VANCOUVER, April 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd. (TSX:GQM; OTCQX:GQMNF) (the "Company" or "Golden Queen") is providing a comment on a notice filed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the United States Federal Register on April 10. The Company is also pleased to provide a construction update for its 50%-owned Soledad Mountain gold-silver project (the "Project") located just south of the town of Mojave, California.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service Notice:
On April 4, 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service ("USFWS") determined that the Mohave Shoulderband Snail did not warrant an emergency listing as a threatened or endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The USFWS based that decision on a review of an emergency petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity ("CBD"), in which CBD asserted that the snail is a separate species with limited distribution, including a part of the area required for the Project on Soledad Mountain.
Even though an emergency listing was not warranted, the USFWS is required by the Endangered Species Act to continue processing the listing petition. On April 10, 2015, the USFWS announced the commencement of a 60-day public comment period as part of its decision to study the merits of the assertions made in the petition. As USFWS states in its notice, taking this step does not mean that a listing will be warranted at the end of the 12-month study period.
The Company worked with its environmental and legal advisors to prepare a detailed response to the petition, which was filed with the USFWS on March 31, 2014. The Company's response is available on the Company's website at www.goldenqueen.com.
The Project has received all necessary regulatory approvals. The decision by USFWS to engage in a study does not affect the Project's regulatory approvals or prevent the Project from moving forward.
Construction is continuing on site without incident. Construction highlights include:
- Equipment for the assay laboratory has been purchased and is being installed;
- Construction of key footings for the crushing-screening plant has been completed. Delivery of structural steel and equipment for the primary crusher section of the crushing-screening plant is scheduled for early May;
- Delivery of the high-pressure grinding roll or HPGR, the key comminution equipment in the crushing-screening plant, is expected in July;
- A contractor has started erection of the overland conveyor;
- Site grading of the Phase 1, Stage 1 heap-leach pad, the overflow pond and the solution conveyance channel has been completed, the lower, low permeability, clay-tailings layer has been placed in the overflow pond and the impervious liner is now being placed;
- Construction of the power distribution and water supply infrastructure is 90% complete;
- The Company is proceeding with development on the project site. Twelve pieces of earth-moving equipment including two 40 ton haul trucks, two dozers, a water truck and a grader are now on site and this equipment will be used in the mining operation. Road Machinery LLC is developing a facility in Mojave to be able to provide maintenance support;
- There are now twenty full-time employees in Mojave with an expected increase to approximately 50 full-time employees in the near term. The management team is also in place. The contractors' combined workforce varies from fifty to seventy-five depending upon the particular projects that are being worked on.
Construction is proceeding on time and within budget and the Company expects to commission the processing facilities in the last quarter of 2015.
Infill Drill Program Update:
The Company has completed an infill drill program within the first two phases of mining, which was announced in a news release dated March 16, 2015. The goals of the infill drill program are to: (1) Extend mineralization both laterally and in depth below the current open pit designs; (2) Convert Inferred resource estimates to Measured and Indicated resource estimates and (3) provide material for bottle roll tests to assess metallurgical performance.
Drilling started on February 9 and 4,108m of reverse-circulation drilling has been completed. A total of 3,013 samples was sent to a laboratory in Reno, Nevada. The Company will provide an update as soon as all assays have been received and the analysis and interpretation of the results has been completed.
About Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd:
The Company is developing a gold-silver, open pit, heap leach operation on its fully-permitted 50%-owned Soledad Mountain property, located just outside the town of Mojave in Kern County in southern California. The Project will use conventional open pit mining methods and the cyanide heap leach and Merrill-Crowe processes to recover gold and silver from crushed, agglomerated ore. Technical information in this news release was approved by H. Lutz Klingmann, President and CEO, and a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101.
Caution With Respect To Forward-looking Statements: The information in this news release includes certain "forward-looking statements". All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, plans for and intentions with respect to budgets and capital requirements, construction, hiring, decisions of regulators, infrastructure development, the determination of the USFWS, the CBD petition status and other development activities on the Project progress, and statements related to ongoing development, exploration and mining operations on the Project that are not historical, are forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from statements in this news release regarding our intentions include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties regarding: the joint venture agreement and related obligations of GQM LLC; the development and operation of the Project, including additional capital requirements for the Project, accidents, equipment breakdowns and non-compliance with environmental and permit requirements, changes to regulations or new governmental decisions affecting planned operations. Other risks and uncertainties include risks related to fluctuations in gold and silver prices; changes in planned work resulting from logistical, technical or other factors; that results of operations on the Project will not meet projected expectations due to any combination of technical, operational or market factors; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of technical data and the estimation of gold and silver resources and reserves; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and, accordingly, investors should not put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this news release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made.
SOURCE Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd.