Colossus Minerals Inc.
TSX : CSI
OTCQX : COLUF

Colossus Minerals Inc.

September 23, 2013 06:01 ET

Colossus Minerals Provides Development Update

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 23, 2013) - Colossus Minerals Inc. (the "Company" or "Colossus") (TSX:CSI)(OTCQX:COLUF) provides a development update for its 75% owned Serra Pelada gold-platinum-palladium Mine. The Serra Pelada Mine is a joint venture between Colossus and Cooperativa de Mineração dos Garimpeiros de Serra Pelada ("COOMIGASP") located in the State of Pará, Brazil.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Company is on track with its dewatering program expansion. As of September 17, 2013, six of the originally planned ten wells are pumping and total dewatering output is approximately 800 m3 per hour. Currently, total output exceeds the recharge rate by approximately 75% and total output is expected to reach approximately 1,500 m3 per hour by December 2013.
  • Underground development has progressed according to the plan detailed in the Company's July 15, 2013 press release. In August, the Company advanced on four separate development faces achieving advance in the main decline, ventilation access drift, the north access and a permanent pumping station. The Company achieved 85 metres of development in August over 24 days resulting in an advance rate in excess of 3.5 metres per day. According to plan, the Company stopped development for a period of 7 days to complete the first phase of the ventilation system expansion.
  • The Company plans to continue the decline development to have multiple access drives ready for mining in 2014. Five access drives will be developed to commence feeding the process plant late in the fourth quarter of 2013. Commissioning of individual unit operations commenced in August and will continue throughout September and early into the fourth quarter.
  • The bulk sample will be processed once management is satisfied with process plant operating effectiveness.
  • The first phase of ventilation expansion is complete. The second phase of the expansion is 55% complete with shaft sinking progressing well.
  • Tailings dam construction is progressing well with 85% of the project complete to date. The tailings dam is expected to be complete ahead of process plant start-up.

Claudio Mancuso, Chief Executive Officer commented, "After the setback related to dewatering experienced in July, the Company's dewatering and underground development activities are progressing according to the remediation plan communicated in mid-July. Completion of the first phase of the ventilation system expansion provides a four-fold increase in underground airflow and allows us to begin ramping up development with increased manpower and equipment in September. The underground team achieved development on four separate faces in August and we remain on track to have five access drives ready to enter the Central Mineralized Zone in December."

CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

Underground Development

As of September 19, 2013, the Company had completed approximately 2,200 metres of total development; 1,400 primary and 800 metres of secondary development. In August, the Company completed 85 metres of development over a 24 day period advancing on four separate faces. The Company ceased development for a seven day period to complete the first phase of the ventilation system expansion (discussed below). The 85 metres of development in August consisted of 37 metres in the main decline, 30 metres of secondary excavation for a permanent pumping station, three metres in the northern access and 15 metres in the ventilation access drift and other secondary development. Over the 24 day period prior to the shutdown to complete the ventilation system expansion, the Company averaged approximately 3.5 metres per day.

As previously announced, some dewatering wells and pumps were not performing to design specifications and, as a result, the Company required additional dewatering capacity in order to mine the Central Mineralized Zone ("CMZ") in a sustainable, effective and efficient manner. As a result, the Company is expanding its dewatering capacity. As of September 17, 2013, six of the originally planned ten wells are pumping and total dewatering output is approximately 800 m3 per hour. Currently, total output exceeds the recharge rate by approximately 75% and total output is expected to reach approximately 1,500 m3 per hour by December 2013. A new 250 m3 per hour well is currently being drilled and is expected to be operational by the end of October. To provide additional contingency, the Company has recently initiated an additional 250 m3 per hour well. Contractors have been mobilized and the additional well will be operational by the end of December. Since the previous development update, the Company has also decided to refurbish three of the original wells which were planned to be abandoned. These three refurbished wells will provide an additional 100 m3 per hour of contingency capacity. Excavation for a permanent underground pumping station was completed in August and civil work and mechanical installation will continue throughout the end of September and early October. Once completed, the permanent pumping station will provide 800 m3 per hour of pumping capacity from underground, which is over three times the current underground inflow of 250 m3 per hour.

As previously disclosed, the ventilation system requires expansion to provide sufficient air to support four crews and sets of equipment. The expansion work includes widening and concrete lining the artisanal shaft which will be used as a ventilation raise and development of a drift to tie the ramp to this ventilation raise at depth. The project to upgrade the ventilation system is approximately 55% complete.

The first phase of the ventilation system expansion was completed in August. The first phase involved moving vent fans from surface to the current ramp access to the artisanal shaft, and civil works involved with installing the fans in this new location. This first phase expansion has increased airflow underground from 10m3/s to 45m3/s by drawing air through the artisanal shaft with increased fan and reticulation capacity. This first phase expansion allows the Company to begin ramping-up development crews and equipment to remain on track with its previously disclosed development objectives.

