Capstone Reports First Quarter Production Results

First Quarter Production of 16.7 million pounds of Copper in Concentrates

VANCOUVER, April 26 /CNW/ - Capstone Mining Corp. (TSX: CS) today announced its operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2011 from its two operating mines, Cozamin and Minto. Combined production totalled 16.7 million pounds of copper in concentrates, with additional by-products of lead, zinc, silver and gold.

Q1 2011 Production

  Q1 2011
Copper in concentrates
(millions of pounds)
 
    - Cozamin 8.6
    - Minto 8.1
Total 16.7

Operational Highlights for the three months ended March 31, 2011

The following is a summary of operational highlights for Capstone during the first three months of 2011:

  • Production of 16.7 million pounds of copper contained in concentrates.
  • By-product production of 4.2 million pounds of zinc, 0.8 million pounds of lead and 367,704 ounces of silver in concentrates.  Final gold production is not available since assaying is done off site, but is estimated at 2,925 ounces for the quarter.
  • At Cozamin, remediation activities in the mine curtailed mining rates throughout the first quarter.  By mid-March most of these activities were completed and mining commenced in the Avoca area at the end of March, which is expected to contribute to higher productivity and grades throughout the remainder of the year.
  • At Minto, production was at low levels in the first quarter due to a combination of lower mill throughput and lower grades.
    • The lower grades at Minto were due to a high grade ore shortfall in Stage 4 of the Main Pit, resulting in processing less high grade material than planned.  While insignificant in overall volume of ore in the Main Pit, the decrease in grade negatively impacted metal production for the quarter.  Mining during the first quarter was focused on mining the final stage of the Minto Main Pit (Stage 5) before freshet where ore grades have been consistent with plan.  Mining of the Main Pit is now substantially completed.
    • Steady improvements to SAG mill throughput were made through the first quarter.  To assist with increasing throughput, additional crushing capacity has been implemented through contract crushing, which began in mid-April to remedy the throughput shortfall until design crushing changes are implemented, expected late in the third quarter of 2011.
  • Minto received the amended water use license in late March.  Once implemented, the revised license is expected to facilitate improved water management at Minto during freshet.  Application for the subsequent water use license amendment, which will permit tailing discharge into the mined out Main Pit, will be submitted by mid-May.
  • The environmental and socio-economic evaluation for the Phase IV expansion was completed and a decision document was issued recommending that the project proceed.  A temporary amendment to the current Quartz Mining License was issued in March which allows stripping to begin for Area 2 mining and development of the underground portal.
  • Pre-stripping has commenced in Area 2 at Minto following completion of mining the remaining ore in the Main Pit.  A new Quartz Mining License at Minto is anticipated in the second quarter that will permit the long-term development of Area 2.

Q1 Operating Details

  Cozamin Minto Q1 Total
Production (1)
(contained in concentrates)
     
    - Copper (000s pounds) 8,609 8,064 16,673
    - Lead (000s pounds) 757 - 757
    - Zinc (000s pounds) 4,174 - 4,174
    - Silver (ounces) 325,480 42,224 367,704
    - Gold (ounces) - 2,925 2,925
Mine      
    - Tonnes of ore mined 226,131 293,459 519,590
Mill      
    - Tonnes processed 226,055 258,157 484,212
    - Tonnes processed per day 2,512 2,868 5,380
    - Copper grade (%) 1.87 1.56  
   -  Lead grade (%) 0.23 -  
    - Zinc grade (%) 1.20 -  
   -  Silver grade (g/t) 62.4 6.3  
   - Gold grade (g/t) - 0.52  
Recoveries      
    - Copper (%) 92.4 92.3  
    - Lead (%) 65.9 -  
    - Zinc (%) 69.8 -  
    - Silver (%) 71.6 81.0  
    - Gold grade (%) - 67.4  
Concentrates (1)      
Copper concentrates (dmt) 14,670 9,762 24,432
    - Copper (%) 26.6 37.5  
    - Silver (g/t) 600 135  
    - Gold (g/t) - 9.3  
Lead  concentrates(dmt) 533 - 533
    - Lead (%) 64.4 -  
    - Silver (g/t) 2,454 -  
- Zinc concentrates (dmt) 3,944 - 3,944
    - Zinc (%) 48.0 -  

(1) Adjustments based on final settlements will be made in future periods.

Outlook

Despite low production for the first quarter, Capstone is maintaining full year 2011 guidance of 80-85 million pounds of copper in concentrates.  At Cozamin, production is expected to ramp up quickly from first quarter levels now that mining has recommenced in the Avoca area.  At Minto, contract crushing commenced on April 15, increasing throughput rates to a level that is expected to allow production to proceed as planned for the remainder of the year.

Q1 Financial Results Timing

Q1 financial results are expected to be reported in late May or early June 2011 and will be announced with conference call details once scheduled.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and Capstone Mining Corp. (the "Company") does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable securities legislation.

Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect Company management's expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, success of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. By their very nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of resources; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities; as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual 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 forward-looking 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.

43-101 Compliance

Unless otherwise indicated, Capstone has prepared the technical information in this news release ("Technical Information") based on information contained in the technical reports and news releases (collectively the "Disclosure Documents") available under Capstone Mining Corp.'s company profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Each Disclosure Document was prepared by or under the supervision of a qualified person (a "Qualified Person") as defined in National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101").  Readers are encouraged to review the full text of the Disclosure Documents which qualifies the Technical Information.  Readers are advised that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.  The Disclosure Documents are each intended to be read as a whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context.  The Technical Information is subject to the assumptions and qualifications contained in the Disclosure Documents.

John Sagman, P. Eng., Capstone's Vice President, Technical Services, a Qualified Person, reviewed all Technical Information contained in this news release. In addition, Gregg Bush, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Capstone, reviewed all Technical Information in this news release. 

 

SOURCE Capstone Mining Corp.

For further information:

Capstone Mining Corp.
Cindy Burnett, VP, Investor Relations
Telephone: 604-637-8157
Email: cburnett@capstonemining.com
Website: www.capstonemining.com


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