TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Jan. 17, 2013) – Carpathian Gold Inc. (TSX:CPN) (the “Corporation” or “Carpathian”) is pleased with the significant achievements made during 2012, one of which will result in the transformation of Carpathian into a gold producing company by the second half of 2013, with annualized production forecasted to be in the order of 100,000 ounces of gold per year. The Corporation hosts a large gold plus copper resource base of measured plus indicated resources that totals 8.1 million ounces of gold (inclusive of proven and probable reserves of 830,000 ounces) and 1.4 billion pounds of copper (see details at the end of this press release) from its two wholly owned assets: 1) Riacho dos Machados Gold Mining Project (the “RDM Mine” or “Project”) in Brazil and; 2) the Rovina Valley Gold-Copper Project in Romania. This resource and reserve base provides the means for the Corporation to achieve its goal of becoming a gold producer in 2013 and, with its current asset base advance itself towards a gold production profile of a significant mid-tier mining company.
Despite 2012 being another year that saw unsettled and turbulent markets, especially for gold mining and exploration equities, the Corporation was able to substantially advance its projects as a result of its cash position, as well as the arrangement of a senior debt loan facility with Macquarie Bank Limited (“Macquarie Bank”) dedicated to the development and construction of the RDM Mine.
Some of the Corporation’s achievements in 2012 are described below.
RDM Mine, Brazil:
- Commenced the construction and development of the RDM Mine.
- As at December 31, 2012 the development of the Project that will mine 7,000 t/d of ore from an open pit operation and will treat ore utilizing a standard crush, grind and CIL processing facility, was approximately 60% complete. The Project development remains on track for production in the second half of 2013 at an annualized rate of approximately 100,000 ounces of gold for an initial period of +8 years.
- All major contracts were finalized and signed and the delivery of the crushers, grinding mill and mining equipment was completed.
- Senior debt project financing with Macquarie Bank was increased to US$90 million to complete the construction of the Project that has a projected initial capital cost of approximately US$160 to US$165 million. All documentation finalizing the debt facility was signed on January 11, 2013, with expected drawdown of the facility to commence by the end of January 2013.
- A 5,720 metre exploration-drilling program was completed to evaluate on-strike near surface mineralization both to the north and south of the RDM open pit. These targets are a short distance from the crushing operations so that any new, economically viable, mineralized zone could easily be trucked to the processing facility that has a capacity of 9,000 t/d. The exploration program included soil geochemistry, rock-float sampling, trenching, auger drilling, and diamond core drilling. Three targets north and one south of the mine were drill tested while several additional targets were scout drilled through drilling activity that was completed by the end of December 2012. Assay results are still being received for the latter part of the drill program and completed results to date from this program are currently being evaluated and interpreted. Some highlights from results received to date include the following:
- Cinco Mil Target (less than1 km north of the pit)
- Trench TRCM1 with 11 metres (m) at 3.23 g/t Au
- Diamond drill hole FCM-13 intersected 11 m with 4.10 g/t Au (0-11 m hole depth, located below TRCM1)
- Manguinha Target (2 km north of the pit)
- Diamond drill hole FMG-05 intersected 11 m with 1.02 g/t Au (14-25 m hole depth)
- Diamond drill hole FMG-07 intersected 8 m with 1.34 g/t Au (31-39 m hole depth)
Note: Intersections utilize a 0.30 g/t Au cut-off allowing a maximum 1.0 m dilution. All above intersections are in weathered oxide zone. True widths are not known at this time. The following are azimuth (degrees)/dip (degrees)/total depth (metres) of the drill holes listed above: FCM-13: 290/-60/73.0; FMG-05: 90/-85/102.0; FMG-07: 290/-55/81.2
Rovina Valley Project, Romania:
- Completed 5,290 metres of resource definition drilling, 7,837 metres of exploration and satellite target drilling, predominantly at the Ciresata porphyry and 915 metres of geotechnical drilling to complete drill programs initiated in 2011. A total of 305 diamond drill holes have been completed on the project for a total of 136,705 metres.
