Romarco resource at Haile grows to 4.0 million ounces gold measured and indicated

TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - ROMARCO MINERALS INC. (TSX:R) (the "Company") is pleased to announce an updated mineral resource estimate for its wholly owned Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina, USA.  Resources were calculated for both open pit and underground mineralization based on a block model created by Independent Mining Consultants ("IMC") that included drill hole assay data through November 16, 2011 and updated lithologic interpretation.  A National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 Technical Report is underway and will be filled on SEDAR within 45 days.

New graphics can be viewed at www.romarco.com

Resource Highlights

  • Measured and Indicated resources increased 29% (916,000 ounces)
  • Through 2011 drilling, mineralized zones within the Haile footprint have now merged into a single mineralized system
  • At $1,200 per ounce gold, a significant portion of the underground material pulls into the open pit shell demonstrating the continuity of the orebody
    • The resources currently classified as open pit and underground are estimates and do not presume the mineralization will be mined using these methods.  Additional exploration, engineering and trade-off analyses are being conducted on the open pit and underground resources
  • Open Pit Resources include:
    • Champion, 601, Small, South Pit, Ledbetter, Snake, a significant portion of Horseshoe and all of Mustang
  • Underground Resources include:
    • Palomino and portions of Snake and Horseshoe
  • First half of 2011 exploration focused on in-fill and condemnation drilling
  • Second half of 2011 exploration focused on step out drilling
  • Drill data is through November 16, 2011

Combined Open Pit and Underground Resources

Total Haile gold resources stand at 4.0 million ounces measured and indicated, plus an additional 0.8 million ounces of inferred resources.  These combined open pit and underground resources represent a 29% increase (approximately 916,000 ounces) in measured and indicated gold resources from the December 14, 2010 NI 43-101 Technical Report.  The increase in measured and indicated gold resources was partially offset by a reduction in the inferred portion of the combined resource (equivalent to approximately 271,000 ounces or 25%) as in-fill drilling within the economic shell during 2011 increased the information necessary to classify a significant portion of the previously reported inferred resources as measured and indicated in the current year.

Table 1 below summarizes the current tonnage, grade, and combined open pit and underground, contained ounces at US$1,200 per ounce gold as compared to the previous resources (see NI 43-101 Technical Report dated December 14, 2010):

Table 1 - Current Resources versus December 14, 2010 Resources at US$1,200/oz Gold

  Measured Indicated Measured + Indicated
CURRENT PREVIOUS VARIANCE CURRENT PREVIOUS VARIANCE CURRENT PREVIOUS VARIANCE
Metric Tonnes (000s) 36,894 27,782 9,112 34,277 25,596 8,681 71,171 53,378 17,793
Grade (g/t) 1.79 1.89 (0.10) 1.74 1.75 (0.01) 1.77 1.82 (0.05)
Contained Gold Ounces (000s) 2,125 1,684 441 1,914 1,439 475 4,039 3,123 916
      26%     33%     29%

  Inferred
CURRENT PREVIOUS VARIANCE
Metric Tonnes (000s) 20,125 24,944 (4,819)
Grade (g/t) 1.24 1.34 (0.10)
Contained Gold Ounces (000s) 801 1,072 (271)
      (25%)

The updated resource estimate includes approximately 170,000 meters of new drilling in 416 core and reverse circulation holes added to the drill database between October 1, 2010 and November 16, 2011, of which 70% was exploration (approximately 118,000 meters) and 30% of the holes were for condemnation (approximately 52,000 meters).

The resources currently classified as open pit and underground are estimates and do not presume the mineralization will be mined using these methods.  Additional exploration, engineering and trade-off analyses are being conducted on the open pit and underground resources.  Gold mineralization that lies within the block model but outside of the $1,200 floating cones and identified underground resource shapes has not been reported in this resource estimate.

The first half of the 2011-drill program comprised mainly of in-fill and condemnation drilling as the Company focused on advancing the project into production.  The second half 2011 exploration drill program focused predominately on step-out drilling exploring for new mineralization.  Due to the success of the 2011 drill program and the continuity of the Haile system, a significant portion of the deep mineralization (Horseshoe and Mustang), pulled into the US$1,200 open pit resource shell ("$1,200 shell"). The Palomino zone, discovered later in 2011, is still early in development but holds significant exploration promise and will be a focus of the 2012 program.

Diane Garrett, President and CEO stated: "Our drilling program for 2011 was a success on all fronts.  We cleared the areas we needed for condemnation, converted much of our inferred to M&I, made significant increases in our resources at Haile and had great success in our regional exploration away from Haile.  These were our four goals for exploration for the year and our team hit a grand slam.  We learned a lot about this very complex system, and it will pay off in continued exploration at Haile and in the region."

This updated resource estimate will not require Romarco to alter its pending applications for federal and state approvals because the applications are based on economic reserves, not on resource shells.

Open Pit Resources

The open pit resource calculations were developed using a US$1,200 per ounce gold price, estimated metallurgical recoveries that average 83%, and a cutoff of 0.41 g/t within a floating cone pit geometry.  These resource cones do not necessarily represent final detailed engineered or reserve pits. At its deepest point, the $1,200 shell is 411 meters below surface and contains a significant portion of Horseshoe and all of Mustang.

