TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/03/13 -- CHAMPION IRON MINES LIMITED (TSX: CHM)(FRANKFURT: P02) ("Champion", or the "Company") is pleased to update the development and status of its 100% owned Consolidated Fire Lake North Project ("FLN Project"). The Company made substantial progress during 2012 in advancing major elements of the FLN Project including increasing and upgrading the mineral resources on the property, confirming the metallurgical profile and marketability of the concentrate product, negotiating port access at Sept Iles/Pointe Noire, developing rail transportation options and other project infrastructure.
Champion expects to release a preliminary feasibility study in January 2013 further refining the project operating assumptions and economics. This study is the culmination of two years of exploration and development during which Champion's project team has demonstrated the unique profile and viability of the FLN Project. However, the Company will continue to assess its options and key elements of the FLN Project, particularly rail transportation alternatives to further enhance the mine plan, operating parameters, and capital and operating cost estimates. The results of this work and the ongoing Canadian National Railway ("CN")/La Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec ("Caisse") North Shore rail feasibility study (see the Company's press release dated August 29, 2012) are expected to be included in a FLN Project feasibility study in July 2013.
Thomas Larsen, Champion's President and CEO commented, "During this past year, our project team successfully advanced the Fire Lake North Project on a number of fronts. We confirmed our Fermont iron ore deposits can compete globally in terms of resource size, product quality and demonstrated the potential for a world class mine at Fire Lake North. I look forward to 2013 with confidence that we will further advance Fire Lake North and move the project closer to operation. He added, "recent investment by major Asian steel producers in the Fermont area of the Labrador Trough are very encouraging and confirm the attractiveness and value of these iron ore deposits."
In 2012, following two successful Preliminary Economic Assessment studies (see press releases dated November 3, 2010 and January 6, 2012, respectively) that confirmed the technical and economic viability of the iron resources at the FLN Project, the Company proceeded with several initiatives to advance the project to the feasibility study stage.
Metallurgical Testing and Product Marketing
Metallurgical test results on various samples from the Fire Lake North deposit confirmed that an excellent grade and superior quality of sinter concentrate can be produced from the FLN Project. A highly saleable sinter-feed product, produced from mainly hematite ore, can be processed using a conventional Autogenous Grinding mill with standard three-stage gravity spiral beneficiation process. The sinter-feed product has been generated both from both heavy-liquid separation Wilfley tables and from pilot-plant testing. Confirmatory tests on the metallurgy and product specification conducted at a second laboratory closely duplicated results from the first laboratory.
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