All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
Efficiency of gold recovery markedly improving quarter over quarter
TORONTO and JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - First Uranium Corporation
(TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) (ISIN:CA33744R1029) ("First Uranium" or "the Company")
today announced the startup of the Company's second gold plant (Phase 1B) at
its Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery operation ("MWS") in South Africa.
Having met design specifications for throughput and gold recovery rates, the
new gold plant has a production life expectancy of 15 years. Over the next 12
months beginning October 1, 2009, the new gold plant is expected to produce
approximately 55,000 ounces of gold.
"The additional cash flow from doubling gold production at MWS is
expected to partially offset the necessary capital expenditures to complete
the expansion of the MWS operation," said Gordon Miller, First Uranium's
President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that the cash resources of
$123 million at June 30, 2009 and the cash forecast to be generated from the
sale of gold and uranium, together with the ZAR160 million (approximately $20
million) Simmer and Jack Mines credit facility, will be sufficient to fund the
completion of the current capital projects at the Company's two operations. To
provide a buffer in the event of a funding shortfall due to volatility in
uranium and gold prices, exchange rates or production rates, management is in
discussion to advance its long-standing intention to secure a project
financing facility for MWS in South Africa."
In the last fiscal quarter, MWS's Phase 1A gold plant produced 11,007
ounces of gold at a Cash Cost(1) of $338 per ounce, placing the MWS operation
among the lowest cost gold mines in South Africa.
"We are confident that our Phase 1B uranium plant and the third and final
gold plant will be completed on schedule for their planned startups in
December 2009 and by June 2010, respectively," said recently appointed MWS
Chief Operating Officer Scot Sobey. "The efficiency of gold recovery at our
existing Phase 1A gold plant improved by 9 per cent so far this quarter, and
is expected to increase again during September. Gold recovery and unit
operating costs at both gold plants are expected to improve even further when
these plants begin to operate in series with the Phase 1B uranium plant, which
we plan to begin operating in December 2009."
1. "Cash Costs" are costs directly related to the physical activities of
producing gold and include mining, processing and other plant costs;
third-party refining and smelting costs; marketing expense, on-site
general and administrative costs; royalties; on-mine drilling
expenditures that are related to production and other direct costs.
Sales of by-product metals are deducted from the above in computing
cash costs. Cash costs exclude depreciation, depletion and
amortization, corporate general and administrative expense,
exploration, interest, and pre-feasibility costs and accruals for
mine reclamation. Cash costs are calculated and presented using the
"Gold Institute Production Cost Standard" applied consistently for
all periods presented. The Gold Institute was a non-profit industry
association comprised of leading gold producers, refiners, bullion
suppliers and manufacturers. This institute has now been incorporated
into the National Mining Association. The guidance was first issued
in 1996 and revised in November 1999. Total cash costs per ounce is a
non-GAAP measurement and investors are cautioned not to place undue
reliance on it and are advised to read all GAAP accounting
disclosures presented in the Company's audited consolidated financial
statements for FY 2009 and accompanying footnotes thereto.
Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains and refers to forward-looking information
based on current expectations. All other statements, other than statements of
historical fact, included in this news release including, without limitation,
statements regarding processing and development plans and future plans and
objectives of First Uranium are forward-looking statements (or forward-looking
information) that involve various risks and uncertainties. These
forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and there can be no
assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, such statements are
subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and 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 that are included herein, except in accordance with applicable
About First Uranium Corporation
First Uranium Corporation (TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) is actively pursuing its
goal of becoming a significant low-cost producer of uranium and gold through
the expansion of the underground development to feed the new uranium and gold
plants at the Ezulwini Mine and through the expansion of the plant capacity of
the Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery facility, both located in South
Africa. First Uranium also plans to grow production by pursuing
value-enhancing opportunities in South Africa and elsewhere.
To view a picture of "Mine Waste Solutions Phase 1A gold plant, Phase 1B
gold plant and flotation plant as of early August 2009" please click on
For further information:
For further information: Bob Tait, Vice President, Investor Relations at
email@example.com, (416) 342-5639 (office) or (416) 558-3858 (mobile),
1240-155 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5H 3B7