TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE
TORONTO, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Aureus Mining Inc. (TSX: AUE / AIM: AUE) ("Aureus" or the "Company"), which is building Liberia's first commercial gold mine, the New Liberty gold project ("New Liberty" or "Project"), is pleased to announce that progress on the construction of New Liberty remains on track to deliver first gold in Q1 2015 together with the following key construction highlights:
- Arrival of ball mill at New Liberty, together with the mill motors and primary crusher;
- The EPCM (engineering, procurement and construction management) contract, the contract to construct the New Liberty plant, is 60% complete;
- The first steel erection commenced in May 2014 and is progressing on schedule - gold room and screen circuits 90% complete, primary crusher 75% complete and carbon in leach ("CIL") tank bases and shells are 30% complete;
- Earthworks are virtually complete;
- Civils are progressing on schedule – gold room foundations, electrowinning circuit and raw water tank foundation are complete, plant conveyors and thickeners are 95% complete, mill foundation is 90% complete, CIL tanks and detox are 85% complete and mill stockpile foundations are 40% complete;
- Marvoe Creek Diversion Channel ("MCDC") – 85% overall completion, with diversion channel completed and spillway gabions and dams nearing completion;
- Tailings Storage Facility ("TSF") is nearing completion – all bush clearing and TSF wall keyway excavation and back-fill completed and the dam wall nearing completion; and
- Village relocation - the relocation started in April 2014 and a total of 115 families (households) having been successfully relocated.
Details on the key construction workstreams and the overall progress are included in the following illustrations: http://aureus-mining.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Construction-Workstream-and-Progress.pdf
A presentation to analysts and investors on the progress will take place today at 3pm at the offices of Buchanan (details on page 5).
Commenting on the development of the Project, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining, said:
"The New Liberty Gold Project is making steady progress and is on track in its objective of pouring first gold in the first quarter of 2015. With the arrival of the ball mill, reaching 60% completion on the EPCM contract and many of the other key construction milestones having been achieved prior to the commencement of the rainy season, we are pleased with the progress so far in developing Liberia's first commercial gold mine."
The progress on the construction of New Liberty remains on track to deliver first gold in Q1 2015 with the following construction highlights:
- Arrival of ball mill on site, together with the mill motors and primary crusher.
- EPCM - the EPCM (engineering, procurement and construction management) contract, the contract to construct the New Liberty plant, is 60% complete.
Construction – earthworks (95% complete) and civil works (50% complete)
- Plant earthworks are 95% complete; and
- The following civil works are complete and handed over to the SMPP (steelwork, mechanical, platework and piping) contractor: primary crushing, secondary crushing, secondary screening, gold room and tower crane.
Construction – steel erection
- First steel erection on the gold room, secondary screens, primary crusher as well as the first sections of the CIL tank bases and shells have been done during May 2014.
- Stockpile foundations are 40% complete.
- Mill foundation is 90% complete.
- Plant conveyors civils are 95% complete.
Primary crusher, secondary crusher and screen circuit
- Steel erection on primary crusher is 75% complete;
- Steel erection on screen circuit is 90% complete;
- Arrival of Joest vibratory screens at New Liberty; and
- Arrival of secondary crusher and screen in the port of Monrovia in Liberia.
- Gold room foundations are complete and have been handed over to the SMPP contractor and steel construction has commenced; and
- Steel erection on gold room is 90% complete.
- Electrowinning circuit civils are complete; and
- Arrival of electrowinning tanks at New Liberty.
CIL and thickeners
- CIL tanks and detox civils are 85% complete;
- Erection of the CIL tank shells is 85% complete;
- Thickener civils are 95% complete;
- Steel erection on CIL tank bases is 30% complete; and
- Arrival of elution heating elements at New Liberty.
Discharge / water management
- TSF bush clearing is complete;
- TSF wall keyway excavation and back-filling is complete; and
- TSF dam wall lift is 70% complete.
MCDC (85% overall complete)
- MCDC diversion excavation work is complete;
- MCDC Spillway 1 is complete;
- MCDC Spillway 2 gabions are 55% complete;
- MCDC Dam 1 keyway excavation and backfill is complete and the dam wall lift is 80% complete; and
- MCDC Dam 2 keyway excavation and backfill and the dam wall lift are complete.
Potable water plant and sewerage
- Potable water plant has been commissioned;
- Arrival of Clearwater tanks at New Liberty; and
- Work has commenced on the sewage treatment plant.
Raw water tank
- Raw water tank foundation is complete and has been handed over to the steelwork contractor.
Staff camp accommodation
- Accommodation blocks are nearing completion and are partially occupied; and
- Buried services are 70% complete.
- Plant administration building is 85% complete.
- Run-of-mine ("ROM") pad civil works have been completed and handed over to the SMPP contractor.
- The relocation started in April 2014 and a total of 115 families (households) have been successfully relocated.
Health & Safety
- No lost time injuries ("LTIs") have been recorded during 2014 thus far which brings the total LTI free hours to 1,709,395 - it has been 511 days since the last LTI on site.
The forecast key project construction workstreams are:
- Complete construction of TSF dam walls in Q3 2014 and commence with pre-strip mining and RC (reverse circulation) grade control drilling;
- Mill installation and plant civil construction are due for completion in Q4 2014 with open pit mining operations commencing Q1 2015; and
- The relocation of village is on track and scheduled for completion in Q4 2014.
