Aurora Energy Resources Inc.
TSX : AXU

Aurora Energy Resources Inc.

May 15, 2008 08:30 ET

Aurora's 2008 Work Program Aims to Progress Community Efforts and Demonstrate Resource Value

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - Aurora Energy Resources Inc. (the "Company" or "Aurora") (TSX:AXU) is pleased to announce that its work program for the remainder of 2008 will focus on building both community support and resource value for the Michelin Project.

The work program will be comprised of a tailings management options study, an environmental baseline program, a community outreach program, a training plan, engineering studies, and ongoing infill drilling.

The work program is focused on demonstrating to the Nunatsiavut Government and community members that the Michelin Project can be developed in a safe manner with minimal impact on the land, wildlife, and nearby communities. As well, the planned work program will move the project towards development through infill, metallurgical, and related drilling.

TAILINGS MANAGEMENT STUDY

In 2008, Aurora plans to conduct engineering and environmental studies on a variety of tailings management technology options and sites. This process is expected to lead to a short list of candidate sites for further detailed consideration. These studies will focus on:

- Engineering design studies

- Soil and water chemistry

- Environmental site assessment

- Surface and ground water studies

- Bio-physical studies

- Geochemical baseline studies

- Tailings modeling

- Safe closure design

- Radiological studies

Aurora also plans to conduct condemnation drilling (drilling to demonstrate the absence of mineralization beneath project facilities) to support the tailings management options selected for detailed study.

Nunatsiavut representatives will be invited to play a direct role in the study. The process will include a public consultation component as well which is expected to provide Aurora with the community's perspective. In addition, this consultation component should provide information on the design process to community members.

ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH AND SAFETY

Aurora is committed to the best environmental, health and safety, and social practices. "We support resource development only if the health and safety of our workers and the environment can be protected," said Dr. O'Dea. "Our safety record is excellent, with 100% of the site workforce meeting the safety standards prescribed and monitored by Health Canada."

In support of its commitment to environmental protection, Aurora plans to carry out another large environmental data gathering program in 2008. The program will see Aurora continue with seasonal work designed to develop baseline information for future environmental reviews, including:

- Wildlife surveys

- Air quality data

- Weather and climate data

- Water quality and quantity data

- Fish and bird surveys

CONSULTATION AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Since Aurora began conducting exploration in Labrador's Central Mineral Belt in 2004, the Company has made a positive impact through employment, contracting, training, and community investment, especially in its host community of Postville.

Some key achievements to date include:

- More than $50 million spent on exploration programs and environmental baseline studies, with more than $25 million staying in the Labrador economy.

- In 2007, Aurora employed 275 people, of which 112 people were from North Coast communities and the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area.

- Training of more than 60 employees from local communities as drill helpers, geo-technicians, environmental monitors, and catering staff.

- Opening of community outreach offices in Postville, Makkovik and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

- Procuring most goods and services from local companies to support the exploration programs.

For more detail on Aurora's 2007 Community Investment program, please visit: http://www.aurora-energy.ca/pdf/AXU_Community_Newsletter_V3_April_2008.pdf.

Aurora recognizes the importance of enhancing its community relations activities going forward. "Resource development is a cooperative activity," said Dr. O'Dea. "Working from the support base we have established with our neighbours in the communities and the Nunatsiavut Government, we plan to demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits for all project participants," added Dr. O'Dea.

Community outreach initiatives to be undertaken in 2008 include the expansion of local recruitment efforts as Aurora develops its Labrador-based human resource capacity, working closely with the Nunatsiavut Government to build on its support for resource development, and providing meaningful financial contributions to worthwhile community programs in Coastal Labrador.

Aurora is also investigating the establishment of an environment liaison committee comprised of outside independent experts and community representatives. The committee will be specifically designed to take into account the environmental, economic and social considerations of the Michelin Project, and to facilitate the involvement of community stakeholders, Aurora and local governments.

TRAINING PLAN

As a complement to the Company's existing training program, Aurora plans to develop a Michelin Project Training Plan to prepare community members for employment in ongoing exploration and development activities and, subject to regulatory approval, the longer term construction and operations phases. The Nunatsiavut Government, as well as Innu Nation, will be invited to play an active role in developing this plan.

"We have clearly heard from government and community members that training is an important component of resource development. This plan will be designed to provide guidance and support in identifying training and employment opportunities for local stakeholders for all phases of the Michelin Project," explained Dr. O'Dea.

INFILL DRILLING

Aurora has revised its summer drill program to an 11,250 metre infill campaign at the Jacques Lake and Michelin deposits and expects to fulfill all of its contractual obligations in connection with this drilling program. This revised program is a reduction of 38,750 metres or 77% from the original budget of 50,000 metres. The program, which is expected to run from May until July, aims to enhance the value of the Michelin and Jacques Lake deposits by converting pounds from the inferred to indicated mineral resource category.

ENGINEERING STUDIES

Aurora also plans to continue with engineering studies and will conduct a 3,750 metre geotechnical, environmental and metallurgical drill program from May until August which is expected to provide Aurora with valuable data for tailings studies and in moving the Michelin Project towards development.

BUDGET FOR BALANCE OF 2008

The revised budget for the remainder of 2008 is estimated at $20.1 million. This represents a reduction of 47% from the original planned spend of $38 million for the same period. The revised budget includes: $4.0 million for infill drilling; $2.0 million for surveying, site reclamation and camp demobilization; $4.9 million for geotechnical and development drilling and engineering studies; $1.9 million for tailings management study; $2.4 million for health, safety and environment; $0.8 million for community relations; and $4.1 million for general and administrative costs.

LIQUIDITY

Aurora has no debt and approximately $117 million in cash that is fully liquid and held with a large commercial bank.

ABOUT AURORA

Aurora is a uranium development company focused on the Central Mineral Belt in Coastal Labrador - one of the world's most promising uranium districts. Aurora recently completed a 12,132 metre winter infill drilling program at the Michelin and Jacques Lake deposits - see April 22, 2008 News Release, "Aurora's Winter Drill Program Enhances Continuity of Michelin Deposit" and May 5, 2008 News Release, "Infill Drill Results Strengthen Jacques Lake Resource, Uranium Pipeline".

Aurora is committed to responsible development with lasting local benefits and the highest standards of safety, health, and environmental protection.

Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, certain information presented constitutes "forward-looking statements". Such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, those with respect to the timing and amount of estimated future resources and resource conversion rates, future operations, project costs and production, potential for expansion of resources and potential size of future exploration programs and potential timing of receipt of permits and classification of future mineral resources, and potential for future benefits, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of Aurora to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral resources, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, future prices of uranium, environmental risks and hazards, increased infrastructure and/or operating costs, labor and employment matters, and government regulation as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Aurora's most recent Annual Information Form available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although Aurora 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 as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Aurora disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Aurora Energy Resources Inc.
    Andrea Marshall
    Manager, Government and Media Relations
    (709) 726-2223
    or
    Aurora Energy Resources Inc.
    Paul Coombs
    CFO & Corporate Secretary
    (709) 726-2223
    Website: www.aurora-energy.ca