European Minerals Corporation
TSX : EPM
AIM : EUM

European Minerals Corporation

September 24, 2007 10:06 ET

European Minerals Corporation: Varvarinskoye Update

President Nazarbayev Visits Varvarinskoye on September 14, 2007. Initiates Mechanical Commissioning of Copper/Gold Circuit.

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2007) -

Presidential Visit

European Minerals Corporation ("EMC" or the "Company") (TSX:EPM)(AIM:EUM) is pleased to report that the President of Kazakhstan - Nursultan Nazarbayev, visited its Varvarinskoye gold/copper project on September 14, 2007. President Nazarbayev was welcomed to site by Bert Kennedy - President and Chief Executive Officer of EMC, Takhirzhan Baratov - Chairman of EMC's Kazakh operating company, JSC Varvarinskoye ("JSCV") and Saken Ashirbekova - General Director of JSCV.

President Nazarbayev's first action on site was to initiate a blast of about 50,000 tonnes of ore in the Varvarinskoye main pit. President Nazarbayev then visited the Varvarinskoye process plant where he was enthusiastically received by about 500 JSCV employees.

Mr. Kennedy thanked the President for visiting Varvarinskoye and commented on the support and assistance which JSCV had received from the responsible Kazakh State Agencies in bringing the project to fruition. This included Mr. Sergey Kulagin - Governor of Kustanai Oblast, who was also in attendance and has been a frequent visitor to Varvarinskoye.

President Nazarbayev addressed the workforce and spoke eloquently about the positive impact that the Varvarinskoye project would have on this region of Kustanai Oblast and how the successful development of Varvarinskoye reflected the strategic economic policies that the Kazakh Government are pursuing. Mr. Kennedy then requested President Nazarbayev to start the mills on the Varvarinskoye copper/gold circuit, which he was pleased to do. The President then made an impromptu walkabout tour of the process plant where he was mobbed by excited JSCV employees. Photographs of the Presidential visit can be found at www.europeanminerals.com.

Project Update

As referred to above, mechanical testing of the mills on the Varvarinskoye copper/gold circuit has commenced. Further staged commissioning of the various components of the process plant will continue in Q4 2007.

The ore crushing and conveying circuit is 90% complete and its mechanical commissioning is planned for October 2007. Approximately 700,000 tonnes of ore is already on stockpile. All four grinding mills are fully mechanically installed and signed off by the mill manufacturer. The copper/gold circuit flotation cells and thickeners are also fully installed. The gold elution circuit and plant compressed air services are in place and it is planned that the gold circuit mills will be mechanically commissioned before the end of September 2007. All tank work is complete and hydraulic testing is scheduled to commence by the end of the month. Tailings dam earthwork is complete together with all delivery and return water pipelines to and from the tailings dam.

The process plant building is complete and mine infrastructure is virtually finished. All the infrastructure necessary to commission and operate the Varvarinskoye mine is now in place.

There have been shipping delays on final delivery of some equipment but this is expected on site in time to allow commissioning during Q4 2007.

Bert Kennedy, President and Chief Executive Officer of EMC, commented today:
"We are very proud that President Nazarbayev took time out from his busy schedule to visit our project. His warm remarks underline the significance of Varvarinskoye to the local economy and we are determined to continue the excellent work by our team as construction draws to a close and commissioning commences. We do not underestimate the challenges to come but we believe we have a team in place to overcome these. We expect to complete our evolution to a commercial mining company by the end of Q1 2008.

Despite the various delays arising in relation to certain equipment deliveries and our well documented replacement of the project contractor last year, progress on the project has been excellent. Once again my thanks must go to all our employees and contractors who are responsible for the achievements to date."

The Company regularly updates its website at www.europeanminerals.com with photographs illustrating the progress at site. We invite you to visit the website to gain an impression of the project progress since the start of construction.

About Varvarinskoye

Varvarinskoye is a gold/copper deposit located in Northern Kazakhstan. The 3 sq km mining licence contains significant gold and copper resources with major expansion potential. In a news release dated January 15, 2007 the Company announced independently estimated measured and indicated mineral resources of 3.9 million ounces of gold and 450 million pounds of copper. Table 1 in the appendix provides a more detailed analysis of the mineral resource estimates. Based on these resources and using a gold price of US$ 525 per ounce and a copper price of US$ 1.30 per pound, the pit design contains estimated proven and probable mineral reserves of 60.6 million tonnes containing 2.2 million ounces of gold and 254 million pounds of copper at a grade of 1.15 g/t gold including 17.1 million tonnes at a grade of 0.67% copper. Table 2 in the appendix provides a more detailed analysis of the mineral reserve estimates.

Based on this current reserve base and plant capacity life of mine production averages 120,000 ounces of gold and 13 million pounds of copper. However over the first three full years of mine life average annual production is planned to be 149,000 ounces of gold and 26 million pounds of copper.

Additional information with respect to the Company's Varvarinskoye mine plan is set out in the Company's news release dated January 15, 2007. Additional information with respect to Varvarinskoye is also contained in the MDM Ferroman "Varvarinskoye Gold/Copper Project Bankable Feasibility Study" dated November 2004. Copies of the said news release and study can be obtained from SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

EMC management considers Varvarinskoye to be economically robust at the base case metal prices of US$ 525 per ounce of gold and US$ 1.30 per pound of copper.

The Company is continuing to optimise its mine plan as development of the initial open pit advances and confirms the integrity of the Varvarinskoye orebody. As mining proceeds the Company intends to continue to operate a rigorous stockpiling plan to generate improved economic returns should metal prices continue to be higher that those used in the current mine plan.

