First Uranium ramping up production of both uranium and gold; provides guidance for the remainder of the year



    All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

    TORONTO and JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - First Uranium Corporation
(TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) (ISIN:CA33744R1029) ("First Uranium" or "the Company")
today announced that during the quarter ended June 30, 2009 ("Q1 2010") the
Company produced 3,791 ounces of gold from the Ezulwini Mine and 11,007 ounces
of gold from the Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery project ("MWS").
During the quarter, the Company also achieved a major milestone and produced
its first batch of uranium in the form of "yellowcake" (ammonium diuranate).
    "First Uranium joined a small and exclusive group of uranium producers
this past quarter. The Company has commissioned its first uranium plant and is
well positioned to fulfill its vision to be a long-term, low-cost producer of
both uranium and gold," commented Gordon Miller, President and CEO of First
Uranium. "Our focus continues to be on both increasing production at the
operations and on strengthening the Company's financial position, while
simultaneously managing risk and optimizing margins for our shareholders,
ensuring that our significant production ramp up plans are met."
    Milestones achieved at the Ezulwini Mine during the last quarter include:
    
    -  the completion of significant underground work to further access the
       ore bodies. More specifically, new production stopes as at the end of
       Q1 2010 can be defined as follows:

         -  The workable face length in the Upper Elsburg ("UE") gold-only
            ore body was 369 metres at a grade of 4.66 grams per tonne,
            inclusive of the low grade de-stress mining cut, which is
            scheduled for completion in October;

         -  The workable face length for the Middle Elsburg ("ME") co-product
            gold and uranium ore body was 408 metres at a gold grade of 2.95
            grams per tonne and a uranium grade of .049 percent.

    -  the de-stress cuts required to open up mining of the high-grade ore in
       the shaft pillar of the UE ore body have proceeded as planned and are
       expected to be completed in Q3 2010;

    -  the gold plant is working to design specifications;

    -  production at the recently commissioned uranium plant is being
       optimized; and

    -  the first dispatch of yellowcake was delivered to the local calcining
       plant prior to being shipped for conversion and ultimate sale to a
       nuclear power utility.
    

    At MWS, commissioning of a second gold plant module has begun and once
fully commissioned, is expected to more than double MWS low-cost gold
production from 43,100 ounces to approximately 100,000 ounces per annum.
    During the most recently completed quarter, management made several
strategic decisions regarding the third gold and uranium plant modules
resulting in a more efficient capital investment program and optimized cash
flow profile. The new plan requires an immediate start to the construction of
the third gold plant module as well as the third stream of the uranium
flotation plant, which will be used to optimize uranium grades delivered to
the uranium plant. Inception of the third stream of the uranium flotation
plant is expected to ensure that the planned life of mine gold production will
be realized in all material respects.
    Plans for construction and commissioning of the third gold plant module
and the third stream of the uranium flotation plant at MWS have been
finalized, the long-lead items have been ordered, major supplier contracts
have been entered into and construction is underway, which has locked in costs
and significantly reduced the potential for cost volatility in the Company's
capital expenditure program.
    Construction of the third gold plant module and third stream of the
uranium flotation plant has commenced and is proceeding on schedule for
completion by June 2010.
    The following table summarizes the production from each operation during
the quarter. Production from the four quarters of the previous fiscal year
ended March 31, 2009 has been included for comparison purposes.

    
    Quarterly Production Results
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Q1 2009  Q2 2009  Q3 2009  Q4 2009  Q1 2010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MWS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes of ore reclaimed
     (000s)                        1,665    1,839    1,798    1,693    1,835
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average gold head grade (g/t)   0.37     0.41     0.42     0.41     0.42
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold plant recovery (%)          43%      49%      50%      47%      44%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold reclaimed (oz)            8,530   11,821   12,235   10,513   11,007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold sold (oz)                 7,741   12,118   12,581   10,417   10,676
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ezulwini
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total tonnes of ore milled         -   44,014   80,079  108,622   92,468
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold produced (oz)                 -      124    6,411    4,267    3,791
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold sold (oz)                     -      124    6,411    4,267    3,379
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Outlook - Ezulwini Mine

    At the Ezulwini Mine, the key elements that will drive the planned
increases in gold and uranium production include:

    
    -  the de-stress cuts required to open up mining of the high-grade ore in
       the shaft pillar of the UE ore body, which is scheduled for completion
       in Q3 2010; and

    -  the creation of workable face length with grades of gold and uranium
       that are at or above the economic cut off of the ore mined.
    

