Atna Resources Reports First Quarter 2009 Results



    GOLDEN, Colo., May 15 /CNW/ -- Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna" or the
"Company") (TSX: ATN) today reported unaudited financial results for the
Company's first quarter results for the period ended March 31, 2009. Unless
otherwise designated all amounts are in Canadian dollars.
    

    Highlights:

    --  On May 12, 2009, the Briggs Mine made its initial gold pour, producing
        approximately 300 ounces.
    --  Gold ore mining and crushing and stacking of ore on the leach pad
began
        during the quarter at Briggs.
    --  Leach construction is complete and gold ore leaching began in April.
    --  An updated technical report with increased gold reserves for the
Briggs
        Mine was filed dated March 30, 2009 titled "NI 43-101 Technical Report
        for the Briggs Project, Inyo County, California".
    --  Drilling confirmed new gold mineralization below the Briggs Main pit
        that is not included in current resource estimates.
    --  Additional drilling expanded the Cecil R mineralization, 4 miles north
        of Briggs.
    --  The Environmental Assessment for the Reward gold project was released
        by the Bureau of Land Management for a public comment period that
        expired on April 30, 2009.
    --  On April 9, 2009, Atna entered into a Mining Venture Agreement ("MVA")
        for the Pinson gold project in Humboldt County, Nevada, with the
Pinson
        Mining Company ("PMC"). Under the MVA, Atna will own a 30 percent
        interest in the joint venture and PMC will own 70 percent. PMC will
        manage the project.
    --  In January 2009, Yamana Gold Inc. made a US$150,000 option payment on
        Atna's Clover project in Elko County, NV.
    --  In January 2009, Atna received 2.1 million common shares of Golden
        Predator Mines Inc. as an option payment under the terms of the
        Adelaide Project and Tuscarora Project Option Agreement.

    --  In March 2009, Atna received 6.8 million common shares of Yukon Gold
        Corporation as an option payment valued at $225,000 as the final
        payment under an agreement to acquire the Marg Property.


    Financial Results:

    Results of Operations - Three Months Ended March 31, 2009 versus 2008

    
    For the three months ended March 31, 2009, Atna recorded net loss of $0.9
million, or basic loss per share of $0.01, on proceeds of nil. This compares
to a net loss of $0.9 million, or a basic loss per share of $0.01, on revenues
of nil for the three months ended March 31, 2008. There was no total variance
in the results between the quarters. Additional variance information is as
follows:
    

    --  A negative variance of $0.6 million in total operating expenses was
due
        primarily to increased exploration expense from the drilling program
at
        the Cecil R property near Briggs and marginally higher general and
        administrative expenses.

    --  Positive variances of $0.7 million in total other income and expense
        was due primarily to the unrealized gain on non-financial derivatives
        and a gain on foreign exchange during the quarter.


    
    At March 31, 2009, cash and short term investments totaled $11.5 million,
which represented a net decrease of $9.1 million during the quarter. The net
decrease was due primarily to $3.0 million of cash used in operating
activities and $6.1 million used in development activities at the Briggs Mine.
    

    Conference Call

    
    Management will host a conference call on Wednesday May 20, 2009 at 1:00
pm Eastern, to discuss these results and general corporate and project
activities. Participants in the US and Canada dial (877) 559 - 1977,
International callers dial (660) 422 - 4979. Please reference conference ID #
10364491.

    Audio of the call will be webcast and available through www.atna.com. A
replay of the call will be available two days following the call by dialing
(800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291, reference conference ID10364491.
    

    Mine Operations

    Briggs Mine

    
    The Briggs Mine is located in Inyo County, California. Open-pit mining
commenced in 2008 and the first ore was mined in January 2009. Crushing and
pad loading operations commenced in March 2009 and leach operations commenced
in April 2009. The initial gold pour occurred on May 12, producing
approximately 300 ounces. Approximately $17.8 million has been spent on the
project including buildup of inventories and working capital and construction
activities are complete. Gold production during 2009 is expected to increase
to an annual rate of about 40,000 ounces by the end of the year. Gold
production and sales during 2009 is forecast to range from 15,000 to 20,000
ounces.
    

    Briggs Mine production statistics for the three months ended March 31,
2009:


    

    
    Production Statistic        January      February       March      Total
    --------------------        -------      --------       -----      -----
    Waste tons                   34,194        73,494     172,867    280,555
    Ore tons                     41,582        31,286     159,666    232,534
                                 ------        ------     -------    -------
    Total tons                   75,776       104,780     332,533    513,089
                                 ------       -------     -------    -------
    Ore grade (oz/ton)            0.025         0.026       0.034      0.031
    Gold ounces mined             1,060           816       5,446      7,322
    Gold ounces sold                  -             -           -          -


    Development Activities

    Briggs Mine

    
    Beginning in October 2008, the Company commenced a new drill campaign at
the Briggs Gold Mine and its satellite project Cecil R. Results of these
programs were positive, confirming deeper gold mineralization beneath the
current mineable reserves in the Briggs Main pit and expanding the zone of
mineralization at Cecil R.

