Eastern Platinum Limited

Eastern Platinum Limited

October 07, 2009 08:39 ET

Eastplats Reports Operating Results for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2009

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2009) - Mr. Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastern Platinum Limited (TSX: ELR)(AIM:ELR)(JSE:EPS) ("Eastplats") is pleased to report on production from the Crocodile River Mine ("CRM") for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 ("Q3 2009").

As a result of the termination of contract mining companies whose employees were involved in the illegal strike action at CRM in July, and the subsequent direct employment of mine workers and reinstatement of a limited number of contract employees, production in the third quarter was 29,874 PGM ounces, a decrease of 10% compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2009 and a decrease of 3% compared to the third quarter of 2008. Cash costs per ounce are expected to be higher compared to the June quarter as a result of the decrease in production.

Despite the challenge of introducing new crews to the mine this quarter, a milestone of two million fatality-free shifts was achieved at CRM in September.

In Q3 2009, an agreement was also reached on wages, in which employees received a 10% increase, in line with other agreements reached in the industry.

Production statistics for the current quarter and historical quarters are as follows:

 Quarter endedIncrease (decrease)
Production statisticsSept 30, 2009June 30, 2009Mar 31, 2009Dec 31, 2008Sept 30, 2008Q3 2009 vs
Q2 2009
Q3 2009 vs
Q3 2008
Ounces produced29,87433,38332,96929,01530,755(3 ,509)(881)
Run-of-mine rock tonnes hoisted244,959342,368321,165280,933319,462(97,409)(74,503)
Run-of-mine rock tonnes processed280,777304,354318,394298,514305,490(23,577)(24,713)
Development (meters)2,8824,3264,5734,6045,599(1,444)(2,717)
On-reef development (meters)1,5622,8602,7452,9223,556(1,298)(1,994)
Stoping units (square meters)36,26351,34245,09846,45939,652(15,079)(3,389)
Head grade (grams/tonne)
Concentrator recovery from ROM ore78%80%80%76%78%- 2%0%
Chrome produced (tonnes)83,93082,76077,55469,93764,7441,17019,186

During the quarter, stoping and development output was significantly reduced. By September, production levels had returned to those achieved in June 2009. Going forward, development will be maintained at Q2 levels in order to sustain the eighteen month mining reserve that has been built up at the mine over the past two years.

Concentrator recovery from the ROM circuit decreased to 78% during the quarter mainly as a result of sub-optimal operation during times of low feed from underground. This is expected to return to 80% as mining rates ramp back to pre-strike levels.

This quarter also marked the first full quarter of production from the tailings remining section which extracts PGMs and chromite from previously placed tailings.

"After a disruptive period in July and early August at CRM, we have recovered extremely well, the extensive on and off reef development carried out during the last year having positioned the mine well for both the short term production ramp up back to Q2 levels, and for the ongoing production build up at the mine," stated Ian Rozier.

Third quarter financial results and conference call

Eastplats is scheduled to release its full third quarter results on Thursday November 12, 2009 and host a telephone conference call on the same day at 11:00 a.m. Pacific (2:00 p.m. Eastern) to discuss these results. The conference call may be accessed by dialing 1-800-319-4610 in Canada and the United States, or 1-604-638-5340 internationally.

The November 12, 2009 conference call will be archived for later playback until Thursday November 19, 2009 and can be accessed by dialing 604-638-9010 or 1-800-319-6413 and using the pass code 4219 followed by the number sign.

The qualified person having reviewed the operating results presented in this press release is Mr. Brian Montpellier, V.P. Project Development, P. Eng.

Total shares issued and outstanding: 680,562,080

Certain statements included herein constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions by Eastplats and as such are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to factors such as general economic and market conditions, increased costs of production and a decline in metal prices. Eastplats is under no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.

No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

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