Minera Andes completes first tranche of private placement with Robert R. McEwen

    TSX: MAI

    SPOKANE, WA, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - Minera Andes Inc. (the "Corporation" or
"Minera Andes", TSX:MAI and US OTC:MNEAF) is pleased to announce that it has
issued 18,299,970 common shares of the Corporation to Robert R. McEwen, a
director and existing shareholder of the Corporation. The shares were issued
in the first tranche of the transaction with Mr. McEwen (under amended terms
announced yesterday, February 17, 2009) at a price of C$1.00 per share for
gross proceeds to the Corporation of C$18,299,970.
    Of the funds that have been received from Mr. McEwen, $US11.3 million
will be used to satisfy the cash call made in respect of the Corporation's 49%
interest in the San José Project, operated by Minera Santa Cruz S.A. ("MSC")
and the balance will be used for exploration and working capital.
    The Corporation also announced that it has been advised by Hochschild
Mining plc ("Hochschild") that Hochschild has withdrawn its proposals to make
a takeover bid for the Corporation's common shares or to acquire those shares
by way of a plan of arrangement or to acquire the Corporation's interest in
the San José Project. Hochschild also confirmed that the amounts due to MSC
pursuant to its cash call must be paid by March 3, 2009.
    As a result of the issuance of 18,299,970 common shares to Mr. McEwen, he
now owns or exercises control or direction over 64,357,113 common shares or
approximately 30.9% (increased from approximately 24%) of the issued and
outstanding common shares of the Corporation. Mr. McEwen also has the right to
appoint an additional director, with the result that he now has the right to
nominate a total of three directors to Minera Andes' board of directors.

    Minera Andes is a gold, silver and copper exploration company working in
Argentina. The Corporation holds approximately 304,000 acres of mineral
exploration land in Argentina. Minera Andes holds a 49% interest in the San
José Project, an operating gold and silver mine. Minera Andes is also
exploring the Los Azules copper project in San Juan province, where an
exploration program has defined a resource and a preliminary assessment has
been completed. Other exploration properties, primarily silver and gold, are
being evaluated in southern Argentina. The Corporation has 208,458,821 common
shares issued and outstanding following completion of the private placement.

    This news release is submitted by Allan J. Marter, a Director and the
Chairman of the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Minera Andes

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements:

    This press release contains certain forward-looking statement and
information. The forward-looking statements and information express, as at the
date of this press release, the Corporation's plans, estimates, forecasts,
projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events and results.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and
there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate.
Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those
anticipated in such statements. In particular, there can be no assurance that
financing will be secured within the time required. Risks and uncertainties
that could cause results or future events to differ materially from current
expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include,
but are not limited to, factors associated with fluctuations in the market
price of precious metals, mining industry risks, risks associated with foreign
operations, the state of the capital markets, environmental risks and hazards,
uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and other risks.

For further information:

For further information: Art Johnson at the Spokane office, or Krister
A. Kottmeier, investor relations - Canada, at the Vancouver office; Visit our
Web site: www.minandes.com; Spokane Office: 111 East Magnesium Road, Ste. A
Spokane, WA 99208 USA, Phone: (509) 921-7322, E-mail: info@minandes.com;
Vancouver Office: 911-470 Granville Street Vancouver, B.C. V6C 1V5, Phone:
(604) 689-7017, (877) 689-7018, E-mail: ircanada@minandes.com

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