European Minerals Corporation
TSX : EPM
AIM : EUM

European Minerals Corporation

May 09, 2008 11:15 ET

European Minerals Corporation: Additional Resources-Varvarinskoye Update-5-Star CAT Rating

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - May 9, 2008) - European Minerals Corporation (TSX:EPM)(AIM:EUM) ("EMC" or the "Company") is pleased to report an increase in the gold and copper resources at its Varvarinskoye gold/copper project in Kazakhstan and provide an update on progress at the mine.

Additional Resources

- Assay results from diamond drilling completed in the 2007 field season combined with historical data have enabled the Company to outline significant additional resources beneath the current pit design which is approximately 300 metres below ground surface.

- The Company's internally generated resource estimates were calculated under the definitions and guidelines specified in National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101") and utilized the key assumptions, parameters and methods used in the preparation of the resource estimates contained in the technical report dated November 2004 and amended March 2005 entitled "Varvarinskoye Gold-Copper Project - Northern Kazakhstan - Technical Report" prepared by MDM Ferroman (Pty) Limited and Mintec Inc. in accordance with NI 43-101 (which is available for review on the SEDAR database at www.sedar.com) and on the same basis outlined in the 2007 estimated mineral resource previously reported (see the Company's press release dated January 15, 2007).

- The revised resource estimates increase the previously announced estimated measured and indicated mineral resources by approximately 26 million tonnes of ore (at 1.24 g/t gold, 0.32% copper(i)) containing approximately one million ounces of gold and 157 million lbs of copper, representing an increase of approximately 20% of the total estimated measured and indicated mineral resources tonnages and an increase of approximately 25% in contained gold and 35% in contained copper for the estimated measured and indicated mineral resources. Appendix 1 provides a more detailed analysis of the additional mineral resource estimates and a table containing the previous estimate of measured and indicated mineral resources, as announced in January 2007 (Table 2).

(i) % copper based on HGCF only

Varvarinskoye Update

- Further positive progress has been made in bringing the plant to commercial production. During April, mechanical availability of the process equipment was about 93% with no unplanned shutdown of major equipment. Completion of commissioning and commencement of operating ramp up during a severe winter has been successfully achieved with no major impact on operations. Gold continues to be poured on a regular basis; six shipments have now been delivered to the Metalor refinery in Switzerland. The Company's subsidiary, JSC Varvarinskoye ("JSCV"), has approximately 4,000 tonnes of copper gold concentrate (18% copper and 22 g/t gold) bagged at its Tobol railhead, awaiting Russian Railway wagons to dispatch the concentrate to a smelter in May.

- Other highlights as of end of April:-

-- JSCV has made adjustments to the crusher which has improved product size, alleviating downstream transfer restrictions to the grinding mills.

-- The copper flotation circuit is operating at about 60% design throughput. Polysius, the mill manufacturer, will visit Varvarinskoye in mid May to advise on how to increase the throughput so that the milling circuit will meet its design specification.

-- The direct gold milling and leach circuit reached 45% of design throughput in April. Plans are in place to continue ramp up in the next few months as the grinding ball charge is increased and design modifications to the mill discharge pump motors are completed.

-- Water return to plant from tailings dam has been achieved following the spring thaw.

-- The site evaluation visit by Ausenco Limited of Perth as part of a Scoping Study for a possible expansion of the Varvarinskoye plant was completed in April.

5-Star CAT Rating

-- Borusan Makina Kazakhstan LLP ("BMK") operates the Maintenance and Repair Contract (MARC) on JSCV's mining fleet. BMK have informed EMC that the BMK Varvarinskoye maintenance workshop has been awarded a Caterpillar 5-Star rating for contamination control. Varvarinskoye is the first operational mine site in the CIS to achieve this 5-Star rating and rewards the combined efforts of the BMK and JSCV teams over the three years that the MARC has been operating.

-- Ozgur Gunuaydin, BMK's General Director in Kazakhstan, commented "the control of microscopic particulate contamination is very important in the successful operation of modern mining machinery such as Caterpillar. This can assist in avoiding unexpected shutdowns of equipment and reduces maintenance and operating costs."

