primary north-south corridor has several high-grade mineral occurrences up to 19% Pb+Zn at surface with very limited historic drilling.

Overview of PEA Results and Assumptions

Economic Sensitivities and Indicators

Table 1: Economic Sensitivities and Project Economics

The economic sensitivities and project economics are as follows:

ParameterUnitBase CaseSpot Scenario
Zinc Price
Lead Price
Silver Price
Exchange Rate
Pre-tax Undiscounted Net Cash FlowC$M$483.4$582.6
Pre-tax NPV5%C$M$303.9$372.7
Pre-tax NPV8%C$M$230.2$286.6
Pre-tax IRR%34.1%39.2%
Pre-tax Payback Periodyears2.42.1
After-tax Undiscounted Net Cash FlowC$M$292.5$350.7
After-tax NPV5%C$M$175.7$216.2
After-tax NPV8%C$M$127.6$160.7
After-tax IRR%25.2%28.8%
After-tax Payback Periodyears2.82.6
Net Smelter ReturnC$/t DMS plant feed$80.13$87.07
Operating MarginC$/t DMS plant feed$49.28$56.23
Total Operating Cost (Incl. royalty)C$/t DMS plant feed$30.94$31.01
Total Operating Cost (Incl. royalty)C$/lb Zn Produced$0.30$0.31
All-in Sustaining Costs (Excl. G&A)C$/lb Zn Produced$0.37$0.38

 Mining and Processing Method

The PEA assumes a conventional truck and excavator open-pit mining operation at an average annual process plant production rate of 1,425,000 tonnes per annum over a mine life of approximately 10 years. Mining operations will reach an annual average total material movement of 10 million tonnes using 11.5 m3 diesel hydraulic excavators, 90 tonne haulage trucks, and track mounted diesel powered drill rigs with up to 200 mm diameter blastholes drilled on 5 and 10 metre height benches.

The mined material will be processed at a new 3,950 tonne per day dense media plant and a 1,950 day tonne per day grinding and flotation plant located on the Project site. Two concentrates will be produced; zinc-silver and lead-silver.  It is anticipated that lead concentrates could be processed at the nearby Belledune Smelter and zinc concentrates at Valleyfield, QC. The zinc concentrates also have potential to be processed overseas via the deep water port from Belledune although this alternate option was outside the scope of the PEA and was not investigated. A review of metallurgical test work has not identified any deleterious elements that would impact the marketability of the zinc and lead concentrates, which are considered of good quality.

Table 2: Mine Production Summary(1)

The operating assumptions for the financial model are as follows:

ParameterUnitBase Case
Mine LifeYears10
Annual Production in Concentrate
Zn Eq.
M Lbs
M Lbs
M Lbs
M Oz
Tonnes Mined (LOM)
Nash Creek
Strip Ratio (LOM)Waste to Mill Feed6.7
DMS Plant Feed
Zn Eq.
DMS Rejection Rate%50.0%
DMS Sulphide Loss%7.0%
Mill Feed (LOM)Mt7.2
Average Head Grade (LOM)
Zn Eq.
Average Recovery to Concentrate
Zinc (Zinc Concentrate)
Lead (Lead Concentrate)
Silver (Lead and Zinc Concentrate)
Zinc in Zinc Concentrate%53.8%
Silver in Zinc Concentrateg/t105
Lead  in Lead Concentrate%50.3%
Silver in Lead Concentrateg/t517
Zinc Concentrate Terms
Treatment Charge
Transportation Cost
Payable Rate for Zinc
NSR from Zinc ConcentrateC$M$939
Lead Concentrate Terms
Treatment Charge
Transportation Cost
Payable Rate for Lead
NSR from Lead ConcentrateC$M$217
  • Zinc equivalent calculation used to reference PEA figures is based on the following metal prices: zinc US$2,755/t (1.25/lb), lead US$2,205/t (1.10/lb), and silver US$17.0 per oz. Metal recoveries of 100% were applied in the metal equivalent calculations. The zinc equivalent calculation is as follows: Zn Eq = 100 ((Ag Price in (g) x Ag Grade) + (Pb Price*2204.6 x Pb Grade(%)/100) + (Zn Price*2204.6 x (Zn Grade(%)/100))/Zn Price*2204.6).

