Great Basin Gold Ltd. - Results of Trial Mining and Ongoing Metallurgical Test Work at Hollister



    VANCOUVER, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Great Basin Gold Ltd. ("Great Basin Gold" or
the "Company") (TSX: GBG; NYSE Alternext: GBG; JSE: GBG) announces the results
of its ongoing underground exploration and development (inclusive of trial
mining and metallurgical test work) at Hollister for the year ended December
31, 2008.
    During the period under review, the Company continued with infrastructure
establishment which included the completion of an expanded waste rock disposal
facility, a third rapid infiltration basin and commissioning of the water
desilting facility. Different stoping methods were also under trial at
Hollister during 2008. The results of the shrinkage and cut/fill methods
yielded an average gold equivalent grade of 1.6 oz/ton(1). The average minimum
mining widths for both the shrinkage and cut and fill stopes was 42 inches
(3.5 feet). Vein recovery in the surveyed shrinkage and cut/fill stopes was
99%. A third stoping method, thermal fragmentation, is being tested at
Hollister as a research and development project.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     HOLLISTER RESULTS AND RELATED COSTS
           for bulk sampling and trial mining to December 31, 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            ACTUAL                  COMMENTS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ore extracted (tons)    50,161
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ore treated (tons)      33,830   Under Processing Agreements
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Extracted equivalent             In line with management forecast
     ounces                 80,305   of 80,000 equivalent ounces
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average grade
     extracted (gold                 Higher than management forecast
     equivalent oz/ton)       1.60   of 1.1 gold equivalent oz/ton
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Recovered equivalent
     ounces for the year
     from processing
     agreements             38,465
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average grade                    Gold recovery percentage in the ore
     recovered (gold                 purchase agreement with Midas negatively
     equivalent oz/ton)       1.14   impacted on the ounces recovered
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash cost per
     equivalent gold
     ounce, excl. milling
     and haulage charges
     (US$ per equivalent             Milling and haulage costs are excluded
     gold ounce)               300   due to various options evaluated
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Milling and haulage
     costs (US$ per                  Costs were mainly affected by the terms
     equivalent gold ounce)    215   of the Midas ore purchase agreement
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Material processed contains gold and silver. Gold equivalent was
        calculated using Au price of US$650/oz & Ag price of US$10/oz.


    During 2008, ore was shipped to two separate facilities for further
metallurgical testing. The metallurgical results are reported in the table
below. Material is pending treatment from the November Newmont Midas tests and
the Kinross Republic facility, so the final milling results have yet to be
determined.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            AU HEAD   AG HEAD                 AU        AG
                             GRADE     GRADE     VOLUME    RECOVERY  RECOVERY
                           (oz/ton)  (oz/ton)  (dry tons)     (%)       (%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newmont Midas (May)       1.15      9.53      4,737       84.7      94.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newmont Midas (June)      0.75      9.70      3,906       88.2      92.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newmont Midas (Sept)      1.43     12.07     10,907       88.1      91.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*)Newmont Midas (Nov)    2.02      16.2     12,075    (xx)OPA   (xx)OPA
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*)Kinross Republic
        (Nov)                 2.34     20.14      4,692        N/A       N/A
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*)  Actual assays not yet processed.
    (xx) Actual recoveries not available as it was based on ore purchase
         agreement with Newmont
    


    At the end of December 2008, an additional approximately 10,273 gold
equivalent ounces were held in various stockpiles.
    Under the current Plan of Operations approved by the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM), the Company is permitted to undertake underground
exploration and development inclusive of the taking and removal of bulk
samples, and doing trial mining. An amended Plan of Operations to approve full
production was submitted to the BLM in March 2008. After evaluating the
Company's proposal for full-scale production, the BLM determined that the
environmental analysis required for the Plan of Operations amendment is an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The initiation of the EIS process in
conjunction with the BLM is currently underway.
    Prior to the completion of the EIS process and receiving BLM's approval
of the amended Plan of Operations, the underground exploration and development
activities at Hollister must be conducted within the limits set out in the
current BLM permit and in the renewed Water Pollution Control Permit that the
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) recently issued. The
ongoing trial mining operations will be conducted in a manner that will
protect the environment - including the important archaeological resources
near the mine - and will not create any additional surface disturbance or
other new environmental impacts.
    During 2008 a total of 17,111 feet of lateral and vertical development
were excavated in waste and ore (see below).

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 ORE DEVELOPMENT EXPLORATION
    WASTE DEVELOPMENT (feet)                      DRIFTS, INCL RAISES (feet)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
             11,057                                         6,054
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    The development is a critical phase of the detailed evaluation of the
vein systems and has enabled commensurate delineation drilling, channel
sampling and mapping.
    Using the existing infrastructure, the planned 2009 underground program
will develop approximately 260,000 tons of rock (both waste and ore) - similar
to the volume of rock developed and removed from the underground workings in
2008. Up to 275,000 tons of ore per annum is allowed to be processed off-site
in accordance with the NDEP Water Pollution Control Permit to determine the
metallurgical characteristics.
    During December 2008, the Company announced that it had purchased the
Esmeralda Mill in Nevada, which it is planning to refurbish at a cost of
US$8.0 million. This facility will be redesigned to test the Hollister bulk
samples so that gold recoveries can be optimized and revenues will closer
reflect the spot price of gold and silver.
    Ferdi Dippenaar, President and CEO, commented, "A number of achievements
have been made at our Hollister Project over the past year. It was the first
year that the current management team evaluated the in-situ mineralization
through a focused development and trial mining program. A significant amount
of exploration development was required to gain access to a number of veins to
determine the mineability of the vein material. This was subsequently followed
up by metallurgical testing at a number of sites, with mixed results. 2009
will be another exciting year, with more exploration and trial mining planned
to enable Great Basin Gold to gain a better understanding of the optimal
exploitation of the Hollister deposit."
    Johan Oelofse, PrEng, FSAIMM, Chief Operating Officer for the Company and
a qualified person, has reviewed this news release on behalf of Great Basin.

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

    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 possible future commercial
production, reserve potential, exploration drilling results, development,
feasibility or exploitation activities and events or developments that Great
Basin Gold expects to occur are forward-looking statements. Although the
Company believes 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. Factors that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include
market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, continuity of
mineralization, uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary
permits, licenses and title and delays due to third party opposition,
geopolitical uncertainty, changes in government policies regarding mining and
natural resource exploration and exploitation, and continued availability of
capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions.
Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future
performance and those actual results or developments may differ materially
from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information
on the Company, Investors should review the Company's annual Form 40-F filing
with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and its home
jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.





For further information:

For further information: on Great Basin Gold Ltd. and its gold
properties, please visit the Company's website at www.grtbasin.com or contact
Investor Services: Tsholo Serunye in South Africa, +27 (0)11 301 1800; Michael
Curlook in North America, 1-888-633-9332; Barbara Cano at Breakstone Group in
the USA, (646) 452-2334

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