Farallon Provides Operational Update on the G-9 Mine



    
                   Commissioning Phase Nearing Completion
           On-Track for Reaching Commercial Production in January
    

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Dick Whittington, President and CEO of
Farallon Resources Ltd. ("Farallon" or the "Company") (TSX:FAN) is pleased to
provide the following operational update on the Company's G-9 mine at the
Campo Morado polymetallic (zinc, copper, lead, silver, gold) property in
Guerrero State, Mexico. The commissioning process advanced substantially
during the fourth quarter of 2008, and the mine and mill are still targeting
full design production capacity in January 2009.
    As previously announced (November 10, 2008 news release), all major
construction activities on site were essentially complete at the end of
October 2008. Since that time, Farallon has continued with its "Parallel
Track" approach, completing "operational" construction of the mill, developing
underground access to the high grade Southeast zone, opening stopes for
production and drilling underground delineation holes concurrently with mine
production and mill commissioning.
    As also announced in November, the Company began operating according to a
revised mine plan that focused on the most robust plan possible for the
ensuing 20 month period. This was planned as a direct consequence of the
deteriorating commodity market conditions at the time. Adjustments have
subsequently been made to this plan to reflect the latest operational
situation underground. The projected production under this revised plan is
linked here (http://www.farallonresources.com/i/fan/pdf/G9ProductionPlan.pdf)
and while changes on a monthly basis are evident, no material changes to the
annual targets are made. This new plan will form the basis for the Company's
operating budget for 2009. A comparison of the annual production targets
between the two plans is as follows:

    
                                 Total 2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        November 2008        January 2009        Variance (%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes                   547,500              550,050               0.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    %Zinc                      12.0%                11.7%              -2.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    %Copper                    1.72%                1.57%              -8.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    %Lead                      1.20%                1.23%               2.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Silver (g/t)              222.31               206.20              -7.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold (g/t)                  2.99                 2.95              -1.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    In general, the Company's initial production targets have been met.
Commissioning of the mill continues. The mill has been producing zinc, copper
and lead concentrates which are being trucked to the port of Manzanillo. The
Company has been receiving advance payments for the concentrates from
Trafigura Beheer BV Amsterdam ("Trafigura") under existing off-take agreements
on a regular basis. The Company anticipates that the first shipments of
concentrates, totalling some 6,500 tonnes, will be shipped in early February.
To date, no major obstacles have developed that would cause the Company to
materially adjust its production targets and goals, although the recovery of
copper in the copper concentrates has been disappointing to date.
    The key operating results for November and December, 2008 at the G-9 Mine
are shown below:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Production                         Nov 2008         Dec 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes Mined                                     31,783           31,313
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Zinc Grade                                        11.1%            11.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copper Grade                                       1.5%             1.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lead Grade                                         1.5%             1.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes Milled                                    30,100           31,200
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Zinc Grade                                         9.7%            10.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copper Grade                                       1.2%             1.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lead Grade                                         1.3%             1.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes Zinc Concentrate Produced                  4,660            5,150
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Zinc Grade                                          49%              51%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Zinc Recovery                                       78%              81%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes Copper Concentrate Produced                  860            1,080
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copper Grade                                        14%              18%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copper Recovery                                     33%              42%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes Lead Concentrate Produced                    630              190
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lead Grade                                          14%              20%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lead Recovery                                       21%              11%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    The mine has met the initial months projections in the 20 month mine plan
announced in November 2008. Main access development has been completed and the
Company is now starting to mine in the Southeast zone. Concurrently,
sufficient working faces have been opened to begin to deliver design tonnage
of 1,500 tonnes per day to the mill. Meanwhile, underground delineation
drilling has been focused on confirming and adding resources to the areas in
the North zone where mining is also underway.
    The mill has performed well during the commissioning phase and has
operated for extended periods at design throughput rates. Metallurgy continues
to improve as steady-state operations are approached and zinc, copper and lead
concentrates are all now meeting, or very close to meeting, contract
specifications. Metal recoveries are now a key focus for improved performance.
Full design production rates are still expected to be achieved by the end of
this month.
    Over the past quarter, the downturn in metal prices has necessitated
continued management of the costs associated with bringing the G-9 mine and
mill into full production. Concerted efforts have been made by the Company to
reduce and contain costs in all areas including freezing of all salaries, a
general hiring freeze, some staff lay-offs, and the renegotiation of supply
contracts. The primary objective during these volatile times is to optimize
operations, maximize cash flow and conserve cash. At December 31, the Company
had approximately US$14.1 million in cash on hand.
    Shareholders are reminded that the Company has changed its financial year
end to December 31 from June 30. As a result, financial statements for the
period July 1 to December 31, 2008 will be released on March 26, 2009. At that
time, the Company will provide a final reconciliation of the capital costs
associated with the construction and development of the G-9 mine; however, the
total capital cost is still estimated to be within 5-10% of $139 million as
reported in the November 10, 2008 release. The final numbers are therefore
expected to be +/-20% above the estimate of $124 million in the December 2007
Preliminary Economic Assessment.
    On a separate topic, shareholders should note that 76.4 million share
warrants expired in December 2008, significantly reducing the fully diluted
share structure of the Company. As the Company makes the transition to
commercial production, this will have a material effect on any EBITDA or cash
flow per share ratios.
    President and CEO Dick Whittington stated, "I am extremely pleased with
the ramp-up of the G-9 mine and mill. After a period of four short months, the
operation is now ready for the next challenge to achieve full commercial
production at 1,500 tonnes per day in January 2009. This achievement is
particularly notable given the necessity for the team to focus on cost
reductions and cash management during the ramp-up and commissioning phase in
response to the weakening external economic environment. Farallon is now
operational and is poised to take advantage of any strengthening in the metals
market with an efficient operation and lean cost structure. It is particularly
rewarding to have brought a mine into production while others have been
closing. I am extremely proud of the whole team that has got us to this stage
in our development as a mining company. Our immediate focus now is to
establish an operating track record and to survive any future downturn in
metal markets."

