Atacama Minerals Corp.
TSX VENTURE : AAM

Atacama Minerals Corp.

September 09, 2009 16:42 ET

Atacama Second Quarter Highlights

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2009) - Atacama Minerals Corp. ("Atacama" or "the Company") (TSX VENTURE:AAM) is pleased to provide an update on its activities during the second quarter period ending June 30, 2009.

The Company reported quarterly net income of $2.2 million or $0.01 per share for the three months ended June 30, 2009 (net loss of $1.7 million or $0.01 for the six months ended June 30, 2008). The Company had cash and cash equivalents of $30 million, working capital of $34 million, and long term debt of $5.7 million as of June 30, 2009. The 2009 unaudited interim consolidated financial statements together with Management's Discussion and Analysis are available on the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com).

Highlights for the Second Quarter



------------------------------------------------
Three Months Three Months Six Months Six Months
Ended June Ended June Ended June Ended June
30, 2009 30, 2008 30, 2009 30, 2008
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Financial Highlights
In USD $'000, except for
data per share
(Unaudited)
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Revenue 7,571 5,512 13,157 10,584
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Net Income (loss) 2,233 (1,707) 1,672 (2,555)
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Earnings (loss) before
interest, income taxes,
depletion, depreciation
and amortization 1,442 (945) 2,796 (323)
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Basic income (loss)
per share $0.01 $(0.01) $0.01 $(0.02)
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Operating Highlights
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Tonnes Mined (Mt) 581,038 530,055 1,618,528 981,152
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Iodine Grade (ppm) 436 734 508 706
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Iodine Produced
(Mt) (000's) 247 220 493 463
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Iodine Sold (Mt) (000's) 281 230 480 443
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The increase in income for the quarter was primarily due to higher income from mining operations at the Aguas Blancas mine and a foreign currency translation gain of $2.1 million as a result of the strengthening of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar and the fact that the Company maintains a large portion of its cash in Canadian dollars.

The increase in income for the first half of 2009 was primarily due to higher income from mining operations and a foreign currency translation gain in the second quarter of 2009.

The increase in income from mining operations for both the second quarter and first half of 2009 compared to the same periods in 2008 was primarily due to higher iodine prices and tonnes sold.

The Aguas Blancas Mine - northern Chile

Iodine production from the Aguas Blancas Mine in northern Chile is expected to increase throughout the remainder of the year to a total in excess of 1,000 tonnes as heap leach operations continue to be optimized and cold weather conditions subside.

During the first half of 2009, the Company installed modifications to the crushing/grinding system of the agitated leach plant based on recommendations provided by independent consultants. Results from the startup and test work completed indicate that further modifications are required to resolve the material processing problems.

When fully operational, the new agitated leach plant is designed to increase production capacity from 1,000 tonnes of iodine per year to 1,500 tonnes per year.

Salvador Potash Project - Brazil

The Company expects to commence drilling upon receipt of environmental permits for the drill sites, which are anticipated to be received late in the third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2009. Drill sites have been selected based on historical drill results and studies of geophysical and geological data.

On behalf of the Board,

Edward F. Posey, President

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Atacama Minerals Corp.
    Sophia Shane
    Corporate Development
    (604) 689-7842
    (604) 689-4250 (FAX)
    www.atacama.com