Shares Listed: Toronto Stock Exchange - Ticker Symbol - ARZ
NYSE Alternext U.S. - Ticker Symbol - AZK
U.S. Registration: (File 001-31893)
VANCOUVER, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - Aurizon Mines Ltd. (TSX:ARZ; NYSE Alternext
U.S.:AZK) is pleased to announce its 2008 gold production and its plans for
2008 Gold Production
Gold production from Aurizon's 100% owned Casa Berardi mine for the year
ended December 31, 2008, totalled 158,830 ounces from the processing of
654,397 tonnes at an average grade of 8.2 grams of gold per tonne. Recoveries
for the year averaged 92.5%. Gold production was in line with the most recent
guidance of 155,000 to 160,000 ounces.
Fourth Quarter, 2008 Gold Production
Ore processed in the fourth quarter amounted to 169,291 tonnes at an
average grade of 7.7 grams of gold per tonne. The average daily mine
production for the quarter was 1,840 tonnes per day, up from the previous
quarter's rate of 1,754 tonnes per day. Mill recoveries of 91.5% resulted in
gold production of 38,364 ounces for the quarter.
"Aurizon had a strong 2008," said David P. Hall, President and Chief
Executive Officer. "The significant cash flow from Casa Berardi enabled us to
reduce debt and increase cash balances during the year. In 2009, we will focus
on controlling costs, maintaining a strong financial position and maximizing
opportunities to develop our assets and grow our future production profile."
Forecast Gold Production for 2009
It is estimated that Casa Berardi will produce between 150,000 to 155,000
ounces of gold in 2009 at an average grade of 7.9 grams of gold per tonne.
Average daily mine production is estimated at 1,800 tonnes per day, in line
with 2008. The slight decrease in gold production from 2008 is attributable to
lower average gold grades. Approximately 60% of the production will come from
Zone 113, 30% from the recently developed Lower Inter Zone, and the residual
10% from smaller zones and development material.
In 2009, assuming a Canadian/U.S. dollar exchange rate of 1.20, average
total cash costs per ounce are anticipated to approximate US$390 per ounce.
Onsite mining, milling and administration costs are expected to average $108
per tonne, in line with 2008 experience.
Sustaining capital expenditures at Casa Berardi are estimated to be $13.0
million in 2009, primarily for the development of the upper and lower portions
of Zone 113 and of the Lower Inter Zone. An additional $6.9 million is planned
for infrastructure and equipment improvements.
At Casa Berardi, exploration will focus on the completion of the
exploration drift at the 810 metre level of the West mine, and approximately
14,000 metres of drilling, to test the depth extension of Zone 113 and the
continuity and extension of Zones 118 and 123-South.
In addition, approximately 21,000 metres of infill drilling will be
performed on the north and upper limits of the Lower Inter Zone, the eastern
part of Zone 113, and Zones 109 and 115.
A total of $8.5 million will be initially invested at Casa Berardi in
2009, including $3.5 million on underground development and infrastructure,
and $5.0 million on approximately 35,000 metres of underground drilling.
At Joanna, infill drilling of the Hosco deposit has been completed and an
updated mineral resource estimate is expected to be completed in February,
In 2009, approximately $1.5 million will be initially invested to perform
approximately 10,000 metres of drilling focused on the following:
a) Possible eastern extension of the Hosco deposit on the recently
optioned Alexandria property.
b) Testing for potential higher grade gold mineralization in the down
dip extension of the Hosco deposit below 500 metres.
c) Exploration targets north of the existing mineral resources.
In addition, BBA is currently working on a pre-feasibility study which is
anticipated to be completed late in the second quarter, 2009. Further work
programs will be determined following receipt of this report.
At Kipawa, future work programs will be developed following detailed
analysis and interpretation of the results of the 2008 field program.
