TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE
TORONTO, April 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Aureus Mining Inc., ("Aureus" or the "Company"), the TSX (AUE) and AIM (AUE) listed exploration and development company focused on gold in West Africa, is pleased to announce an operational update on the New Liberty Project ("the Project" or "New Liberty") in Liberia. The construction is on track for the Project to deliver first gold by the end of May 2015.
Key construction highlights include:
- Plant commissioning. The hot and cold commissioning phases of the Project have commenced, with work currently focussed on the front end infrastructure.
- Primary and Secondary Crushing Circuits. Commissioning has been fully completed on the primary jaw crusher and secondary cone crushing circuits.
- Screening Circuit. Mechanical and electrical cold commissioning has been completed in the screening circuit.
- Conveyor Systems. The conveyor systems are all completed with belts successfully tracked, trained and running.
- Ball Mill. The Ball Mill has been fully installed with all alignments completed. The mill motor is now synchronised and direction tested.
- Electro-winning Circuit. The Electro-winning circuit is now mechanically installed and leak testing has been completed. The electrical supply installation is also well advanced in this area.
- Power Generation Infrastructure. The power generation system is fully commissioned and all six generators are now synchronised.
Commenting on the development of the Project, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining, said:
"I am delighted to report the continued progress at New Liberty including the commissioning of the crushing circuits and the commencement of plant commissioning. Such events represent tangible milestones towards production. It is a great testament to the high quality of engineering workmanship and skill of our construction team and contractors who have operated through some difficult conditions. It is an exciting time and tremendous achievement for the Company who are close to realising the potential of Liberia's first commercial gold mine"
- The stockpile tunnel mechanical installation is now completed with electrical installation now 60% complete.
- The thickener mechanical installation has been completed and painting is now in progress, while the electrical installation is over 80% complete in this area.
- Direction testing of all drives is ongoing in the plant area with 80% of the spillage pumps and all thickener underflow pumps checked and ready to start.
- Piping and electrical wiring in the CIL, elution, milling and detox circuits are currently underway.
- The oxygen plant area and gold room are in an advanced state of preparation.
- Work on the Tailings Storage Facility ("TSF") is progressing to schedule with current storage capacity sufficient for the first 15 months of processing operations.
Other highlights include:
- The Komatsu PC2000 excavator was commissioned during March and is now working in the Larjor pit.
- Mining activities are advancing well and have focused on the weathered eastern and western ends of the Larjor pit, where mining levels are being mined down to the 65 RL elevation.
- Mining has also commenced in the weathered zone of the Kinjor starter pit, with the first flitch on the 67.5 to 65 RL elevation of the Kinjor starter pit now completed.
- All mined oxide material has now been stockpiled ready for processing.
- Grade Control drilling has shown excellent reconciliation with the resource model, confirming the robust nature of the orebody.
- The flood bund around the Larjor pit has been completed ahead of the wet season, protecting the mining pit from water ingress during the approaching wet season.
- Work is continuing to progress on the sumps and water diversion bunds within the pit ahead of the wet season.
- The MonuRent supplied mining equipment training simulators have been installed and commissioned to increase operator efficiency and allow for the safe training of new Liberian equipment operators.
Details on the overall construction progress are included in the following illustration:
Photographs of the construction and commissioning progress at New Liberty can be found at:
A video of the commissioning of the primary crushing circuit can be found at:
Health & Safety
- No lost time injuries ("LTIs") have been recorded on site during 2015, which brings the total LTI free hours to 1,015,605. It has been 168 days since the last LTI on site.
Significant progress has been made by the Republic of Liberia during 2015 in the fight against Ebola, with Liberia now close to being declared Ebola free. After a period of over three weeks without a confirmed case of Ebola in the country, there was a single confirmed case reported in the Monrovia area in the week ending 22 March. However since this time there has been a further two weeks with no new confirmed cases reported, and as at 5 April 2015 no other counties within Liberia have reported a confirmed case within the past 42 days. There have also been no confirmed cases of Ebola in the counties within Guinea and Sierra Leone adjacent to the Liberian borders in more than 42 days.
About Aureus Mining Inc.
