VANCOUVER, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Roca Mines Inc. (TSX-V: ROK) ("Roca" or "the Company") has now received production reports, mill
assays and sales results for the MAX Molybdenum Mine during the months
of July and August, 2011.
The Company shipped 3 lots in August containing a total of 73,249 lbs of
molybdenum and has since shipped an additional 3 lots containing 76,317
lbs molybdenum. The following table provides a summary of production
data for July (since mill start-up on July 27th) and August:
MAX Mine Statistics
Molybdenum Produced (lbs) 1
Average Head Grade (% Mo)
Molybdenum Recovery (%)
Mill Availability (%)
Average Daily Throughput (tpd)
Note 1: molybdenum contained in concentrate.
Since the underground operations restarted at the end of July 2011,
crews have focused on new blasting designs and practices in an effort
to demonstrate that previous experiences with wall sloughing,
geotechnical stability, and head-grade dilution could be controlled.
Based on current assessments, these efforts have succeeded in producing
very good wall conditions and control. It is apparent that previous
blasting practices caused unnecessary damage, ultimately leading to the
stope operating problems described previously.
Throughput rates since start-up have been approximately 25% below
targets due to the more conservative blasting practices, contractor
scheduling difficulties during startup and equipment down-time. Issues
with scheduling and equipment are expected to improve over time.
Having observed stope wall performance, it can now be assumed that the
head grades processed since the beginning of August, (ranging from
0.20% to 0.41%) from the 725 mining level represent deliverable head
grades in this section of the Main zone. This is roughly 0.2% Mo lower
than initially targeted based on drilling and sampling on upper levels.
Head grades observed for September to date have ranged from 0.21% to
0.38% Mo and have averaged 0.33% Mo. While the grades observed to date
may appear high in context with other molybdenum mines globally, these
grades are effectively at the current breakeven level for the operation
at 500 tpd throughput, given current oxide prices in the US$14 range,
and the historically high Canadian dollar, labour and energy costs.
The MAX mine was initially conceived as a high-grade mine that would
expand production over time to lower unit costs and allow the
processing of lower grade materials. While a significant amount of work
has been completed towards a planned expansion to the permitted Phase
II, 1,000 tpd operation, these throughput rates have not been achieved
due to restricted cash flow.
Management is reviewing alternative plans including the option to
accelerate the Phase II expansion of the operation. This would allow
its sustained operation at current molybdenum price levels, and
preserve the opportunity to benefit from any increase in molybdenum
prices in the future.
Scott Broughton, P.Eng. is the 43-101 qualified person responsible for
the preparation of this news release.
ROCA MINES INC.
Scott E. Broughton - President and CEO
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.
SOURCE Roca Mines Inc.
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