- Announced a resource update on July 17, 2012, which increased the previous measured plus indicated gold resource category by 134% to 7.19 million ounces and increased the measured plus indicated copper resource by 84% to 1.420 billion pounds of copper. In addition, the measured plus indicated gold resource grade increased by 12.2 % from the previous resource and the tonnage by 110%. The 2012 resource update is shown below.
|Category||(MM t)||(g/t)||(%)||(MM oz)||(MM lbs)||(MM oz)|
|Total Measured + Indicated||405.9||0.55||0.16||7.19||1,420.0||10.84|
|Comparison to 2008|
|Category||(MM t)||(g/t)||(%)||(MM oz)||(MM lbs)||(MM oz)|
|Comparison to 2008|
|–||*Au eq. determined by using a gold price of US$1,370 per ounce and a copper price of US3.52/lb. These prices are the 3-year trailing average as of July 10th, 2012. Metallurgical recoveries are not taken into account for Au eq.|
|–||Base case cut-offs used in the table are 0.35 g/t Au eq. for the Colnic deposit and 0.25% Cu eq for the Rovina deposit, both of which are amenable to open pit mining and 0.65 g/t Au eq for the Ciresata deposit which is amenable to underground bulk mining.|
|–||For the Rovina and Colnic porphyries, the resource is an in-pit resource derived from a Whittle shell model using gross metal values of $1,350/oz Au price and $3.00/lb Cu price, net of payable amounts after smelter charges and royalty for net values of US$1,313/oz Au and US$2.57/lb Cu for Rovina and US$2.27/Ib Cu for Colnic).|
|–||Rounding of tonnes as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal content.|
- The final Rovina Valley Exploration report and full documentation of a mining study was submitted to the National Agency of Mineral resources (“NAMR”) for the conversion of the Rovina Valley Exploration License to a Mining License. This study was completed by a consortium of Romanian certified consultants and included resource-reserve assessments, mining and processing evaluations, environmental-social baseline and impact risk assessments, health and safety evaluations and closure plans. The conversion to a Mining License is not expected before mid-year 2013.
- A consortium of well-known engineering groups and specialists, led by AGP Mining Consultants Inc. (“AGP”) performed worked for a Pre-Feasibility study for the project during 2012. The Pre-Feasibility study contemplates a 45,000 t/d mining operation from two open pits and one underground mine, utilizing a standard copper flotation processing facility. It is expected that the results from this study will be released by the end of Q1, 2013.
- The Corporation arranged with Macquarie Bank to increase the Project Loan Facility (the “Facility”) from US$80 million to US$90 million for the RDM Mine. As previously reported (see press release dated January 12, 2012) the Corporation had entered into price protection programs in the form of currency swaps for the Project’s CAPEX (R$1.90 to $US1.00) and OPEX (R$1.983 to $US1.00) as well as a gold price protection program comprised of 216,600 ounces of gold (approximately 26% of the open pit reserves) at a price of US$1,600 per ounce.
- On January 11, 2013 the Corporation, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mineração Riacho dos Machados (“MRDM”) and Macquarie Bank signed the definitive Facility Agreement. The Facility Agreement is a five-year agreement with standard commercial terms as is customary in agreements of this nature. Subject only to interest breakage costs, the Corporation may repay the Facility at any time, with no adverse penalties. In consideration for increasing in the Facility and extending the completion guarantee date for the Gold Purchase and Sales Agreement (see press release of May 5, 2010) the Corporation has granted Macquarie Bank 20 million common share purchase warrants at an exercise price of $0.40 per warrant for a period of three years, as well as a call option on an additional 10,000 ounces of gold at $2,000 per ounce for a three year period.
- In 2012, the Corporation spent approximately US$66 million on the RDM Mine development. In 2013, the Corporation will fund approximately an additional US$10 million from its current treasury and then use the net proceeds from the US$90 million Facility Agreement for the construction and development of the RDM Mine.
- In 2012, the Corporation spent approximately US$10.0 million on the Rovina Valley Project to fund the various drilling programs, resource update, Pre-Feasibility study and technical studies for the mining license application and social programs.
The Corporation’s priorities are to complete the construction and development of the RDM Mine and the commencement of gold production as scheduled, as well as to continue to advance the Rovina Valley Project. Additionally, the Corporation will continue to evaluate any other opportunities that may add significant shareholder value.
The following lists the major objectives for each of the RDM Mine and the Rovina Valley Project for 2013.
2013 Objectives for the RDM Mine, Brazil
- Complete the construction and development of the Project for mid-2013 gold production at an annualized rate of 100,000 ounces per year.
- Continue to evaluate exploration targets primarily on-strike from the open pit mineralization to outline additional shallow resources for future growth and extension of the mine life of the Project.
- Evaluation studies for the exploitation of deeper resources via an underground operation with the objective of adding approximately 50% more mineable material approximately half way through the open-pit mining operation.
- Continue EIA and SIA programs throughout the year.
|2013 Objectives for the Rovina Valley Project, Romania|
- Obtain final approval for the conversion of the Exploration License to a Mining License.
