Wesdome 2011 year end reserves and resources estimates for its operating mines

TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. (WDO-TSX) is pleased to release updated mineral reserves and resources estimates for its 100% owned Eagle River, Kiena and Mishi gold mines as of December 31, 2011.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Proven and Probable Reserves increased 10%, net of depletion to stand at 350,000 ounces
  • Measured and Indicated Resources total 583,000 ounces
  • Inferred Resources total 186,000 ounces

President and CEO Donovan Pollitt, P.Eng., commented, "It is gratifying to see reserves at their highest level since we started mining operations 25 years ago.  This points to the quality of our properties and people.  The new Mishi Mine started processing ore in January, 2012, and will serve to leverage existing mill capacity.  We continue to examine opportunities within range of our existing expertise and replace reserves at modest cost."

RESERVES AND RESOURCES

                                 
RESERVES ESTIMATES* December 31, 2011
 
Mine       Category       Tonnes       Grade
(gAu/tonne)
      Contained
Ounces
Eagle River       Proven       75,000       12.0       29,000
        Probable       429,000       10.6       147,000
        Proven + Probable       504,000       10.9       176,000
                                 
Kiena       Proven       584,000       3.0       56,000
        Probable       651,000       2.9       60,000
        Proven + Probable       1,235,000       2.9       116,000
                                 
Mishi       Proven       174,000       2.7       15,000
        Probable       535,000       2.5       43,000
        Proven + Probable       709,000       2.6       58,000
                                 
Total                               350,000

                                 
RESOURCES ESTIMATES* December 31, 2011
 
Mine       Category       Tonnes       Grade
(gAu/tonne)
      Contained
Ounces
Eagle River       Inferred       204,000       7.1       46,000
                                 
Kiena       Measured       197,000       3.7       23,000
        Indicated       1,264,000       3.0       122,000
        Measured + Indicated       1,461,000       3.0       145,000
                                 
Mishi       Measured       281,000       2.5       22,000
        Indicated       5,455,000       2.4       416,000
        Measured + Indicated       5,736,000       2.4       438,000
        Inferred       1,202,000       3.6       140,000
                                 
Total       Measured + Indicated                       583,000
        Inferred                       186,000

All Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources estimates have been made in accordance with the Standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and National Instrument 43-101.

All Mineral Resources are in addition to Mineral Reserves except for the Mishi mine where Mineral Reserves are a subset of Mineral Resources.

Mineral Resources are not in the current mine plan and therefore do not have demonstrated economic viability.

As per section 4.2 (b)(ii) of National Instrument 43-101, the change in mineral reserves and resources for the Eagle River and Kiena mines does not constitute a material change in the affairs of the Company.  For the Eagle River mine refer to the Technical Report filed on SEDAR, dated December, 2005, by Strathcona Mineral Services Ltd.  For the Kiena mine refer to the Technical Report dated April 15, 2005, by Geologica Groupe Conseil, also filed on SEDAR.

The Mishi mine Mineral Resource estimates were completed by InnovExplo Inc. in a 43-101 Technical Report dated August 25, 2010, and filed on SEDAR.  The Mishi Mineral Reserves estimates were compiled in a 43-101 Report by InnovExplo Inc. dated January 12, 2011, and also filed on SEDAR.

Qualified Persons for the Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources estimates as per 43-101 are as follows:

Eagle River:        George N. Mannard, P.Geo., Vice President Exploration, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.
Kiena:        Marc Ducharme, P.Geo., Chief Exploration Geologist, Kiena Mine, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.
Mishi:        Carl Pelletier, P.Geo., InnovExplo Inc., independent, Karine Brosseau, P.Eng., InnovExplo Inc., independent, Nathalie Gauthier, P.Eng., InnovExplo Inc., independent

The Company is a Producing Issuer as per national Instrument 43-101 section 5.3.

