Apogee Minerals Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : APE

Apogee Minerals Ltd.

June 01, 2006 08:00 ET

Apogee Minerals Ltd.: New Bolivian Mining Code Draft Proposes Fiscal and Tax Stability

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 1, 2006) - Apogee Minerals Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:APE) has reviewed the Bolivian government's Draft Proposal for the new Mining Code, including proposed changes to the tax structure for mining companies. The company views the initiatives contained in the proposal as extremely positive.

The proposal was produced following a tripartite commission that included the Ministry of Mines and Metallurgy, the Federation of Mining Co-Operatives of Bolivia, and the Mine Workers Federation of Bolivia. Apogee Minerals has received the proposal through its membership in the Medium Miners Association of Bolivia.

Apogee President and CEO John Carlesso commented: "The proposed changes to the Bolivian Mining Code are very positive as they bring a level of fiscal and tax stability to the country. The new Mining Code has the potential to stimulate investment and should create an environment that improves financing options for companies of all sizes operating in Bolivia. Additionally, we expect that changes to the tenure of mining concessions will spur exploration activity and benefit active companies. We have addressed a letter to the Minister of Mines and Metallurgy indicating our support for the key initiatives contained in this proposal along with the comment that, in our view, policy of this nature is extremely helpful in clarifying the investment opportunity in Bolivia and in eliminating concerns over the security of investments made in the mining sector."

In Apogee's view, the key points of the Proposed Mining Code as they have been initially presented are as follows:

1) The scale of the Complementary Mining Tax (ICM) will not be changed.

2) The current Profit Tax is 25%. Companies have the option to elect to increase the Profit Tax rate they pay to 30%, in exchange for a 10 year guarantee of tax stability.

3) Companies with mining investment in excess of US$100,000,000 will have the ability to execute a 20 year "Stability Contract" with the Bolivian government.

4) ICM taxes can be credited against the Profits Tax according to a defined scale for metals prices.

5) A single mining concession shall be limited to 25,000 hectares.

6) There is a three-year time limit to commence exploration activities once a concession has been granted. If exploration or mining activity has not begun within that three year timeframe then the concession will expire.

7) As a means of demonstrating compliance with minimum property expenditure commitments, quarterly progress and activity reports will be submitted to mining agencies.

8) The patent application process with respect to surrounding concessions will be simplified.

9) Annual concession fees will be doubled every five years.

10) Programs will be implemented to ensure ongoing worker training.

11) Measures will be implemented to discourage and penalize corruption.

The proposed review process is designed to create a mechanism for the government to receive comments and feedback. A target date of July 20, 2006 has been set to have the proposal become law.

Building A Premier Emerging Silver Producer

Apogee Minerals Ltd. is a Canadian producer of silver-zinc-lead and also carries out exploration and development activities. The company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol APE. The company is focused on advanced Silver-Zinc projects in South America that demonstrate the potential to receive capital investment and be rapidly developed to production. Currently all of its projects are located in the historic silver producing regions of central and southwest Bolivia.

This press release is available on the company's official on-line investor relations site for investor commentary, feedback and questions. Investors are asked to visit www.agoracom.com/ir/apogee. Alternatively, investors are asked to email all questions and correspondence to APE@agoracom.com where they can also request addition to the Apogee Minerals investor email list to receive all future press releases and updates directly.

Contact Information

  • Apogee Minerals Ltd.
    John Carlesso
    President and C.E.O.
    (416) 861-5881