- Complete a reserve estimate for the project.
- Complete a Pre-Feasibility study.
- Initiate a Feasibility Study.
- Evaluate the possibility of further satellite drilling on the project.
- Continue EIA and SIA programs throughout the year as well as all long-lead time programs that will be required for permitting of the project.
- Initiate the detailed permitting process required to put the project into production.
Further details on the Corporation and the individual projects can be found on the Corporation’s website at www.carpathiangold.com and www.sedar.com. A video link on the development progress of the RDM construction can also be found on the Corporation’s website.
Mr. Titaro is the qualified person (as defined in National Instrument 43-101) overseeing the design and implementation of the present exploration programs. He is responsible for preparing the technical information contained in this news release.
Carpathian is an exploration and development company whose primary business interest is developing near-term gold production on its 100% owned Riacho dos Machados (“RDM”) Gold Project in Brazil, which is currently focused on construction, along with progressing its exploration and development plans on its 100% owned Rovina Valley Au-Cu Project (“RVP”) located in Romania.
On a company wide basis, Carpathian currently hosts NI 43-101 proven plus probable reserves of 830,200 ounces of gold (proven reserves of 2,300 Kt at 1.30 g/t Au and probable reserves of 18,500 Kt at 1.23 g/t Au) and NI 43-101 mineral resources (inclusive of reserves) of approximately 8.1 million ounces of gold in the measured plus indicated categories (RVP: 405.9 million tonnes at 0.55 g/t Au for 7.19 million ounces, RDM: 19.36 million tonnes at 1.50 g/t Au for 0.936 million ounces) and approximately 0.9 million ounces of gold in the inferred category (RVP: 26.8 million tones at 0.38 g/t Au for 0.33 million ounces, RDM; 9.447 million tones at 1.93 g/t Au for 0.587 million ounces), as well as 1.4 billion pounds of copper in the measured plus indicated category (RVP: 405.9 million tones at 0.16% Cu) and 97.0 million pounds of copper in the inferred category (RVP: 405.9 million tonnes at 0.16% Cu) (see press releases dated July 17, 2012 and April 6, 2011 for further details on resources and reserves).
The RDM Gold Project is targeted to produce in the order of +/-100,000 ounces of gold per annum with an anticipated goal for the commencement of production in the second half of 2013. The Rovina Valley Project will enhance Carpathians growth profile as a mid-tier gold producer.
Mr. Titaro is the qualified person (as defined in National Instrument 43-101) and is responsible for preparing the technical information contained in this news release.
Forward-Looking Statements: Statements and certain information contained in this press release and any documents incorporated by reference may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation which may include, but is not limited to, information with respect to the Corporation’s expected production from, and further potential of, the Corporation’s properties; the Corporation’s ability to raise additional funds; the future price of minerals, particularly gold and copper; the estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources; conclusions of economic evaluation; the realization of mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production; costs of production; capital expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; currency exchange rates; government regulation of mining operations; and environmental risks. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements/information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or “believes” or variations (including negative 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. Forward-looking statements/information is based on management’s expectations and reasonable assumptions at the time such statements are made.
Estimates regarding the anticipated timing, amount and cost of exploration and development activities are based on assumptions underlying mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and the realization of such estimates are set out herein. Capital and operating cost estimates are based on extensive research of the Corporation, purchase orders placed by the Corporation to date, recent estimates of construction and mining costs and other factors that are set out herein. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Carpathian and/or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include: uncertainties of mineral resource estimates; the nature of mineral exploration and mining; variations in ore grade and recovery rates; cost of operations; fluctuations in the sale prices of products; volatility of gold and copper prices; exploration and development risks; liquidity concerns and future financings; risks associated with operations in foreign jurisdictions; potential revocation or change in permit requirements and project approvals; competition; no guarantee of titles to explore and operate; environmental liabilities and regulatory requirements; dependence on key individuals; conflicts of interests; insurance; fluctuation in market value of Carpathian’s shares; rising production costs; equipment material and skilled technical workers; volatile current global financial conditions; and currency fluctuations; and other risks pertaining to the mining industry.
Although Carpathian 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 to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking information contained herein or incorporated by reference are made as of the date of this presentation or as of the date of the documents incorporated by reference, as the case may be, and Carpathian does not undertake to update any such forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information contained or incorporated by reference in this document is presented for the purpose of assisting shareholders in understanding the financial position, strategic priorities and objectives of the Corporation for the periods referenced and such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.
The TSX does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.