The Company anticipates it will begin feeding the process plant late in the fourth quarter of 2013 and continues to make progress in its mine planning activities. Management previously laid out the month by month schedule for development for the remainder of 2013. Specifically, the Company's schedule for the advancement of development at the Serra Pelada Mine for July and August, with the actual results for the respective months, is laid out in the following table:

Month Activity - Set out July 15, 2013 Result
July 2013 Progress decline, and advance pump station and vent access. • Decline development - 47 metres
• Pump station development - 12 metres
• North access - 11 metres
• Vent access and other secondary development - 14 metres
August 2013 Continue to progress decline, advance development of pump station, and continue to advance vent access. Install interim expansion (Phase I) of the ventilation system. • Decline development - 37 metres
• Pump station development - 30 metres
• North access - 3 metres
• Vent access and other secondary development - 15 metres
• Development stopped 7 days & the first phase of the ventilation system expansion was completed
• Ventilation expansion increased air flow from 10m3/s to 45m3/s and allows for ramp-up of crews and equipment to begin in September

Process Plant

The various phases of the process plant construction, along with respective percentages complete are presented in the table below.

August 13 Sept. 17
Total Project 90% 92%
Process Plant
Engineering 99% 100%
Procurement 99% 99%
Civil construction 99% 100%
Structural steel fabrication 100% 100%
Structural, mechanical, piping & electrical installation 85% 88%
Commissioning 15%
Power house 100% 100%
Ventilation Upgrade Phase I 50% 100%
Ventilation Upgrade Phase II 50% 55%
Tailings impoundment facility 65% 80%
Rehabilitation of dewatering bore field 70% 85%
Expansion of dewatering capacity 20% 30%

Process plant construction is progressing well. Significant milestones achieved since the last development update include:

  • Inspection of buildings for the purpose of signing off handover of facilities to the Company is advanced. Commissioning of unit operations is underway.
  • The primary crusher area's structural steel, platework and associated equipment installation is 100% complete. Electrical and instrumentation installations are approaching completion. Commissioning of the primary crusher continued in August.
  • The reagent handling area structural steel, platework and associated equipment installation is 100% complete. Electrical and instrumentation installations are progressing.
  • All of the structural steel and platework is 100% erected.
  • Mechanical installations and piping in the grinding building are progressing well with this area now 90% complete.
  • Significant progress has been made in erecting the conveyor systems. Conveyor belts are installed and ready for commissioning.
  • The primary screen, scrubber and a number of tanks have been installed in the Scrubbing & Screening building. Installation of pipe and electrical equipment has been advanced to +50%.
  • Civil construction of the gold room is complete. Erection of tanks and other mechanical installations in the gold room area are progressing.

Infrastructure

Other infrastructure construction is progressing as planned. The power house is complete and commissioned. The Company is currently running two of the four generators and electrical reticulation across the project site is complete. Connection to the grid has been achieved and commissioning of the power line was started the second week of August 2013. This facility will go live September 26, 2013.

Construction of the tailings dam was slowed due to issues of payment and contractor access. Nonetheless, as of September 17, 2013, this component of the project is 80% complete with the clearing, diversion structures, spillway, and foundation complete. Bulk earthworks are advanced and project completion is now scheduled for late September 2013.

Denver Gold Forum

Colossus will be presenting at the Denver Gold Forum to be held September 22 to 25, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Mr. Claudio Mancuso, Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 11:45 am MT. The presentation will be available on Colossus' website on September 23, 2013 and the webcast will be available from a link from the Company's home page on September 25, 2013.

About Colossus:

Colossus is a development-stage mining company focused on bringing its 75% owned Serra Pelada gold-platinum-palladium Mine into production. The Serra Pelada Mine is a joint venture between Colossus and COOMIGASP located in the State of Pará, Brazil. Serra Pelada, located in the mineral prolific Carajas region in the State of Pará, is host to one of the highest grade gold and platinum group metals deposits in the world. Between 1980 and 1986 Serra Pelada was host to the largest precious metals rush in Latin American history. Colossus Minerals Common Shares, warrants and notes trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbols CSI, CSI.WT.A, CSI.WT.B and CSI.NT respectively and in the United States its Common Shares trade on the OTCQX under the symbol COLUF. The Company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Qualified Person:

David Anthony, P. Eng., President and Chief Operating Officer of Colossus, is a "qualified person" as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information and data included in this press release.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding the timing and nature of future exploration and development programs that are dependent on projections that may change as drilling continues, or if unexpected ground conditions are encountered. The Company does not currently have any mineral properties that are in production or that contain a reserve as defined by National Instrument 43-101. In addition, areas of exploration potential are identified which will require additional drilling to determine whether or not they contain similar mineralization to areas that have been explored in more detail. Significant additional drilling is required at Serra Pelada to fully understand system size.

Except for statements of historical fact relating to Colossus, certain statements in this press release relating but not limited to the Company's exploration and development plans, activities and intentions, constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the Securities Act (Ontario) or "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements represent management's best judgment based on current facts and assumptions that management considers reasonable. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "target", "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", believe", "anticipate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "appear to", "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The factors include but are not limited to risks related to the Company's relationship with COOMIGASP and/or those seeking to control it, the joint venture operation, actual results of exploration activities, the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, delays in obtaining government approvals, the uncertainties of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, the uncertainties inherent to conducting business in Brazil and the rest of Latin America, the availability of equipment and supplies, unexpected adverse climate conditions, the reliance on only a few key members of management, as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form filed with Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities and other regulatory filings which are posted on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Unless required by law, Colossus undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

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