    The underground development of mining faces at economical grades of
uranium and gold are the key to the success of the operation. First Uranium
has, with this news release, introduced new forecast metrics of face length,
anticipated blasted face grade and kilograms per face length metre to help
investors understand the expected acceleration of underground mine development
(metrics that will now be regularly supplied in subsequent production
updates).

    
    Ezulwini Mine: Underground Production Forecast
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Q1 2010    Q2 2010    Q3 2010    Q4 2010
                                     Actual   Forecast   Forecast   Forecast
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Upper Elsburg Mining Activity
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Metres of mining face               369        600      1,000      1,700
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blasted face grade - gold (g/t)    4.66       6.71       6.79       7.53
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Middle Elsburg Mining Activity
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Metres of mining face               408        575      1,050      1,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blasted face grade - gold (g/t)    2.95       2.74       3.27       3.53
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blasted face grade
     - uranium (g/t)                    480        500        560        610
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Facelength ("FL") Buildup
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold (kg/m of FL blasted)            15         24         45         76
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Uranium (kg/m of FL blasted)      1,077      1,206      2,607      4,232
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mill Production (combined)
    Tonnes of ore milled (000s)          92        145        215        293
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notes:
    1. Face-length buildup is a metric to indicate the content of gold and
       uranium produced for a horizontal metre of blasted facelength.
    2. The current mining rate is not expected to immediately fill the
       uranium and gold plants that have production capacities of 100,000
       tonnes per month and 200,000 tonnes per month, respectively.
    3. A minimum three-month delay is expected between uranium production and
       sales, allowing time for calcining, shipment and conversion.
    4. Q1 and Q2 grades for the upper Elsburg ore body include grade dilution
       from the low-grade shaft pillar de-stress cut which is scheduled for
       completion in October 2009.
    5. The anticipated increase in stope grades has been determined on the
       basis of current in situ sampling of reef development and sampling of
       new stopes that are being opened up.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Outlook - MWS

    At MWS, management estimates that the second gold plant module, known as
the phase 1B expansion, is expected to produce gold - as per design
specification - by the end of Q2 2010.
    The first two uranium plant modules, which also form part of the phase 1B
expansion project, are expected to be completed and producing at design
specification before the end of Q3 2010. For the final phase of construction,
management has decided to delay portions of the third uranium plant module
until such time that higher uranium prices are expected to occur.


    
    MWS: Tailings Recovery and Production Forecast
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Q1 2010     Q2 2010     Q3 2010     Q4 2010
                                 Actual    Forecast    Forecast    Forecast
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes of ore reclaimed
     (000s)                       1,835       3,200       3,900       3,900
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average gold head
     grade (g/t)                   0.42        0.40        0.41        0.40
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold plant recovery (%)         44%         50%         54%         58%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gold reclaimed and
     sold (oz)                   10,676      18,000      28,500      28,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tonnes of uranium ore
     reclaimed (000s)                 -           -         370         370
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average uranium concentrate
     grade feeding the
     plant(g/t)                       -           -         368         368
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Uranium plant recovery (%)        -           -         75%         75%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Uranium reclaimed (lb)            -           -     225,000     225,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notes:
    1. The increase in gold recoveries is possible through the introduction
       of gold concentrates into the uranium plant where exposure of material
       to an acidic environment liberates additional gold that would
       otherwise not be available for cyanidation.
    2. The average uranium concentrate grade is a derived number as the plant
       feed is expected to be ore from a variety of sources, only some of
       which will be concentrated in the flotation process.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    About First Uranium Corporation

    First Uranium Corporation (TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) is focused on 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 operations situated
in South Africa. First Uranium also plans to grow production by pursuing
value-enhancing acquisition and joint venture opportunities in South Africa
and elsewhere.

    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 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
securities laws.





For further information:

For further information: Bob Tait, Vice President, Investor Relations at
bob@firsturanium.ca, (416) 342-5639 (office) or (416) 558-3858 (mobile),
1240-155 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5H 3B7

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