Revett Minerals Inc.
TSX : RVM
OTC Bulletin Board : RVMIF

Revett Minerals Inc.

March 05, 2010 08:45 ET

Revett Provides Summary of Operations, 2009 Year End Reserves and Update on Rock Creek

SPOKANE VALLEY, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - March 5, 2010) - Revett Minerals Inc. (TSX:RVM)(OTCBB:RVMIF) ("Revett" or "the Company") is pleased to announce full year operating results, year end reserves and resources estimates for its Troy Mine, and an update on permitting at Rock Creek.

Troy Mine Operation Highlights

Revett is proud to have achieved its fifth consecutive year of increased productivity at its 100% held Troy Mine.

  • Record mill throughput with 1,337,225 tons processed despite a difficult 3rd quarter resulting from an eight day shut down due to electrical problems in July:
    • 3,735 tons per day average productivity during 2009 as compared to 3,652 tons per day in 2008;
  • Lowest annual direct operating cost per ton since Revett reopened the mine in 2005:
    • Achieved US$ 20.32/st direct operating cost compared to US$ 26.18/st in 2008, a 22% reduction;
  • Reinitiated exploration efforts as financial stability improved throughout the year:
    • Focusing on deposits directly beneath, and adjacent to the existing mine infrastructure;
  • 2010 is off to a good start as Troy has averaged 4,401 tons per day through the mill year-to-date:
    • As of February 28th, the mine had produced 228,829 ounces of silver and 2,027,970 pounds of copper.

While our productivities and direct cost controls improved in 2009, low head grades, coupled with a period of low metallurgical recovery due to non-sulfide ores resulted in a relatively high unit cash cost of production. The lower grades were expected as scheduled in the life-of-mine plan. The proportion of non-sulfide ore was greater than expected, but mining has progressed through this area and recoveries have returned to normal.

  Troy Production Summary(1)   1st Quarter   2nd Quarter   3rd Quarter   4th Quarter   Total 2009  
  Mill Production                      
    Mill Feed (st)   339,171   349,925   302,543   345,586   1,337,225  
    Mill Feed Rate (stpd)   3,811   3,932   3,362   3,840   3,735  
  Silver                      
    Feed Grade - Oz/Ton Ag   1.08   1.01   1.00   0.89   1.00  
    Mill Recovery - Ag   87.0%   85.7%   82.4%   82.7%   84.5%  
    Recovered Ounces   321,149   301,770   250,982   253,838   1,127,739  
  Copper                      
    Feed Grade - % Cu   0.40%   0.39%   0.39%   0.36%   0.39%  
    Mill Recovery - Cu   86.2%   83.8%   80.9%   81.0%   83.0%  
    Recovered Pounds   2,316,702   2,284,770   1,928,405   2,037,888   8,567,765  
  Cash Cost(2)                      
    Direct Operating Cost (US$/st)   $18.69   $19.10   $22.40   $21.36   $20.32  
    By-Product Basis (payable)(3)                      
      - Silver (US$/oz) or,   $13.41   $12.64   $13.58   $14.64   $13.52  
        - Copper (US$/lb)   $1.67   $1.70   $2.29   $2.35   $1.98  
    Co-Product Basis (payable)(3)                      
     - Silver (US$/oz) and,   $13.13   $13.54   $14.22   $14.94   $13.89  
       - Copper (US$/lb)   $1.62   $1.80   $2.34   $2.38   $2.01  
1. Production statistics are on a 100% basis.  
2.     Cash cost per payable ounce of silver or payable pound of copper is a non GAAP measure. The Company believes that, in addition to cost of sales, cash costs per ounce or per pound is a useful and complementary benchmark for performance and is well understood and widely reported in the mining industry. However, cash costs per ounce does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by Canadian GAAP. Investors are cautioned that cash costs per ounce or per pound should not be construed as an alternative to cost of sales determined in accordance with Canadian GAAP as an indicator of performance. The Company's method of calculating cash costs per ounce or per pound may differ from the methods used by other entities and, accordingly, the Company's cash costs per ounce or per pound may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other entities.  
3. Average commodity prices used to off-set (by-product credit basis) or allocate (co-product basis) cash costs are the quarterly weighted averages from the London Metals Exchange for copper or the London Daily Fix for silver.  

As previously announced, in 2010 we expect to produce 1.4 million tons of ore grading 1.01 ounces per ton silver and 0.43% copper and recover 1,290,500 ounces of silver and 10,749,703 pounds of copper. Head grades should improve towards the end of the year as the higher grade "C-Beds" enter the production mix. The proven and probable reserve currently defined at Troy provides for a six year life-of-mine plan at our current production rate.

