ANDINA Minerals Inc.

ANDINA Minerals Inc.

September 16, 2010 17:11 ET

Andina Reports Improved Grades in the 2010 Resource Update and Provides Progress Update for Volcan Initial Phase I Development Plan

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2010) - ANDINA Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ADM) ("Andina") today reported on progress at its Volcan Project and announced the results of an independent National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") compliant mineral resource update completed by Micon International Limited ("Micon") for Andina's wholly-owned Volcan Gold Project in Chile.

"Last year we reported resources that fell within an economic pit shell using the best parameters we had at the time and an US$850 gold price. This year, as a result of positive infill drilling, continued metallurgical testing, and the benefit of a strong gold price environment, we are detailing further information to show the full potential of Volcan, along with insight into the target parameters for initial development of the project ("Initial Phase I Development Plan")", said George Bee, President & CEO of Andina. "Volcan is big and the objective of the Initial Phase I Development Plan is to identify a sub-set of the resource which is manageable for Andina and robust even at lower gold prices. Our engineering and metallurgical testing is coming together nicely and we are providing our thoughts on what we can expect from the results of our pre-feasibility study, currently due in Q1 2011."

Table 1. Mineral Resources by Cut-off Grade (Total Volcan Project, global geologic resource unconstrained by economic parameters)     
Resource Category Cut-off Grade Tonnes Grade Gold Ounces
  (g/t) (millions) (g/t) (millions)
Measured 0.2 151 0.62 3.0
  0.4 100 0.78 2.5
  0.6 59 0.98 1.8
  0.8 35 1.18 1.3
Indicated 0.2 489 0.55 8.7
  0.4 277 0.75 6.7
  0.6 150 0.97 4.7
  0.8 86 1.18 3.2
Total (M&I) 0.2 640 0.57 11.7
  0.4 377 0.76 9.2
  0.6 209 0.97 6.5
  0.8 121 1.18 4.6
Inferred 0.2 333 0.40 4.3
  0.4 110 0.65 2.3
  0.6 44 0.91 1.3
  0.8 21 1.03 0.8
Table 2. Mineral Resources at Stated Gold Price (Utilized in pit shell analysis of Measured and Indicated Resources and constrained by stated parameters)     
Dorado Zones (West, East & Central) Tonnes Grade          Oz
Measured and Indicated Resources Only (Millions) (g/t Au) (000's)
$1250/oz Gold 471 0.65 9,782
$950/oz Gold 359 0.71 8,182
$850/oz Gold 290 0.75 6,978
$750/oz Gold 237 0.79 6,019
$850/oz Gold – 2009 Resource Update 493 0.62 9,773


  1. Approximate 3-year trailing average gold price $950 highlighted, and September 2009 approximate 3- year trailing average gold price at time of 2009 resource update was US$850.
  2. Quoted numbers reflect smoothed Whittle pit shell resource inventories.
  3. All quantities are rounded to the appropriate number of significant figures, consequently sums may not add due to rounding.
  4. Mineral resources include mill incremental material (material that meets or beats breakeven cost considering only process cost and general and administrative charges).
  5. Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The development of a future mine may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, or other relevant issues.
  6. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the upgrading of the Inferred mineral resource into an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource category.
  7. Equivalent 2009 Whittle pit at US$850 gold price showed 9.166 million ounces vs. 9.773 million ounces shown above with the difference being accounted for by engineering optimization of Whittle shell and mineral reporting.

The resource update reports estimates measured and indicated resources within a potentially economic open pit mine shell (Whittle pit solution) of 8.182 million ounces of gold ("Au") at an average grade of 0.71 grams per tonne ("g/t") Au based on the following parameters: ore mining costs of US$1.10 per tonne, waste mining costs of US$1.00 per tonne, heap leach process cost of US$4.55 per tonne, mill process cost of US$5.42 per tonne, general & administration costs of US$0.52 per tonne, leach process recoveries ranging from 45-69%, mill process recoveries ranging from 60-83%, taking into consideration recommended pit slope angles ranging from 48-52 degrees and a gold price of US$950/ounce (~3-yr trailing average gold price). All figures stated above are within smoothed Whittle economic pit limit solutions adjusted to account for ramps.

The differences between the 2009 resource update and 2010 figure, which result in increased gold grade and drop in resource ounces, are accounted for by a number of changes, including; increase in the gold price used for the analysis, increase in process cost per tonne, decrease in average gold recovery from processed material, decrease in general and administrations costs considered and a new and more detailed resource model.