Operating and Capital Costs

Table 3: Operating Cost

The anticipated operating costs are as follows:

ParameterUnitUnit CostLOM Costs (C$M)
Mining Cost (Ovb)C$/t mined$2.00$7.4
Mining Cost (Waste)C$/t mined$2.35$209.0
Mining Cost (Mineralized)C$/t mined$2.75$ 39.9
Superjack Ore TransportC$/t mined$13.00$ 16.8
DMS Processing CostC$/t mined$0.20$ 2.9
Flotation Processing CostC$/t milled$13.20$95.2
Tailings HandlingC$/t DMS feed$1.25$17.1
EnvironmentalC$/t DMS feed$1.44$20.8
Total Operating CostC$/t mined $30.94$434.8

Table 4:Life of Mine Capital Costs

The initial and sustaining capital costs are presented as follows:

CategoryContingencyInitial  (C$M)
Mine Pre-Stripping5%$10.2
Mining Capital Cost20%$5.3
Process Plant with DMS (Directs)20%$63.1
Permitting and Tailings10%$16.7
Contingency Total18%$31.4
Total Initial Capital Cost $168.3
CategoryContingencySustaining (C$M)
Mine & Equipment Lease20%$31.1
Process Plant with DMS10%$3.0
Closure & Reclamation10%$15.8
Contingency Total15%$8.0
Total Sustaining Capital $57.9
Total Capital Cost $226.2

 Project Infrastructure

The Project will benefit from infrastructure, services and skilled labour available in the Bathurst Mining Camp. The Nash Creek Project site is located approximately 50 km northwest of the city of Bathurst and is accessible year-round from paved Provincial Highway 11 and a 1 km paved road.  Project site infrastructure is anticipated to include:

  • Plant site and haul roads;
  • Administration buildings and assay lab;
  • Mine maintenance shop, warehouse and fuel storage facilities;
  • Fresh water supply and sewage treatment; and
  • Lined tailings storage area.

The proposed Nash Creek Project mill and process plant site is ideally located on the access road to the open pit and on private land owned by Callinex. The proposed processing plant site is located on a relatively flat area adjacent to the open pit. A small creek valley to the west of the open pit provides a suitable site for a dammed tailings management facility for the first 4 years of mine life. Thereafter, tailings will be deposited into the first small pit area to be mined out. Power to the site will be supplied by a 1 km transmission line connecting to the nearby 230 kV provincial grid.

Environmental, Permitting and Taxes

The PEA envisages potential to create approximately 225 jobs if the project is advanced into production. The project could have a major impact within the surrounding communities of Lorne and Belledune, where there are limited number of economic opportunities resulting in a unemployment rate exceeding 20%. The nearby cities of Bathurst and Cambellton located within 50 km to the Project also have higher unemployment rates of approximately 11%. In addition to the potential for direct job creation, the PEA outlines gross taxes and royalty payable to the Province of New Brunswick of approximately $130 million and approximately $64 million to the Government of Canada (See Table 6).

The Nash Creek Project will be subject to federal, provincial and local regulatory requirements. The principal provincial legislation related to the approval of mining projects and environmental impact assessment (EIA) and are the New Brunswick Mining Act and General Regulation 86-98 of The Clean Environment Act and EIA Regulation 87-83, and Water Quality Regulation 82-126. Relevant key federal legislation includes the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Fisheries Act and Metal Mining Effluent Regulations. The New Brunswick Department Energy and Resource Development has provided a concise guide to the mine approval process.

The relatively low sulphide content of the Nash Creek mineralization is anticipated to have low waste rock ARD potential. Additionally, identifiable ARD material will be placed in the mined out open pits at the end of the Project life.

Table 5: Taxes Payable

ParameterUnitTax RateTaxes Paid
Federal Income TaxC$M15.0%$63.2
New Brunswick Income TaxC$M14.0%$58.9
NB Net Profit Mining TaxC$M16.0%$61.6
NB Net Revenue TaxC$M2.0%$17.2
Gross Tax PayableC$M40.2%$200.9

Conceptual Toll Milling Scenario

P&E investigated the concept of transporting the mined mineralized material with DMS upgrading to a hypothetical toll milling facility within the Bathurst Mining District located 100 km from the Nash Creek Project. Transport costs of C$15/tonne and toll processing costs of C$24/tonne were assumed. This scenario provided robust economic return on capital with a pre-tax IRR of 46.9% (32.3% post-tax) and a pre-tax NPV8% of C$125 million (C$69 million post-tax) with a pre-production capital cost of $62.2M

Mineral Resource Estimates Incorporated in PEA

The PEA mine plans assumes that 14.4 million tonnes of diluted mineralized material grading 3.1% Zn Eq. (2.9% Zn, 0.6% Pb and 20.3 g/t Ag) is delivered to the DMS plant. The table below outlines the total Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources (See News Release dated April 16, 2018), including those that were not included within the mine plan.

