Atna Resources Reports First Quarter 2010 Results


    


    
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<p>GOLDEN, Colo., <span class="xn-chron">May 17</span> /CNW/ -- Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna" or the "Company") (TSX: ATN) today reported unaudited financial results for the Company's first quarter for the period ended <span class="xn-chron">March 31, 2010</span>. Unless otherwise designated, all amounts are in U.S. dollars.</p>
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    First Quarter 2010 Highlights:

    --  Revenue from gold sales totaled $6.1 million, based on the sale of
        5,465 ounces at an average price of $1,106 per ounce.
    --  Gold mined at Briggs totaled 9,647 ounces, 25 percent above plan. Gold
        contained in ores placed on the leach pad exceeded plan by 34 percent.
    --  Gold dore production at Briggs totaled 6,031 ounces, six percent below
        plan due to timing of gold pours.
    --  Cash cost of production was $892 per ounce, marginally below budget.
    --  Estimated recoverable gold inventory at quarter end was 11,400 ounces
        in all stages of process, an increase of 3,100 ounces from year end.
    --  In February 2010, the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection
        issued a Reclamation Permit for the Reward Mine allowing construction
        to begin. In April 2010, the Department approved a plan to phase in
        bonding requirements reducing initial cash impact on the Company
    --  An experienced Project Manager was retained for the Reward Mine
project
        and initial development activities have commenced.
    --  In March 2010, Atna declared a measured and indicated gold mineral
        resource containing 73,490 ounces and an inferred gold mineral
resource
        containing 99,390 ounces at the Cecil R project located adjacent to
the
        Briggs Mine in California.


    Financial Results:

    
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<p>For the first quarter ended <span class="xn-chron">March 31, 2010</span>, cash and cash equivalents were <span class="xn-money">$8.8 million</span>, a decrease of <span class="xn-money">$4.2 million</span> from <span class="xn-chron">December 31, 2009</span>. The net decrease was due primarily to the following:</p>
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    --  $2.1 million of cash was used in gold inventory build, corporate
        overhead, exploration, and interest payments, partially offset by cash
        received in a legal settlement and option payments from joint venture
        partners.
    --  $0.8 million of net cash used in capital spending at Briggs.
    --  $1.3 million of cash used in principal payments for capital leases and
        the gold bond.


    
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<p>For the three months ended <span class="xn-chron">March 31, 2010</span>, Atna recorded a net loss of <span class="xn-money">$1.9 million</span>, or a basic loss per share of <span class="xn-money">$0.02</span>, on revenues of <span class="xn-money">$6.1 million</span>. This compares to a net loss of <span class="xn-money">$1.0 million</span>, or a basic loss per share of <span class="xn-money">$0.01</span>, on revenues of zero for the three months ended <span class="xn-chron">March 31, 2009</span>.</p>
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    Briggs Mine, California

    
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<p>Briggs enjoyed a strong quarter of production with both ore mining and crushing exceeding plan. Total ore tons mined exceeded budget by 16 percent and crushed ore tons exceeded budget by 10 percent.  Approximately 1,200 ounces of gold mined was contained in previously designated waste blocks and were not previously included in ore reserve. The unit cash cost of gold production was marginally lower than anticipated for the first quarter at <span class="xn-money">$892</span> per ounce versus a budget of <span class="xn-money">$902</span> per ounce. The Briggs Mine site is now fully staffed and all planned production units are operating. There was no lost time injury accidents reported at Briggs for the quarter.</p>
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<p>Target production for 2010 at Briggs is 36,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold at an average unit cash cost of production in the range of <span class="xn-money">$600 to $650</span> per ounce of gold. Improvement in productivity and cost containment is the primary focus of operations in 2010.</p>
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<p>A drilling program at Briggs is planned for third quarter 2010. The program will target extensions to the previously announced Briggs deep zone located beneath the existing Briggs main pit as well as extensions to the deposit where ore has been found during current mining operations but were not shown in the existing ore reserve models due to a lack of drill information.</p>
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    Briggs Satellite Projects

    
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<p>The Cecil R satellite project is located four miles north of the Briggs Mine proximal to the mine access road. An initial NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate and technical report for Cecil R was completed in <span class="xn-chron">March 2010</span>. The resource estimate for Cecil R includes a measured and indicated gold mineral resource containing 73,490 ounces and an inferred gold mineral resource containing 99,390 ounces using a cutoff grade of 0.01 ounce per ton. Cecil R represents a potential ore source to expand the life of operations in the Briggs district. A Preliminary Economic Evaluation for the Cecil R project is planned for completion in the third quarter 2010. Bottle roll and column gold recovery testwork is presently being conducted using drill cuttings from prior programs.</p>
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    Reward Mine Project, Nevada

    
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<p>Current development activities include the completion of design engineering, development of contractor bid packages, and initial infrastructure development. Infrastructure development includes access road improvements, fencing, and placement of orders for long lead-time items, power line and water supply development. Anticipated cost for this phase of work will be approximately <span class="xn-money">$3.0 million</span>.</p>
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<p>Many of the drillholes on the eastern flank of the Reward mineral resource model terminate in or contain ore grade mineralization indicating a probable extension to the mineral resource.  A drilling program is planned to test this potential extension in <span class="xn-chron">September 2010</span>.</p>
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<p>The State of Nevada has approved a plan to phase-in the environmental and closure bonds for Reward. The initial bonding requirements for initial development activities are approximately <span class="xn-money">$0.9 million</span>. A second bond of approximately <span class="xn-money">$0.9 million</span> must be posted prior to the commencement of facilities construction and a final bond must be posted prior to commencement of leach pad operations sometime in 2011. The total cost for reclamation and closure bonds is approximately <span class="xn-money">$5.9 million</span>.</p>
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<p>The Reward operation is expected to produce approximately 139,000 ounces of gold over a four year mine life at estimated average cash cost of <span class="xn-money">$435</span> per ounce of gold produced.</p>
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    Pinson Mine Project, Nevada

