Atacama Minerals Corp.
TSX VENTURE : AAM

Atacama Minerals Corp.

October 13, 2006 19:12 ET

Atacama Submits Amended Environmental Study for Expansion of Aguas Blancas Project in Chile

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 13, 2006) - Atacama Minerals Corp. ("Atacama" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:AAM) is pleased to report it has submitted to CONAMA, the environmental authority of Chile, an amended environmental impact study for the expansion of the Aguas Blancas industrial minerals mine located near the city of Antofagasta, in northern Chile.

If approved, the expansion program contemplates increasing production of iodine to 1,500 tonnes per year, with initial production of sodium sulfate at 150,000 tonnes per year and potassium nitrate at 70,000 tonnes per year. A second phase of the program would increase sodium sulfate production to a total of 300,000 tonnes per year and provide for possible increase of potassium nitrate to 115,000 tonnes per year. The total investment required is currently estimated at US$100 million subject to completion of Final Feasibility studies and board approval. The Company is using the engineering consulting firm of SKM Minmetal located in Santiago, Chile, to advance the project.

The Company intends to make a conversion from the current heap leach operations to continuous agitated leach in mid-2007 at which time iodine production is targeted for 1,500 tonnes per year. The current iodine production rate is approximately 840 tonnes per year, expected to reach a rate of 1,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year.

Initial production of sodium sulfate is targeted for the first quarter 2008 and potassium nitrate for the third quarter of 2008.

Atacama Minerals Corp. is an industrial minerals company with producing assets in Chile. The Company holds a 100% interest in the world-class Aguas Blancas iodine/sulphate/nitrate mine located near Antofagasta in northern Chile. For information on the Company see our website at www.atacama.com.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Edward F. Posey, President


The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Atacama Minerals Corp.
    Sophia Shane
    Corporate Development
    (604) 689-7842
    (604) 689-4250 (FAX)
    Website: www.atacama.com