ROCA Reports First Quarter Results



    ROK: TSX.V

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - Roca Mines Inc. (ROK: TSX-V) ("Roca" or "the
Company") has released its unaudited financial results for the three-month
period ended November 30, 2008, including production and sales from the MAX
molybdenum mine located in British Columbia, Canada. All dollar amounts are
stated in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

    
    Q1-2009 Highlights:

    -   Revenues of $8.3 million for September 1 to November 30, 2008;
    -   Cash flows from operations of $6.3 million or $0.08 cents per share;
    -   Cash costs of Cdn $7.07 (approx. US$5.80) per lb of molybdenum;
    -   Average molybdenum recoveries of over 95% during the quarter;
    -   Average mill availability for the period of over 95%;
    -   Improved overall head grades as a result of mining experience and
        grade control; and
    -   Total molybdenum production of 679,697 pounds during the period.
    

    Production Results and Concentrate Sales

    The Company announced that it had achieved its commercial production
targets on April 12, 2008 at its MAX molybdenum mine located in BC, Canada.
The mine became BC's first new metal mine in a decade and the newest primary
molybdenum mine in Canada.
    Revenues of $8.3 million for the three months ended November 30, 2008
result from concentrate sales during September through November and reflect
final and/or estimated final pricing at November 30, 2008. The Company sells
its concentrates to a UK-based buyer with sales revenues based on average
prevailing molybdenum oxide prices subsequent to delivery. The Company has no
hedging program nor has it sold forward any of its production.
    The table below is a summary of the operating statistics for the three
months ended November 30, 2008:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MAX Mine Statistics                               Q1-2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      SEPT '08   OCT '08   NOV '08     TOTAL
                                     ----------------------------------------
    Molybdenum Produced (lbs)(1)       269,331   187,979   222,387   679,697
    Average Head Grade (% Mo)             1.18      0.79      1.01
    Molybdenum Recovery (%)              95.77     94.77     96.11
    Mill Availability (%)                   96       100        95
    Average Daily Throughput (tpd)         375       382       358
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Note 1: molybdenum contained in concentrate
    

    Cash costs of production during the first quarter were significantly
lower than the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 as a result of an ongoing grade
control program and higher average grades received at the mill during
September through November. Cash costs averaged approximately Cdn$7.07 per lb
(US$5.80) of molybdenum during the first quarter. Daily mine production was
lower than targets due to equipment availability.
    Subsequent to November 30, 2008, a small rockfall occurred underground at
the mine which impacted the immediate availability of production ore and
therefore the mine's ability to provide ore to the mill. The rockfall was
localized to the stope development area of the 875 metre level. No workers
were present on the level at the time and no one was harmed. The rockfall
poses no threat to other working areas of the mine, but did impact the
production schedule for the second quarter ending February 28, 2009. A
maintenance break originally scheduled between December 12 and December 29,
2008, was extended to excavate the rockfall and adjacent ore in the stope. The
mine recommenced production on January 8, 2009 at a rate of approximately 500
tonnes per day.

    MAX Mine/Mill Expansion

    Initial production at MAX is focusing on the "HG" Zone, including an
estimated 280,000 tonnes of ("measured + indicated") ore grading 1.95% MoS(2).
Expansion of the mine and mill is being guided by prevailing molybdenum prices
and an assessment of ongoing operating costs throughout 2009.
    The Company plans to seek graduated permitting to increase the production
of the mine over time including the Phase II mine. Under the current operating
plan, a permit to operate at the as-built capacity will be required in late
2009. An application for this increase in production rate will be submitted
after environmental and water quality data is collected and compiled. The
information will demonstrate that the mine is working well within its
compliance requirements and with minimal impact to the environment.
    As a result of recent global economic uncertainty and declining commodity
prices, management has undertaken several initiatives to reduce costs at the
MAX molybdenum mine while continuing to operate under its Phase I mine plan.
Phase II expansion plans, including completing capital spending for that
expansion, are being minimized. However, the opportunity to rapidly accelerate
that work has been preserved.

    Exploration

    Foremore VMS-Gold Project

    The Company holds a 100% interest in the Foremore VMS-Gold project
situated in the "Golden Triangle" one of the most active mining and
exploration areas in north-western British Columbia. The property comprises 65
contiguous mineral claims totaling 23,609 hectares in the Liard Mining
Division. Significant operations in the area include Barrick Gold's legendary
Eskay Creek Mine, Cominco's historic Snip Mine and NovaGold and Teck Cominco's
Galore Creek Project. Foremore has been the focus of the Company's exploration
efforts dating back to the summer of 2002 and was the focus of exploration by
Cominco Limited between 1989 and 1996. Roca's expenditures on the Foremore
Project during the three months ended November 30, 2008 were $939,903.

    SeaGold Property

    The Company holds a 50% interest in the SeaGold Project, comprising 8
claim blocks of 4,000 hectares, centered on a number of gold and copper
occurrences approximately 35 km north of Barrick Gold's Eskay Creek
gold/silver mine in BC. The balance of the property interest is now held by
Romios Gold Resources Inc. ("Romios"). Romios serves as the operator of a
50:50 joint venture on the SeaGold project. The Company did not expend any
funds on this project during the three months ended November 30, 2008.