The Company's assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Project," "New Liberty" or the "Project"), which has an estimated proven and probable mineral reserve of 8.5 Mt with 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 9,796 Kt with 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5,730 Kt with 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. A Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") has been completed on the Project and construction is well progressed. The Project is expected to have an 8 year mine life and annual production of 119,000 ounces for the first 6 years of production. The Company has financed the Project's equity and debt funding requirement. The foregoing mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated March 25, 2015 and entitled "New Liberty Gold Project, Bea Mountain Mining Licence Southern Block, Liberia, West Africa, Definitive Project Plan."
The New Liberty Gold Project is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence. This licence covers 457 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Northern Block of the Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja and Weaju, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2015. Ndablama has an indicated mineral resource of 386,000 ounces of gold grading 1.6 g/t and inferred mineral resource of 515,000ounces of gold grading 1.7g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t. The Archaen Gold exploration licence, which covers 89 km², is also a focus of exploration for 2015, with Leopard Rock being the main target. The Yambesei (759 km2), Archaen West (112.6 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work. The foregoing mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated December 1, 2014 and entitled "Ndablama and Weaju Gold Projects, Bea Mountain Mining Licence, Northern Block, Technical Report on Mineral Resources" ("Ndablama and Weaju Technical Report 2014").
The Company also has a gold exploration permit in Cameroon.
The Company's Qualified Person is David Reading, who holds a MSc in Economic Geology from University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. David Reading is the President and CEO of Aureus Mining Inc. and has reviewed and approves this press release.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain information in this news release relating to Aureus is forward-looking and related to anticipated events and strategies. When used in this context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend", "target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, statements or information relating to: the New Liberty Gold Project (including the quantity and quality of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates), the potential to upgrade inferred mineral resources, opportunities to optimize the New Liberty Gold Project, the ability of the Company to develop the New Liberty Gold Project into a mine and the proposed new plans relating thereto regarding operations and mine design, future gold production, and future cash flows, the expected mine life of the New Liberty Gold Project, progress in the fight against Ebola and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus. By their nature, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; the inability of the Company to obtain required financing when needed and/or on acceptable terms or at all; risks that the cost of implementing the new mine plan at the New Liberty Gold Project and the operating cash costs of the New liberty Gold Project exceed those estimated in the new mine plan; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; regulatory and government decisions; the possibility that future drawdowns under the loan facilities may not be available; construction of the New Liberty Gold Project being delayed and/ or over budget; economic conditions; availability and cost of financing; estimates of capital and operating costs and start-up costs; plans regarding construction activities; risks related to the Ebola crisis; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 26, 2015, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus–mining.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information as actual results could differ materially from the plans, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking information. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.
With respect to forward looking information contained in this news release, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: general business, economic and mining industry conditions; interest rates and foreign exchange rates; mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates; geological and metallurgical assumptions (including with respect to the size, grade and recoverability of mineral resources and mineral reserves) and cost estimates on which the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are based; the parameters and assumptions employed in the New Liberty Technical Report, (including but not limited to, those relating to construction, future mining and operating costs, processing and recovery rates, net present values and internal rates of return, timing for the commencement of production, tax and royalty rates, future gold prices, metallurgical rates, pit design, operations and management, grades, the base case analysis and the proposed budget for further exploration plans and objectives); the supply and demand for commodities and precious and base metals and the level and volatility of the prices of gold; market competition; the ability of the Company to raise sufficient funds from capital markets and/or debt to meet its future obligations and planned activities; the business of the Company including the continued exploration of its properties; the political environments and legal and regulatory frameworks in Liberia and Cameroon with respect to, among other things, the ability of the Company to obtain, maintain, renew and/or extend required permits, licences, authorizations and/or approvals from the appropriate regulatory authorities and the ability of the Company to continue to obtain qualified staff and equipment in a timely and cost-efficient manner to meet its demand. Assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable by Aureus at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect.
Any mineral resource and mineral reserve figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While the Company believes that the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates in respect of its properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on the Company. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
SOURCE Aureus Mining Inc.
For further information: Aureus Mining Inc., David Reading / Paul Thomson, Tel: +44(0) 20 7010 7690; Buchanan, Bobby Morse / Gordon Poole, Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000; Numis Securities Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker), John Prior / James Black / Paul Gillam, Tel: +44(0) 20 7260 1000; GMP Securities Europe LLP (Joint Broker), Richard Greenfield / Alexandra Carse, Tel: +44(0) 20 7647 2800