Atna and Canyon Announce Closing of Merger

    VANCOUVER and GOLDEN, CO, March 19 /CNW/ - Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna")
(TSX:ATN) and Canyon Resources Corporation ("Canyon") (AMEX:  CAU) today
announced the closing of the merger as of March 18, 2008 pursuant to the
Agreement and Plan of Merger dated November 16, 2007. Atna has acquired all of
Canyon's issued and outstanding shares of common stock, warrants and
debentures. Canyon is now a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Atna.
    As a result of the merger, Atna has created a strong platform for gold
production growth with the following characteristics:

    -   A multi-million ounce gold company highly leveraged to the price of
    -   Near term gold production opportunities from the restart of the
        Briggs Mine, development of the Reward and Pinson projects
    -   An exceptional management team with proven skills and vast experience
    -   The financial size and strength to ensure continued growth and
        attract resources
    -   Focused on the politically stable western United States primarily
    -   Strong upside potential from the combined portfolio of gold
        development, exploration and royalty properties
    -   Leverage to the uranium market through carried uranium exploration
        joint ventures

    David Watkins, CEO and Chairman of Atna, said, "This merger combines the
management team, resources, and financial strength needed to create an
exciting junior gold producer focused on the western United States. We believe
that significant shareholder value will be created with a re-rating of our
share price as a junior gold producer once the value of this combination is
recognized by the market."
    Jim Hesketh, the new President and COO of Atna, added, "Our priority will
be to restart operations at the Briggs gold mine in California with gold
production projected to commence in early 2009. The planned development of our
Reward gold project in Nevada will significantly add to our production stream,
subject to the issuance of the final mining permits and financing. In
addition, we expect our venture partner, Pinson Mining Company, a subsidiary
of Barrick Gold, to continue the exploration and underground development of
the Pinson gold project in Nevada. The projected cash flow from these three
projects, combined with potential future cash flows from our royalty
properties, will allow us to achieve our goal of becoming a sustainable,
growth oriented, profitable gold producer."
    Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, each share of Canyon
common stock issued and outstanding was converted into the right to receive
0.32 common shares of Atna, plus cash in lieu of any fractional shares. Canyon
ceased trading on the American Stock Exchange at the close of market on
March 18, 2008. Additional information concerning the conversion of Canyon
shares to Atna shares can be found in the Canyon proxy statement mailed to
shareholders on January 25, 2008. This information is also available in the
registration statement on Form F-4A filed by Atna with the SEC on January 17,
2008. Atna trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATN and in
the United States on the Over-The-Counter market under the symbol ATNAF.

    Forward-looking Statements

    Certain forward-looking statements are included in this release,
including statements relating to the transaction between Canyon Resources
Corporation and Atna Resources Ltd. and anticipated production schedules.
These statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking
statements reflect Canyon's and Atna's current expectations regarding the
transaction, and speak only as of the date of this release. Investors are
cautioned that all forward-looking statements in this release involve risks
and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those referred to in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and
uncertainties include, among other things, risks relating to the ability to
obtain permits and commence production and generate material revenues or
obtain adequate financing for planned exploration and development activities.
A full discussion of other known risks and uncertainties regarding Canyon, its
business and operations are included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K, for
the year ended December 31, 2006, as filed with the SEC, copies of which are
available without charge from Canyon. A full discussion of other known risks
and uncertainties regarding Atna, its business and operations are included in
its Annual Report on Form 20-F, for the year ended December 31, 2006, as filed
with the SEC, copies of which are available without charge from Atna. These
filings are also available electronically from the SEC Web site at If any of the events described in those filings were to occur,
either alone or in combination, it is likely that Canyon's or Atna's ability
to reach the results described in the forward-looking statements could be
impaired and Canyon's and/or Atna's stock price could be adversely affected.
Neither Canyon or Atna undertake any obligation to update or correct any
forward-looking statements included in this presentation to reflect events or
circumstances occurring after the date of this presentation

For further information:

For further information: Kendra Johnston, Investor Relations Manager,
Tel: (604) 684-2285,; Valerie Kimball, U.S. Investor
Relations, Tel: (303) 278-8464,

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