Bert Kennedy President and CEO of EMC commented today:

"We continue to make good progress increasing our tonnage throughput in the Varvarinskoye process plant. A late spring has eventually arrived and the working conditions for our site team should improve. During a severe winter we have had no freezing of our water reticulation system and the delivery of our electrical power supply by our 70km line was continuous with no significant shutdowns despite temperatures dropping to minus 40o Centigrade with frequent blizzards. I cannot praise the dedication of our employees too highly in commissioning the plant through such a severe winter which other major regional mining companies have also noted adversely impacted on their operations. Metallurgical performance continues to be good and both process streams have been running steadily for the past six weeks. We are now regularly delivering gold dore to Metalor in Switzerland and our first concentrates are ready to ship. Over the coming months we intend to complete our design modifications in the plant and ramp up to commercial production. We have always believed in the Varvarinskoye project and the announcement of the increase to the measured and indicated mineral resource estimates, although these are situated beneath the lowest elevation of the current pit design, further enhances the value of our ore body. We have also just commenced an independent study to investigate the possibility of increasing the total through put at Varvarinskoye beyond our feasibility design of 4.2 million tonnes of ore per year. Our management and employees have created a producing mine at Varvarinskoye from a green field site in less than 30 months. I believe this achievement ranks as highly as any in the world of mineral developments over the last few years."

Qualified Person

Bert Kennedy, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, is the "qualified person" (as such term is defined in NI 43-101) responsible for all technical and scientific information in this press release.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains or refers to forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements contained in this press release regarding estimates and/or assumptions in respect of mineral resources, future exploration, development and operational plans and objectives (including the possible expansion of the plant). These forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to: the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates; capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates; inflation; changes in exchange rates; fluctuations in commodity prices; delays in the commencement of full scale operations, the Company's Varvarinskoye Project caused by unavailability of equipment, labour or supplies, climatic conditions, delays in the delivery and installation of plant and equipment or otherwise; termination or suspension of the Company's debt facility; uncertainty of the outcome of any litigation; inability to delineate additional mineral resources; and other factors. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.

The mineral resource figures disclosed to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While the Company believes that the resource estimates disclosed in this press release are well established, by their nature resource estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on the Company.

Appendix 1

The key assumptions, parameters and methods used in the preparation of the following mineral resource estimates are detailed in the technical report dated November 2004 and amended March 2005 entitled "Varvarinskoye Gold-Copper Project - Northern Kazakhstan - Technical Report" prepared by MDM Ferroman (Pty) Limited and Mintec Inc. in accordance with NI 43-101 (which is available for review on the SEDAR database at www.sedar.com) and on the same basis outlined in the 2007 estimated mineral resource previously reported (see the Company's press release dated January 15, 2007). The effective date for the following mineral resource estimates is April 30, 2008.



Table 1: Additional Mineral Resources as at April 30, 2008

------------------------------------------------------------------------
MEASURED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCF 4,348 1.51 0.705 211,082 67,577,491
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCF 6,642 1.07 0.076 228,491 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL 10,990 1.24 0.324 439,573 67,577,491
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
INDICATED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCF 6,938 1.38 0.582 307,828 89,020,602
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCF 8,052 1.13 0.08 292,541 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL 14,990 1.24 0.312 600,369 89,020,602
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
MEASURED & INDICATED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCF 11,286 1.43 0.63 518,909 156,598,093
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCF 14,694 1.10 0.08 521,032 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL 25,980 1.24 0.32 1,039,941 156,598,093
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Table 2: Previously Published Mineral Resources as at December 15, 2006

------------------------------------------------------------------------
MEASURED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCF 20,900 1.33 0.61 890,455 279,688,647
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCP 5,923 1.12 0.46 212,352 59,804,873
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCF 54,509 0.89 N/A 1,558,146 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCP 2,919 1.05 N/A 98,468 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL 84,252 1.02 0.57 2,759,420 339,493,520
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
INDICATED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCF 10,474 1.06 0.42 355,305 96,057,671
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCP 1,127 0.88 0.62 31,867 15,311,584
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCF 26,387 0.88 N/A 743,256 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCP 912 0.91 N/A 26,637 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL 39,901 0.93 0.44 1,157,065 111,369,256
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
MEASURED & INDICATED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCF 31,374 1.24 0.54 1,245,759 375,746,318
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCP 7,050 1.08 0.48 244,218 75,116,458
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCF 80,896 0.89 N/A 2,301,401 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGCP 3,832 1.02 N/A 125,106 N/A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL 123,153 0.99 0.53 3,916,485 450,862,776
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note:- HGCF is High Grade Copper Feed - flotation ore
HGCP is material stockpiled for treatment in the future
LGCF is Low Grade Copper Feed - Gold leach ore
LGCP is Low Grade Copper Feed - Gold leach ore from the
weathering zone


Contact Information

  • Investor Information:
    European Minerals Corporation - United Kingdom
    Tony Williams
    Chairman
    +44 (0) 20 7529 7508
    or
    European Minerals Corporation - United Kingdom
    Bert Kennedy
    President & CEO
    +44 (0) 20 7529 7508
    or
    Vanguard Shareholder Solutions Inc. - North America
    Keith Schaefer
    1-866-448-0780
    Email: ir@vanguardsolutions.ca