May 6, 2014, Vancouver, BC -- Heatherdale Resources Ltd. ("Heatherdale" or the "Company") (TSXV:HTR) is pleased to report the Alaska State Legislature has unanimously passed Senate Bill 99 ("SB 99"), which includes a provision authorizing the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority ("AIDEA") to provide up to $125 million in financing for infrastructure and construction costs at the Niblack Project -- a potential copper-gold-zinc-silver underground mine on Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska.
State legislators from both sides of the aisle supported the bill as it passed the Alaska State House and Senate unanimously. SB 99 authorizes AIDEA to provide financial support to several important economic development projects in Southeast Alaska -- including Niblack and the Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare earth project. The legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Lesil McGuire (R), with a key amendment introduced by Senator Bert Stedman (R), and presented in the House by Representative Eric Feige (R) and cross-sponsored by Representatives Cathy Muñoz (R), Sam Kito III (D), Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D), Peggy Wilson (R), Doug Isaacson (R), Andy Josephson (D) and Les Gara (D).
The Niblack provision of SB 99 authorizes AIDEA to issue bonds to finance the construction of key infrastructure for the Niblack Project up to $125 million -- including a mineral processing mill and dock, loading and associated infrastructure facilities at the Gravina Island Industrial Complex ("GIIC"), and other facilities at the Niblack Project site on Prince of Wales Island. The processing mill and associated dock, loading and infrastructure facilities could be owned and/or financed by AIDEA.
"The bipartisan support that SB 99 received in both houses of the Legislature speaks to the importance of economic development in Southeast Alaska and Niblack's role in the future of the region," said Heatherdale President & CEO Patrick Smith. "I am very pleased with the tremendous support the Niblack Project has received, and want to thank all the members of Alaska's State Senate and House of Representatives for their hard work on this important legislation."
Smith said Heatherdale and the Niblack Project have been fortunate to receive widespread support from all levels of government and communities throughout Southeast Alaska, including business groups, individual businesses and citizens who actively supported the passage of SB 99 through direct contact with their elected officials. He noted the Ketchikan Gateway Borough ("KGB") submitted a resolution in support of SB 99; and AIDEA provided testimony in support of the Niblack provision of the bill.
"We deeply appreciate the efforts of all elected officials, businesses and individual citizens who supported this legislation, and in doing so issued a vote of confidence in Heatherdale as the developer of this important project for the region and the state," Smith said. "We look forward to securing a major funding partner for Niblack, and to moving the project into permitting, construction and operations in the months and years ahead."
"I am pleased with the strong support we got for this bill which features responsible resource development," said Alaska State Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage). "This mining project is a step forward in revitalizing the economy in Southeast Alaska by providing significant employment opportunities. The renovation of the old lumber mill site will create value-added exports, and partnering the developers with AIDEA ensures fiscal responsibility with benefits to the entire state. This is exactly the kind of win-win situation I was looking for."
SB 99 next goes to the Alaska Governor's office for formal signing. The passage of the bill does not commit AIDEA or the State of Alaska to any action. AIDEA must still go through its conventional project evaluation and due diligence process prior to authorizing infrastructure financing for the Niblack Project.
Heatherdale's 100%-owned Niblack Project has excellent potential to support an important copper-gold-zinc silver underground mining operation. In 2013, Heatherdale reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with AIDEA to work collaboratively to advance the Niblack Project. The agreement covers a range of initiatives, including investigating potential plans to assist with financing energy facilities and other project infrastructure. The AIDEA MOU builds on an October 2012 MOU with the KGB, which defines the process by which Heatherdale and the Borough will investigate the suitability of the GIIC as a prospective site for off-site processing of Niblack material. This already-established industrial site provides excellent access to clean hydroelectric power and a local workforce.
The Niblack Project is located on tidewater near Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska, an area with a skilled workforce, excellent power and transportation infrastructure as well as a long history of public and official support for responsible mineral resource development and mining.
Since 2009, Heatherdale has invested some $37 million and drilled more than 200,000 feet of core to define 5.6 million tonnes of Indicated and 3.4 million tonnes of Inferred mineral resources1 at Niblack. While possessing significant potential for expansion, the known mineral resources at Niblack provide a solid basis for the initiation of engineering, environmental baseline and other technical studies necessary for project planning and permitting.
For more information on Heatherdale Resources Ltd., please visit the Company's website at www.heatherdaleresources.com or contact Investor Services at (604) 684-6365 or within North America at 1-800-667-2114.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
President and CEO
1Indicated grades 0.95% copper, 1.75 g/t gold, 1.73% zinc, 29.52 g/t silver and inferred grades 0.81% copper, 1.32 g/t gold, 1.29% zinc, 20.10 g/t silver at a US$50 NSR cut-off. For further details see the Heatherdale November 29, 2011 news release.