| ||February 26, 2009|
North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. Net Earnings of $4.92 Million (after dilution gain) in First Quarter of Fiscal 2009 -- Quarterly Sales Revenue of $17.8 Million outpace the Previous Year's by 49.7%
| ||VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA: North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. (or "the Company") (NTC: TSX-V) today announced its results for the three months ending Dec. 31, 2008, (the "First Quarter" or "Q1") including the results of operations at its Cantung tungsten mine in the Northwest Territories and an important milestone in development of its Mactung project in the Yukon.|
For the First Quarter, North American Tungsten had net earnings of $4.92 million, or 4¢ per share; by way of comparison, in the first three months of Fiscal 2008, the company registered a net loss of $4 million. Sales revenues in the First Quarter were $17.6 million -- a 49.7% increase over the first three months of 2008. The gross operating margin increased from a loss of $2 million in Q1 2008 to earnings of $3.8 million in the First Quarter.
During the First Quarter, the Company generated revenues from sales of both tungsten concentrates and ammonium paratungstate ("APT") that was processed from concentrates. The net earnings comprised of $1.8 million before the dilution gain. The dilution gain of $3.1 million was realized from the Company's reorganization of its subsidiary Tungsten Diversified Industries, LLC (formerly Tungsten Joint Venture, LLC). The company retains a 43.2% participation in Tungsten Diversified Industries, LLC -- a joint venture created to produce value-added tungsten products (see News Release December 23, 2008).
In the First Quarter, the Cantung mine produced 79,978 metric tonne units (MTUs) of tungsten concentrate - a 22% increase over Q1 of 2008. The mill processed 100,607 tons grading 1.17% WO3 compared with 94,916 tons grading 1.03% WO3 (tungsten trioxide) the previous year.
Recovery for the period averaged 74.6%, compared to 73.6% in Q1 of 2008. "The increased production, higher recovery rates, and improved grades reflected the company's strong focus on grade control," the Company's Chairman and CEO, Stephen Leahy, explained.
"This was a busy and very positive quarter for us", Mr. Leahy added. "Our emphasis on quality control produced noticeable gains; in addition, favourable exchange rates, higher realized tungsten prices, and improved mill processing technology all contributed to our operating profitably during the quarter."
During the First Quarter, North American Tungsten released an NI 43-101 compliant report on updated reserves and resources for the Cantung mine. As of Sept. 30, 2008, probable reserves were estimated at 655,706 tons with an average grade of 1.1% WO3.
Indicated mineral resources at Cantung are estimated at 1.43 million tons grading 1.25% WO3. (See News Release dated January 29, 2009)
Subsequent to the first Quarter the Company also released its bankable feasibility study for the Mactung property -- one of the world's largest known high grade undeveloped tungsten-skarn deposit. Indicated mineral resources at Mactung are estimated at 33 million tons grading .88% WO3. Underground indicated mineral reserves have been calculated at 8.2 million tons grading 1.09% WO3. (See News Release dated March 14, 2007). Wardrop Engineering Inc. estimated the project would generate a 23.5% pre-tax internal rate of return. Mactung's estimated pre-tax net present value is $277 million (discounted at 8%). An underground mine that would run at a 2,000 tonnes per day - would have an 11-year life, Wardrop estimated. This life of mine could be extended by an additional 17 years if lower-grade, near surface resources were exploited.
Although the additional potential mine life would further enhance the Mactung project's economics, exploitation of the open-pit resources was not included among the considerations of the project's economic feasibility. The project will require a capital outlay of $356.5 million plus a contingency of $45.6 million; capital payback would occur in 2.9 years. North American Tungsten has initiated an application on the Mactung project to the environmental review process managed by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. (See News Release dated February 23, 2009).
ABOUT NORTH AMERICAN TUNGSTEN CORPORATION LTD.
The Company is a publicly listed Tier 1 Junior Resource Company engaged primarily in the operation, development, and acquisition of tungsten and other related mineral properties in Canada. The Company's 100% owned Cantung mine and MacTung development project make it one of the few tungsten producers with both a producing mine and strategic development asset in the western world. MacTung is one of the world's largest known undeveloped high grade tungsten-skarn deposits.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
"Stephen M. Leahy"
Stephen M. Leahy
Chairman & CEO
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term as defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release." Cautionary Note: The Company relies upon litigation protection for "forward-looking" statements.
Safe Harbour Statement under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and similar Canadian legislation: Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, the information presented contains "Forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and similar Canadian legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects," "budget," "scheduled," "estimates," "forecasts," "intends," "anticipates," "believes," or variation of such words and phrases that refer to certain actions, events or results to be taken, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. To be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the actual results of reclamation activities, the estimation or realization of mineral reserves and resources, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, future prices of commodities, possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates, efficacy and efficiency of milling process, failure of plant, equipments or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents, labour disputes and other risks in the mining industry. Although North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained herein and in North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd.'s other filing incorporated by reference.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources: This press release may use the terms "Measured," "indicated" and "inferred" Resources. United States investors are advised that while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulators, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize them. "Inferred Mineral Resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. United States investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources will ever be converted into Mineral Reserves. United States investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.
Toni Williamson, Corporate Geologist
Phone: +1.416.602.2665 Fax: +1.604.684.2992
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