                                                           
5-YEAR RESERVES - PRODUCTION RECONCILIATION
 
EAGLE RIVER MINE
Proven + Probable Reserves Estimates
      Actual Production                  
Date       Tonnes       Grade       Ounces       Date       Tonnes         Grade       Ounces
Dec 31, 2006       253,000       12.9       105,000       2007       76,676         13.1       32,299
Dec 31, 2007       265,000       10.8       92,000       2008       118,916         13.0       49,660
Dec 31, 2008       231,000       9.8       73,000       2009       132,004         14.3       60,754
Dec 31, 2009       400,000       8.6       110,000       2010       155,500         7.4       37,000
Dec 31, 2010       345,000       15.0       167,000       2011       183,984         4.8       28,233
Dec 31, 2011       504,000       10.9       176,000                                  
CUMULATIVE PRODUCTION:               667,080         9.7       207,946
                                   
KIENA MINE
Proven + Probable Reserves Estimates
      Actual Production                  
Date       Tonnes       Grade       Ounces       Date       Tonnes         Grade       Ounces
Dec 31, 2006       795,000       4.4       113,000       2007       284,757         3.9       35,404
Dec 31, 2007       534,700       4.5       76,900       2008       241,641         5.2       40,344
Dec 31, 2008       733,000       4.3       102,000       2009       302,034         3.6       35,398
Dec 31, 2009       600,000       4.1       78,000       2010       285,500         3.5       32,000
Dec 31, 2010       1,097,000       2.8       99,000       2011       255,311         2.4       19,516
Dec 31, 2011       1,235,000       2.9       116,000                                  
CUMULATIVE PRODUCTION:               1,369,243         3.7       162,662

At the Eagle River Mine, proven and probable reserves in terms of contained ounces increased 5% net of depletion.  Previously listed indicated resources in the central portion of the mine were expanded with further drilling and incorporated into the mine plan as probable reserves.  The reserve estimates employ a 1.5 metre minimum width and a 35% dilution factor.  The overall average grade is weighted by high grade ore defined in the 811 Zone between depths of 700 and 850 metres.  This material will start being introduced into the millfeed as development ore in 2012 as scheduled development attains a depth of 740 metres this year.  The Eagle River Mine has been producing gold continually for 17 years and to date has produced 3,015,914 tonnes at a recovered grade of 9.2 gAu/tonne to produce 886,778 ounces of gold.  The deepest prior mining level was 640 metres.  Reserves are outlined to a maximum depth of only 850 metres.  Probable reserves are drilled at 25 metre centres.  Proven reserves are within 20 metres of drifts in ore.  A gold price of $1,400Cdn was employed to estimate reserves at a 3.0 gAu/tonne cut off grade.

At the Kiena Mine, proven and probable reserve estimates in terms of contained ounces increased 17% net of depletion.  Portions of the Martin Zone and the South Zone were incorporated into the mine plan and thus, reserves.  Probable reserves are drilled at 30 metre centres and proven reserves are drilled at 15 metre centres.  A gold price assumption of $1,400Cdn per ounce was employed.  The Kiena Mine is a low grade, bulk mining operation that depends on continued strong gold prices and a rigorous development schedule.  Since Wesdome recommenced mining operations from new areas, in August, 2006, the mine has produced 1,463,470 tonnes at a recovered grade of 3.7 gAu/tonne, or 172,124 ounces of gold.

The new Mishi Mine is located 2 kilometres west of the Eagle River Mill.  Work commenced in August, 2011, and involves an initial 8-month pre-production period as outlined in the January 12, 2011, 43-101 Technical Report and Pre-Feasibility Study completed by InnovExplo, independent consultants (www.sedar.com).

We are proceeding on the 5-year mining plan developed in this study.  The study employed a cut-off grade of 1.33 gAu/tonne at a gold price of $1,033Cdn per ounce.  Since the gold price has appreciated substantially and the mineral reserves are a relatively discrete portion of a much larger resource estimate, the Company believes this initial 5-year mine plan has good potential for expansion.  The Company intends to compile results of 2011 drilling and evaluate potential scenarios to develop a larger resource.

Despite challenging operating conditions experienced in 2011, the Company is very optimistic about its growth prospects over the next three years.

ABOUT WESDOME

Wesdome is an established Canadian gold producer with wholly-owned mining and milling complexes located in Wawa, Ontario and Val d'Or, Québec.  Wesdome has been producing gold continually for over 20 years on an unhedged basis and to date has produced in excess of 1.2 million ounces.  The Company has 101.2 million shares issued and outstanding and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WDO".

This news release contains "forward-looking information" which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances, management's estimates or opinions should change, except as required by securities legislation. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. 

For further information:

Donovan Pollitt, P.Eng., CFA
President & CEO
416-360-3743   ext 25

or

George Mannard, P.Geo.
Vice President, Exploration
416-360-3743    ext 22

8 King St. East, Suite 1305
Toronto, ON, M5C 1B5
Toll Free: 1-866-4-WDO-TSX
Phone: 416-360-3743, Fax: 416-360-7620
Email: invest@wesdome.com, Website: www.wesdome.com

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Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.

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