Minera Andes announces the San Jose mine increases silver and gold mineral reserves by 100 percent



    
    TSX: MAI                                      NASD-OTCBB: MNEAF
    

    SPOKANE, WA, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Minera Andes Inc. (TSX: MAI and US OTC:
MNEAF) is pleased to announce results of a NI 43-101 Technical Report to be
filed that includes new mineral resources identified from 2007 exploration
drilling, underground development and conversion of 2006 mineral resources
into mineral reserves at the San José project in Santa Cruz province, southern
Argentina. In addition the report also quantifies areas of mineral potential
based on drilling. The San José mining operation is expected to reach full
production of 750 tonnes per day (t/d) by year-end and the process plant in
commissioning is forecast by Minera Andes to reach full capacity in first half
of 2008. The San José project is operated by Minera Santa Cruz S.A. ("MSC")
(owned 51% by Hochschild Mining plc ("Hochschild") (HOC.L Reuters, HOC.LN
Bloomberg, London Stock Exchange) and 49% by Minera Andes).
    Some highlights of the new Technical Report by AMEC Americas Limited
(AMEC) are as follows (all amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars, unless
otherwise indicated):

    
    -  Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves: at June 30, 2007 are:
       2.4 million tonnes grading 6.79 g/t gold and 430 g/t silver. The
       economic cutoff used to calculate the reserves is $94/t (using a price
       of $500 for gold and $9.00 for silver and taking into account
       metallurgical recoveries).
    -  Gold contained: 521,000 ounces of Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves
    -  Silver contained: 38 million ounces of Proven and Probable Mineral
       Reserves
    -  Production: 750 t/day at full production mining rate
    -  Forecast average operating costs of: $3.92 per ounce silver equivalent
    -  Mine life increased from 5.2 yrs to 9 yrs
    -  Forecast average gold production: 64,000 ounces per year at full
       production
    -  Forecast average silver production: 3.9 million ounces per year at
       full production
    -  Mineral potential was estimated for three targets to total:
       1.6-3.4 million tonnes, with 6-10 g/t gold and 200-600 g/t silver
    

    The new Technical Report by AMEC entitled "San José Property San Cruz
Province, Argentina NI 43-101 Technical Report", was authored by Pierre Rocque
(P. Eng.), William Colquhoun (FSAIMM), Emmanuel Henry MAusIMM (C.P.), and
Armando Simon, R.P. Geol., AIG, appropriately qualified persons according to
NI 43-101. The results from the new report indicate that the 2006 core
drilling program (128 holes totaling 22,047 meters) and 2007 development and
drilling on the Kospi and Frea veins at San José increased silver and gold
reserves by 100% (on a tonnage basis) from the level announced in the our
September 2007 Technical Report. Work at San José in 2007 has increased the
mineral resources and mineral reserves from a 38,000-meter exploration
drilling campaign currently underway, and development of the underground
workings. We expect further increases in the mineral reserves and mineral
resources from these programs. At the current mining production rate of
750 t/d the new mineral reserves that include the Kospi vein indicate a mine
life of 9 years at San José, an increase of 73 percent over the existing mine
life of 5.2 years.
    Allen Ambrose, president of Minera Andes, said "Even with the new
drilling, less than 15% of the known 40 kilometers of the vein trends at San
José have been drilled. The drilling in 2006-2007 has increased the mine's
mineral reserves by 100% (on a tonnage basis). The joint venture is drilling
38,000 meters in the current exploration program to define new mineral
reserves and continue evaluating new targets. With commissioning of the mine
and the ramping up of production it is an exciting time for Minera Andes. Now
we are developing the mineral reserves to support the plans of MSC to double
production to 1,500 t/d. The mineral potential estimates on drilled targets
further highlights the potential to increase the mineral reserves."

    Mineral Potential

    The new Technical Report also estimates the mineral potential at San José
based on drilling outside the existing mineral reserves/resources. Mineral
potential was estimated using long section based blocks with 2 to 8 drill
holes per target for the Odin, Aylen, and Frea extension targets. The mineral
potential for these targets based on the current drilling is estimated to
total 1.6 to 3.4 million tonnes ranging from 6 to 10 g/t gold and 200 to
600 g/t silver.
    The estimation used a conventional method, based on the interpretation of
mineralized blocks on vertical longitudinal sections, the calculation of block
areas, average horizontal widths and weighted average grades of the
mineralized intersections, and the subsequent calculation of block tonnages
and weighted average grades.
    AMEC's estimation has also considered the following procedures and
assumptions:
    
