Great Basin Reports Progress in Quarter Ending March 31, 2009

    VANCOUVER, May 14 /CNW/ - Great Basin Gold Ltd, ("Great Basin" or the
"Company"), (TSX: GBG; NYSE Amex:   GBG; JSE: GBG) announces results for the
quarter ended March 31, 2009. Two of the highlights for the quarter were the
good progress made with trial mining activities at Hollister in Nevada, USA
and the development of two access points to the gold-bearing reef at the
Burnstone Project in South Africa.
    The company incurred a loss of CDN 4 cents per share compared to the CDN
1 cent for the December 2008 quarter. The loss per share for the December
quarter was influenced by a Future Income Tax credit of CDN 10 cents per
share. In the quarter ending March 31, 2009, revenue of CDN$11.8 million (Dec
08 - CDN$16.9 million), net of milling costs of CDN$3.6 million (Dec 08 -
CDN$3.2 million), was realized from the sale of 18,189 gold equivalent ("Au
eqv") ounces (Dec 08 - 29,726 Au eqv ounces) from trial mining at Hollister.
Cash costs, excluding milling costs, were CDN$398 or US$320 per ounce. A total
of 17,102 tons of ore containing 23,441 Au eqv ounces was extracted during the
    Hollister had a stockpile of 23,375 tons containing an estimated 23,525
Au eqv ounces as at March 31, 2009. This material was shipped to Newmont's
Midas Mill during early April and early May, following an agreement entered
into in March 2009.
    Subsequent to quarter end, the Company entered into a toll milling
agreement with Yukon Nevada Gold Corp., which will allow for the treatment of
Hollister ore at its recently re-opened Jerritt Canyon milling facility at a
fixed charge of US$88 per ton. Recovery factors of gold and silver have been
set at 88%. 5,017 tons of low grade material, stockpiled at Jerritt Canyon
since 2008, has subsequently been milled. The agreement is a significant
improvement on the current milling arrangements.
    Total pre-development expenses for the Hollister and Burnstone Projects
decreased from CDN$16 million to CDN$5.6 million quarter on quarter; these
expenses were mainly incurred at Hollister. To date, CDN$62 million has been
expensed for Hollister through the income statement and this will continue
until the Amended Plan of Operations has been approved by the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) in Nevada. The Environmental Impact Study for Hollister was
initiated during the quarter.
    A New Order Mining Right was granted on October 29, 2008 by the
Department of Minerals and Energy in South Africa for the Company's Burnstone
Project area. This has permitted a change in accounting for pre-development
costs and, accordingly, pre-development costs of CDN$5.8 million (Dec 08 -
CDN$7.0 million) were capitalized.
    Good progress continues to be made with the development of surface and
underground infrastructure at the Burnstone Project. To May 4, 2009, 2,247
meters of decline development had been completed at Burnstone. The access
decline continued beyond the reef elevation, with approximately 933 meters to
vertical shaft position. The cross-cut to Block B3 has reached the Kimberley
Reef elevation, and development to establish working places has been
initiated. A total of 66 meters of development remains to access Block C
before stope establishment for mining commences. As planned, considerable
other underground development is also underway to prepare for build-up of
    Sinking of the vertical shaft at Burnstone has continued and, at May 4,
2009, the shaft had reached a depth of 233 meters below surface. The final
depth of the shaft is planned at 501 meters. Construction of the waste rock
deposit facility was completed two weeks ahead of plan. The refurbishment of
the mills continues to be on schedule and the tender to commence with the
civil excavations for the Metallurgical facility was granted in early May.
    At Hollister, underground waste development continued with 2,213 ft (674
m) being completed during the quarter and a total of 24,345 ft (7,420 m)
completed to date. Underground evaluation and exploration drilling for other
mineralized structures totaled 13,503 ft (4,092 m). Surface drilling totaled
1,449 ft (439 m). The exploration programs continue to encounter high grade
intersections on the Clementine and Gwenivere vein systems, disseminated
mineralization in the overlying Tertiary volcanic rocks (Blanket Zone) as well
as further encouraging intersections from the Hatter Graben veins. A notable
intercept in the Blanket Zone from HDB 69 completed in April was 0.73 oz/t
over a 32.4 ft width. More follow up drilling is planned to understand the
extent of this mineralization which can be accessed from the current
underground infrastructure.
    The refurbishment of the Esmeralda Mill is on track for commissioning in
July 2009. An initial assessment of previous mining activities on the
property, including the quantity and quality of available drilling, geological
and mining related data has been initiated. This desk-top due diligence is
providing a basis for prioritizing future exploration targets, as well as
understanding the potential for outlining sustainable underground mineral
resources. Preliminary observations and analysis of drill hole evaluation data
from the previous open pit mining and underground development indicates a
structurally controlled epithermal vein system, similar to the mineralization
at Hollister. Plans to dewater the Prospect Decline are underway which will
allow for an underground access and evaluation of possible future mining.
    President and CEO Ferdi Dippenaar commented, "The Company had an improved
quarter with excellent progress being made in various areas of the business.
Activities at Burnstone are expected to gain momentum as mining and associated
infrastructure is established. Our production target date of June 2010 remains
intact. Our Hollister Project continues to generate excitement from ongoing
exploration. An application has been submitted to commence with an exploration
drive towards the Hatter Graben area, which will allow for more cost effective
and focused exploration. The recovery of gold ounces from trial mining at
Hollister allows for the funding of the necessary surface and underground
infrastructure. This is an ideal situation to be in. The Esmeralda Mine could
add an interesting dimension to Great Basin, but this project is still in its
early stages."
    Johan Oelofse, Pr.Eng., FSAIMM, Chief Operating Officer and Phil Bentley,
Pr.Sci.Nat., Vice President Geology and Exploration for Great Basin are
qualified persons and have reviewed this release on behalf of the Company.

    Ferdi Dippenaar
    President and CEO

             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

For further information:

For further information: For additional details on Great Basin 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) 633-9223; Barbara Cano, at
Breakstone Group in the USA, (646) 452-2334

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Great Basin Gold Ltd.

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