    
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<p>The Pinson Mine property is located in Humboldt County, Nevada, about 30 miles east of Winnemucca and is operated as a joint venture with Pinson Mining Company ("PMC"), a subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation. Atna owns a 30 percent equity interest in the joint venture and PMC owns 70 percent and manages the project.</p>
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<p>PMC has completed an in-house review of the project for both underground and open pit mining potential. They are currently reviewing their strategic options in regards to the project, which may include sale of their interest. Should they decide to sell their interest, Atna retains a right of first refusal to match any offer within 60 days of that offer being presented to Atna. Atna's share of the 2010 operating budget for the Pinson project is <span class="xn-money">$0.3 million</span>, which includes ongoing underground pumping and maintenance operations. No change in project status occurred in the first quarter.</p>
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<p>In <span class="xn-chron">January 2010</span>, Atna acquired a 1.5 percent net smelter return royalty ("NSR") pertaining to approximately four sections of land within the area of interest of the Pinson Mine project. This interest was acquired from Barrick Turquoise Ridge Inc., a subsidiary of Barrick Gold. One of these sections contains gold resources previously announced by Atna. Barrick acquired the royalty in its merger of Placer Dome in 2006 and this royalty interest was covered under the area of mutual interest clause within the Mining Venture Agreement.</p>
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    Columbia Gold Property, Montana

    
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<p>Activities at Columbia during the first quarter 2010 included water sampling and analysis to set baseline water quality standards. Additional work continued on the completion of a Preliminary Economic Assessment, which is scheduled for completion in the second quarter 2010. The mineral resource model is currently being upgraded to include structural and other geologic information to be used in designing a metallurgical drilling program for the project.</p>
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    Conference Call:

    
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<p>Management will host a conference call on <span class="xn-chron">Tuesday, May 18, 2010</span>, at 11:00 a. m. EDT to discuss these results and general corporate and project activities. Participants in the U.S. and <span class="xn-location">Canada</span> dial (877) 559-1977; International callers dial (660) 422-4979. Please reference conference ID #75824718.</p>
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<p>A replay of the first quarter call will be available through <span class="xn-chron">midnight EDT</span> <span class="xn-chron">May 20, 2010</span> by dialing (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291, reference conference ID #75824718.</p>
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<p>For additional information on Atna, its mining, development and exploration projects, please visit our website at <a href="http://www.atna.com">www.atna.com</a>.</p>
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<p>This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements," as defined in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span> 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 (<a href="http://www.sedar.com">www.sedar.com</a>) with Canadian securities regulators and its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's 2009 Form 20-F dated <span class="xn-chron">March 26, 2010</span>.</p>
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<p>Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors -- The <span class="xn-location">United States</span> 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. Investors are urged to closely consider the disclosure in our Form 20-F which may be obtained from Atna or found online at <a href="http://www.sec.gov">www.sec.gov</a>.</p>
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<p>FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:</p>
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    James Hesketh, President and CEO - (303) 278-8464
    Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations - toll free (877) 692-8182
    www.atna.com



    
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            ATNA RE

SOURCES LTD. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUMMARIZED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION (US dollars, Canadian GAAP basis) (Unaudited) </pre> <p> </p> <p> </p> <pre> December March 31, 31, BALANCE SHEETS 2010 2009 ---- ---- ASSETS Current assets $20,137,300 $21,331,700 Non-current assets 58,565,800 58,525,600 ---------- ---------- Total assets 78,703,100 79,857,300 ========== ========== LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY Current liabilities 11,280,300 9,679,500 Notes payable - long term 10,300 837,200 Gold bonds, net of discount 9,109,200 9,857,400 Other non-current liabilities 6,250,500 5,445,800 Shareholders' equity 52,052,800 54,037,400 ---------- ---------- Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $78,703,100 $79,857,300 =========== =========== </pre> <p> </p> <pre> Three Months Ended ------------------ March 31, --------- </pre> <p> </p> <p> </p> <pre> STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS 2010 2009 ---- ---- Revenues $6,086,700 $- Cost of sales 6,116,500 - Depreciation 26,100 33,700 General and administrative 1,037,900 782,800 Exploration 342,900 488,600 Other expense (income), net 415,600 (272,300) ------- -------- Net loss (1,852,300) (1,032,800) ========== ========== Comprehensive (loss) income (2,069,800) (1,052,800) ========== ========== Basic (loss) income per share $(0.02) $(0.01) ====== ====== Basic weighted-average shares outstanding 83,307,478 83,291,133 ========== ========== </pre> <p> </p> <pre> STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of the period $13,060,300 $16,707,300 Net cash used in operating activities (2,105,800) (2,787,600) Net cash used in investing activities (788,200) (4,835,900) Net cash used in financing activities (1,333,800) (181,000) Effect of exchange rate changes on cash 15,000 (2,000) ------ ------ Cash and cash equivalents, end of the period $8,847,500 $8,900,800 ========== ==========

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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