Ball mill arrival at New Liberty
The ball mill, together with the mill motors and primary crusher, arrived at the New Liberty site on schedule on June 10, 2014. Following the announcement on March 18, 2014 on the completion of the ball mill foundations, this is another major achievement and is a key milestone in the overall New Liberty project construction schedule.
The ball mill, which is 17 ½ foot x 23 ½ foot, will take between four to six months to erect, with commissioning starting in Q4 2014 and scheduled to be completed in Q1 2015. The mass of the complete ball mill installation, in a ready to run state, is approximately 250 tonnes and its power consumption will be 3,500kW. The nameplate capacity of the ball mill is 145.5 metric tons per hour.
The ball mill was transported by sea from the port of Durban in South Africa to the port of Monrovia in Liberia and then by road from the port of Monrovia to the New Liberty site. The shipment also included other large items such as the Joest vibratory screens as well as plant steelwork. Please refer to the following link for pictures of the transportation process:
Other recent highlights
Presidential visit to New Liberty
On May 12, 2014, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, visited the New Liberty Project accompanied by a government delegation including representatives from the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. The presidential party was given a tour of the Project and a presentation on Aureus' Corporate and Social Responsibility initiatives. The delegation commended Aureus on the progress made to date, the sustainable employment and the training opportunities that the Project has provided to the local communities.
Please refer to the following links to pictures of the Presidential visit:
Presentation to IFC
David Reading, Chief Executive Officer ("CEO"), was invited to present at the IFC's 8th Annual Sustainability Exchange: Transformation Through Collaboration conference, in Washington DC, USA, in May. The event was attended by over 300 representatives from a cross-section of organisations including companies, think tanks, NGOs, donor agencies and academia with the aim of debating economic, environmental and social challenges and opportunities. David was one of the presenters in the Liberia session, "Liberia: Can We Talk? Working Across Sectors".
A copy of the presentation is available through the Aureus website on the following link:
Presentation to analysts / investors
David Reading, CEO, will provide a detailed update to investors and analysts this afternoon at 3pm BST at the offices of Buchanan, 107 Cheapside, London EC2V 6DN. Those interested in attending should contact Buchanan, details of which are provided below. A copy of the presentation is available through the Aureus website on the following link:
About Aureus Mining Inc.
The Company's assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Project," "New Liberty" or the "Project"), which has an estimated proven and probable mineral reserve of 8.5 Mt with 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 9,796 Kt with 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5,730 Kt with 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. A Definitive Feasibility Study has been completed on the Project and construction has commenced with earthworks. The Project is expected to have an 8 year mine life and annual production of 119,000 ounces for the first 6 years of production. The Company has financed the Project's equity and debt funding requirement. The foregoing mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated July 3, 2013 and entitled "New Liberty Gold Project, Liberia, West Africa, Updated Technical Report."
The New Liberty Gold Project is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence. This licence covers 457 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Northern Block of the Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja and Weaju, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2014. Ndablama has an inferred mineral resource of 6,829 Kt with 451,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 2,680 Kt with 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t. The Archaen Gold exploration licence, which covers 89 km², is also a focus of exploration for 2014, with Leopard Rock being the main target. The Yambesei (759 km2), Archaen West (112.6 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work. The foregoing mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated November 11, 2013 and entitled "Ndablama and Weaju Gold Projects, Bea Mountain Mining Licence, Northern Block, Technical Report on Mineral Resources."
The Company also has gold exploration permits in Cameroon.
The estimates of mineral Resources for the DFS were calculated in accordance with NI 43-101 and carried out by Chris G Arnold BSc (Hons), MSc, MAusIMM (CP) of independent consultants AMC. The Reserve Study for the DFS was prepared by Mr M Staples of AMC, a Qualified Person, for the purposes of the study, under the standards set forth by National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Project", of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101″).
The Company's Qualified Person is David Reading, who holds a MSc in Economic Geology from University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. David Reading is the President and CEO of Aureus Mining Inc. and approves this press release.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain information in this news release relating to Aureus is forward-looking and related to anticipated events and strategies. When used in this context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend", "target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates, the expected mine life and production of the New Liberty Gold Project and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus. By their nature, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; regulatory and government decisions; the possibility that future drawdowns under the loan facilities may not be available; construction of the New Liberty Gold Project being delayed and/ or over budget; economic conditions; availability and cost of financing; estimates of capital and operating costs and start-up costs; plans regarding construction activities; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 25, 2014, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus–mining.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information as actual results could differ materially from the plans, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking information. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.
Any mineral resource and mineral reserve figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While the Company believes that the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates in respect of its properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on the Company. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
SOURCE: Aureus Mining Inc.
For further information: Contact Information: Aureus Mining Inc.: David Reading / Paul Thomson, Tel: +44(0) 20 7010 7690; Buchanan: Bobby Morse / Gordon Poole, Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000, Email: [email protected] and [email protected]; Numis Securities Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker): John Prior / James Black, Tel: +44(0) 20 7260 1000; GMP Securities Europe LLP (Joint Broker): Richard Greenfield / Alexandra Carse, Tel: +44(0) 20 7647 2800