Micon 2010 Mineral Resource Estimate ("2010 Update")

The 2010 Update estimates measured and indicated mineral resources of 359 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.71 g/t Au for 8.182 million ounces of contained gold and inferred resources of 20.1 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.43 g/t Au for 277,000 ounces of contained gold. The cut-off grade in Dorado East and West is calculated at 0.34 g/t, while Dorado Central has a cut-off grade of 0.68 g/t Au due to poorer gold recovery and higher process cost. The effective date of the 2010 Update is September 16, 2010. The 2010 Update incorporates approximately 17,500 meters of new infill drilling.

The Volcan Conceptual Development Studies ("CDS") and Preliminary Assessment ("PA"), have been in progress since March 2009 and are now due for completion in early 2011. These studies have provided Micon with sufficient preliminary data to better determine the potentially economically extractable gold under current market conditions. To underpin the resource determination, engineering consultants have provided interim pit slope angles (Vector Engineering), process operating cost estimates (Mr. J. Wells, AMTEL & KCA), mining cost estimates (Micon and Q'Pit), and updated metallurgical gold recovery assumptions for the different parts of the deposit (Mr. J. Wells, AMTEL, KCA, McClelland). These and other parameters have been used in 3-D Whittle pit optimization run at a gold price of US$950/ounce. The updated mineral resources for the Volcan Gold Project are presented in Table 2. on the previous page.

The 2010 Update, which has been commissioned in support of the Volcan Initial Phase I Development Plan, compares favourably to the 2009 mineral resource estimate (the "2009 Update") (see press release dated September 10th, 2009) in terms of the better resource grade, with an increase of 14.5% from 0.62 to 0.71 g/t Au, however there was a decrease in reported measured and indicated resource ounces of 16.3% from 9.773 to 8.182 million ounces due to low-grade resource ounces failing to reach cut-off grade. An NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report for the 2010 Update is currently being prepared and will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.

Initial Phase I Development Plan Update and Targets

Engineering work is ongoing with continued conceptual level designs being undertaken by Hatch in Chile. Additional metallurgical test work and more detailed engineering is also underway at Kappes Cassiday & Associate (KCA), in Reno Nevada. While the Hatch conceptual studies should be available in Q4, 2010, the KCA engineering, along with additional supporting work from ongoing metallurgical tests is expected to be finalized in Q1 2011.

Andina is currently focusing on developing an Initial Phase I Development Plan which takes a sub-set of the resource base established to date within the potentially economic open pit mine shell, in order to establish a plan which is financeable for the company, provides rapid payback of capital spent for development, but which also retains the optionality of the full resource base established to date.

The plan as currently envisioned includes both heap leaching of lower grade ounces at Volcan and milling of higher grade ounces defined through the recent infill drill program. Metallurgical testing completed to date has indicated that recoveries of approximately 60-83% may be achievable through milling of higher grade Volcan ores, and a mill with a throughput of approximately 9,000 – 13,000 tpd would have sufficient capacity to process both higher grade ores, up to average grades of 1.5 g/t Au, and lower grade fines from the leach pad. The remaining ore would be processed by heap leaching with recoveries consistent with previous disclosure (see press release dated February 24th, 2010).

The following tables provide insight into the sequential development of the potentially economic resource evaluated at the $950 gold price. In Table 3.a, results from a sequence of pit shells that build out to the potentially economic pit limit are shown. Table 3.b summarizes the Targets for Initial Phase I Development Plan which is the focus of current studies.

Table 3.a Whittle Pit Optimization–US$950 Pit Shell Sensitivity Results (Micon 13/09/10) 
Pit Heap Leach Mill        Recovered Strip Percent of
#        Mt Au Cont. Mt Au Cont. koz (%) Ratio Resource
    (g/t) koz   (g/t) koz       (% by
                    Cont. oz)
51 311.5 0.593 5,934 47.2 1.480 2,248 5,317 65.0 2.73 100.0
45 297.8 0.593 5,679 45.5 1.479 2,166 5.103 65.1 2.59 95.9
42 275.4 0.596 5,278 43.5 1.479 2,067 4.789 65.2 2.43 89.8
25 225.6 0.597 4,331 36.0 1.485 1,720 3.959 65.4 1.94 74.0
19 188.5 0.597 3,616 29.5 1.486 1,408 3,285 65.4 1.56 61.4
6 54.1 0.621 1,081 11.8 1.482 564 1,104 67.1 0.92 20.1


  1. "t" demotes metric tons, "M" millions, "g" grams, "k" thousands, "oz" troy ounces
  2. "Cont." is an abbreviation for Contained
  3. Based on unit costs of US$1.10 per ton ore mining, US$1.00 per ton waste mining, US$4.55 per ton leaching, US$5.42 per ton mill processing, US$0.52 per ton general and administration, leach process recoveries ranging from 45-69%, mill process recoveries ranging from 60-83% and a gold price of US$950
Table 3.b. Current Targets for Initial Phase I Development Plan (A Sub-Set of the Resource) 
Target Parameters for Phase I Development Unit    Low Range      High Range
Target Initial Ore Production Rate ktpd 50 60
Target Net Gold Recovery % 60 70
Range of Net Targeted Process Cost per Ton $/t 4.00 5.00
Phase I Development Mine Life Years 12 14
Target Average Annual Gold Recovered Gold oz koz 260 330
Phase 1 Percentage of Resource Targeted % 70 80


