Atna Commences Mining Gold Ore at Briggs

    GOLDEN, Colo., Jan. 28 /CNW/ --  Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna") - (TSX:
ATN) is pleased to announced that it has commenced the mining and stockpiling
of gold ore at the Briggs Mine in Inyo County, California. Operations at the
mine are currently on track to commence gold production in mid April 2009. 
The status of operations is as follows:

    --  In the first week of mining, approximately 26,500 tons of ore was
        placed on the crusher stockpile. Pre-stripping operations and haulage
        ramp construction are underway to develop upper levels of the mine.

    --  Construction of the leach pad is nearing completion: the laying of
        plastic liner has been completed and placement of crushed rock
        over-liner is expected to be completed by mid-February.

    --  Rehabilitation of the crushing facility is nearing completion:
        operations and placement of crushed ore on the leach pad are expected
        to commence at the beginning of March.

    --  A total of 41 employees are now working at the Briggs mine.  This
        number is expected to increase to over 80 full time employees by year
        end.  In addition, over 30 contractors have been involved in the

    --  The existing mining fleet at Briggs has been increased with the
        purchase of two DM45E blasthole drills. A new 15 cubic yard loader is
        being leased from Komatsu. One additional 100 ton haul truck and an
        8,000 gallon water truck will be leased or purchased.

    --  A new ore reserve and life of mine plan is nearing completion and will
        be released as a NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report later in the
        first quarter. The new report will detail a five year mine life
        targeting a gold production target of 40,000 to 45,000 ounces per
        This new mine plan incorporates new drilling and combines the previous
        underground and open pit reserves into an open pit only mine plan.

    --  The 2009 Briggs budget plan anticipates the production of
        19,000 ounces of gold during its initial production ramp-up year. In
        addition, the plan estimates that by year end, the mine will have
        a recoverable inventory of 8,900 ounces of gold in the heap leach pad
        and 2,100 ounces in the crusher stockpile.  By year end, it is
        anticipated that the mine will be producing gold at a rate equivalent
        to a 40,000 ounce per year production rate.

    --  A total of $6.4 million has been spent at Briggs since initiation of
        the re-start project and an additional $7.3 million has been committed
        to complete capital projects including pre-stripping operation,
        pre-production costs and working capital build-up through April 2009.
        In addition, $2.0 million worth of mining equipment will be leased or
        purchased over the next three months.

    --  The budget anticipates that mine operations will develop a positive
        cash flow of $2.6 million for the second half of 2009 utilizing a gold
        price outlook of $750 per ounce. For each $100 increase in the average
        realized gold price, Briggs Mine cash flow will increase by
        approximately $1.9 million for the year.

    --  The exploration and development drilling program at Briggs, first
        announced on October 8th, 2008, continues to evaluate tonnage
        potential within, adjacent, and beneath the planned pit limits. A
        of 17 holes have been completed totaling 13,845 feet (6 holes at
        BSU-Goldtooth and 11 at Briggs Main deep). Results to date are
        with significant above cut-off grade gold intercepts existing beyond
        the currently designed pit walls.  Detailed results of the first 15
        drill holes may be found on the following drill hole summary table.


