GOLDEN, Colo., Sept. 9 /CNW/ -- Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna") -- (TSX:
ATN) is pleased to announce that it has signed a construction contract for the
leach pad expansion at the Briggs gold mine in Inyo County, California. The
leach pad expansion is planned to be completed early in the first quarter of
2009 when ore crushing and pad loading will commence. Gold production is
projected to begin by the end of the first quarter of 2009, at an annualized
production rate of approximately 30,000 ounces per year. Cash cost of
production is estimated at $494 per ounce and full cash costs, including
capital, at $623 per ounce. Approximately $9.2 million of capital will be
required to complete the project.
"Proceeds from the recent $20 million royalty sale will allow Atna to
pursue key strategic objectives. Our first priorities are production and cash
flow from Briggs beginning in first quarter 2009 and we are targeting
completion of permitting at the Reward gold project to allow a possible mine
start-up before the end of 2009," said David Watkins, Atna's Chairman and CEO.
Atna began work to re-start gold production at Briggs shortly after
consummation of the merger with Canyon Resources. Key milestones and
activities leading to production include:
-- A leach pad construction contract, valued at $3.8 million, was
awarded to Guinn Construction Company of Bakersfield, California, to construct
the initial expansion of 1.0 million square feet. Golder Associates of
Lakewood, Colorado, will oversee construction quality control on the project.
-- Site management positions have been filled, including a General
Manager, Process Manager, Mine Manager, and Manager of Environmental Health
-- Recruitment of operating, maintenance and supervisory personnel is
-- A mine optimization study is nearing completion with the goal of
bringing underground resource into open pit designs to reduce unit costs,
increase reserves, and to extend the life of the project.
-- Refurbishment of existing mining equipment is complete and ready to
support construction and mining activities.
-- Additional required mining equipment has been located and purchase
orders are being issued.
-- Pre-strip operations are planned to commence in the fourth quarter
-- Process plant and solution ponds have now been cleaned and repairs
have either been made or are underway.
-- The crushing plant refurbishment has commenced and orders for long
lead time repair and replacement items have been placed.
The previously reported NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report in May 2008
estimated that the Briggs Mine had a proven and probable reserve of 151,000
ounces of gold grading 0.034 ounce per ton gold. Additionally, Briggs contains
an estimated 532,500 ounces of measured and indicated resource grading 0.027
oz/ton gold and an inferred resource of 314,000 ounces grading 0.044 ounce per
ton gold. This Technical Report was completed using a $500 per ounce gold
price. The updated optimization study, which uses a higher gold price outlook
and additional drillhole information, is expected to increase these reserves.
For additional information on Atna Resources and the Briggs Project,
please visit our website at http://www.atna.com.
This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements," as
defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,
and within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation, relating to
possible improvements to the outcome of an ongoing optimization study, and the
Company's plans to restart mining operations at the Briggs Mine based on
technical reports compliant with Canadian NI 43-101. Forward-looking
statements are statements that are not historical fact. They are based on the
beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company's management on the date the
statements are made and they involve a number of risks and uncertainties.
Consequently, there can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be
accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from
those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to
update these forward-looking statements if management's beliefs, estimates or
opinions, or other factors, should change. Factors that could cause future
results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking
statements include: the Company might encounter problems such as the
significant depreciation of metals prices; accidents and other risks
associated with mining exploration and development operations; the risk that
the Company will encounter unanticipated geological factors, the Company's
need for and ability to obtain additional financing; the possibility that the
Company may not be able to secure permitting and other governmental clearances
necessary to carry out the Company's mine development plans that will prevent
it from restarting mining operations at the Briggs Mine; and the other risk
factors discussed in greater detail in the Company's various filings on SEDAR
(http://www.sedar.com) with Canadian securities regulators and its filings
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Form
20-F dated March 25, 2008.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors -- The United States Securities and
Exchange Commission permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the
SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically
and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this report, such as
"measured," "indicated," "inferred," and "resources," that the SEC guidelines
strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings
with the SEC.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
James Hesketh, President and COO - (303) 278-8464
Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations - toll free (877) 692-8182
For further information:
For further information: James Hesketh, President and COO,
+1-303-278-8464, or Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations, 1-877-692-8182, both
of Atna Resources Ltd. Web Site: http://www.atna.com