    Lardeau Properties

    A 2006 exploration program by the Company reviewed potential targets
within a 100 km radius of the MAX molybdenum mine. This work resulted in the
optioning of a 100% interest in four projects in the historic Lardeau Mining
Camp covering an area of approximately 5,600 hectares. The Company has
recently conducted exploratory prospecting and limited diamond drill programs
on these four properties.
    In 2007, the Company acquired by staking a 100% interest in the Butters
Peak Molybdenum Property, located approximately 25 km northeast of the MAX
Mine. Covering approximately 1,650 hectares, the property was originally
discovered by tracing highly anomalous regional silt geochemical results to
molybdenite float. The Company conducted limited prospecting and
reconnaissance on the property in 2008.
    In light of current economic conditions, management considers it unlikely
that it will continue exploration on these early-stage prospects in order to
focus on its more advanced mining and exploration projects in 2009. Therefore
the Company has taken an impairment charge of the total $28,013 in
expenditures incurred on these projects during the three months ended November
30, 2008. The Butters Peak project claims have been allowed to elapse and all
other properties will likely revert back to the original vendors.

    Share Capital

    During the three months ended November 30, 2008 a total of 8,354,978
warrants expired unexercised. Subsequent to November 30, 2008, 121,000 options
expired unexercised and 246,000 options were exercised for proceeds of
$49,200. Also subsequent to November 30, 2008, the Company completed the first
tranche of a $2.5 million private placement for proceeds of $1.4 million. A
total of 5,600,000 shares, 5,600,000 warrants and 66,000 compensation warrants
were issued, all warrants giving the holder the right to buy an additional
common share until January 27, 2011 at a price of $0.35.
    The Company now has 86,355,628 common shares outstanding and 101,438,378
shares on a fully-diluted basis as at the date of this release.

    Outlook

    As a result of recent global economic uncertainty and rapidly declining
commodity prices, management has decisively cut costs at the MAX molybdenum
mine while continuing to operate under its Phase I mine plan. Phase II
expansion plans, including completion capital spending for that expansion, are
being minimized. Similarly, exploration work at the Company's projects,
including the MAX property, will be limited to definition drilling where
required. Management will continue to operate the mine while it generates
positive cash flow, recognizing that the MAX molybdenum mine was originally
designed to operate at historic prices in the US$5-6/lb range. Significant
gains have also been realized from the recent Canada-USA exchange rate and
fuel cost reductions.
    It remains management's belief that molybdenum prices should remain
significantly greater than historic values for the foreseeable future due to
i) production problems globally, ii) the reduction of by-product production
related to copper mines and iii) the inability of new mines to achieve
financing. In real terms, recent events have seriously eroded the global
supply of molybdenum and management believes that a realization of supply and
demand fundamentals in the medium-term will result in positive changes to
pricing. It is therefore management's goal to remain in operation and preserve
the opportunity to readily produce molybdenite concentrate in a rapidly
appreciating environment.
    In the interim, production at the MAX molybdenum mine will be limited to
current target levels in an effort to preserve the molybdenum resource, and
the mine will be readied, with minimal additional cost, for a rapid response
to periods when greater margins on sales can be realized. Few other producers
will have similar ability to ramp-up production.
    Management has observed that experience with the geological controls on
mineralization, its grade control program and underground infrastructure
improvements have all served to dramatically reduce the average production
costs and anticipate continued low cash costs going forward, consistent with
original targets and plans for the operation.

    Financial Results

    The information in this news release and the selected financial
information should be read in conjunction with the unaudited financial
statements, and management discussion and analysis, for the three months ended
November 30, 2008, which will be available at Roca's website at
www.rocamines.com.
    For the three months ended November 30, 2008, the Company reported a loss
of $5,121,724 and an accumulated deficit of $10,675,671 at that date. Total
assets were $52,611,063 and cash and cash equivalents were $1,342,571 at
November 30, 2008. While the Company had cash flow from operations of
$6,289,717 for the period, the rapid decline in the price for molybdenite
concentrates significantly reduced cash operating margins during the first
quarter.

    
    Summary Consolidated Statements of Operations and Loss

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Three months ended
                                                           November 30, 2008
                                                                        Cdn$
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Revenues                                                 8,310,517
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cost of sales                                                 (4,712,728)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Write-down of inventories to net realizable value               (434,574)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Depletion, amortization, accretion                           (10,992,237)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mining Loss                                                   (7,829,055)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    G&A, Stock-based comp., write-offs                              (495,154)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Loss from Operations                                          (8,324,209)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other income (expenses)                                          449,880
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Income and mining tax provision (recovery)                    (2,752,605)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net Loss for the Period                                       (5,121,724)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Loss per Share - Basic and Diluted                                 (0.06)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Scott E. Broughton, P.Eng, is the qualified person responsible for the
preparation of this news release under National Instrument 43-101.

                               ROCA MINES INC.

                              "Scott Broughton"

                 --------------------------------------------
                 Scott E. Broughton, P.Eng. - President & CEO


    The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the
    adequacy or accuracy of this release.
    

    %SEDAR: 00018660E




For further information:

For further information: Investor Relations, Tel: (604) 684-2900, Fax:
(604) 684-2902, Email: info@rocamines.com, Web: www.rocamines.com

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ROCA MINES INC.

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