                           BRIGGS MINE DRILL HOLE RESULTS

    Drill Hole No.     From (ft)     To (ft)        Length (ft)     oz/ton Au
    BMD08-001          60            80             20              0.012
                       110           160            50              0.015
                       325           335            10              0.047
                       605           615            10              0.025
                       745           775            30              0.014
    BGT08-002          65            105            40              0.014
                       135           140            5               0.029
                       575           580            5               0.024
                       670           690            10              0.016
    BGT08-003          245           265            20              0.017
                       540           545            5               0.046
                       610           635            25              0.019
                       670           700            30              0.035
    BGT08-004          35            55             20              0.032
                       250           270            20              0.013
    BGT08-005          375           395            20              0.010
    BGT08-006          105           300            195             0.022
    including          105           155            50              0.036
                       480           485            5               0.033
                       550           575            25              0.032
    BGT08-007          No            significant    intercepts
    BGT08-008          75            125            50              0.011
    BMD08-009          15            45             30              0.010
                       60            75             15              0.013
                       90            105            15              0.015
                       130           205            75              0.017
    BMD08-010          30            70             40              0.016
                       125           155            30              0.015
                       165           255            90              0.032
                       285           315            30              0.015
                       665           695            30              0.012
    BMD08-011          25            55             30              0.017
                       70            110            40              0.016
                       140           170            30              0.023
                       195           225            30              0.040
                       720           745            35              0.012
    BMD08-012          245           250            5               0.100
                       815           820            5               0.065
                       840           850            10              0.030
    BMD08-013          235           255            20              0.033
                       590           620            30              0.012
                       725           735            10              0.018
                       750           765            15              0.018
    BMD08-014          145           155            10              0.016
                       200           215            15              0.018
                       605           625            20              0.023
                       635           645            10              0.015
                       660           690            30              0.016
                       720           750            30              0.016
    BMD08-015          440           480            40              0.032

    The previously reported NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report dated May
2008 estimated that the Briggs Mine had a proven and probable reserve of
151,000 ounces of gold grading 0.034 ounce per ton gold. Additionally, Briggs
contains an estimated 532,500 ounces of measured and indicated resource
grading 0.027 oz/ton gold and an inferred resource of 314,000 ounces grading
0.044 ounce per ton gold. This Technical Report was completed using a $500 per
ounce gold price. The updated optimization study, will use a higher gold price
outlook and additional drill hole information, and will increase these

    Analytical results contained within this press release were completed by
standard fire assay methods with an atomic absorption or gravimetric finish by
Inspectorate America Corporation, an ISO certified, commercial analytical
laboratory located in Sparks, Nevada. Atna maintains a rigorous Quality
Assurance - Quality Control program utilizing both certified gold standards
and blanks to augment Inspectorate's internal QA/QC program.  This press
release was prepared under the supervision and review of William Stanley, V.P.
Exploration of Atna, a Licensed Geologist, and Qualified Person with the
ability and authority to verify the authenticity and validity of information
contained within this news release.

    For additional information on Atna Resources and the Briggs Project,
please visit our website at

    This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements," as
defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,
and within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation, relating to
possible improvements to the outcome of an ongoing optimization study, and the
Company's plans to restart mining operations at the Briggs Mine based on
technical reports compliant with Canadian NI 43-101.  Forward-looking
statements are statements that are not historical fact.  They are based on the
beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company's management on the date the
statements are made and they involve a number of risks and uncertainties.
Consequently, there can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be
accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from
those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to
update these forward-looking statements if management's beliefs, estimates or
opinions, or other factors, should change. Factors that could cause future
results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking
statements include: the Company might encounter problems such as the
significant depreciation of metals prices; accidents and other risks
associated with mining exploration and development operations; the risk that
the Company will encounter unanticipated geological factors, the Company's
need for and ability to obtain additional financing; the possibility that the
Company may not be able to secure permitting and other governmental clearances
necessary to carry out the Company's mine development plans that will prevent
it from restarting mining operations at the Briggs Mine; and the other risk
factors discussed in greater detail in the Company's various filings on SEDAR
( with Canadian securities regulators and its filings with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Form 20-F
dated March 25, 2008.

    Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors -- The United States Securities and
Exchange Commission permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the
SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically
and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this report, such as
"measured," "indicated," "inferred," and "resources," that the SEC guidelines
strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings
with the SEC.



    James Hesketh, President and CEO - (303) 278-8464
    Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations - toll free (877) 692-8182


For further information:

For further information: James Hesketh, President and CEO,
+1-303-278-8464, or Valerie Kimball, Investor Relations, 1-877-692-8182, both
of Atna Resources Ltd. Web Site:

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