  1. All tons are metric tons, ounces are Troy, "k" signifies thousands, "M" signifies millions

Resource Estimation Methodology

The data and methodology utilized for the 2010 Update is as follows:

  • The database consists of 113,000 meters of drilling including a total of 322 drill holes, with approximately 17,500 meters in 45 new holes since the last resource update, completed during the 2009-2010 field season. The drill program focused on priority in-fill areas in the Dorado West area of the Volcan Gold Project.
  • Resource Comparison: The 2009 Update was conducted with the best parameters and estimates available at the time. Subsequently, additional metallurgical, engineering and estimation studies have been conducted and these have been incorporated into the 2010 Update.
  • Gold Price: For purposes of establishing the resource, US$950 per ounce has been selected correlating closely to the 3-year trailing average gold price average. In 2009, US$850 per ounce was selected for the gold price reflecting the then approximate 3-year trailing average.
  • Technical and Operating Assumptions: Engineering work in support of the CDS and PA is ongoing and is targeted for completion in Q1 2011. Significant advances have been made by several consultants and preliminary assumptions and parameters from the studies have been incorporated into the resource estimate presented. Micon has either derived input assumptions based on industry practice or reviewed and adopted parameters estimated by others.
  • Canadian Securities Reporting Compliance: Prior Andina mineral resource estimates have been prepared under the supervision of Mr. Michael Easdon, a consultant to Andina who acted as a Qualified Person. For the 2010 Update, Micon was retained to work on, audit and certify that the resource estimate for the Volcan Gold Project conforms to the NI 43-101 standards. Micon has access to expertise in various mineral industry disciplines and is an established and recognised mineral industry consulting firm. In generating the Volcan Gold Project Resource Update, Micon has had free access and latitude for oversight and direction of the work supporting the estimate.
  • The 2010 Update inferred resource total does not incorporate the Ojo de Agua inferred resource from the October 2008 Resource Estimate for the Ojo de Agua area certified by Mr. Michael Easdon, as no material changes have occurred with respect to this deposit since completion of that estimate. At a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t Au, the Ojo de Agua area was estimated to contain an inferred resource of 18.6 million tonnes grading 0.85 g/t Au for total contained gold content of 510,000 ounces. Mr. Easdon will remain the Qualified Person for the inferred resource at the Ojo de Agua area.

NI 43-101 Compliance and Quality Assurance

The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements set out in NI 43-101 and reviewed by George Bee, President & CEO of Andina, and Messrs. Richard Gowans, P. Eng., Sam Shoemaker, MAUSIMM, Alan San Martin MAUSIMM, and William J. Lewis, P. Geo. of Micon International Limited, each of whom, other than Mr. Bee, is an Independent Qualified Person under NI 43- 101.

About Andina Minerals Inc.

Andina's primary focus is mining exploration and development in Chile. The Company's flagship development project is the 100%-owned Volcan Gold Project, strategically located in the prolific Maricunga Gold Belt. Andina is progressing with a Conceptual Development Plan and a Preliminary Economic Assessment for Volcan, targeted for completion in early 2011.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws and regulations. The above statements are based on the current expectations and beliefs of Andina's management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results to differ materially from those described above.

This release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements included in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the completion of the Conceptual Development Plan and Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Volcan Gold Project, statements with respect to future mining parameters (including assumed mining costs, waste mining costs, hep lace costs, mill process costs, leach process recoveries ranging from 45 to 69%, mill process recoveries ranging from 60 to 83%, and slope angles for future pits), future gold prices, expected results from metallurgical testing, future recovered ounces of gold based on pit optimizations, strip ratios, and target parameters of the Initial Phase I Development Plan. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "planning", "planned", "expects", "looking forward", "does not expect", "continues", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "potential", "anticipate", "does not anticipate", or "belief", or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.

Forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including the result of drilling and exploration activities, results of studies, that contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the agreed timeframes, that equipment necessary for exploration and development work is available as scheduled and does not incur unforeseen break downs, that gold price forecasts remain materially correct, that no labour shortages or delays are incurred, that plant and equipment function as specified, that no unusual geological or technical problems occur, and that laboratory and other related services are available and perform as contracted.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, projection, forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, as well as those factors disclosed in the company's publicly filed documents. Although Andina has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Andina Minerals Inc.
    George M. Bee
    President & CEO
    416 203 3488
    Andina Minerals Inc.
    Investor Relations
    416 203 3488