Intrepid Mines Limited

Intrepid Mines Limited

December 21, 2007 13:59 ET

Intrepid-Casposo Project, Argentina, EIS Approved


TORONTO, ONTARIO and SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2007) - Intrepid Mines Limited (TSX:IAU)(TSX:IXN)(ASX:IAU), an international gold and silver production, development and exploration company, is pleased to announce the receipt from Jose Luis Gioja, Governor of the Province of San Juan of the Casposo Project Environmental Impact Statement (Declaracion de Impacto Ambiental or "DIA").


- EIS approval paves the way for Casposo construction and sets the stage for the next chapter in growing the Company's production profile

- Energy, Infrastructure and Training agreements in place underscoring the Company's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

- Coincident with project development, in 2008 Intrepid plans an extensive exploration and drilling program to enhance resources at Casposo

Laurence Curtis, President and CEO of Intrepid, said, "Achievement of this milestone in advancing the Casposo project is a matter of great pride for the Company. Many people, especially our San Juan based employees and consultants worked tirelessly and with great passion to achieve this result, and we look forward to implementing the next chapter of the Casposo story."

The DIA provides the operational standards and guidelines for the development of the Kamila and Mercado gold-silver deposit on the Casposo Property. In addition, the Company has signed three agreements which are derived from conditions established in the DIA relating to energy, community development and capacity building.

The DIA is based on the Company's Environmental Impact Report ("EIR") a document compiled and completed by Knight Piesold Argentina Consultores S.A. with significant contributions from local specialists with provincial, national and international experience. The EIR Study was prepared for the mining operation developed in the feasibility study submitted to Intrepid by AMEC Peru S.A. in March 2007. The mine contemplated by both studies is a hybrid open pit / underground operation with production reaching 70,000 ounces of gold equivalent (gold+silver) annually. Processing is planned via agitation leach with Merrill-Crowe and counter current decantation treatment. Fifteen months of construction, five years of operations and one year of closure with subsequent post closure monitoring are also included in the study. Intrepid plans further definition drilling in 2008 to augment the resources at Casposo with a view to extending mine life.

Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") by the government of San Juan Province began on June 29th 2007. The study was subject to an extensive stakeholder review by government agencies and the general public including input from the town of Calingasta. The EIA review process by the Government has been thorough and the environmental undertakings by the Company comply fully with relevant international standards.

Intrepid will be moving quickly in the New Year to obtain the relevant permits needed for the mining operation and to formally establish all protocols and reporting standards described in the DIA.

Infrastructure and Training Agreements

Three agreements were signed with the Province of San Juan related to the development of the Casposo mining operation and to its socio-economic impact on the Department of Calingasta. Similar agreements are in place with all metal mining companies in the province, underscoring the San Juan government's commitment to making mining work for the benefit of its host communities.

National Power Grid

The most significant agreement will see the future Casposo mine and the majority of the homes and businesses of approximately 8,000 inhabitants of the Department of Calingasta connected to the national power grid, replacing both the diesel powered generation plant currently used by the community and the five megawatt diesel plant that was planned for the mine during the feasibility study. The agreement calls for the Company to invest a total of US$14.5 million dollars in the power line with US$8 million as capital during the construction process and US$6.5 million in staged payments over years two to five of the Casposo operation. Prior to approving this agreement the Company evaluated the economic impact of this option to Casposo's capital investment and operating cost profiles as determined by the AMEC feasibility study. Management concluded that this new power solution will provide savings to the designed five year operation and significantly improved economic performance should additional reserves be defined in the future. The national power grid solution also provides protection against uncertainties in the fuel market and reduced impact on the local environment.

Infrastructure Trust

The second agreement is for an Infrastructure Trust which will be funded by the Company through a percentage of gross sales. The fund will receive 1% of gross sales from the first two years of operations and 1.5% thereafter. Administration of the fund will be jointly managed by the Company and the Province and be directed to development of roads, water, health, education, agriculture, tourism and mining activities which will promote sustainable development objectives in the Department of Calingasta. Intrepid's participation in the administration of this fund will be governed by a Corporate Social Responsibility project being developed with the community.

Training and Capacity Building

The final agreement signed is a training and capacity building agreement with the government and the University of San Juan which will begin the process of preparing a local workforce for a range of activities related to mining operations at Casposo. These programs will be delivered through the General Manuel Savio technical school in Calingasta.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Intrepid Mines,

Laurence Curtis, President & CEO

About Intrepid Mines:

Intrepid Mines Limited is an international gold and silver production, development and exploration company. The Company's producing property is the Paulsens Gold Mine, located in northwestern Australia. The Company's advanced development property is the Casposo Project located in San Juan Province, Argentina. The Company's exploration properties are located in Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico, Australia and Canada. The issued capital is 181,573,419 shares comprised of 163,686,266 ordinary shares of Intrepid Mines Limited on the TSX:IAU and ASX:IAU and 17,887,153 Exchangeable Shares of Intrepid NuStar Exchange Corporation quoted on the TSX:IXN.


This release contains certain forward-looking statements that may involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations and projections. The TSX and ASX has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained in this press release. Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Corporation, certain information contained herein constitutes "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other ecological data, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other factors. Circumstances or management's estimates or opinions could change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.


ABN: 11 060 156 452

Contact Information