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Press release from CNW Group

DNI Announces 250 Million Ton Inferred Resource for REE-Y-Sc-Th from the Buckton Mineralized Zone on its Alberta Polymetallic Black Shale Projects

Monday, January 16, 2012

DNI Announces 250 Million Ton Inferred Resource for REE-Y-Sc-Th from the Buckton Mineralized Zone on its Alberta Polymetallic Black Shale Projects16:44 EST Monday, January 16, 2012DNI METALS INC. (DNI : TSX-Ven)(DG7 : Frankfurt)TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - DNI Metals Inc. (DNI:TSX-Ven)(DG7:FSE) is pleased to announce a mineral resource of REE-Y-Sc-Th, to report estimates for REE-Y-Sc-Th contained within the 250,092,000 short ton Buckton maiden inferred resource (announced Oct24/2011) which related only to Base metals, Uranium and Lithium. The REE-Y-Sc-Th resource being announced is, accordingly, supplemental to Mo-Ni-U-V-Zn-Cu-Co-Li previously announced in the Buckton maiden inferred resource, all of which are hosted in a 5.7 sq km portion of the Buckton Mineralized Zone believed to extend over 26 sq km. To the extent that REE-Y-Sc-Th are incidentally recovered during leaching of base metals from the mineralized black shales comprising the Zone, they are co-products which can be expected to offer additional value recoverable from the Buckton Zone.As outlined in the technical report for the Property dated Oct28/2008 (announced Nov10/2008, revised in press release of Jul15/2011), the Buckton Mineralized Zone is a conceptual target for further exploration based on surface sampling and historic widely spaced drilling. This Zone is projected to extend over 26 sq km and is open in three directions. Sufficient drilling was completed over a portion of this Zone by DNI to classify a portion of it to an initial inferred resource extending over 5.7 sq km. The Buckton Mineralized Zone is one of six mineralized systems, or zones, identified on the 2,720 square kilometer Property, and it is the most advanced with sufficient drilling to enable estimation of mineral resources over a portion of it.The resource study for REE-Y-Sc-Th (the "Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study") was prepared by Apex Geoscience Ltd ("Apex"), Edmonton, under the supervision of Mr.Roy Eccles PGeol and Mr.Michael Dufresne PGeol, who are the Qualified Persons in connection with its preparation and are independent of DNI. The Study relies on DNI's 2010-2011 winter drilling over the Zone, together with historic drilling from the area. The foregoing drilling campaigns were implemented by Apex under the supervision of Mr.Dufresne. DNI completed verification sampling and analysis of archived core from some of the historic drilling in 2008 and 2009. The Study complies with National Instrument 43-101 and CIM resource estimation guidelines. This press release is a summary of salient conclusions from the Buckton REE Resource Study report which will be filed to SEDAR shortly. The report will also be available from DNI's website www.dnimetals.com once it is filed.The REE-Y-Sc-Th inferred mineral resource reported by the Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study is classified as an inferred resource consisting of 250,092,000 short tons (226,880,000 metric tonnes) of mineralized Second White Speckled black Shale, beneath less than 75m of overburden cover, which is mineralized with recoverable Lanthanum (La), Cerium (Ce), Praseodymium (Pr), Neodymium (Nd), Samarium (Sm), Europium (Eu), Gadolinium (Gd), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy), Yttrium (Y), Scandium (Sc) and Thorium (Th), representing an average recoverable grade of 0.48 lb/ton TREOY (Total rare earth oxides including Y, excluding Sc and Th) in addition to 0.02 lb/ton Sc and 0.02 lb/ton Th. These metals are supplemental to Base metals, Uranium and Lithium contained within the Buckton maiden inferred resource previously announced (Oct24/2011). The resource includes 124,031,000 short tons and 19,847,000 short tons of similar grading material which are under less than 50m and 25m of overburden cover, respectively.Details of the Buckton REE-Y-Sc-Th inferred resource reported by the Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study are tabulated below.REE-Y-Sc-Th Resource Estimate Supplementary to the Buckton Maiden Inferred Resource  (table cnt'd below)REE-Y-Sc-Th Inferred ResourceMineralized Shale (tons)250,092,000 La2O3Ce2O3Pr2O3Nd2O3Sm2O3Eu2O3Gd2O3Tb2O3Raw Grade (ppm)  60961350112102Recovery    %70%70%65%70%85%85%85%90%Recoverable Grade (ppm) 42678359281Recoverable