TUCSON, AZ, June 22 /CNW/ - Nord Resources Corporation (TSX: NRD / OTC:
NRDS), which is ramping up copper mining and processing operations at its
Johnson Camp Mine in Arizona, today issued a progress report on its success at
increasing production to the targeted production rate of 25 million pounds of
copper per year.
Nord Resources focused during 2008 on executing its plan to reactivate
the Johnson Camp Mine, while it continued to extract copper by carrying out
residual leaching of the existing ore heaps. This enabled the company to
produce approximately 2.9 million pounds of copper in 2008. After receiving a
required Air Quality permit in August 2008, the company was able to proceed
with the construction needed to reactivate the mine. Nord completed the
construction in January 2009 and in February it commenced producing and
processing new ore.
"In ramping up our production rate of new ore, we have experienced
encouraging success as well as some short-term challenges that resulted in a
total production rate that is currently below our expectations," said John
Perry, president and chief executive officer. "These issues are not unusual in
our industry and are only affecting the timing of reaching our target of 25
million pounds of copper production per year. We fully expect to achieve that
level, but it is going to take longer than we had planned."
"During this ramp up stage," said Randy Davenport, vice-president and
chief operating officer, "we have made significant progress with a focus on
increasing operating efficiencies. Continual optimization of mine plans is an
important activity at any mine and we specifically have changed the mining
pushback sequences that will allow us to achieve higher mine grades earlier in
the mine life. We have achieved design crushing throughput rates on a daily
basis and are currently making modifications to the crushing plant that will
allow us to sustain designed throughput rates on a continuous basis. These
measures include modifications to the conveyor chutes and belt skirting to
handle variations in the ore characteristics and installation of two vibratory
feeders that will allow choke feeding the secondary crushers to improve
particle size and liner life. Mr. Davenport added.
The leaching characteristics of the ore have behaved as expected, but the
challenge has been to predict the length of time required for the new solution
to report through the old, existing pads.
"We are placing newly crushed ore on top of the old ore on existing leach
pads. Every pad has its own distinctive characteristics and can vary depending
on whether the old material on the pad was run-of mine or crushed and whether
historic channeling occurred, and the depth of the old leach pad. "To reduce
this uncertainty," Mr. Davenport continued, "we contoured, compacted and
installed a french drain on the pad we currently are stacking on and it has
significantly reduced the time for solution to report directly to the plant.
These and other changes are expected to cost approximately US$750,000 and
will put us on track to achieve the design copper production of 25 million
pounds per year rate this year.
"Our outlook is benefitting, of course, from the significant improvement
in copper pricing that has taken place in recent months," said Mr. Perry, "as
well as the marked decline in the cost of sulfuric acid, which is our single
most significant variable cost. However, the temporary delay in the ramp up of
our production rate will negatively impact our cash flow in the short term.
Accordingly, we will be proceeding with a brokered financing of approximately
$5,000,000 to be used for working capital, modifications discussed above and
for general corporate purposes.
"We also continue to intend to carry out an evaluation later this year of
opportunities to increase our production rate beyond the 25 million pounds
level through incremental expansions," Mr. Perry said.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the
solicitation for any offers to buy any securities of the Company. The
securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States
Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the
United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration
About Nord Resources
Nord Resources Corporation is a copper mining company whose primary asset
is the Johnson Camp Mine, located approximately 65 miles east of Tucson,
Arizona. Nord commenced mining new ore on February 1, 2009. Previously, since
February 1, 2008, the company was commercially producing copper from residual
leaching of the existing ore heaps. The company expects to reach full copper
production at a rate of approximately 25 million pounds per annum in 2009. For
further information, including the Annual Shareholders Meeting presentation
and pictures of the reactivation at Johnson Camp, please visit the company's
website at www.nordresources.com.
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking". All statements in this release, other than those of
historical facts, may be considered forward-looking statements, including
those concerning Nord's expectations regarding copper production targets at
the Johnson Camp Mine (including its expectation that it will reach full
copper production at a rate of approximately 25 million pounds per annum in
2009), and statements concerning the potential of the Johnson Camp Mine.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the market
prices of copper and sulfuric acid, general economic, market, and business
conditions, ability to reach full production rates, statements or information
with respect to known or unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that
may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company, or
industry results, to be materially different from any future results,
performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking
statements or information. Investors are cautioned that any such statements
are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or
developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking
statements. In addition, Nord's business and operations are subject to the
risks set forth in Nord's most recent Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, and other SEC
filings which are available through EDGAR at www.sec.gov, and in Nord's
prospectus and other filings with the British Columbia and Ontario Securities
Commissions, which are available through SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Nord assumes
no obligation to update the forward-looking statements except as may be
required by law.
For further information:
For further information: John Perry, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Nord Resources Corporation, (520) 292-0266, www.nordresources.com;
Investor and Media Relations, Richard Wertheim, Wertheim + Company Inc., (416)
594-1600 or (416) 518-8479 (cell) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org