GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 24 /CNW/ -- Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna") - (Pink
Sheets: ATNAF; TSX: ATN) is pleased to announce that the US Bureau of Land
Management has signed the Record of Decision and Finding of No Significant
Impact to approve development of the Reward Gold Project located near Beatty,
"This decision is a major milestone and a positive outcome for the
development of Reward. We look forward to breaking ground on the project and
have initiated discussions with various groups to arrange project financing
for construction," states James Hesketh, President & CEO.
The Reward operation is expected to produce approximately 126,000 ounces
of gold over a five year mine life at an estimated average cash cost of US$435
per ounce of gold produced. This production would provide an undiscounted cash
flow of US$34 million at a US$850 gold price. Gold production from Reward
combined with production at the existing Briggs Gold Mine should yield the
Company an annual gold production rate of 70 - 90 thousand ounces annualized
by 2010 year end.
Work is ongoing with state agencies to finalize reclamation bond
calculations and other required permits. Major permits, including the Class II
Air Quality Operating Permit, Water Pollution Control Permit, and a Permit to
Change Point of Diversion, Manner of Use and Place of Use of The Public
Waters, were previously issued by the State of Nevada.
The Company completed a positive economic feasibility study for the
Reward Gold Project in March 2008. The feasibility study demonstrated an
attractive return on investment from development of a conventional open pit
mining, ore crushing, and heap leach gold production operation. Operating
synergies and cost benefits from the nearby Briggs Mine will positively impact
the operation. Details are contained in a technical report dated March 21,
2008, prepared by Chlumsky, Armbrust & Meyer, LLC., titled "NI 43-101
Technical Report - Reward Gold Project, Nye County, Nevada," which is
available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Proven and probable mineral reserves estimated in the feasibility study
total 6.4 million tons averaging 0.024 ounce per ton containing 157,000 ounces
of gold based on a gold price of US$700 per ounce, a cut-off grade of 0.01
ounce per ton and a strip ratio of 2.2 tons of waste per ton of ore. The
feasibility study includes capital costs for crushing and process plants,
facilities and infrastructure, mining fleet and pre-production stripping of
US$25.4 million. Undiscounted pre-tax net cash flow changes by US$12.5 million
for each US$100 change in gold price without allowance for reserve expansion.
Final reclamation and closure cost, which is included in overall production
cost, is estimated at approximately US$2.5 million and the cost for
reclamation and closure bonds is estimated to be approximately US$5.1 million.
The Reward deposit remains open for expansion both along strike and down-dip.
Mining operations at Reward would utilize conventional 100-ton open pit
trucks and compatible loaders. Mined ore will be crushed to minus 3/8 inch and
placed on a lined pad for leaching and gold recovery. The gold contained in
process solutions will be extracted by the carbon recovery process with the
loaded carbon subsequently transported to either the Briggs Mine in Inyo
County, California, or to a third party processing facility for production of
dore containing gold and silver.
Atna is a rapidly growing gold production and development company with
operations focused in the western United States. Atna's Briggs Mine in Inyo
County, California, began producing gold in May 2009. Sales of approximately
1,955 ounces of gold ensued in the balance of the second quarter. Production
at Briggs is expected to ramp up to a 40,000 ounce per year rate by year end
2009. In addition, Atna has a portfolio of advanced stage development and
exploration projects, including:
-- Pinson Gold Mine in Nevada, a joint venture with Barrick Gold (70
percent) and Atna (30 percent), where Barrick is evaluating
possibilities to develop the mine.
-- Columbia Gold Project in Montana, where Atna has retained Gustavson
Associates of Lakewood, Colorado to complete an NI43-101 compliant
-- Reward Gold Project, as reported above.
-- Carried interests in eight exploration projects in North and South
For additional information on Atna Resources and the Reward Project,
please visit our website at 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
successful completion of permitting and project financing for the Reward Gold
Project, production at the Briggs Mine, development of the Pinson Gold Project
and completion of an NI 43-101 compliant resource study for Columbia.
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; and the other
risk factors discussed in greater detail in the Company's various filings on
SEDAR (www.sedar.com) with Canadian securities regulators and its filings with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's 2008 Form
20-F dated March 31, 2009.
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 CEO - (303) 278-8464
Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations - toll free (877) 692-8182
For further information:
For further information: James Hesketh, President and CEO,
+1-303-278-8464, or Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations, 1-877-692-8182, both
of Atna Resources Ltd. Web Site: http://www.atna.com