Fire River Gold Corp. Announces President's Message


VANCOUVER, April 5 /CNW/ - Fire River Gold Corp. (TSX.V: FAU) (OTCQX: FVGCF) (FSE: FWR) (the "Company") wishes to announce the President's Corporate Update.

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 experience.

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 May.

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 exploration.

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.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Goodwin
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 Group (

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: or visit
2303 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6M 2A3

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