TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Orvana Minerals Corp. (TSX:ORV) (the "Company" or "Orvana") is pleased to report updates on its mine life extension activities at Don Mario Mine in Bolivia and the evaluation of the recommissioning of the existing CIL circuit. The Company expects to publicly release by the end of September 2015 mineral resource estimates being prepared by Mercator Geological Services Ltd. ("Mercator") in accordance with CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves and National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") for each of the Lower Mineralized Zone ("LMZ") pushback and the Cerro Felix deposit at its Don Mario Mine. The Company is also pleased to provide operational updates at its El Valle Mine in Spain and confirms that it will meet its updated 2015 guidance.
Don Mario Update
2009 marked the last year of six years of production from the LMZ underground gold mine at Don Mario with some follow on production from lower-grade open pit satellite deposits continuing into 2011. During this period, over 420,000 ounces of gold was produced with an average recovery of over 80% from the CIL circuit which was decommissioned in 2011. In 2012, the Company commenced processing ore from the Upper Mineralized Zone ("UMZ"). The Company is currently processing UMZ ore by flotation-only producing a copper concentrate and a gold concentrate. In the first nine months of 2015, average recoveries of 54% for gold, 76% for copper and 63% for silver were achieved.
Mercator was engaged to review, among other things, geological information, historical data and results of an LMZ drilling program. Geotechnical and geological reviews have been carried out on the historical resource block model of the LMZ and the current resource block model of UMZ to investigate the potential of mining the upper extension of the LMZ. Results of a recent drilling program to verify conditions of the underlying underground workings, identify voids and further support and confirm mineral resource estimates have shown that no significant unexpected voids were encountered and that a pushback of the pit to allow for the mining of the upper extension of the LMZ is possible. This has allowed for the preparation of the LMZ mineral resources estimate expected to be released later this month.
Processing of LMZ ore may be through the currently operating flotation only circuit or the existing CIL circuit, the recommissioning of which is currently being evaluated. Processing through the CIL circuit would result in the production of gold doré in addition to the current copper and gold concentrates. Producing doré in addition to concentrates are estimated to lead to higher gold recoveries and reduced TC/RCs and freight charges. A detailed mine design and schedule for the LMZ pushback is being prepared.
From 2009 to 2011, approximately 207,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.77 g/t of gold was processed from mineralized zones north-west and south-east of UMZ ("Cerro Felix"). In 2015, Orvana completed a drilling program consisting of 39 holes totalling 3,600 meters at Cerro Felix. Mercator has worked with Orvana to review, among other things, geological information, historical data and the results of the Cerro Felix drilling program. This has allowed for the preparation of the Cerro Felix mineral resources estimate expected to be released later this month. Processing of Cerro Felix ore may be through the currently operating flotation only circuit or the existing CIL circuit, the recommissioning of which is currently being evaluated.
CIL Circuit Recommissioning
Lycopodium Limited Canada ("Lycopodium") has been engaged to complete a capital cost estimate for the recommissioning of the existing CIL circuit at Don Mario which could result in improved gold recoveries and the additional production of a precious metals doré.
There are three separate options for the recommissioning of the CIL circuit defined by different process design criteria that leverage existing infrastructure to a different degree. The three separate options have different estimated recoveries that are subject to change based on metallurgical testwork and/or operational changes such as lower throughput for finer grind size. Estimated preliminary capital costs, depending on the option selected, range between approximately $5 million and $10 million. All estimates contain contingency considered appropriate for the scope and brownfield nature of the work. The estimate accuracy is considered to be in the +/- 35% range with contingency included. The Company will be reviewing the various options, results of metallurgical test work and potential financing alternatives to assess the recommissioning of the CIL circuit.
A metallurgical test work program is underway to evaluate both CIL of whole of ore and flotation for LMZ and Cerro Felix deposits. Results from this program are expected by the end of 2015.
Other opportunities to extend the mine life at Don Mario include metallurgical testing of 2.4 million tonnes of stockpiled oxide resource containing 153,000 oz of gold at 1.96 g/t and 93 million pounds of copper at 1.74%.
