ECU Silver Mining Inc.
TSX : ECU

ECU Silver Mining Inc.

January 28, 2010 11:01 ET

ECU Silver Reports on Gold and Silver Operations for December and November 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 28, 2010) - ECU Silver Mining Inc. (TSX:ECU)

ECU Silver Mining Inc. is pleased to report on its silver and gold fabrication for the months ending December 2009 and November 2009.

Highlights include:



- To-date in January, silver ounces precipitated, are close to the ounces
generated in November and December of 2009, combined.

- December yielded a silver equivalent of 52,752 ounces from the oxide
mill and 15,162 ounces from the sulphide mill.

- November yielded a silver equivalent of 52,533 ounces from the oxide
mill and 22,233 ounces from the sulphide mill.

- Average daily throughput at the oxide mill has increased to 650 tonnes
per day ("tpd"), exceeding the 500 tpd target by 30%.


The ramp up of the oxide gold and silver plant at Velardena, which was acquired in March of 2009, has been successful, despite the typical start-up challenges that are normal for new operations. The Company believes these challenges are behind it and expects the operations to perform more optimally in 2010. Evidence of these improvements has already taken hold as expected silver ounces precipitated in January of this year, should be close to the ounces generated in November and December of 2009, combined. The Company will also continue to ramp up its 320 tpd sulphide plant, also located in Velardena, which will generate additional gold and silver metals contained in concentrates, for 2010.

In December, the Company generated (see Table 1), a total of 592 ounces of gold and 14,272 ounces of silver from its oxide mill and also generated 124 ounces of gold and 7,102 ounces of silver contained in concentrates from the sulphide mill, which has been ramping up since September 2009. Using the current silver-to-gold ratio of 65 to one (base metals not included as equivalents), ECU generated 52,752 ounces of silver equivalents from its oxide mill and 15,162 ounces of silver equivalents from its sulphide mill.



Table 1: December
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(ounces) Oxide Mill Sulphide Mill Total
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Gold 592 14 606
Silver 14,272 6,189 20,461
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Silver Equivalent 52,752 7,099 59,851
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In Pyrite Concentrate (sent to inventory)
Gold - 110 110
Silver - 913 913
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Silver Equivalent - 8,063 8,063
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In November, the Company generated (see Table 2), a total of 584 ounces of gold and 14,573 ounces of silver from its oxide mill and also generated 180 ounces of gold and 10,533 ounces of silver contained in concentrates from the sulphide mill. On a silver equivalent basis, ECU generated 52,533 ounces of silver equivalents from its oxide mill and 22,233 ounces of silver equivalents from its sulphide mill.



Table 2: November
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(ounces) Oxide Mill Sulphide Mill Total
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Gold 584 11 595
Silver 14,573 9,021 23,594
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Silver Equivalent 52,533 9,736 62,269
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In Pyrite Concentrate (sent to inventory)
Gold - 169 169
Silver - 1,512 913
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Silver Equivalent - 12,497 12,497
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During November and December, the dissolution of precious metals in the oxide milling operations was impacted by high concentrations of copper in the solutions. The higher concentrations of copper occurred mainly because of the higher mill throughput levels during these two months, when slightly over 600 tonnes of material were processed per day, much higher than historical maximum levels of 500 tpd. Steps have been taken to bring gold and silver recoveries back to their normal levels by reducing the copper in the solution circulating through the mill.

To date in January, average daily mill throughput has increased significantly to 650 tpd and the copper levels in the solutions have been maintained at acceptable levels. The precious metals that were not dissolved due to the previously high copper will be recovered over time through leaching of the tailings.

Readers should note that ECU cannot provide production or cash flow forecasts. ECU is considered and recognized as an exploration and development company by the security regulators in Canada, and as such, is restricted by the regulators from providing specific forecasts. The Company holds a NI 43-101 compliant silver equivalent mineral resource of 40 million ounces in the measured and indicated category and 391 million ounces in the inferred category. Consequently, ECU's current milling operations represent only a minor part of ECU's mineral resources and this defines the basis for the classification of the Company as an exploration and development company. This classification will continue until production represents a material portion of the business, or until a pre-feasibility is completed.

A preliminary economic assessment ("Scoping Study") is underway, which will highlight, on a preliminary basis, the economics of larger milling operations at the Velardena operations. This is the first major step to completing a pre-feasibility study.

Michel Roy, chairman and chief executive officer, commented: "Several new initiatives and upgrades have, and will be implemented into both milling operations which will provide for enhanced recoveries as well as increased annual capacity. These new initiatives have already started to show their benefits as seen in our daily throughput of mineralized material at the oxide mill where we have consistently achieved well above our 500 tpd target, at times reaching almost 700 tpd."

Stephen Altmann, president added that "Our goal in 2010 will be to focus on three priorities. First and foremost is to ensure profitable operations in order to maintain a strong balance sheet; second, complete our Scoping Study; and third, resume exploration activities, with internally generated cash, to further enhance our mineral resource and delineate the rich massive sulphide discovery."

The Company plans, after the first quarter 2010, to report results of its milling operations on a quarterly basis, as is standard in the industry, rather than monthly.

About ECU Silver

ECU Silver Mining Inc. is focused on the exploration, development and mining of gold, silver and base metals at its Velardena 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 Velardena.

Cautionary Statements

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
    011 52 871 747 5750
    or
    ECU Silver Mining Inc.
    Stephen Altmann
    President
    (416) 366-2428
    www.ecu.ca