    -  For Ayelén and Odin, AMEC used the composite vein true thicknesses and
       grades provided by Minera Andes. Composite grades were capped at
       10 g/t Au and 500 g/t Ag.
    -  For Frea, AMEC used the individual sample lengths and assays.
       Individual assays were capped at 25 g/t Au and 1,000 g/t Ag. In such
       cases where splits were present in the proximity of the main vein
       (less than 10 m along the hole), the estimation considered the
       combined thickness and weighted average grade of the split and the
       vein. Splits located at greater distances were not included in the
       estimation.
    -  For the estimation of horizontal thicknesses, AMEC assumed that all
       veins dip 70 degrees, and that all holes were drilled with 50 degrees
       dip.
    -  Whenever necessary, horizontal thicknesses were diluted to 1 m minimum
       mining width.
    -  AMEC considered a 2.65 t/m(3) bulk density.
    

    It should be emphasized that this estimation is conceptual in nature,
that there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource, and
that it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being
delineated as a mineral resource.

    
    Potential Tonnages and Grades of Selected Exploration Targets
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Tonnage (Million tonnes)    Gold (g/t)    Silver (g/t)
      Vein target   ---------------------------------------------------------
                       Minimum        Maximum
                        (Min)          (Max)      Min   Max      Min    Max
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ayelén               0.2            0.4        7     11      300    700
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Odin                 1.0            2.0        6     10      200    600
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Frea Extensions      0.4            1.0        6     10      200    600
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                1.6            3.4        6     10      200    600
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    San José Mine

    The drilling completed on the San José mine at year end 2006 to
June 30th, 2007 indicate an increase of 88% in contained silver equivalent and
the mine now contains over 64 million silver equivalent ounces in the Proven
and Probable Mineral Reserve categories (see reserves tables below). This
increase in mineral reserves is primarily due to the addition of the Kospi
vein and new development and drilling on trend of the Frea vein. Estimated
mine life is 9.0 years with the current reserves at a 750 t/d mining rate.
    The Kospi vein, discovered in 2005, is the first target that has been
converted to a mineral reserve out of several high-priority drill targets
identified on the property through early reconnaissance drilling and surface
exploration programs. Other priority targets are Odin (A and B), Ayelén, Flor,
Huevos Verdes West, Kospi 1, Kospi South, Lourdes, Frigga, Aguas Vivas,
Roadside, and Portuguese West. Though these targets are early stage we believe
that they have significant discovery potential for gold and silver
mineralization. Drilling is planned for these targets as part of an ongoing
38,000 meter, $4 million exploration drilling program started earlier this
year. Currently over 10,000 meters have been drilled for this field seasons
2007-2008 program.
    The technical report by AMEC, uses a long-term gold price of $575 per
ounce (oz) and $9.00 per oz for silver for estimating mineral reserves in its
economic analysis. The average cash operating costs are estimated at $94/tonne
of ore processed, or $235/ounce gold equivalent. AMEC estimates the San José a
remaining capital expense from the initial capital cost budget to the amount
of approximately $20.8 million. The base case Net Present Value (NPV), using
an 8% discount rate, is $91 million. Based on the parameters listed above, the
undiscounted NPV representing cumulative cash flow is $150 million.
    The San José mine is ramping up from the start up in the third quarter of
2007 to full commercial production. Approximately eleven kilometers of
underground workings have been developed at the mine along with the associated
infrastructure. Power is supplied by four diesel generators. The mine is
designed to produce 750 t/d of ore from three separate structures, the Frea,
Huevos Verdes, and Kospi veins, using underground mining methods. Mechanized
cut and fill mining will be used as the primary mining method supplemented
with conventional cut and fill mining.
    The processing facility utilizes a Gekko Gravity-Flotation-Intensive
Leaching (GFIL) process, direct electrowinning and resin column absorption for
the production of the final product a gold-silver doré. Due to the potential
for additional risk with a newer process technology that might result in lower
throughput and metallurgical recoveries AMEC has reduced expected recovery of
gold to 75% and silver to 65% in the first year of production. They have
assumed the average life of mine recovery of 90% for gold and 88% for silver
in the second year. As a result there is some risk that additional plant
modifications and commissioning time could be required to achieve these
increased recoveries and that there would be additional capital costs.

