ECU Silver Mining Inc.
TSX : ECU

ECU Silver Mining Inc.

March 31, 2010 17:23 ET

ECU Silver Releases Year End Results for 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) - ECU Silver Mining Inc. (TSX:ECU) reports that it has released its audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2009 and the related management's discussion and analysis of financial position and results of operations ("MD&A").

ECU reported a net loss of $8.4 million, or 3 cents per share in 2009, compared with a net loss of $18.0 million, or 7 cents per share in 2008. Revenues from metal sales used to offset mining property costs were $6.6 million in 2009, compared with $0.7 million in 2008.

Michel Roy, CEO and Chairman stated, "In the first 10 months of operation, to February 2010, with the oxide mill, we were able to generate gold and silver sales of approximately 750,000 ounces in silver equivalent terms. We feel this is quite the accomplishment given new mining operations typically take several months to get to commercial production. Now, entering into our 11th month, we feel we have learned a great deal from our operations and have identified several opportunities to increase our recoveries. As a result, our gold and silver sales for 2010 will be significantly greater than 2009, on an annualized basis."

ECU treated 126,572 tonnes of material from the oxide mill (plus another 12,651 from the sulphide mill) in eight months of milling and mining operations in 2009. This is the first year of operations for the oxide mill and ECU treated an average of over 500 tonnes per day (tpd), which is the target capacity of the oxide mill. The costs associated with our operations in 2009 were $10.3 million, with a significant part of these costs allocated to mine development, mill preparation and mill maintenance, particularly in the four months prior to the oxide mill being in operation.

Since our last report to shareholders, ECU has focused its efforts on operations to generate gold and silver doré bars for sale. In March, 2009, we purchased the oxide mill, a 500 tonne per day gold and silver recovery plant located adjacent to ECU's properties near the town of Velardeña, in Durango, Mexico. 

Within six weeks of acquiring the oxide mill, we had our first gold/silver doré pour. Since then, we have now reported on operations for 10 months (May 2009 to February 2010) and have averaged approximately 17,000 ounces of silver per month plus another 580 ounces of gold per month, all from the oxide mill. At a silver/gold ratio of 65 to one, this translates to 55,000 ounces of silver equivalence per month. In addition to this, we have also restarted operations at our sulphide mill and have averaged approximately 10,000 ounces of silver per month plus 180 ounces of gold per month. Consequently, in the first 10 months of operations, we have generated around 76,000 ounces of silver equivalence per month. This does not include value received for any base metals that we generated. Most recently, we have been experiencing much better recoveries in our oxide mill from improvements we completed during 2009. As such, we expect these higher recoveries to translate into higher amounts of gold and silver for 2010.

Our objective for 2010 will be to continue minimizing our financial risk through the operation of our oxide and sulphide mills. We also are evaluating a new exploration program with the objective of drilling into our massive sulphide discovery at depth. However, the first priority will be to complete our scoping study, which should be released shortly. The scoping study will outline the preliminary economics of a 1,500 tonne per day sulphide operation capable of producing 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 ounces of silver equivalent per year.

Copies of the audited financial statements and related MD&A can be found on SEDAR at www.SEDAR.com.

About ECU Silver

ECU Silver Mining Inc. is focused on the exploration, development and mining of gold, silver and base metals at its Velardeña District Properties in Durango, Mexico. The Company holds a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource of 40 million silver equivalent ounces in the measured and indicated category and 391 million silver equivalent ounces in the inferred category. The Company also owns two mills with a combined capacity of 820 tonnes per day. ECU's mission is to become a pre-eminent silver and gold producer through the development of its existing and potential mineral resources at Velardeña.

Cautionary Statements

Readers are cautioned that there are no assurances that all or any part of ECU Silver's mineral resource will be economically viable. Until a prefeasibility study is completed, there are no assurances the release of an updated mineral resource will be economically viable.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 27E of the Exchange Act. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the future results of operations, performance and achievements of the Company, including potential property acquisitions, the timing, content, cost and results of proposed work programs, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves, geological interpretations, proposed production rates, potential mineral recovery processes and rates, the proposed construction of a mill, business and financing plans, business trends and future operating revenues. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements by the Company are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, significant downward variations in the market price of any minerals produced, the Company's inability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for their activities, to produce minerals from their properties successfully or profitably, to continue their projected growth, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement their business strategies. All of the Company's public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials, including the technical reports filed with respect to the Company's mineral properties.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this Press Release.

Contact Information

  • ECU Silver Mining Inc.
    Michel Roy
    Chairman and CEO - Torreon, Mexico
    011 52 871 747 5750
    or
    ECU Silver Mining Inc.
    Stephen Altmann
    President - Toronto, Canada
    (416) 366-2428
    or
    ECU Silver Mining Inc.
    Mark Butler
    Investor Relations - Toronto, Canada
    (905) 602-4248