Grade (kg/tonne) 0.0420.0670.0080.0350.0090.0020.0080.001Recoverable Grade (lb/ton) 0.0840.1350.0170.0690.0180.0040.0160.003Metal Prices (US$/kg)43418193391,203561,017Recoverable Metal Oxide (kg)9,475,84115,258,5011,911,7927,868,3162,047,474417,0681,831,110303,420Recoverable Metal Oxide (lb)20,846,85033,568,7024,205,94217,310,2954,504,443917,5504,028,442667,524*See notes below.REE-Y-Sc-Th Resource Estimate Supplementary to the Buckton Maiden Inferred ResourceREE-Y-Sc-Th Inferred ResourceMineralized Shale (tons)250,092,000 Dy2O3Ho2O3Er2O3Tm2O3Yb2O3Lu2O3Y2O3Sc2O3ThO2Raw Grade (ppm)  825151581711Recovery    %90%75%90%75%80%75%90%55%80%Recoverable Grade (ppm) 71414152109Recoverable Grade (kg/tonne) 0.0070.0010.0040.0010.0040.0010.0520.0100.009Recoverable Grade (lb/ton) 0.0150.0030.0090.0010.0070.0010.1040.0190.018Metal Prices (US$/kg)5482762409777719573,528252Recoverable Metal Oxide (kg)1,682,194284,728964,717117,273819,952120,85111,782,3912,150,5782,069,674Recoverable Metal Oxide (lb)3,700,827626,4022,122,377258,0011,803,894265,87225,921,2604,731,2724,553,283*Metal/Oxide commodity prices used to establish bulk recoverable values for cut-off grade thresholding tests are the three year trailing average to Nov17/2011 for La-Ce-Pr-Nd-Sm-Eu-Gd-Tb-Dy and Y, and the one year trailing average to Nov17/2011 for Ho-Er-Yb-Lu and Sc. Tm value from Montviel Core Zone REE resources study 2011 by SGS Canada Inc. Th value per USGS  Mineral Commodity Summaries 2008-2010. Metal prices vary among various commodity information sources and, in all conflicting instances, the lower pricing was used. The 2011 drilling included an appropriate number of analytical standards, blanks and duplicates, and no analytical issues were identified. ton=short ton; lb=pound; kg=Kilogram; Figures may not add exactly due to rounding.Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no guarantee that all or any part of the mineral resource reported herein will be converted into a mineral reserve. An 'Inferred Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes. The individual REEs from the Buckton REE-Y-Sc-Th inferred resource reported by the Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study are grouped and summarized below:Aggregated REE Summaries (excluding Sc and Th)REE-Y-Sc-Th Resource Estimate Supplementary to the Buckton Maiden Inferred Resource HREOY*LREO**TREOY***Raw Grade (ppm)102229320Recoverable Grade (ppm)90161242Recoverable Grade (kg/tonne) 0.080.160.24Recoverable Grade (lb/ton) 0.160.320.48Recoverable Metal Oxide (kg)18,323,70436,561,92454,885,628Recoverable Metal Oxide (lb)40,312,14980,436,233120,748,382*HREOY (Total Heavy Rare Earth Oxides) = the aggregate of Y203, Eu203, Gd203, Tb203, Dy203, Ho2O3, Er203, Tm203, Yb203 and Lu203; **LREO (Total Light Rare Earth Oxides) = the aggregate of La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3. ***TREOY (Total Rare Earth Oxides) = HREOY plus: La203, Ce203, Pr203, Nd203and Sm203; Figures may not add up exactly due to rounding; Sc and Th are excluded from totals tabulated.This REE-Y-Sc-Th resource estimate is intended to be Supplementary to the Buckton Maiden Inferred Resource and it has been classified as an inferred resource according to CIM standards. This classification is based on a number of factors, namely; limited number of drill holes and their wide spacing, good continuity of mineralization and geological control between drill holes and from section to section along approximately 6 km of strike.The Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study concludes that the Buckton inferred mineral resource is mineralization that is believed to have a reasonable prospect for extraction in the future. It represents material which is at a depth of less than 75m from surface, at a US$7.5 per tonne lower cut-off, whose value is represented by the collective value of contained recoverable REEs+Y+Sc+Th, relying on the trailing three or one year average to Nov17/2011 (See above table footnotes for details) and relying on the best achieved metals recoveries as reported from the collective of DNI's leaching testwork (see also press Sept8/2011 and Dec2/2011).The Buckton Supplementary REE resource is open to the north and northeast, and for approximately 300m eastward to the erosional edge of the Birch Mountains over a large area with thin overburden cover where mineralization intermittently outcrops at surface or is intermittently exposed throughout several kilometres of valley walls.The Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study relies on an aggregate of eleven