    Mineral Resources, Reserves

    The new San José mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates, mine
life, and mining rates, disclosed herein are based on work from our joint
venture partner that was audited and adjusted by independent qualified persons
Emmanuel Henry, MAusIMM (CP), and Pierre Rocque, P. Eng. at AMEC. The mineral
resources and reserves remain open along strike and at depth in some areas.
    At June 30, 2007 total Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources at the
San José Project were 602,000 ounces of gold and 38.0 million ounces of
silver, contained in 2.4 million tonnes grading 7.91 g/t gold and 500 g/t
silver or 74 million ounces of silver on a silver equivalent basis (see table
below). An additional 58,000 ounces of gold and 3.3 million ounces of silver,
in 230,000 tonnes, grading 7.80 g/t gold and 452 g/t silver are classified as
Inferred Resources. The economic cutoff used to estimate the mineral resources
is $45/t (using a price of $500 per ounce for gold and $9.00 per ounce for
silver). Gold mill recovery used for the mineral resource estimate is 89.65%
and silver mill recovery is 90.49%. Gold commercial recovery used for the
mineral resource estimate is 99.68% and 99.75%

    
                Mineral Resources(*) - Measured and Indicated
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Grades                Classified Resource
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Area                                 Total
      Resources            Au      Ag      Resource    Measured    Indicated
      (6/30/07)          (g/t)   (g/t)        (t)         (t)         (t)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Huevos
    Verdes South         7.04     520       615,000     290,000      325,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Frea                 8.72     384       950,000     354,000      596,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kospi                7.63     622       800,000           0      800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    Oct. 21, 2005        9.32     494     1,097,000     167,000      930,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    Dec 31, 2006         8.33     522     1,779,000     291,000    1,488,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    06/30/07             7.91     500     2,365,000     645,000    1,721,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage
    change                                   +33
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Contained Ounces
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Area                                                        Silver
      Resources                            Gold       Silver      equivalent
      (6/30/07)                            (oz)        (oz)          (oz)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Huevos
    Verdes South                         139,000    10,296,000    18,636,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Frea                                 266,000    11,745,000    27,705,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kospi                                196,000    15,991,000    27,751,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    Oct. 21, 2005                        327,000    17,343,000    36,972,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    Dec 31, 2006                         477,000    29,847,000    58,467,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    06/30/07                             602,000    38,032,000    74,092,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage
    change                                 +26          +27           +27
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*)Note: Contains 100 percent of the resources, Minera Andes ownership of
             the project is 49%. Mineral Resources are inclusive of mineral
             reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not
             have demonstrated economic viability. Silver/gold equivalency
             1oz gold = 60 oz silver.
    

    The resource models were developed using industry-accepted methods. AMEC
validated the model estimates, and after some adjustments, found them to
reasonably estimate grade and tonnage. The mineral resource estimates are
compliant with CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral
Reserves as incorporated by reference in NI 43-101. AMEC notes, however, that
the resource classification criteria applied are generous and are at the limit
of what AMEC would qualify as reasonable. AMEC also notes biases of 18% and
21% for gold and silver, respectively, at Huevos Verdes South. Even larger
biases are observed at Huevos Verdes Ramal. This may not have a material
impact at the scale of the property, but it will have a significant local
impact.
    At June 30th, 2007 the Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves, based on an
overall economic cutoff off of $94/t (using a price of $500/oz for gold and
$9.00/oz for silver), are 2.4 million tonnes at 6.79 g/t gold and 430 g/t
silver, containing 521,000 ounces of gold and 33,017,000 ounces of silver. The
mineral reserves also take into account marginal blocks of ore located on the
periphery of higher grade zones. The marginal cutoff for these blocks was
$45/t. The marginal cutoff was defined by the value of ore that meets the
variable costs, but not the fixed costs. A 15% unplanned dilution and a 5%
mining loss were used in the calculation for the October 21, 2005 mineral
reserves and a 12% unplanned dilution and 5% mining loss has been used in the
April 30th, 2007 and June 30th, 2007 mineral reserve estimations.

    
    Mineral Reserves(*) - Proven and Probable
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Grades                Classified Reserve
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Area                                 Total
      Reserves             Au      Ag       Reserve     Proven     Probable
      (6/30/07)          (g/t)   (g/t)        (t)         (t)         (t)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Huevos
    Verdes               5.62     417       595,000     307,000     288,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Frea                 7.77     343       937,000     350,000     587,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kospi                6.52     536       854,000           -     854,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    Oct. 21, 2005         7.7     406      1,160,859    174,241     986,626
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    4/30/07              7.89     417      1,195,000    311,000     884,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    6/30/07              6.79     430      2,386,000    657,000    1,729,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage
    Change                                    +100
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Contained Ounces
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Area                                                        Silver
      Reserves                             Gold       Silver      Equivalent
      (6/30/07)                            (oz)        (oz)          (oz)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Huevos
    Verdes                               108,000     7,974,000    14,454,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Frea                                 234,000    10,321,000    24,361,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kospi                                179,000    14,722,000    25,462,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    Oct. 21, 2005                        288,000    15,229,000    32,515,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    4/30/07                              303,000    16,028,000    34,224,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Project
    6/30/07                              521,000    33,017,000    64,277,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage
    Change                                 +72         +106          +88
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*)Note: Contains 100 percent of the reserves, Minera Andes ownership of
             the project is 49%.
             Silver/gold equivalency 1oz Au = 60 oz Ag.
    

