High River Gold Mines Ltd.
TSX : HRG

High River Gold Mines Ltd.

May 06, 2008 17:00 ET

High River Updates on Status of Berezitovy Gold Mine Commissioning

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - High River Gold Mines Ltd. ("High River" or "the Company") (TSX:HRG)is pleased to provide an update on the status of the Berezitovy Gold Mine commissioning. The Berezitovy Gold Mine, located in the Amur region of Russia, is owned 99% by High River and 1% by the Russian government. Reserves consist of 13.9 million tonnes grading 2.3 g/t gold and 11.7 g/t silver for a total of 1.0 million ounces of gold and 5.2 million ounces of silver.

Tailings Filter Cloth Problems Resolved, Process Plant fully Operational

Processing Plant Commissioning

Mine and mill construction was essentially completed by the end of 2007 and gold was being produced from the carbon-in-pulp leach circuit in mid-December. However, during production ramp-up early in 2008, problems were encountered with the reliability of the filter cloth used in the tailings filter plant. This resulted in a plant capacity utilization rate of only 29% for the first quarter of 2008. The problem has been resolved with the installation of new, specially modified, filter cloth manufactured in Canada.

The filter plant became operational on April 6th and has been running at 80% or higher capacity since that time. As a result, the process plant is currently processing approximately 3,700 tonnes per day (approximately 85% of design capacity of 4,300 tonnes per day). Experts in filtration have been on-site and have made recommendations, including the installation of additional equipment, that once implemented should improve the efficiency and productivity of the filter plant with the objective of reaching design capacity. Meanwhile, the tailings storage area is being expanded with the new section capable of storing wet tailings. The ability to store dry tailings from the filter plant combined with the ability to store wet tailings bypassing the filter plant should enable the process plant to reach 100% of design capacity before the end of May.

Mining

Mining is currently proceeding at design capacity of 27,000 tonnes per day of material moved (waste and ore). As at the end of the first quarter, approximately 500,000 tonnes of ore have been stockpiled, which equates to 4 months of production.

2008 Production Outlook

The Berezitovy process plant is expected to achieve commercial production during Q2 2008. Commercial production is defined as 30 consecutive days of production at 60% or more of design capacity. The Berezitovy Gold Mine plans to produce approximately 75,000 ounces of gold in 2008 attributable to High River. Gold production to the end of March 2008 totaled 5,183 ounces.

About High River

High River is an unhedged gold company with producing mines, mines under development, and advanced exploration projects in Burkina Faso and Russia. High River is bringing two new open-pit gold mines into production. The Taparko-Bouroum Gold Mine in Burkina Faso achieved commercial production in October 2007, and the Berezitovy Gold Mine in Russia is expected to achieve commercial production in Q2 2008. Annual gold production is planned at 100,000 ounces at Taparko-Bouroum, increasing to a rate of approximately 140,000 ounces during 2009, and is expected to exceed 100,000 ounces at Berezitovy. Attributable 2008 gold production is planned to be approximately 80,000 ounces at Taparko-Bouroum and approximately 75,000 ounces at Berezitovy. Combined with gold production from two underground mines in Russia, Zun-Holba and Irokinda, High River's attributable unhedged gold production is expected to total approximately 280,000 ounces in 2008. In addition, the Company has three advanced exploration projects, the Bissa Gold Project in Burkina Faso, the world-class Prognoz Silver Project and the Chaya Nickel Project in Russia. These projects are expected to significantly add to the Company's shareholder value in the future.

Forward Looking Statements - This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations. These forward-looking statements entail various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected. Risk and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Management's Discussion and Analysis published in the Company's Annual Report and in the Annual Information Form.

Contact Information

  • High River Gold Mines Ltd.
    Dan Hrushewsky
    Vice President Investor Relations
    (416) 947-1440
    (416) 360-0010 (FAX)
    Email: info@hrg.ca
    Website: www.hrg.ca