vertical core holes distributed over an area of approximately 5.7 square kilometres, and spaced approximately 240m-2400m apart (averaging 1000m). Notwithstanding systematic vertical grade variations or zonation within the Second White Speckled Shale Formation, bulk averaged grades across the Formation show good uniformity over large distances across the Property. Considering this uniformity, the spacing and number of holes are considered sufficient for the determination of inferred resources, and extrapolation of grades between the drill holes is supported by statistical variography examined during the Study. Whereas base metals and uranium within the Speckled Shale Formation are typically better enriched over its upper portions, REEs are better concentrated over the lower portions of the Formation and are believed to occur principally in ionic form as charged particles adsorbed on clays.The Buckton supplementary REE resource comprises an approximately 5.7 square kilometer, 13m to 23m thick, near-horizontal tabular zone hosted entirely within the Second White Speckled Shale Formation, bounded by its upper and lower contacts. This Formation is exposed throughout the erosional edge of the Birch Mountains but is overlain westward by progressively thicker sequences of other shales and till. Given the uniformity of metals grades within the Shale, the resource is laterally delimited based on depth criteria rather than continuity of metallic mineralization which extends well beyond its limits. Presence of the Speckled Shale for at least 6km to its north and south, and beyond, has been confirmed by oil/gas downhole well logs in the area which report sections of this Shale over a large area extending well beyond the current boundaries of the resources.The Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study consisted of modeling and tonnage estimation using a 3-dimensional block model based on geostatistical applications using commercial mine planning software MICROMINE. The sample file comprised 549 samples of variable length for all lithologies but, when composited in MICROMINE, yielded a database of 200 sample composites for the Second White Speckled Shale which were used for the mineral resource estimation. All drill holes are short vertical holes and, as such, there are no down-hole surveys.Variography was conducted on the composited drill hole data within the Second White Specks shale domain to produce spherical semi variograms. Each metal was modeled individually to determine the continuity and orientation of mineralization. As a result of the wide drill hole spacing a parent model block size of 250mx250mx2m was chosen for the resource estimate, with sub-blocking down to 25mx25mx1m.  The block model was extended far enough past the mineralized wireframe to encompass the entire mineralized shale domain. The recoverable grades for the metals were translated into a US$ value for each block and sub-block relying on the three and one year trailing average metal/oxide price to Nov17/2011 as noted in footnotes to the above tables, and the collective values aggregated to enable testing against a block value base case cut-off of US$7.5 per tonne being the same cut-off previously utilized for the Buckton maiden resource study. According to the foregoing method, the Study concluded that the reported resource represents an average value of US$52.4 per short ton (US$57.7 per tonne) representing the aggregate value of recoverable grades for the fifteen REEs in addition to Sc and Th (Sc accounts for approximately US$30.3 per short ton, or US$33.5 per tonne, of the foregoing aggregate values). This cut-off is considered to be a reasonable benchmark which has been utilized by recent mineral resource estimates for open pit mineable poly-metallic black shales in Sweden as the break-even point and lower cut-off. Considering a scenario of possible open pit mining in northeast Alberta along the eastern edge of the Birch Mountains, with potential for a low strip ratio at startup, the likely free-dig nature of the poorly consolidated Speckled Shale, the potential for easy access to multiple working faces, the location of the project with respect to access, power and other important infrastructure, a lower cut-off value for the mineral resource estimate of US$7.5 per tonne is considered reasonable by the Study as a base case cut-off threshold which also captures a relatively continuous mineralized zone with favourable bulk mining configuration.The Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study notes that although the