    The mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are based on 472 drill
holes and trenches holes (76,478 meters) and 2,733 channel samples taken from
underground workings constructed at Huevos Verdes, Frea, and Kospi. The
nominal spacing at Huevos Verdes and Frea is approximately 35 meters along
strike (horizontally) and 50 meters vertically and at Kospi it is
approximately 40 meters by 40 meters.
    The following summarizes the key assumptions, parameters and methods used
in the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates:

    
    -  Gold assays were cut to 65 g/t, 10 g/t, 50 g/t, 50 g/t and 50 g/t and
       30 g/t at Huevos Verdes South, Central, North, Ramal, Frea and at
       Kospi respectively. Silver assays were cut to 6,000 g/t, 500 g/t,
       4,000 g/t, 5,000 g/t, 3,000 g/t and 2,700 g/t at Huevos Verdes South,
       Central, North, Ramal, Frea, and at Kospi, respectively.
    -  Density values used for the estimate are 2,595 t/m(3) for Huevos
       Verdes, 2.611 t/m(3) for Frea, and Kospi.
    -  The geological model was developed using a series of northeast
       oriented sections spaced approximately 5 meters to 50 meters apart.
    -  Assays were composited to full vein-width interval.
    -  The estimation was done using Ordinary Kriging coupled with oriented
       search ellipses.
    -  Block grades were estimated based on interpretation of geological
       parameters logged in drill holes.
    -  Included in the mineral resource estimate at Huevos Verdes and Frea
       are 2,733 chip channel samples taken from the underground workings.
    

    Minera Andes is a gold, silver and copper exploration company working in
Argentina. The Corporation holds about 410,000 acres of mineral exploration
land in Argentina including the co-owned San José silver/gold mine that has
started initial production. Minera Andes is also exploring the Los Azules
copper project in San Juan province, where an exploration program is underway
to define a resource. Other exploration properties, primarily silver and gold,
are being evaluated in southern Argentina. The Corporation presently has
166,832,517 shares issued and outstanding.

    Allen V. Ambrose, Minera Andes' President, who is an appropriately
"qualified person" as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has supervised
the preparation of the information in the news release.

    This news is submitted by Allen V. Ambrose, President and Director of
Minera Andes Inc.

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements:

    This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements",
including, but not limited to, the statements regarding the Company's
strategic plans, evolution of mineral resources and reserves, work programs,
development plans and exploration budgets at the Company's San José Project.
Investors should be aware that the introduction of new technology such as ILR
can create added risk in achieving metallurgical performance. The
forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this press release, the
Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as
to future events and results. Forward-looking statements involve a number of
risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements
will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could
differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. In particular,
there can be no assurance that commercial production at the San José mine will
be achieved on a timely basis, or at all, that production capacity at the San
José mine will be successfully increased, that resources and reserves at the
San José mine will be increased or that Minera Andes will successfully raise
the funds necessary to maintain its interest in the San José mine. Risks and
uncertainties that could cause results or future events to differ materially
from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking
statements include, but are not limited to, factors associated with
fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, mining industry risks,
risks associated with foreign operations, the state of the capital markets,
environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral
reserves and other risks. Reference is made to the risk factors and
uncertainties described in the Company's continuous disclosure record, a copy
of which is available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com. In
addition, Minera Andes' joint venture partner, a subsidiary of Hochschild
Mining plc, and its affiliates do not accept responsibility for the use of
project data or the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Similarly,
Hochschild denies any responsibility for Minera Andes's NI 43-101 Technical
Report or for any of Minera Andes's Canadian securities filings or for any
information that Minera Andes has given to the securities markets and any such
responsibility is hereby disclaimed in all respects.

    Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors:

    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") permits
mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those
mineral deposits with "mineral reserves" that a company can economically and
legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such
as "mineral resources", that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from
including in our filings with the SEC.





For further information:

For further information: Art Johnson at the Spokane office, or Krister
A. Kottmeier, investor relations - Canada, at the Vancouver office. Visit our
Web site: www.minandes.com. Spokane Office: 111 East Magnesium Road, Ste. A,
Spokane, WA, 99208, USA, Phone: (509) 921-7322, E-mail: info@minandes.com;
Vancouver Office: 911-470 Granville Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6C 1V5, Phone:
(604) 689-7017, (877) 689-7018, E-mail: ircanada@minandes.com

Organization Profile

MINERA ANDES INC.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890