El Valle Mine Update
Orvana is pleased to provide the following operational update for its El Valle Mine in northern Spain. Oxides production at El Valle Mine has been impacted in the last six months by the planned transition from contractor mining to owner/operator mining completed at the end of April. Changes to oxide mining techniques have improved productivity with rates in August nearing those of the previous oxides contractor. The Company has maintained its average skarns production.
Orvana is reporting that it expects to meet its updated 2015 guidance for (i) production of gold of between 70,000 and 73,000 ounces, copper of between 23,000,000 and 25,000,000 pounds and silver of between 550,000 and 680,000 ounces; (ii) all-in-sustaining-costs (by-product) guidance of between $1,150 and $1,250; and (iii) capital costs of between $11.5 million and $12.5 million.
Orvana Minerals is a multi-mine gold and copper producer. Orvana's operating assets consist of the producing gold-copper El Valle mine in northern Spain and the producing gold-copper-silver Don Mario mine in Bolivia. Additional information is available at Orvana's website (www.orvana.com).
Cautionary Statements - Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements in this information constitute forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, potentials, future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "believes", "expects", "plans", "estimates" or "intends" or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", "will" or "are projected to" be taken or achieved) are not statements of historical fact, but are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements herein relate to, among other things, Orvana's ability to achieve improvement in free cash flow; the potential to extend the mine life of El Valle Mine and Don Mario Mine beyond their current life-of-mine estimates; Orvana's ability to optimize its assets to deliver shareholder value; the expected costs associated with the suspension of mining activities at Carlés; Orvana's ability to optimize productivity at El Valle in 2015; estimates of future production, operating costs and capital expenditures; mineral resource and reserve estimates; statements and information regarding future feasibility studies and their results; future transactions; future metal prices; the ability to achieve additional growth and geographic diversification; future financial performance, including the ability to increase cash flow and profits; future financing requirements; and mine development plans. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Orvana as of the date of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The estimates and assumptions of Orvana contained or incorporated by reference in this information, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to, the various assumptions set forth herein and in Orvana's most recently filed Management's Discussion & Analysis and Annual Information Form in respect of the Company's most recently completed fiscal year (the "Company Disclosures") or as otherwise expressly incorporated herein by reference as well as: there being no significant disruptions affecting operations, whether due to labour disruptions, supply disruptions, power disruptions, damage to equipment or otherwise; permitting, development, operations, expansion and acquisitions at El Valle Mine and Don Mario Mine being consistent with Orvana's current expectations; political developments in any jurisdiction in which Orvana operates being consistent with its current expectations; certain price assumptions for gold, copper and silver; prices for key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; production and cost of sales forecasts meeting expectations; the accuracy of Orvana's current mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; and labour and materials costs increasing on a basis consistent with Orvana's current expectations. A variety of inherent risks, uncertainties and factors, many of which are beyond the Orvana's control, affect the operations, performance and results of Orvana and its business, and could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Some of these risks, uncertainties and factors include fluctuations in the price of gold, silver and copper; the need to recalculate estimates of resources based on actual production experience; the failure to achieve production estimates; variations in the grade of ore mined; variations in the cost of operations; variations in the costs associated with the suspension of mining at Carlés; the availability of qualified personnel; Orvana's ability to obtain and maintain all necessary regulatory approvals and licenses; Orvana's ability to use cyanide in its mining operations; risks generally associated with mineral exploration and development, including Orvana's ability to continue to operate El Valle Mine and/or the Don Mario Mine; Orvana's ability to acquire and develop mineral properties and to successfully integrate such acquisitions; Orvana's ability to obtain financing when required on terms that are acceptable to Orvana; Orvana's ability to execute on its strategy; challenges to Orvana's interests in its property and mineral rights; current, pending and proposed legislative or regulatory developments or changes in political, social or economic conditions in the countries in which Orvana operates; general economic conditions worldwide; and the risks identified in the Company's Disclosures under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties". This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of Orvana's forward-looking statements and reference should also be made to the Company's Disclosures for a description of additional risk factors. Any forward-looking statements made in this information with respect to the anticipated development and exploration of Orvana's mineral projects are intended to provide an overview of management's expectations with respect to certain future activities of Orvana and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions and, except as required by law, Orvana does not undertake any obligation to update forward looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this information are intended to provide an overview of management's expectations with respect to certain future operating activities of Orvana and may not be appropriate for other purposes.
SOURCE Orvana Minerals Corp.