Capstone Reports Strong First Quarter Results as Mining Operations Deliver Record Production



    
    Adjusted Net Earnings(1) of US$30.7 million (US$0.19/share) & Cash Flow
    from Mining Operations(1) of US$26.3 million
    

    VANCOUVER, May 14 /CNW/ - Capstone Mining Corp. (CS: TSX) today announced
its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2009. Copies of
Capstone's financial statements and management discussion and analysis
("MD&A") are available on Capstone's website at
http://www.capstonemining.com/investors/financials/. This release should be
read in conjunction with the first quarter 2009 financial statements and MD&A.
Capstone will hold a conference call Friday May 15, 2009 at 8:00 AM Pacific
time (11:00 AM Eastern time) to discuss these results; call-in details are at
the end of this release.
    "Capstone's first quarter 2009 financial results were very strong as a
result of the synergies of the business combination between Capstone and
Sherwood completed in the fourth quarter of 2008," said Darren Pylot, Vice
Chairman & CEO of Capstone Mining Corp. "We reported adjusted net earnings(1)
of US$30.7 million (or US$0.19 per common share), after netting out certain
non-cash items, and generated cash flow from mining operations(1) of US$26.3
million for the period. This excellent performance illustrates the earnings
and cash generating capacity of our mining operations," he said. "Subsequent
to quarter end, we also took the opportunity to restructure our balance sheet
and, as of May 12, 2009, Capstone had approximately US$59.4 million in cash,
US$29.3 million of long-term debt, a US$40.0 million undrawn bank facility and
our Silverstone share holding had a market value of $45.9 million, after
taking into account the recent equity financing, as well as the scheduled and
early debt repayments noted in our financial statements."
    "Both of Capstone's operations, the Cozamin and Minto mines, achieved
record copper production during the first quarter of 2009 as both ramped up to
their fully expanded capacity during the period," said Stephen Quin, President
& COO of Capstone Mining Corp. "With the expansions complete, and both mines
producing at design capacity, we are well positioned to deliver favourable
production and costs for the balance of 2009, while continuing our organic
growth through exploration and production expansions. Our production continues
to be supported by a strong hedge book, which had a mark-to-market value of
over US$50 million at March 31, 2009."

    
    Financial Highlights for the three months ended March 31, 2009

    -   A net loss of US$16.2 million (US$0.10 per share) which includes:
        -  Income from mining operations of US$19.6 million; and
        -  A net loss of US$37.9 on derivative instruments, which comprises:
           -  A realized gain of US$18.0 million on positions settled during
              the period for cash, and
           -  An unrealized loss of US$53.5 million as the value of the
              derivative instrument asset was reduced over the period due to
              the increase in the copper price.

    -   Adjusted net earnings(1) of US$30.7 million (or US$0.19 per common
        share), after making adjustments for certain non-cash items
        (including the unrealized loss on outstanding derivative positions
        held at the end of the period noted above) and one-time items (none
        during the period).

    -   Cash flow from mining operations(1) of US$26.3 million.

    -   Working capital increased to US$77.0 million over the three months
        ended March 31, 2009 from US$35.4 million at December 31, 2008. This
        amount excludes the proceeds of the bought deal financing (which was
        completed in May 2009) and the market value of the Silverstone shares
        (see below).

    -   Sold a total of 28.4 million pounds of copper, 0.8 million pounds of
        zinc, 1.7 million pounds of lead, 11,308 ounces of gold, and 496,209
        ounces of silver during the period.

    -   Produced a total of 25.1 million pounds of payable copper at an
        estimated total cash cost(1) of US$1.05 per pound of payable copper.

    -   Arranged a US$40.0 million corporate revolving term credit facility
        with the Bank of Nova Scotia (the "RT Facility"). A portion of these
        funds were used to facilitate the repurchase of the debentures.

    -   Repurchased US$31.3 million (C$39.3 million) of debentures tendered
        under the December 24, 2008 offer to purchase all outstanding
        debentures at a price equal to the 101% of the principal amount of
        the debentures, plus accrued and unpaid interest. The outstanding
        liability related to the debentures has therefore been reduced to US
        $3.7 million (C$4.7 million).

    -   Announced new mineral resource estimates for the Cozamin Mine and the
        Kutcho Copper Project, identifying significant enhancements to those
        mineral resources.

    -   Discovered another high-grade copper-gold zone at the Minto Mine
        designated "Minto North". The Minto North discovery is located
        approximately 600 metres north-northwest of the current open pit
        mining operation. The discovery yielded high-grade mineralization at
        relatively shallow depths, similar in grade, thickness and style of
        mineralization to that found in the open pit, and is the highest
        grade of all the deposit identified to date at the Minto Mine.

    -   Entered into a voting agreement with Silver Wheaton Corp. whereby the
        Company agreed to vote its shares in Silverstone Resources Corp. in
        favour of the proposed plan of arrangement between Silverstone and
        Silver Wheaton whereby Silver Wheaton will acquire all of the
        Company's shares and special warrants in Silverstone at a ratio of
        0.185 shares of Silver Wheaton per common share or special warrant of
        Silverstone held by the Company. The Company currently holds
        24,042,340 shares and 2,747,428 special warrants of Silverstone. The
        market value of these holdings at May 12, 2009 was US$45.9 million,
        of which US$6.7 million is carried as a long term asset in the
        Company's financial statements.

