Anatolia Minerals Development Limited
TSX : ANO

Anatolia Minerals Development Limited

February 25, 2008 08:00 ET

Anatolia Provides Copler Gold Project Update

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2008) - Anatolia Minerals Development Limited ("Anatolia") (TSX:ANO) today announced an update for the oxide development phase of its 100%-owned Copler Gold Project, located in east-central Turkey. This initial phase of development anticipates mining the open-pittable oxide portion of the deposit over a 10-year period, producing 1.8 million ounces gold and 2.2 million ounces silver. Anatolia is also continuing with the next stage of engineering studies for the Copler sulfide gold project open pit mining and processing operation, following completion of its positive preliminary assessment regarding a potential additional recovery of 2.3 million ounces gold from the sulfides at Copler.

Anatolia recently resubmitted its Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") to the Turkish Ministry of Forest and Environment. The second meeting of the Ministry's Technical Committee is scheduled for mid-March. Anatolia delayed resubmitting the EIA in order to complete detailed engineering to fully support key processing facility elements, reflecting additional requirements of the regulatory agencies. The purpose of the meeting will be to formally respond to comments and questions received by Anatolia from the Technical Committee in July 2007 and seek final approval of the EIA. The likelihood of a favorable outcome cannot be determined, and it remains possible that Anatolia will be requested to provide additional information. In the event the EIA is approved and related permits are obtained in a timely manner, management anticipates the 18-month construction period to commence during Q2 2008.

Engineering and procurement services for the oxide phase continued during the preceding six months. Overall progress of EPCM services, including engineering and procurement are estimated at 75% complete as of January 31, 2008. The current design incorporates scope changes resulting in part from the updated resource estimate and revised mine completed in January 2007 (see Anatolia News Release, dated January 18, 2007).

The revised mine plan projects recovery of 1.8 million ounces gold, which constitutes a 31% increase from the feasibility study. This expansion required larger heap leach and tailings storage facilities to accommodate the additional reserves and the relocation of process facilities to improve access and material flows. Other scope changes included relocating the tailings starter dam due to geotechnical considerations, fully lining the tailings storage facility, enlarging portions of the crushing and screening circuit, bringing forward installation of an agglomerator for the heap leach plant, other refinements to the processing facilities, providing company housing and expanding some ancillary facilities.

Management expects development costs for the Copler oxide phase to increase approximately 60% to 80% over the original feasibility study amount of US$125.7 million (see Anatolia News Release, dated April 20, 2006). The increase reflects scope changes and project expansion for the increased reserves and production as outlined above (approximately 50% of the increase), errors and omissions resulting from inherent limitations of a feasibility study (approximately 15% of the increase) and sector-related cost escalations relating to significantly higher commodity prices, inflation and U.S. dollar devaluation (approximately 35% of the increase). The current advanced stage of procurement and built-in contingencies provide reasonable certainty for 65% to 75% of estimated development costs. Management continues to refine its estimate as EPCM services progress and intends to provide a specific update in conjunction with the results of the ongoing work to update the resource estimate and mine plan as discussed below.

Anatolia conducted a significant drilling program at Copler from Q4 2006 through December 2007. The drilling program included infill drilling for mine planning optimization as well as some additional oxide and sulfide resource delineation. Work is currently in process to incorporate the 40,100 meters of additional drilling data into an updated resource model and mine plan. The new mine plan will also lead to a full update of estimated operating costs. Management believes the industry trend of escalating costs will similarly affect operating cost estimates at Copler. Upon completion of this work, sufficient data will be available to update Copler oxide economics for revised reserves, operating expenses and capital costs estimates. Results are expected during Q2 2008, with an independently prepared report compliant with Canada's National Instrument 43-101 standard for mineral disclosure to be filed on SEDAR shortly thereafter.

Timothy J. Haddon, Chairman, commented, "Our delay in starting construction is disappointing, however our team has produced a very high quality work product consistent with our commitment to meet all Turkish and international standards. We have kept the Turkish Ministries of Forest and Environment, and Natural Resources and Energy current with our work as it progressed and now look forward to the upcoming meeting." Mr. Haddon added, "While we are also disappointed by the magnitude of the increase in capital costs, the project has grown substantially since the feasibility study was prepared in 2006. We remain, however, very excited about the project, as well as Anatolia's substantial exploration potential in Turkey. With Ed Dowling coming on board as CEO in April, we are confident Copler will represent the first step in building a significant mining company."

About Anatolia

Anatolia is developing its 100%-owned Copler Oxide Gold Project in Turkey. The initial phase of development anticipates mining the open-pittable oxide portion of the deposit over a 10-year period, producing 1.8 million ounces gold and 2.2 million ounces silver.

Anatolia is also continuing studies for a second phase expansion to include future development of the Copler Sulfide Gold Project. Positive results from the preliminary assessment indicate potential additional recovery of 2.3 million ounces gold over a 12 year period from the sulfides at Copler. This second phase could extend the total mine life to over 20 years at assumed production rates or potentially increase production several years into the initial oxide phase. See Anatolia News Release, dated December 21, 2007 and the related Technical Report filed at www.sedar.com.

As one of Turkey's leading minerals exploration companies, Anatolia continues to seek aggressive growth through new discoveries as it targets numerous potentially large-scale base metals and gold opportunities.

Anatolia currently has 83.1 million common shares issued and outstanding, 99.4 million fully diluted. Anatolia trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ANO.

Cautionary Statements

Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information, future oriented financial information, or financial outlooks (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may relate to this news release and other matters identified in Anatolia's public filings, Anatolia's future outlook and anticipated events or results and, in some cases, can be identified by terminology such as "may", "will", "could", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "projects", "predict", "potential", "continue" or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts and include, but are not limited in any manner to, those with respect to commodity prices, mineral resources, mineral reserves, realization of mineral reserves, existence or realization of mineral resource estimates, the timing and amount of future production, the timing of construction of the proposed mine and process facilities, capital and operating expenditures, and any and all other timing, development, operational, financial, economic, legal, regulatory, political factors that may influence future events or conditions. Such forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, but not limited in any manner, those disclosed in any other Anatolia filings, and include the ultimate determination of mineral reserves, availability and final receipt of required approvals, licenses and permits, sufficient working capital to develop and operate the proposed mine, access to adequate services and supplies, commodity prices, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, access to capital markets and associated cost of funds, availability of a qualified work force, and the ultimate ability to mine, process and sell mineral products on economically favorable terms. While we consider these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to us, they may prove to be incorrect. Actual results may vary from such forward-looking information for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to risks and uncertainties disclosed in other Anatolia filings at www.sedar.com and other unforeseen events or circumstances. Other than as required by law, Anatolia does not intend, and undertakes no obligation to update any forward looking information to reflect, among other things, new information or futures events.

Contact Information

  • Anatolia Minerals Development Limited
    Timothy Haddon
    Chairman
    (303) 292-1299
    or
    Anatolia Minerals Development Limited
    Douglas Tobler
    Chief Financial Officer
    (303) 292-1299
    Website: www.anatoliaminerals.com