    Atna intersected new mineralization referred to as the Briggs Main Deep
("BMD") zone with 14 holes. The BMD is a gently dipping tabular zone over 800
feet in strike length (north-south) by 700 feet down dip. The apparent
thickness of the zone ranges from 30 to 90 feet and the mineralized horizon
comes within 40 to 50 feet of the currently designed pit bottom. The BMD
remains open for expansion to the north, south and east of the current
intercepts. The recently discovered BMD mineralization was not  incorporated
into the latest Technical Report filed for the Briggs Mine.

    The Cecil R project is located four miles north of the Briggs Mine.
Results of the Cecil R drilling program were announced on April 9, 2009. The
drilling program included 8,070 feet of reverse circulation rotary drilling to
an average depth of 333 feet in 23 drill holes. The drilling increased
confidence in the main area of gold mineralization, successfully extended
mineralization 700 feet further south, and defined the western and eastern
limits of the mineralization.

    The Cecil R project is being evaluated as a satellite project to the
Briggs Mine. The work completed in this program and the data from previous
drilling is being compiled and is anticipated to provide sufficient data for a
resource calculation to be completed during the summer of 2009.  The Cecil R
mineralization may be required to meet California backfill regulations, which
would be considered in an engineered feasibility study.
    

    Reward Project, Nevada

    
    The Reward project is located in southwestern Nye County about 5.5 miles
south-southeast of Beatty, Nevada. Current activities at Reward are focused on
completing the operational permitting process. No field work was completed in
the first quarter. The Environmental Assessment ("EA") for the project has
been approved and released by the Bureau of Land Management for public
comment, which expired on April 30, 2009. Public comments are being
incorporated into the EA. The mine plan of operations has been declared
administratively complete; air pollution and water pollution control permits,
and a water point of discharge permits have been issued. Biologic assessment
studies have been completed and a biologic opinion has been issued.
    

    Pinson Project, Nevada

    
    On April 9, 2009, Atna entered into a Mining Venture Agreement ("MVA")
for the Pinson gold project in Humboldt County, Nevada, with PMC, a Nevada
general partnership comprised of Homestake Mining Company of California and
Barrick Holding Company of California, both subsidiaries of Barrick Gold
Corporation (NYSE:   ABX).  Under the MVA, Atna will own a 30 percent equity
interest in the joint venture and PMC will own 70 percent and manage the
project.

    PMC recently concluded the expenditure of US$30 million at Pinson to earn
its 70 percent equity position. The results of that work are being evaluated
to determine the feasibility of development and a future plan for the project.
The property has been placed on care and maintenance while the technical study
is completed and until a decision is made concerning the future of Pinson.
Dewatering of the underground facilities will continue during this decision
period to protect the partners' investment and facilitate re-start, if
warranted.
    

    Columbia Gold Property, Montana

    
    The Columbia property is located seven miles east of Lincoln and 45 miles
northwest of Helena, in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. Atna is
consolidating, compiling, reviewing, and analyzing all of the Columbia project
data to estimate resources for the property that are compliant with the NI
43-101 technical reporting standards. Timber logging operations have commenced
at the property due to the start of a pine beetle infestation. The logging
operations were halted for the winter and are expected to recommence in May
2009. Baseline environmental monitoring studies have been initiated and
another round of flotation and gravity gold recovery test work is planned for
2009.

    For additional information on Atna and its exploration and development
projects, 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. 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 exploration programs; 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.


    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

    
    James Hesketh, President and CEO - (303) 278-8464
    Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations - toll free (877) 692-8182
    www.atna.com

    

    
                        ATNA RE

SOURCES LTD. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUMMARIZED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION (Canadian dollars, Canadian GAAP basis) (Unaudited) Mar. 31, Dec. 31, 2009 2008 ---- ---- BALANCE SHEETS -------------- ASSETS Current assets $14,666,200 $21,800,400 Noncurrent assets 72,670,200 60,281,800 ---------- ---------- Total assets 87,336,400 82,082,200 ========== ========== LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY Current liabilities 5,781,500 3,669,100 Notes payable - long term 1,040,600 1,004,900 Noncurrent liabilities 7,042,300 5,238,900 Shareholders' equity 73,472,000 72,169,300 ---------- ---------- Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $87,336,400 $82,082,200 =========== =========== Three Months Ended March 31, ----------- 2009 2008 ---- ---- STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS ------------------------ Depreciation, depletion and amortization $42,100 $28,000 General and administrative 974,800 846,700 Exploration 612,600 207,400 Gain on sale of securities - - Loss on derivative instruments - - Other (income) expense, net (769,200) (150,200) -------- -------- Net income (loss) (860,300) (931,900) Unrealized gains and losses on translating the financials of self sustaining foreign operations 2,141,600 914,500 Unrealized loss on available for sale securities (23,000) (173,000) ------- -------- Comprehensive income (loss) 1,258,300 (190,400) ========= ======== Basic income (loss) per share $(0.01) $(0.01) ====== ====== Basic weighted-average shares outstanding 83,291,100 67,289,900 ========== ========== CASH FLOWS ---------- Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period $20,349,700 $3,516,800 Effect of exchange rate changes on cash 283,100 25,600 Net cash used in operating activities (3,076,600) (140,400) Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities (6,099,200) 165,700 Net cash provided in financing activities (228,200) 28,800 -------- ------ Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $11,228,800 $3,596,500 =========== ==========

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

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