resource reported represents recoverable REEs which would be incidental co-products to leaching of base metals and uranium from the Second White Speckled Shale at the Buckton Mineralized Zone, the values per ton (or tonne) reported are subject to uncertainties, notably to: (i) uncertainties in long term REE pricing and viability of demand; (ii) the unknown effect of new production on REE markets; and (iii) the ultimate cost of separating REEs from pregnant leaching solutions once they have been leached from the shale and their refinement into useable saleable final products.The Buckton Supplementary REE Resource model was tested and iterated at various scenarios to estimate tonnages constrained by different overburden thicknesses at a US$7.5 per tonne cut-off, including estimation of potential tonnages which are less than 100m-125m below surface. The Study concluded that mineralized tonnages ranging 401,703,000-551,130,000 short tons can be blocked, with similar grades as those of the inferred resource being reported, which are under less than 100m-125m of the surface, which are overlain by 1,410,086,000-2,299,891,000 short tons of overburden. The foregoing tonnages are not resources and cannot currently be classified as resources since it is unclear, in the absence of a rigorous economic assessment, whether they have a reasonable prospect for extraction in the future given the large tonnages of overburden cover rocks overlying them. Intentions are to evaluate significance of the foregoing tonnages in the context of a Preliminary Economic Assessment Study (Scoping Study) in 2012 and until such time they are considered to be mineralized material which is a target for further work whose ultimate quantity and grade are conceptual in nature as there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain whether further exploration will result in discovery of a mineral resource.The Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study concludes that the Buckton Mineralized Zone Supplementary REE Inferred Resource reported herein has excellent potential for expansion to the north and northeast with further drilling, and recommends implementation of certain additional mineralogical and leaching work, in addition to a 5,000m diamond drilling program to expand the resource and to upgrade a portion of it into an Indicated or higher resource classification. This drilling also includes initial holes to test the Buckton South Zone located approximately nine kilometres to the south of the Buckton inferred resources, and which may represent its southerly extension or an entirely separate similar Zone which has not yet been drilled (cored) by DNI, although 12m-23m thick intercepts of the Speckled Shale Formation are reported in downhole logs from approximately twenty historic oil/gas wells throughout a 100-150 square kilometre area.The Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study estimates that the resources reported are overlain by 762,678,000 short tons (691,890,000 metric tonnes) of overburden cover material consisting of LaBiche Formation shales and overlying till. The foregoing overburden material is barren of base metals and uranium, and was, accordingly, considered to be "waste" by the Buckton maiden resource study for the purposes of estimating the base metals and uranium resources. The overburden material does, however, contain REE, Sc and Li which have not yet been fully evaluated even though, based on partial analytical data, their grades are comparable to grades from the Buckton Mineralized Zone (see press Sept8/2011 and Dec2/2011). DNI's leaching testwork to determine recovery of specialty metals and REE from the overburden material has not yet been concluded. Average REE, Sc and Li grades of all drill hole intercepts across the overburden material are summarized below as oxides:Overburden Cover Rocks - REE-Y,Sc and Li - Average Grade of All Drill Intercepts* La2O3Ce2O3Pr2O3Nd2O3Sm2O3Eu2O3Gd2O3Tb2O3Dy2O3Raw Grade (ppm)  458293562615Raw Grade (lb/ton)0.0910.1640.0190.0700.0130.0030.0110.0020.010  Ho2O3Er2O3Tm2O3Yb2O3Lu2O3Y2O3Sc2O3ThO2Li2CO3Raw Grade (ppm)  na3na3na3722na379Raw Grade (lb/ton)na0.006na0.007na0.0750.043na0.76  HREOYLREOTREOY      Raw Grade (ppm)  57178235      Raw Grade (lb/ton)0.110.360.47      *See press release Dec2/2011 for detailed underlying data; na = no data available; HREOY (Total Heavy Rare Earth Oxides) = the aggregate of Y203, Eu203, Gd203, Tb203, Dy203, Ho2O3, Er203, Tm203, Yb203 and Lu203; LREO (Total Light Rare Earth Oxides) = the aggregate of