Operating Activities to Ramp Up to Full Production over the Next Several Days
VANCOUVER, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ - Capstone Mining Corp. (CS: TSX) today reported that operating activities at its Cozamin Mine recommenced on a limited scale on the morning of Friday December 3. Production levels are expected to ramp up to Cozamin's nominal design capacity of 3,000tpd over the next week to 10 days, extracting ore from areas outside of the Avoca stopes. Limited mining in the Avoca stopes will resume in January and is expected to return to full capacity in February 2011, after the completion of measures to ensure the stability of the zone and the safety of our employees. The addition of production from the Avoca stopes should allow production at Cozamin to be sustained at design capacity, as has been the situation for extended periods in 2010. This return to production follows an evaluation of the geotechnical stability of the areas of the mine currently being worked by Capstone's staff and independent mining and geotechnical consultants, which review will extend into the Avoca area before production resumes from those areas.
"We are taking appropriate and measured steps to return our Cozamin Mine to normal operations," said Gregg Bush, COO of Capstone Mining Corp. "The tragic accident that occurred last week warrants a continued high degree of caution in our approach to the mining of the Avoca area and we are utilizing both the experience of our staff and that of independent consultants to ensure the stability of the mining areas and the safety of our personnel."
Capstone is committed to the highest safety standards at each of its operations. With the assistance of independent geotechnical and mining consultants, Capstone is conducting reviews of each of the areas of the mine and will ensure that any additional safety measures are fully implemented before activities resume in any area. The operations are expected to return to full capacity over the next several days. This accident has obviously affected the production for the Cozamin Mine and Capstone's ability to meet its guidance objectives for 2010, but the safety of Capstone's personnel comes first. The anticipated range of production for 2010 is estimated at 37-38 million pounds of copper in concentrates, but with increased by-product production as ore is extracted from areas with higher lead and zinc grades. The actual production achieved will depend on the rate of return to full production.
As a result of this revised production plan for the Cozamin Mine, Capstone anticipates that it will not meet its amended guidance of 80-85 million pounds of copper in concentrate in 2010, but some of the revenue lost as a result of producing from lower copper grade areas at Cozamin should be offset by higher lead and zinc production from these areas. Depending on the timing and rate of ramp up and the performance of the Minto Mine, production guidance is provisionally amended to 78-80 million pounds of copper in concentrate in 2010.
This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and Capstone Mining Corp. (the "Company") does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable securities legislation.
Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect Company management's expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, success of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. By their very nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of mineral resources; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities; as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be 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.
SOURCE Capstone Mining Corp.