    
    ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
    J.R.H. (Dick) Whittington
    President and CEO


    No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information
    contained in this news release.
    

    Forward-Looking Information

    This release includes certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking statements." All statements in this release, other than
statements of historical facts, that address future production, reserve or
resource potential, continuity of mineralization, exploration drilling,
operational activities, production rates, costs to completion and events or
developments that the Company expects are forward-looking statements. Although
the Company believes that the expectations expressed in such forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not
guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ
materially from those in the forward-looking statements and may require
achievement of a number of operational, technical, economic and legal
objectives. The likelihood of continued future mining at Campo Morado is
subject to a large number of risks, including obtaining lower than expected
grades and quantities of mineralization and resources, lower than expected
mill recovery rates and mining rates, changes in and the effect of government
policies with respect to mineral exploration and exploitation, the possibility
of local disputes including blockades of the company's property, the
possibility of adverse developments in the financial markets generally,
fluctuations in the prices of zinc, gold, silver, copper and lead, obtaining
additional mining and construction permits, preparation of all necessary
engineering for ongoing underground and processing facilities as well as
receipt of additional financing to fund mine construction, development and
operation, if needed. Such funding may not be available to the Company on
acceptable terms or on any terms at all. There is no known ore at Campo Morado
and there is no assurance that the mineralization at Campo Morado will ever be
classified as ore. For more information on the Company and the risk factors
inherent in its business, investors should review the Company's Annual
Information Form at www.sedar.com and the Company's annual report on Form 40-F
at www.sec.gov.





For further information:

For further information: on Farallon Resources Ltd., please visit the
Company's website at www.farallonresources.com or contact Investor Services at
(604) 638-2160

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Farallon Mining Ltd.

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