Great Basin Gold Provides Update on the Esmeralda Mill, Hollister Project

VANCOUVER, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Great Basin Gold Ltd, ("Great Basin Gold" or the "Company"), (TSX: GBG; NYSE Amex: GBG; JSE: GBG) announces that the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) has granted approval of the Esmeralda Water Pollution Control Permit, allowing the Company to continue with the next phase of the Esmeralda Mill expansion. The Esmeralda Mill is part of the Company's Hollister Project in northeastern Nevada.

The next phase of mill development includes construction, installation and commissioning of the Gekko System, an In-Line Leach Reactor (ILR) which optimizes the recovery of gold from high grade concentrate streams. In addition to concentrate leaching in an ILR, the Gekko system includes a gravity and flotation section, which will capture free gold and silver up front, thereby reducing the feed grade to the process flow.

Esmeralda's ILR was shipped from Australia and arrived at site on September 25. Construction of the building and assembly of the components is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, enabling high metal recoveries at Esmeralda's milling facilities.

On September 9, 2009, the Esmeralda Mill started processing its first Hollister ore. As at October 4, 2009, a total of 5,502 tons of ore had been processed. The Hollister stockpiles are being sequentially depleted - low grade first, medium grade second, and then the high grade at a rate of over 240 tons per day. Low grade ore was selected to start the mill to reduce the risk of poor recoveries during commissioning. The high grade ore is planned for delivery at Esmeralda during the second week of October.

The mill has averaged 217 tons per day since start up but, more importantly, for the 14 days up to October 4, the mill averaged 267 tons per day. Mill availability has increased to over 95%. An estimated 405 ounces of gold and 2,955 ounces of silver are in process and, when concentrated, will be forwarded to a refinery for recovery.

President and CEO Ferdi Dippenaar commented: "NDEP's recent approval allows for installations for the Gekko System, including the extension of the current mill building to accommodate the System, a 50-foot thickener, a lime slaker system and a Genset to commence, thereby keeping to the project schedule. The completion of this phase of expansion paves the way to match processing capacity with the mining underway. The Hollister Project has suffered from the lack of consistent milling capacity, which also has impacted on the market's understanding of the overall operational performance. The Esmeralda Mill is expected to significantly reduce processing costs and assist in improved reporting and feedback on Project and Company performance."

Johan Oelofse, PrEng, FSAIMM, Chief Operating Officer for Great Basin Gold, and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian Securities Regulations in National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the information and this news release.

    No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information
    contained in this news release.

Cautionary and Forward Looking Statement Information

This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address possible future commercial production, reserve potential, exploration drilling results, development, feasibility or exploitation activities and events or developments that Great Basin expects to occur are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and those actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on the Company, Investors should review the Company's annual Form 40-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and its home jurisdiction filings that are available at

SOURCE Great Basin Gold Ltd.

For further information: For further information: For additional details on Great Basin Gold and its gold properties, please visit the Company's website at or contact Investor Services: Tsholo Serunye in South Africa, 27 (0) 11 301 1800; Michael Curlook in North America, (888) 633-9332, Barbara Cano at Breakstone Group in the USA, (646) 452-2334

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