La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3. TREOY (Total Rare Earth Oxides) = HREOY plus: La203, Ce203, Pr203, Nd203and Sm203; Figures may not add up exactly due to rounding.In a statement Mr.S.Sabag, DNI's president & CEO, commented: "… we are excited to have commenced evaluation of the rare earth elements and specialty metal co-products which are incidentally extracted during leaching of base metals and uranium from our black shales, since they will add value to the inferred resources identified at our Buckton Mineralized Zone. We are particularly excited to have discovered REEs in the Zone which likely occur as readily extractable charged ions adsorbed on clays in the shale, with similarities to REE deposits hosted in bulk mineable ionic adsorbed clays thus far known to occur only in China, and which are the principal source of heavy REE world supply. DNI will continue its work to further expand and upgrade the reported resource at the Buckton Mineralized Zone and plans to shift near term attention to evaluating the potential of specialty metals and REEs contained in the black shale Zone and overburden cover material overlying it".The Qualified Persons in connection with the preparation of the Buckton Supplementary REE Resource Study are Mr.Roy Eccles PGeol and Mr.Michael Dufresne PGeol who are independent of DNI. The Qualified Person in connection with this press release and in respect of the Alberta polymetallic black shale projects is S.F.Sabag PGeo, President and CEO of DNI, who is responsible for verification and quality assurance of the exploration information disclosed in connection with the projects and this release.Ton=short ton; lb=pound; tonne = metric tonne = 1000kg. The 2011 drilling included an appropriate number of analytical standards, blanks and duplicates, and no analytical issues were identified. Metal/Oxide commodity prices used to establish bulk recoverable values for cut-off grade thresholding tests are the three year trailing average to Nov17/2011 for La-Ce-Pr-Nd-Sm-Eu-Gd-Tb-Dy and Y (consolidated from www.metal-pages.com), and the one year trailing average to Nov17/2011 for Ho-Er-Yb-Lu and Sc (consolidated from www.asianmetal.com). Tm value from Montviel Core Zone REE resources study 2011 by SGS Canada Inc. Th value per USGS  Mineral Commodity Summaries 2008-2010. Metal prices vary among various commodity information sources and in all conflicting instances the lower pricing was used. Analyses by Activation Labs, Ancaster, ON; Analytical results from the 2011 drilling were announced on Jul15/2011, along with details of DNI's analytical quality assurance and quality control parameters. Additional REE and Specialty Metals grades were announced on Dec2/2011. Archived drill core from some of the historic drilling was examined, re-sampled and re-analyzed by DNI as part of its verification sampling program in 2008-2009. All samples from 2011 drilling were re-analyzed for REEs in December 2011 by Activation Labs, Ancaster, ON, by  Fusion and Trace Element Fusion ICP (Code8).For detailed information related to the Buckton maiden inferred resource as it relates to base metals, Uranium and Li, see the resource study report "Technical Report, Maiden Resource Estimate, Buckton, Mineralized Zone, SBH Property, Northeast Alberta", October 18, 2011, Effective date September 30, 2011, by APEX Geoscience Ltd. This report is available from www.sedar.com and from DNI's website www.dnimetals.com. For detailed information related to the Buckton Supplementary REE Inferred Resource estimate being announced, relating to REE-Y-Sc-Th, see the resource study report "Technical Report, Supplementary REE-Y-Sc-Th, Inferred Resource Estimate To Accompany The Maiden Resource Mo-Ni-U-V-Zn-Cu-Co-Li Estimate, Buckton Mineralized Zone, SBH Property, Northeast Alberta", December 22, 2011, Effective date January 18, 2012, by APEX Geoscience Ltd. This report will shortly be available from www.sedar.com and from DNI's website www.dnimetals.com.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.DNI - TSX VentureDG7 - FrankfurtIssued: 63,090,284We seek Safe Harbour. This announcement includes forward looking statements. While these statements represent DNI's best current judgment, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary, including risk factors listed in DNI's Annual Information Form and its MD&As, all of which are available from SEDAR and on its website. For further information: DNI Metals Inc. - Shahe Sabag, President & CEO or Denis Clement, Chairman - 416-595-1195 email ir@dnimetals.com. Also visit www.dnimetals.com