WHITEHORSE, March 16 /CNW/ - European Goldfields Limited (TSX / AIM: EGU) ("European Goldfields" or the "Company") is pleased to announce a significant step forward in the permitting of the Certej gold-silver project ("Certej") in Romania.
The last remaining approval required for the grant of the Zonal Urbanisation Plan ("PUZ") relating to Certej has been issued by the Regional Department for Environmental Protection, Timisoara. Formal public notice of this approval has been issued today in Romania and, at the next meeting of the Certej council which is expected within the next week, the full PUZ permit will be granted.
The grant of the PUZ will be a milestone which takes European Goldfields one step closer to production. Certej contains 2.4 million reserve ounces of gold, plus 17.3 million reserve ounces of silver, and lies in an area which was a major gold producer historically and retains considerable future potential. The Company is already well advanced in the next and final substantive part of the permitting process for Certej, being the approval of the full Environmental Impact Study.
The Company is grateful for the excellent and continued cooperation it has enjoyed with national, regional and local authorities and will continue to demonstrate its commitment to both the letter and principles of Romanian and European Union requirements.
Commenting on this latest advance of Certej Martyn Konig, Executive Chairman and President of European Goldfields said: "Our patience has been rewarded with a unique achievement in the development of a gold project in Romania. This is a landmark event. We appreciate that the Romanian authorities have recognised both our competence and our productive collaboration throughout this process. This high standard of performance and delivery continues as we complete the final stage of the permitting process."
Certej Project Summary
The Certej project is an epithermal gold/silver deposit located in the "Golden Quadrilateral" area of the Apuseni Mountains of Transylvania in Western Romania, a highly prospective region which has historically produced upwards of 30 million ounces of gold. The Certej deposit lies within a brownfield site with excellent existing infrastructure and a history of production which dates back 300 years; the open pit and plant were worked as recently as 2006. The Certej orebody comprises four distinct ore zones, amenable to extraction by 2 adjacent open pits that are well defined by extensive drilling.
The Certej deposit has a calculated NI 43-101 compliant mineable reserve of 32.8 million tonnes of ore grading 2.0 g/t gold and 11.4 g/t silver, representing 2.1 million ounces gold and 12.0 million ounces silver. A further 4.1 million tonnes of ore from lower grade material and existing dumps will contribute an additional 290,000 ounces of gold and 8.8 million ounces of silver in the latter years of the mine. Reserves will be extracted using a conventional open pit method with a strip ratio of 3.1:1. The project will involve the processing of 3 million tonnes of ore per annum over an open pit life of 11.5 years with an overall mine life of 16 years. The ore will be processed using flotation to produce a pyrite gold concentrate and then ultrafine grinding and ambient pressure oxidation using the Albion Process developed by Xstrata to produce gold and silver doré on site. Average annual production is expected to be 155,000 ounces of gold and 820,000 ounces of silver during the life of the open pit after which the plant will be fed by lower-grade material, stockpile and dumps. The project will involve an anticipated project capex of approximately $190 million which includes pre-stripping in year 1.
The Technical Study, required to obtain the relevant construction permits, is currently underway with completion anticipated in Q2 2010, ready for submission on approval of the Environmental Impact Study. The project upside includes numerous drill ready targets both near mine and within the wider licence area. Further long term exploration potential exists within the Certej-Brad Belt.
About European Goldfields
European Goldfields is a developer-producer with globally significant gold reserves located within the European Union. The Company generates cash flow from its 95% owned Stratoni operation, a high grade lead/zinc/silver mine in North-Eastern Greece and the sale of gold concentrates from Olympias. European Goldfields will evolve into a mid tier producer through responsible development of its project pipeline of gold and base metal deposits at Skouries and Olympias in Greece and Certej in Romania. The Company plans future growth through development of its highly prospective exploration portfolio in Greece, Romania and Turkey.
For further information please see the Company's new website at www.egoldfields.com
Resources & reserves parameters
For additional information on the resource and reserve estimates quoted in this news release, please refer to the Company's Resources & Reserves Declaration at www.egoldfields.com/egoldfields/en/operationsprojects/state Patrick Forward, General Manager, Exploration of the Company, was the Qualified Person under Canadian National Instrument 43-101 responsible for reviewing the disclosure of resource and reserve estimates quoted in this news release.
Certain statements and information contained in this document, including any information as to the Company's future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance, constitute forward-looking information under provisions of Canadian provincial securities laws. When used in this document, the words "anticipate", "expect", "will", "intend", "estimate", "forecast", "planned" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements or information. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs and timing of development of new deposits, permitting time lines and expectations regarding metal recovery rates. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies.
The Company cautions the reader that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual financial results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from its estimated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements and the forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to: changes in the price of gold, base metals or certain other commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies; uncertainty of mineral reserves, resources, grades and recovery estimates; uncertainty of future production, capital expenditures and other costs; currency fluctuations; financing and additional capital requirements; the successful and timely permitting of the Company's Skouries, Olympias and Certej projects; legislative, political, social or economic developments in the jurisdictions in which the Company carries on business; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; the speculative nature of gold and base metals exploration and development, including the risks of diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; the risks normally involved in the exploration, development and mining business; and risks associated with internal control over financial reporting. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and material factors or assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements, see the Company's Annual Information Form for the year ended 31 December 2008, filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
SOURCE EUROPEAN GOLDFIELDS LTD.
For further information: For further information: European Goldfields: Martyn Konig, Executive Chairman, e-mail: email@example.com, Tel: +44 (0)20 7408 9534; Buchanan Communications: Bobby Morse, Katharine Sutton, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 (0)20 7466 5000; RBC Capital Markets: Josh Critchley, e-mail: email@example.com; Matthew Coakes, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 (0)20 7653 4000