Table 6: Mineral Resource Estimates for the Nash Creek and Superjack Projects

Indicated Mineral Resources
ProjectTonnesZn Eq.


Zn (%)Pb


Ag (g/t)Cu


Contained Zn Eq.

(M lbs)

Nash Creek13,592,0003.212.680.5817.8n/a963.4
Inferred Mineral Resources
ProjectTonnesZn Eq. (%)Zn (%)Pb (%)Ag




Contained Zn Eq.

(M lbs)

Nash Creek5,929,0003.112.680.4713.9n/a407.1


  1. Mineral Resources are categorized according to CIM Definition Standards; it cannot be assumed that all or any part of Inferred Mineral Resources will be upgraded to Indicated or Measured as a result of continued exploration.
  2. The Nash Creek Mineral Resource Estimate includes the Hickey Zone and Hayes Zone.
  3. The Superjack Mineral Resource Estimates includes the Nepisiguit A (the “A Zone”) and Nepisiguit C Zones (the “C Zone”).
  4. Zinc equivalent Mineral Resources for the Nash Creek Project based on trailing 3-year metal prices and metallurgical recovery assumptions based on limited testwork.  Zinc equivalency is calculated as Zn%+ 0.747*Pb% + 0.006*Ag_ppm.
  5.  A cut-off grade of 1.5% Zn Eq. was utilized in the resource estimate.
  6. Zinc equivalent Mineral Resources for the Superjack Project were calculated using metal prices of $1.12/lb for zinc, $1.06/lb for lead, $2.97/lb for copper and $20.38/oz for silver. Metal recoveries have been assumed to be 100% for zinc, 72% for lead, 86% for copper and 70% for silver. A cut-off grade of 1.5% Zn Eq. was utilized in the Mineral Resource Estimate.

 Figure 1: Map of the Bathurst Mining District of New Brunswick

Figure 2: Nash Creek Land Package

Figure 3: Nash Creek Production Schedule Overview – Operating Cash Flow and Zinc Grades

Figure 4: Nash Creek Provides Leverage to Zinc and Lead PricesFigure 5: Conceptual Nash Creek Open Pit with Mineral Resources

Qualified Persons Statement

The PEA was prepared under the supervision of Eugene Puritch, P. Eng., FEC, CET of P&E Mining Consultants Inc. Mr. Puritch is an independent Qualified Person in accordance with NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this news release.

Cautionary Note on PEA

The PEA is preliminary in nature and it includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.

About Callinex Mines Inc.

Callinex Mines Inc. (TSX-V: CNX ; OTCQX: CLLXF) is advancing its portfolio of zinc rich deposits located in established Canadian mining jurisdictions. The portfolio is highlighted by its Nash Creek and Superjack deposits in the Bathurst Mining District of New Brunswick. A 2018 PEA outlined a mine plan that generates a strong economic return with a pre-tax IRR of a 34.1% (25.2% post-tax) and a pre-tax NPV8% of C$230 million (C$128 million post-tax). The projects have significant exploration upside over a district-scale land package that encompasses several high-grade mineral occurrences along a 20 km trend.

Callinex has a project portfolio that also includes projects within the Flin Flon Mining District of Manitoba that are located 25 km to an operating processing facility that requires additional ore. The Company’s projects host Indicated resources of 13.6 Mt averaging 3.2% Zn Eq. totaling 963 million pounds and Inferred resources of 23.2 Mt averaging 5.2% Zn Eq. totaling 2.7 billion pounds (See News Release dated April 16, 2018).

For additional information, please contact:

Callinex Mines Inc.
Max Porterfield, President and Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (604) 605-0885

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.

Some statements in this news release contain forward-looking information. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future expenditures. These statements address future events and conditions and, as such, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements. Such factors include, among others, the ability to complete the proposed drill program and the timing and amount of expenditures. Except as required under applicable securities laws, Callinex does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.