Troy Reserves & Resources

Estimated Mineral Reserves and Resources as of December 31, 2009 are as shown in the following tables:

  Troy Reserves (Dec. 31, 2009)   Grades   Contained Metals  
  Classification(1)   Tons (Mst)(2,3)   Silver (opt)   Copper (%)   Silver (Moz)   Copper (Mlbs)  
  Proven   3.1   1.41   0.72   4.3   44.6  
  Probable   6.0   1.13   0.49   6.8   59.3  
  Total   9.1   1.23   0.57   11.1   103.9  
1.  Mineral Reserves have been categorized in accordance with the classifications defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum ("CIMM").  
2. Does not include resources contained in planned pillars.  Only material scheduled to be extracted and milled included.  
3. The estimated mineral reserves were calculated by Mr. Larry Erickson, P Eng., a Qualified Person ("QP") in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). They are stated using a cut-off grade of US$ 21.02 net smelter return per ton calculated at US$ 12.33/oz Ag and US$2.67/lb Cu. Mr. Erickson is an employee of Revett and is not considered independent.  
  Troy Resources (Dec. 31, 2009)   Grades   Contained Metals  
  Classification(1)   Tons (Mst)(2,3)   Silver (opt)   Copper (%)   Silver (Moz)   Copper (Mlbs)  
  Measured   47.9   1.34   0.67   64.2   642.3  
  Indicated   10.7   1.12   0.43   12.0   91.9  
  Total Measured & Indicated   58.6   1.30   0.63   76.2   734.2  
  JF Property(4)   11.0   1.4   0.40   15.4   88.8  
  Total Inferred   11.0   1.4   0.40   15.4   88.8  
1. Mineral Resources have been categorized in accordance with the classifications defined by the CIMM.  
2. Includes Proven & Probable Reserves and resources contained in existing pillars.  
3. The estimated mineral resources were calculated by Mr. Larry Erickson, P Eng., a QP in accordance with NI 43-101. They are stated using a cut-off grade of US$ 21.02 net smelter return per ton calculated at US$ 12.33/oz Ag and US$2.67/lb Cu. Mr. Erickson is an employee of Revett and is not considered independent.  
4. Resources listed for the JF Property are Historic Resources as defined by the CIMM and have not been audited by a Qualified Person.  In 1992, ASARCO reported in an internal report a "Mineral Reserve" for the JF deposit of "11 million tons grading 0.4% Cu and 1.4 opt Ag."  This historical mineral resource estimate, which was prepared before the adoption of NI 43-101 and uses categories other than the ones set out in section 1.2 of NI 43-101, is considered relevant.  A QP has not, however, done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources and accordingly, Revett does not treat ASARCO's historical estimate as current mineral resources. The reader is cautioned that the ASARCO historical estimate should not be relied upon.  Revett has not yet taken the steps to validate this drilling information with new drilling data, however, Mr. Larry Erickson, P Eng., a QP in accordance with NI 43-101, has reviewed ASARCO's drilling data (ie; core logs, assay results, sections) and believes it to be reliable.   Mr. Erickson is an employee of Revett.  

Rock Creek Update

The Company is continuing to advance the Rock Creek project and a status conference has been set for March 17th, 2010 in the Federal District Court of Montana to discuss the status of legal proceedings and the Company's intent to file its 20 day notice to proceed in early April. Concurrently the Company is working with State and Federal agencies on reclamation bonding and implementation of the wildlife and environmental protection measures as specified in the Record of Decision.

Mr. John Shanahan, President and CEO, noted "2009 has proven to be a crucial year in our development and provides a strong basis for improved performance in 2010 and beyond. We thank the dedication of our employees and support of our shareholders for getting us there."

John Shanahan, President & CEO

For more information visit our website at www.revettminerals.com.

Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, the information presented in this press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Generally, these forward looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "is not expected", "budget", "plans", "schedule", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", "or does not anticipate" or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include but are not limited to statements with respect to, anticipated grades and production at the Troy Mine, anticipated development of the "C-bed" followed by production from the "C-beds toward the end of the year. Actual results and developments could be affected by development risks and production risks, our challenging working capital position and our inability to continue to fund operations, as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Form 10-K filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and with the SEC on EDGAR. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Revett Minerals does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are incorporated by reference herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Contact Information

  • Revett Minerals Inc.
    Monique Hayes
    Director of Corporate & Investor Communications
    (509) 921-2294
    www.revettminerals.com