VANCOUVER, April 5 /CNW/ - Fire River Gold Corp. (TSX.V: FAU) (OTCQX:
FVGCF) (FSE: FWR) (the "Company") wishes to announce the President's
I am pleased to provide you, our shareholders with an update on the
progress of Fire River Gold Corp. (FAU: TSX.V). It is an exciting time
for the company as we make the transition from junior explorer to
operator by bringing the Nixon Fork Gold Mine back into production. The
board and past president, Harry Barr, chose to make a management change
to ready the company for this transition, with the appointment of David
Russell's as Chairman and me as President and COO. Both David and I are
seasoned veteran mining engineers with many years of operational
Fire River Gold is well funded, with approximately $15 million in the
treasury. In addition, the company is on the final stages of completing
the second tranche of a $7 million non-brokered private placement. The
purpose of this additional funding is to assure that the project can
overcome any unforeseen and unexpected difficulties that increase
spending or delay revenue. It will also fund operations during the lag
between production and payment by the smelter or refiner.
The mining group is led by the Mine Manager, Leonard Therrien, a 30 year
veteran gold miner from Marathon, Ontario, where he worked on the mines
in the Hemlo camp. There are approximately 45 employees at site, 20 of
which are miners. They are conducting underground diamond drilling
using two company-owned Hagby drills, which are continuously staffed.
This work is going very well, with total weekly footages steadily
improving (with between 600 and 900 meters drilled each week). The
miners have also completed an extension rehabilitation program for the
secondary egress and ventilation raise, inclining ladders, installing
grated platforms, and applying mesh to the walls where necessary.
Numerous ventilation short circuits have also been sealed, providing
stronger flows through the mine than during its last operating season.
The mine received its first load of explosives and is beginning to
stockpile mill feed for a June start up.
The ongoing diamond drilling has been extensively reported in several
news releases. It has been planned primarily for defining resources in
the stopes that will be mined earliest in the production forecast.
These are primarily in the upper portion of the Crystal Mine and will
supply approximately six months of mill feed.
The mine plan was presented in a Preliminary Economic Assessment
prepared by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants (filed on Sedar, 14
March 2011). Two concerted development projects have already begun
while these stopes are extracted:
The Crystal ramp is being deepened to access the down dip of extensions
of both the 3000 and 3300 zones (which represent our highest grade
resources). There is currently 3 ft of water at the bottom of the mine.
A 200,000 gallon reservoir is being constructed in the middle of the
Crystal Mine. Water from the bottom of the mine and the advancing ramp
face will be pumped to this reservoir, which will be used as the source
of mine water for drilling and for wetting muckpiles. The ramp has been
advanced 24 ft so far and is being driven as a priority heading.
We will drive a shallow ramp connecting the Crystal and Mystery Mines.
This heading is being driven as a secondary heading. The mine
connection is valuable for three reasons:
to provide secondary egress to both mines
to open the zone between the two mines to underground drilling (this
area is considered our best exploration target), and
to allow the mined rock from the Mystery mine to be hauled out the
Crystal Portal, eliminating surface haulage.
The technical group at the mine currently numbers nine, seven of which
are geologists and geology technicians. This number accurately portrays
the complexity of the deposit and the attention required to understand
the mineralized zones to expand the resources.
The underground mine fleet has been rebuilt through the course of the
winter. It is quite old, however, and several units will be added to
the fleet prior to resuming production including a remote 4 yd³
scooptram, two x 20 ton trucks, and a one boom jumbo. A drill buggy for
longhole drilling and cable bolting has been purchased, as well as a
skytrack for services installation.
The other major activity at site is the completion of the cyanidation
plant inside the mill. Work is being performed under the direction of
Bruce Ferguson, our Mill Superintendent, and Alaska Mechanical Inc.'s
construction supervisor, Dave Alvey. They lead a small team of five
construction workers, which will be expanded to nine in April and 13 by
The mill building was expanded by 80 feet of length in 2006 and most of
the equipment for a cyanidation circuit was purchased and delivered to
site. FAU has conducted a thorough review and of the existing design
and two important modifications were made: 1) the reduction of water to
the detox tanks through use of an existing idle thickener in the mill
and 2) the addition of a carbon stripping circuit (original plans were
to fly out loaded carbon from site). Work is progressing well, with
three of the five cyanidation tanks installed. All long lead items have
been ordered. The plant is projected to be operational by mid-summer.