Aurizon will continue to focus on its organic growth within the Abitibi
area surrounding its existing properties. In addition, the Company is
continuing to evaluate opportunities to increase its gold production and
2008 Year End Financial Results
Aurizon expects to release the fourth quarter and 2008 year end financial
results on or about March 11, 2009, and will hold a conference call to discuss
the results. Details of the call, including times and contact numbers, will be
announced closer to the date.
Aurizon also expects to release at approximately the same time, an
updated mineral reserves estimate for the Casa Berardi mine.
Information of a scientific or technical nature in this news release was
prepared under the supervision of Michel Gilbert, P.Eng., Vice President of
Aurizon and a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101.
Aurizon is a gold producer with a growth strategy focused on developing
its existing projects in the Abitibi region of north-western Quebec, one of
the world's most favourable mining jurisdictions and prolific gold and base
metal regions, and by increasing its asset base through accretive
transactions. Aurizon shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the
symbol "ARZ" and on the NYSE Alternext U.S. (formerly the American Stock
Exchange) under the symbol "AZK". Additional information on Aurizon and its
properties is available on Aurizon's website at http://www.aurizon.com.
Non GAAP Information
Aurizon has included a non-GAAP performance measure of total cash costs
per ounce of gold in this release. Aurizon reports total cash costs on a sales
basis. In the gold mining industry, this is a common performance measure but
does not have any standardized meaning, and is a non-GAAP measure. Total cash
costs are calculated in accordance with a standard, developed by The Gold
Institute, which is the accepted standard for reporting cash costs of
production in North America. The Company believes that, in addition to
conventional measures, prepared in accordance with GAAP, certain investors use
this information to evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate
cash flow. Accordingly, it is intended to provide additional information and
should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of
performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.
Estimates regarding production, costs and expected recoveries at Casa
Berardi in 2009 and the Company's budgets and planned exploration and
development programs on its various properties for 2009 constitutes
'forward-looking information' within the meaning of applicable Canadian
securities legislation and will be updated if required under applicable
Canadian securities laws. This information is provided as general guidance
only and is based on assumptions and subject to risks as described below.
Readers are cautioned that actual results may vary from the forward-looking
This news release contains "forward-looking information", within the
meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and also
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to,
statements regarding the Company's expectations and estimates as to 2009
production, total cash costs per ounce, onsite mining, milling and
administration costs and sustaining capital expenditures at Casa Berardi, and
the Company's expected expenditures and planned programs on its properties for
2009. The forward-looking information expresses, as at the date of this news
release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, and expectations, as to
future events or results and are based on the assumptions set out in the news
release, and the further assumptions that past operational performance will
continue, there will be no material disruption in operations, demand for and
the price of gold will remain stable throughout 2009 and labour and equipment
will be available when required to complete the planned programs, and at
However, actual results and future events could differ materially from
those anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause results or
events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by
the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, factors
associated with fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, and
currency exchange rates, factors arising from the present credit and liquidity
crisis, the future effects of which are difficult to predict, mining industry
risks and hazards, environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to
calculation of mineral reserves and resources, requirement of additional
financing, and other risks more fully described in Aurizon's Annual
Information Form filed with the Securities Commission of the Provinces of
British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and in Aurizon's
Annual Report on Form 40-F filed with the United States Securities and
Exchange Commission. These documents are available on Sedar at www.sedar.com
and on Edgar at www.sec.gov/.
For further information:
For further information: AURIZON MINES LTD.: David Hall, President and
C.E.O., Telephone: (604) 687-6600, Toll Free: 1-888-411-GOLD, Fax: (604)
687-3932; Michel Gilbert, Vice President, Telephone: (819) 874-4511, Fax:
(819) 874-3391; Web Site: www.aurizon.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Renmark
Financial Communications Inc.: 2080 Rene-Levesque Blvd. West, Montreal, QC,
H3H 1R6, Barry Mire: email@example.com; Jen Power:
firstname.lastname@example.org; Media: Vanessa Napoli:
email@example.com, Tel: (514) 939-3989, Fax: (514) 939-3717