VANCOUVER, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - Scorpio Mining Corporation (TSX: SPM) is pleased to present an overview of its first year in commercial production and report that it has set another record for metal production in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009 ("Q4").
Peter J. Hawley, Chairman, CEO comments, "The fourth quarter mine production and mill throughput is another record quarterly performance for the Company since we declared commercial production at the Nuestra Senora mine in January 2009. The Company continues to ramp up operations for 2010 with the Q1 2010 mill throughput scheduled for 30,000 tonnes per month. It has been a great first year with the team, mine and mill facility out-performing all targets set for each quarter. As the Platte River Gold acquisition nears completion, the Company continues to look forward to increased production and a planned mill expansion for 2010."
Fourth Quarter 2009 Highlights:
- The Company's Mexican operations generated positive cash flows.
- Nuestra Senora cash operating costs were 27% lower than budgeted at
US$35.47 per tonne compared with the budgeted cost of US$48.45 per
- Underground ore production increased from 39,687 tonnes in the third
quarter 2009 ("Q3") to 54,860 tonnes in Q4, an increase of 38%.
- The average monthly mill throughput increased from 18,975 tonnes in
Q3 to 23,793 tonnes in Q4, an increase of 25%. The Company expects
mill throughput to further increase to a projected 30,000 tonnes per
month for Q1 2010.
- During Q4, the mill processed 71,378 tonnes in 81 days of production
at an average grade of 1.25% lead, 0.43% copper, 2.78% zinc and
99 g/t silver. This represents a 25% increase from Q3 production of
56,925 of tonnes in 77 days at an average grade of 1.30% lead, 0.44%
copper, 2.47% zinc and 105 g/t silver.
- During Q4, contained metals produced in concentrates consisted of
1.371 million pounds of lead, a 24% increase from Q3; 485,000 pounds
of copper, a 45% increase from Q3; 3.331 million pounds of zinc, a
57% increase from Q3 and 202,451 ounces of silver, a 21% increase
from Q3. For comparison, in Q3 the contained metals produced were
1.108 pounds of lead, 335,000 pounds of copper, 2.120 million pounds
of zinc and 167,817 ounces of silver. The Company's mandate for Q4
was to focus on increasing mill throughput, and, as a result of
higher metal prices, the Company was able to process lower-grade
material in Q4 thereby reducing its reliance on the higher-grade cut
and fill ore and extending the high-grade life of mine sectors.
- For the first year of commercial production, contained metals
produced in concentrates consisted of 4.188 million pounds of lead,
1.186 million pounds of copper, 8.747 million pounds of zinc and
600,375 ounces of silver.
- A total of 178,421 tonnes mined of which 141,640 tonnes were ore.
- The mill facility operated 271 days for the year and processed
210,324 tonnes of material.
- Average recovery for lead in lead concentrate payable was 74%; for
copper in copper concentrate payable was 57%; for zinc in zinc
concentrate payable was 78% and for silver in lead and copper
concentrates payable was 88%.
- Lead concentrates graded on average 51.98% lead and 3,019 grams per
tonne silver payable for the year.
- Copper concentrate graded on average 25.42% copper and 3,088 grams
per tonne silver payable for the year.
- Zinc concentrate graded on average 56.41% zinc payable for the year.
(1) Cash operating cost is a non-GAAP performance measure; please see
"Non-GAAP Performance Measures" on page 12 of the Company's Q3 MD&A
for a discussion of how this non-GAAP measure varies from GAAP
Further information is available on the Company's web site at:
ON BEHALF OF SCORPIO MINING CORPORATION
Peter J. Hawley
Chairman & CEO
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to increasing mill throughput and metal production, completing pending acquisitions and Scorpio Mining Corporation's commitment to, and plans for developing the Nuestra Senora Project. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "projects", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or "variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "can", "could", "would", "might", or "will" be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Scorpio Mining Corporation to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: risks related to the exploration and development and operation of the Nuestra Senora Project, risks related to international operations, construction delays and cost overruns, the actual results of current exploration, development and construction activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, future prices of silver, zinc, copper, lead and gold, risks relating to completing acquisition transactions as well as those factors discussed in the sections relating to risk factors of our business filed in Scorpio Mining Corporation's required securities filings on SEDAR, including its Annual Information Form dated March 27, 2009. Although Scorpio Mining Corporation has attempted to identify important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results to be materially different from those anticipated, described, estimated, assessed or intended.
There can be no assurance that any forward-looking statements will prove accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Scorpio Mining Corporation does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are incorporated herein, except as required by applicable securities laws.
SOURCE Scorpio Mining Corporation
For further information: For further information: Rich Kaiser, YES International: 1-800-631-8127, 001-757-306-6090 (outside North America), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org