TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - ROMARCO MINERALS INC. (TSX: R) (the "Company") wishes to provide an update with respect to the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for its 100% owned Haile Gold Mine project in South Carolina, USA. All dollar amounts in this news release are expressed in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise stated.
Since the news release dated October 25, 2012, the Company has been meeting regularly with the US Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps"), the contractor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, as well as consulting parties for continued review of the submitted hydrology model. As a result of those meetings all parties agree, and the Corps has requested the Company perform, the following hydrological tasks to gather additional data to supplement existing data previously submitted in the permit application:
- Twin three vibrating wire piezometer holes (six new holes).
- Complete an aquifer test and pump for approximately one week with a new production well and seven monitoring wells. The new aquifer test will provide additional data for an area where bedrock characteristics are anticipated to be different from previous testing.
The Company has already received the authorizations to drill and has begun to twin the vibrating wire piezometer holes and to drill the aquifer well. The data collection and associated modeling should be completed in the second quarter 2013.
The Corps has indicated work is continuing on the writing of the EIS chapters. Additional information is available on the Corps' www.hailegoldmineeis.com website.
The Company is pleased to announce it has amended its agreement with Blanchard Machinery Company ("BMC") for the delivery and final payment for its Caterpillar ("CAT") mobile mine equipment for its Haile Gold Mine project in South Carolina. If needed, the amendment extends the delivery schedule and final payment of approximately $29 million, originally scheduled for September 30, 2013 by six months, with an option to extend a further six months. The Company will incur a modest fee for the amendment and the extension option and it will continue to incur a monthly holding cost of approximately $230,000. The agreement maintains previously agreed pricing, ensures timely delivery of new equipment with tires, keeps a full warranty in place until delivery, and allows the Company to defer the majority of the payment in order to conserve cash, should the need arise. BMC worked with the Company in evaluating other alternatives and the amended agreement provides the lowest cost alternative with continued flexibility.
The local dealer for the Company's Hitachi shovel, Flint Equipment Company ("Flint"), is storing the shovel in Savannah, GA. In the current agreement with Flint, the Company will take delivery of the shovel not later than February 2014 and the final payment will be approximately $2 million. Flint recently advised that it would work with the Company to adjust the current agreement for delivery of the shovel, if needed.
The SAG and Ball mill shells were delivered to South Carolina in late December 2012 and arrived at Haile on January 18, 2013. Progress payments of approximately $3 million on these are being made in the first quarter of 2013. Payment of approximately $1.3 million for both mill motors and girth gears is anticipated in the third quarter of 2013 with final payments of approximately $1.3 million for other ancillary components delayed until after the start of construction.
The Company is continuing with its cash conservation actions and ended 2012 with $64.8 million of cash and cash equivalents, which was $9.4 million lower than September 30, 2012. At February 20, 2013, cash was approximately $54 million. The first quarter cash spend is higher than the previous two quarters of 2012 primarily due to payments for the Ball and SAG mills mentioned above and annual payments customarily paid in the first quarter of each year.
The Company will hold a conference call on February 21, 2013 at 8:30 am ET where senior management will provide an update on the EIS and Haile Gold Mine project. Senior management will also respond to questions from analysts and investors.
To join the call:
- In Canada and the United States - 1-888-231-8191
- International - 647-427-7450
The conference call will be recorded and playback will be available approximately two hours after the event's completion by dialing toll free in Canada and the United States 1-855-859-2056 or locally 416-849-0833, passcode 13997766# (available up to February 28, 2013).
About Romarco Minerals Inc.
Romarco Minerals Inc. is a gold development company focused on production primarily in the US. The Company has completed a positive Feasibility study and is continuing exploration drilling and permitting for its flagship project, the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina.
SOURCE ROMARCO MINERALS INC.