    Production Results

    -   Cozamin Mine:
        -  Completed the Phase III mine expansion to 3,000 tonnes per day
           ("tpd") of throughput and established access to wider, higher
           grade ore zones that are now in production, with sustained
           processing of over 3,000tpd achieved February 2009 onwards;
        -  Produced 9.8 million pounds of contained copper in concentrates,
           along with by-product 2.4 million pounds of zinc, 1.2 million
           pounds of lead and 0.3 million ounces of silver;
        -  Processed 248,325 tonnes (2,759tpd) of ore averaging 1.96% copper,
           0.81% zinc, 0.33% lead and 56 grams per tonne ("g/t") silver and a
           single day record of 3,787 tonnes processed in April;
        -  Produced 18,461dmt of copper concentrate averaging 24.1% copper;
           and
        -  Produced 9.4 million pounds of payable copper at a total cash
           cost(1) of US$1.00 per pound.
    -   Minto Mine:
        -  Completed the Phase III mine expansion to 3,200tpd of mill
           throughput, supported by increased mine production, which rates
           were regularly achieved in March 2009 and beyond;
        -  Produced 16.3 million pounds of contained copper in concentrates,
           along with 7,624 ounces of gold and 0.1 million ounces of silver
           as by-products;
        -  Processed 233,529 tonnes (2,595tpd) of ore averaging 3.39% copper,
           1.4g/t gold and 16.2g/t silver and a single day record of
           3,611 tonnes processed in April;
        -  Produced 17,283 dmt of copper concentrate averaging 42.6% copper;
        -  Produced 15.7 million pounds of payable copper at a total cash
           cost(1) of US$1.09 per pound.
        -  Discovered the high grade, near surface, thick Minto North deposit
           600m northeast of the current open pit mining operation.
    -   Kutcho Project:
        -  Reported a robust, high grade resource for the Kutcho Copper
           Project; and
        -  Commenced internal evaluation of options for the development of a
           smaller tonnage, higher grade operation, likely with underground
           extraction of the ore, with robust project economics.

    Subsequent Events

    Subsequent to March 31, 2009, Capstone reported the following significant
events:

    -   Closed a bought-deal equity financing with a syndicate of
        underwriters led by Canaccord Capital Corporation and including
        BMO Capital Markets, Scotia Capital Inc., Haywood Securities Inc. and
        PI Financial Corp., for the sale of 31,165,000 common shares of the
        Company at a price of C$1.85 for gross proceeds of C$57.7 million
        (US$49.5 million), including exercise of an over-allotment option.
        The net proceeds will be used for future acquisition opportunities,
        debt repayment and general working capital purposes.

    -   Repaid an additional US$13.4 million of the Macquarie project loan
        facility (the "PLF"), US$5.5 million of which was scheduled and the
        balance were early payments made at the Company's election. These
        payments reduce the balance owing under the PLF to US$16.5 million,
        which balance is scheduled to be fully repaid by December 31, 2009.

    -   Repaid the US$40.0 million RT Facility with the Bank of Nova Scotia
        from the proceeds of the bought deal equity financing. The US$40.0
        million facility can be redrawn over the next three years, but is
        subject to an US$8.0 million reduction each six months starting
        January 2010.

    -   At May 12, 2009, after the above noted financings and long-term debt
        repayments, the Company had approximately US$59.4 million in cash,
        US$29.3 million of long-term debt, a US$40.0 million undrawn
        RT Facility and the Silverstone holding had a market value of
        US$45.9 million.

    -   Announced the assay results for exploration drill holes completed in
        areas south of the Minto Mine open pit, including several high-grade
        copper-gold intersections from the southeast portion of the Ridgetop
        deposit, an area not previously known for high-grade mineralization.

    -   Announced additional drill results from the Minto North discovery at
        the Minto Mine, including some exceptional high grade copper-gold
        intercepts over significant thicknesses - the best intercepts ever
        drilled on the Minto Mine property in 35 years of exploration.

    -   Temporarily ceased operations at the Cozamin Mine from May 1 to
        May 5, 2009 in accordance with a Mexican Presidential Decree, which
        ordered all non-essential government and private sector activities
        suspended for this period (except for essential services and those
        needed to help fight the H1N1 flu). Although five days of production
        were lost as a result of this closure, the Company does not expect
        this short interruption to affect the Cozamin Mine's production
        forecasts for 2009.

    Outlook for 2009

    The current year, despite the challenges of the financial markets, looks
to be an exciting one for Capstone, based on the following:

    -   Forecast production of 95 million to 105 million pounds of copper at
        a total cash cost(1) of US$1.00 per pound, net of by product credits.

    -   At the Cozamin Mine:
        -  Production of 35-40 million pounds of copper, with by-product
           lead, zinc and silver, at an average total cash cost(1) of
           approximately US$1.00 per pound, net of by-product credits;
        -  Completion of a new mine plan, building off the enhanced mineral
           resource announced February 18, 2009, which should result in a
           significantly increased mineral reserve and mine life;
        -  Capital expenditures of US$7.4 million, comprised of
           US$7.1 million related to the remains of the Phase III mine
           expansion, connection to higher voltage electrical transmission
           line and sustaining capital, plus US$0.3 million in exploration
           expenditures; and
        -  A comprehensive evaluation of the exploration potential of the
           Cozamin Mine property, including the potential for additional
           mineral resource discoveries (a) in the remaining, largely
           unexplored four kilometres of the principal Mala Noche vein
           system, and (b) in parallel, unexplored veins on the property.
    -   At the Minto Mine:
        -  Production of 60-65 million pounds of copper, with by-product gold
           and silver, at a total cash cost(1) of approximately US$1.00 per
           pound, net of by-product credits;
        -  Completion of an updated mineral resource estimate, which will
           incorporate the results of the 2008 and early 2009 successful
           drill programs;
        -  The updated mineral resource estimate will provide the basis for
           an independent pre-feasibility study designed to (a) convert a
           significant portion of these new mineral resources to mineral
           reserves and (b) incorporate a further Phase IV increase in mining
           and throughput to somewhere in the range of 4,000tpd to 5,000tpd;
        -  Capital expenditures of approximately US$8.9 million comprised of
           US$4.8 million in process plant improvements and sustaining
           capital, plus an additional US$4.1 million in exploration
           expenditures on the Minto Mine property; and
        -  Continued exploration focused on following up on the new, high
           grade, shallow Minto North discovery, both with in-fill drilling
           and exploring for more such deposits.
    -   Strong cash flow from operations based on the above production and
        supported by 26.0 million pounds of copper forward sold for delivery
        in remainder of 2009 at an average price of US$2.59 per pound.
    -   The Company's total remaining forward sales position at
        March 31, 2009 is 87.3 million pounds at an average of US$2.49 per
        pound, to be delivered mostly between 2009 and 2011, with minor
        quantities for delivery in 2012 and 2013.
    -   At the Kutcho Project, completion of technical studies in support of
        a more robust underground or open pit project based on the recently
        announced high grade mineral resource.

    (1) These are non-GAAP performance measures and readers should refer to
        Non-GAAP Performance Measures in the Company's Interim Management
        Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2009 as
        filed on SEDAR for further details.

    Conference Call Details

    Capstone will host a conference call on Friday, May 15 to discuss these
results. The conference call and webcast details are as follows:

    Date:     Friday May 15, 2009
    Time:     8:00 AM PST (11:00 AM EST)
    Dial in:  North America - 1.800.731.6941, International - 1.416.644.3433
    Webcast:
    www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/viewEvent.cgi?eventID=2649020
    Replay:   North America -  1.877.289.8525,
              International -  1.416.640.1917
              Replay Passcode: 21305229 followed by the number sign.

    The conference call replay will be available until May 29, 2009. A
transcript of the call will also be made available on Capstone's website
(www.capstonemining.com) within 24 hours of the call.

    The TSX does not accept any responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy
    of this press release.
    

    Forward-Looking Information

    "This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the
meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements"
within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995 (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). These
forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and the
Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these
forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable securities
legislation.
    Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance
and reflect Company management's expectations or beliefs regarding future
events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the
estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources, the realization of
mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future
production, costs of production, capital expenditures, success of mining
operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title
disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage. In certain cases,
forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as
"plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled",
"estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate",
or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that
certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will
be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or
comparable terminology. By their very nature forward-looking statements
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may
cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be
materially different from any future results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include,
among others, risks related to actual results of current exploration
activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined;
future prices of resources; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or
recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining
industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the
completion of development or construction activities; as well as those factors
detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial
statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all
of which are filed and available for review under the Company's profile on
SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify
important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ
materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be
other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated,
estimated or intended. The Company provides no assurance that forward-looking
statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events
could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.
    Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements.

    43-101 Compliance

    Unless otherwise indicated, Capstone has prepared the technical
information in this document ("Technical Information") based on information
contained in the technical reports and news releases (collectively the
"Disclosure Documents") available under Capstone Mining Corp.'s and Sherwood
Copper Corp.'s company profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Each Disclosure
Document was prepared by or under the supervision of a qualified person (a
"Qualified Person") as defined in National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of
Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI
43-101"). Readers are encouraged to review the full text of the Disclosure
Documents which qualifies the Technical Information. Readers are advised that
mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated
economic viability. The Disclosure Documents are each intended to be read as a
whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context. The
Technical Information is subject to the assumptions and qualifications
contained in the Disclosure Documents.
    Stephen Quin, Professional Geologist reviewed all Technical Information
in this document.




For further information:

For further information: about Capstone, please contact: Darren Pylot,
Vice Chairman & CEO, Stephen Quin, President & COO; Or Investor Relations'
Mark Patchett at (604) 684-8894 or (866) 684-8894, info@capstonemining.com


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