Table 2 below summarizes the tonnage, grade, and contained ounces within the $1,200 shell:

Table 2 - Open Pit Resources, $1,200 Shell

Category Metric Tonnes
(000s)
Grade
(grams per tonne)
Contained Gold
Ounces (000s)
Measured 36,767 1.78 2,107
Indicated 33,561 1.68 1,813
M&I 70,329 1.75 3,920
       
Inferred 19,424 1.13 707

Underground Resources

Snowden Mining Industry Consultants, Vancouver BC (Snowden) used an economic stoping simulator tool that creates underground minable shapes from a block model to determine the underground resources below the $1,200 shell.  Longhole blasthole stoping with paste back-fill was selected as the mining method.  The underground resource results were based on 30.5-meter strike by 30.5-meter wide by 18.3-meter high stopes.  These stope size criteria were applied to the block model prepared by IMC.   The cutoff grade of 2.74 g/t used for the underground resource was based on Snowden's estimated total production cost of US$73 per short ton (US$80 per metric tonne) milled.  The total production cost was inclusive of underground development, mining, processing and administration costs. Metallurgical recoveries of approximately 83% were applied for underground resource estimates.  Only the economic, underground resources outside and below the $1,200 shell have been reported.  Isolated zones that were not considered to be amenable to practical mine access, generally less than 100,000 short tons (90,718 metric tonnes), were excluded from the analysis.  Underground access would likely be accomplished via decline driven from the surface or from the bottom of a mined pit.

The study of the underground resource is ongoing.  Trade-off studies will be conducted throughout the mine life to assess the value of reducing or increasing the size of the open pit, and extracting more or less material by underground methods.

Table 3 below summarizes the tonnage, grade, and contained ounces at US$1,200 per ounce gold (2.74 g/t cutoff grade) outside and below the open pit resource shell:

Table 3 - Underground Resources at US$1,200/oz Gold:

Category Metric Tonnes
(000s)
Grade
(grams per tonne)
Contained Gold
Ounces (000s)
Measured 127 4.39 18
Indicated 716 4.39 101
M&I 843 4.39 119
       
Inferred 701 4.18 94

During the process of constructing the computerized block model, basic statistics are calculated on the drillhole assay data.  The cumulative frequencies of the assays are plotted on log scale and based on these data, high-grade outliers are selected as limits or cap grades.  Cap grades are applied to the assay data to limit the influence of very high-grade information that would otherwise cause over estimation of block grades.  Cap grades were applied to assay data according to geologic zones.  The cap grades applied to the underground zones are: Palomino - 24 g/t, Snake - 34.3 g/t, and Horseshoe - 103 g/t.

Sensitivity Analysis

These resource cones do not represent final detailed engineered or reserve pits. The open pit resources contain a significant portion of Horseshoe and all of Mustang at gold prices of US$1,200 per ounce.  Gold mineralization within the block model but outside of the resource floating cones and underground stopes has not been reported.

Table 4 illustrates the sensitivity analysis of the open pit resource to different gold prices:

Table 4 - Open Pit Resource Sensitivity to Gold Price

Resource
Cone
Measured Indicated Measured +
Indicated
Inferred M&I
Cont'd
kOz
Inferred
Cont'd
kOz
Ktonnes g/t Ktonnes g/t Ktonnes g/t Ktonnes g/t
US$1,200
(cutoff 0.41 g/t)
36,767 1.78 33,561 1.68 70,329 1.75 19,424 1.13 3,920 707
US$1,400
(cutoff 0.34 g/t)
40,069 1.71 37,922 1.58 77,992 1.65 25,660 1.03 4,131 849
US$1,500
(cutoff 0.34 g/t)
41,161 1.68 41,465 1.54 82,625 1.61 37,454 1.10 4,280 1,321
US$1,700
(cutoff 0.27 g/t)
47,395 1.51 49,253 1.37 96,648 1.44 46,568 0.96 4,470 1,437

Qualified Persons

The resource calculations were completed by Independent Mining Consultants of Tucson, Arizona under the direction of Mr. John Marek, PE, an independent Qualified Person ("Q.P.") pursuant to NI 43-101.  The underground mining methods and production costs and underground stope layouts were completed by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants of Vancouver, BC, under the direction of Mr. Anthony Finch P. Eng, MAusIMM (CP Min) (Divisional Manager - Snowden), an Independent Q.P. pursuant to NI 43-101.  M3 Engineering & Technology Corp. are currently in the process of completing the NI 43-101 Technical Report under the direction of Mr. Joshua Snider, PE, an independent Q.P. pursuant to NI 43-101 and it will be SEDAR filed when completed.  All Q.P. individuals have reviewed and approved this news release.

The mineral resource estimate has been calculated using the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") Definitions Standards for mineral resources in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

For a full discussion of the Company's sampling, analysis, quality assurance, quality control, and other technical disclosure, please see the Company's NI 43-101 Technical Report dated February 10, 2010 and on SEDAR.  Romarco's Q.P. under NI 43-101 is James Berry, Chief Geologist at Haile.

About Romarco Minerals Inc.

Romarco Minerals Inc. is a gold development company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of precious metals mineral properties.  The Company has completed a positive Feasibility study and is continuing exploration and permitting for its flagship project, the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina.

Please note:

This entire press release may be accessed via fax, e-mail, Romarco's website at www.romarco.com and through CNW Group's website at www.newswire.ca. All material information on Romarco Minerals Inc. can be found at www.sedar.com

SOURCE ROMARCO MINERALS INC.

For further information:

Romarco Minerals Inc. 

Diane Garrett, President and CEO
Phone: 210-621-4200
E-mail: dgarrett@romarco.com
Dan Symons, Vice President, Investor Relations
Phone: 416-367-5500
E-mail: dsymons@romarco.com

Renmark Financial Communications Inc. 
Maurice Dagenais 514-939-3989 or via e-mail at mdagenais@renmarkfinancial.com

Profil de l'entreprise

ROMARCO MINERALS INC.

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