Qualified Persons

The "qualified person" (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101) who compiled and is responsible for the mineral resource estimates for the Varvarinskoye project referred to in this press release is Stephen Hyland, who is a Principal Consultant of Ravensgate. Mr. Andre Wulfse, who is a Principal Consultant of Ravensgate, and a "qualified person" (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101), has reviewed and approved the contents of this press release relating to such mineral resource estimates.

The "qualified person" (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101) who supervised the preparation of and is responsible for the mineral reserve estimates for the Varvarinskoye project referred to in this press release is Stephen Craig, who is an employee of Orelogy. Mr. Craig has reviewed and approved the contents of this press release relating to such mineral reserve estimates.

Bert Kennedy, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, is the "qualified person" (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101) responsible for the technical and scientific information in this press release, other than the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates for the Varvarinskoye project.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news 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 news release regarding targets, estimates and/or assumptions in respect of future annual production of gold and copper, commodity prices, mineral resources and reserves, timing of commencement of operations, potential mineralization and future exploration, development and operational plans and objectives (including delineating additional mineral resources). 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 development or commissioning of, and the commencement of operations at, the Company's Varvarinskoye Project caused by unavailability of equipment, labour or supplies, weather and 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 or reserves; 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 and mineral reserve figures referred to in this news 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 and reserve estimates referred to in this news release are well established, by their nature resource and reserve 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.

Inferred mineral resources are estimated on limited information not sufficient to verify geological and grade continuity or to allow technical and economic parameters to be applied. Inferred mineral resources are too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them to enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that mineral resources can be upgraded to mineral reserves through continued exploration.

Appendix

The key assumptions, parameters and methods used in the preparation of the following mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are detailed in the MDM Ferroman "Varvarinskoye Gold/Copper Project Bankable Feasibility Study" dated November 2004 (see the Company's news release dated November 10th, 2004). The effective date for the following mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates is December 15th, 2006.



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TABLE 1 VARVARINSKOYE PROJECT
MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATES
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MEASURED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
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Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
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HGCF 20,900 1.33 0.61 890,455 279,688,647
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HGCP 5,923 1.12 0.46 212,352 59,804,873
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LGCF 54,509 0.89 N/A 1,558,146 N/A
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LGCP 2,919 1.05 N/A 98,468 N/A
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TOTAL 84,252 1.02 0.57 2,759,420 339,493,520
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INDICATED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
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Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
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HGCF 10,474 1.06 0.42 355,305 96,057,671
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HGCP 1,127 0.88 0.62 31,867 15,311,584
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LGCF 26,387 0.88 N/A 743,256 N/A
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LGCP 912 0.91 N/A 26,637 N/A
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TOTAL 38,901 0.93 0.44 1,157,065 111,369,256
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MEASURED & INDICATED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
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Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
HGCF 31,374 1.24 0.54 1,245,759 375,746,318
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HGCP 7,050 1.08 0.48 244,218 75,116,458
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LGCF 80,896 0.89 N/A 2,301,401 N/A
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LGCP 3,832 1.02 N/A 125,106 N/A
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TOTAL 123,153 0.99 0.53 3,916,485 450,862,776
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INFERRED MINERAL RESOURCES
@ 0.01 gpt Gold Cut-off
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Ore Type K Tonnes Gold gpt % Copper Oz Gold Lbs Copper
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HGCF 4,788 0.92 0.41 141,191 43,704,841
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HGCP 373 0.73 0.32 8,713 2,600,260
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LGCF 11,123 1.09 N/A 390,549 N/A
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LGCP 356 0.82 N/A 9,385 N/A
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TOTAL 16,640 1.03 0.41 549,839 46,305,101
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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

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TABLE 2 VARVARINSKOYE PROJECT MINERAL RESERVE ESTIMATES
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Contained Metal
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Ore Gold Copper Gold Million lbs
K Tonnes gpt % K ozs Copper
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Category PROVEN MINERAL RESERVES
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HGCF 14,386 1.59 0.70 733 223
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LGCF 33,610 0.97 N/A 1,049 N/A
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LGCP 2,583 1.09 N/A 90 N/A
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TOTALS 50,579 1.15 0.70 1,872 223
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Category PROBABLE MINERAL RESERVES
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HGCF 2,719 1.43 0.52 125 31
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LGCF 6,640 1.04 N/A 222 N/A
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LGCP 699 0.95 N/A 21 N/A
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TOTALS 10,058 1.15 0.52 369 31
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Category PROVEN & PROBABLE MINERAL RESERVES
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HGCF 17,105 1.56 0.67 858 254
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LGCF 40,250 0.98 N/A 1,271 N/A
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LGCP 3,282 1.06 N/A 111 N/A
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TOTALS 60,637 1.15 0.67 2,241 254
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Note:- HGCF is High Grade Copper Feed - flotation ore
LGCF is Low Grade Copper Feed - Gold leach ore
LGCP is Low Grade Copper Feed - Gold leach ore from the
weathering zone

Contact 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
    Website: www.europeanminerals.com
    or
    Canaccord Adams Limited
    Mike Jones
    +44 (0) 20 7050 6500
    or
    Canaccord Adams Limited
    Robin Birchall
    +44 (0) 20 7050 6500
    or
    Vanguard Shareholder Solutions Inc. - North America
    Keith Schaefer
    1-866-448-0780 (North America)
    Email: ir@vanguardsolutions.ca