The existing gravity and flotation circuits have also been inspected and
tested. The circuitry of the gravity circuit will be re-routed such
that it receives the cyclone feed rather than the full stream, which
should make the circuit more efficient and increase gravity gold
recovery. Some lines are frozen, but will be thawed before the
anticipated start up of these circuits in June.
Starting a mill is a tricky process that involves testwork, repair, and
fine-tuning of chemical additives, all done in an iterative fashion to
maximize gold recovery. FAU plans to stockpile the underground
production ahead of the mill start up period such that there is a
steady source of mill feed for mill commissioning. The existing dry
stack was permitted as an unlined facility, but will be lined in the
early summer. The percolation pond at the dry stack will also be
enlarged, lined and converted to a containment pond.
As the higher grade gold mineralization is not always visually
discernable, an extension amount of testhole sampling will be required
starting with diamond drilling, but including short jackleg or
jumbo-drilled holes. Accordingly, the assay lab is being re-started by
the end of March, for on-site grade control and to assay all mill
streams during start up and operations..
The utilities at site are managed by James Sadler, a veteran of the
operation through its last production period in 2007. The camp houses
85 workers, 50 in an older wing and 35 in a new wing completed in 2006.
Only the new wing is required at present. The maintenance group has
begun a renovation program to freshen the look of the old camp. This
will be completed in the summer of 2011. Other tasks for the group
include the completion of the new mine dry and conversion of the
existing mine dry for use by the mill workers.
The current plans for the operation are to operate the gravity and
flotation circuits in June of this year and commission the cyanidation
circuit shortly afterward in July or August. The operation is steadily
ramping up toward this goal and eager to start pouring gold.
While the Nixon Fork Gold Mine is the "central focus" for the company,
we are already investigating avenues for expansion. This will likely
take the form of additional acquisition of near-term or past producers,
as our management team is geared for production rather than
On behalf of the Board of Directors, David and I would like to thank our
many shareholders for placing their faith in our company. This is a
challenging but exciting time for us and we will continue to do our
best to add value.
President & COO
About Fire River Gold Corp.
Fire River Gold Corp. is a near term production company with an
experienced technical team focused on bringing its flagship project,
the Nixon Fork Gold Mine, back into production in 2011. The Nixon Fork Gold Mine is a permitted
and bonded mine which include a ~200 tpd processing plant with a
gravity gold circuit, sulphide flotation circuit and a gold recovery
system (CIL circuit) that is scheduled to be completed by Summer 2011.
The mine also includes a fleet of surface & underground mining
vehicles, a self-contained power plant, maintenance facilities,
drilling equipment, an 85 person camp, office facilities and a 1.2 km
long landing strip.
A 28,000 metre exploration and ore definition drill program is in
progress to expand the current resources and support the detailed mine
plan. Fire River Gold Corp. is a member of the International Metals
Disclaimer: Certain information regarding the Company including management's
assessment of future plans and operations, may constitute
forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws and
necessarily involve risks associated with mining exploration and
development, volatility of prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision
of resource estimates, environmental and permitting risks, access to
labour and services, competition from other companies and ability to
access sufficient capital. As a consequence, actual results may differ
materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. A
feasibility study has not been completed and there is no certainty the
disclosed targets will be reached nor that the proposed operations will
be economically viable. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its
Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies
of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its
Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies
of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy
accuracy of this release. We seek safe harbour.
SOURCE Fire River Gold Corp.
For further information:
Tel: +1 604 685 1870 Fax: +1 604 685 8045
Email: email@example.com or visit www.firerivergold.com
2303 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6M 2A3