Iberian Minerals Corp.
TSX VENTURE : IZN

Iberian Minerals Corp.

January 20, 2011 09:00 ET

Iberian Minerals Publishes Preliminary 2010 Production Results and 2011 Guidance for Condestable and Aguas Tenidas Mines

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2011) - Thursday, January 20, 2011 – Iberian Minerals Corp. (TSX VENTURE:IZN) today announced preliminary production results for 2010 and issued production guidance for 2011.

Mr. Daniel Vanin, President and CEO, stated "We are pleased with the production results at both Iberian operations in 2010. The Aguas Tenidas operation, having been expanded and with enhancements to the polymetallic circuit, is now delivering consistent production results while Condestable mine continues to deliver reliable results."

Peruvian Operations:

Operations at the Condestable Mine remain in a steady state with tonnage of ore processed slightly over plan in 2010. Copper production for 2010 was 98% of previously issued guidance due to lower copper head grade. Silver production in 2010 exceeded plan by 45%. The average copper ore head grade for 2010 was 1.16% versus a budgeted copper ore head grade of 1.23%.

The following are the preliminary production results for the Condestable Mine operation for the year ended December 31, 2010:

Production Unit Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2010
Ore processed T 551,700 550,700 564,500 567,600 2,234,500
Concentrate DMT 21,300 23,000 24,600 23,400 92,300
Contained copper T 5,335 5,830 6,100 5,890 23,155
Fine gold Oz 3,260 4,020 3,390 3,210 13,880
Fine silver Oz 66,050 65,660 76,340 82,950 291,000

Spanish Operations:

Operations at Aguas Tenidas realized significant achievements in 2010. A 30% plant and mine expansion project was completed during the year which now allows for daily operations at 6,000 t (equivalent of 2.2 Mtpa).

The following are the highlights for the Aguas Tenidas Mine operation for the year ended December 31, 2010:

  • Preliminary production results:
Production Unit Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2010
Copper Ores
Ore processed T 281,700 276,600 362,300 252,600 1,173,200
Concentrate DMT 19,400 18,210 24,910 18,020 80,540
Contained copper T 4,540 3,950 5,390 3,980 17,860
Fine silver Oz 64,470 58,340 77,100 92,940 292,850
Recovery rate % 86 82 82 81 83
Copper grade % 1.88 1.79 1.82 1.94 1.84
Polymetallic Ores
Ore processed T 75,900 105,200 98,700 228,200 508,000
Copper concentrate DMT - 2,340 1,850 4,270 8,460
Bulk concentrate DMT 6,070 - - - 6,070
Lead concentrate DMT - - - 1,180 1,180
Zinc concentrate DMT 5,960 9,160 5,970 15,100 36,190
Contained copper T 630 520 370 950 2,470
Contained lead T - - - 220 220
Contained zinc T 2,930 4,630 2,830 7,140 17,530
Fine silver Oz 73,100 138,610 104,870 87,100 403,680
Copper recovery rate % - 41 38 36 37
Copper grade % 1.27 1.38 1.08 1.13 1.18
Zinc recovery rate % 64 60 61 63 63
Zinc grade % 6.11 7.02 4.91 4.97 5.51
  • In Q4 the operation realized its best quarterly production results with record combined throughput of processed ores and record production of zinc.
  • The polymetallic circuit delivered metallurgical results in line with targets.
  • A lead concentrate of saleable quality was produced for the first time in Q4 with a concentrate grade of 19%. Work is on-going to improve the grade to a target of 40% through the installation of new column cells in Q1 of 2011.
  • Plant throughput on the copper circuit in Q4 was impacted by a breakdown in the drive components of the copper SAG mill.

2011 Production Guidance

The Company is targeting the following guidance figures for the Condestable and Aguas Tenidas mines in 2011:

Condestable Mine:

  • Production:
Production Unit 2011
Ore processed t 2,290,600
Concentrate DMT 93,700
Contained copper t 23,900
Fine gold oz 15,500
Fine silver oz 289,300
  • Average head grade of approximately 1.15% Cu, and recovery rate of 90% per year. 
  • Cash operating costs of $1.15 per payable pound of copper.

Approved capital expenditure budget for Condestable Mine for 2011 is $10.2 million which includes the completion of a 10% plant expansion. Plant expansion activities commenced in late 2010 with expected ramp-up to 6,600 tpd in Q3 of 2011. At a total budgeted cost of $11.7 million, the objective of the plant expansion is to maintain current levels of copper metal production in light of decreasing average copper ore head grade in the mine. The expansion is being funded through leasing arrangements and operating cash flows.

Aguas Tenidas Mine:

  • Production:
Production Unit 2011
Ores processed (total) t 2,200,000
  - Copper Ores t 1,310,000
  - Polymetallic Ores t 890,000
Copper concentrate DMT 115,000
Zinc concentrate DMT 69,000
Lead concentrate DMT 8,500
Contained copper t 25,000
Contained zinc t 33,900
Contained lead t 3,700
Fine silver oz 730,000
  • Average head grade (copper ores) of approximately 2.0% Cu, and recovery rate of 83% per year.
  • Average head grade (polymetallic ores) of approximately 5.8% Zn and recovery of 66%; head grade of approximately 1.0% Cu and recovery of 42%. 
  • Cash operating costs of $1.75 for 2011 per payable pound of copper.

Approved capital expenditure budget for Aguas Tenidas Mine for 2011 is $28 million with a focus on advancing mine development for the medium term mining plan. Other major projects expected to be completed during 2011 are: lead circuit upgrades, completion of phase two of the raising of the tailings dam, new fleet of larger capacity ore/waste haulage trucks for the mine. These capital expenditures are expected to be funded by cash flow from operations.

Cash Operating Cost per pound of payable copper includes cash operating costs, including treatment and refining charges ("TC/RC"), freight and distribution costs, and is net of by-product metal credits (zinc, gold and silver). The Cash Operating Cost per pound of payable copper indicator is consistent with the widely accepted industry standard established by Brook Hunt and is also known as the C1 cash cost.

About Iberian Minerals Corp.

Iberian Minerals Corp. is a Canadian listed global base metals company with interests in Spain and Peru. The Condestable Mine, located in Peru approximately 90 km south of Lima operates at 2.2 million tonnes per year producing copper, and associated silver and gold in a concentrate. The Aguas Tenidas Mine is in the Andalucia region of Spain approximately 110 km north-west of Seville and operates a 2.2 million tonnes per year underground mine and concentrator that produces copper, zinc and lead concentrates that also contain gold and silver. 

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS:

This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable securities laws. Except for statements of historical fact, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward looking information may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performances of the Corporation, its subsidiaries and their respective projects, the timing and amount of estimated future production, estimated costs of future production, capital, operating and exploration expenditures, the future price of copper, gold and zinc, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the costs and timing of future exploration, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of exploration, development and mining operations, environmental risks, reclamation and rehabilitation expenses, title disputes or claims, and limitations of insurance coverage. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and 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. Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of the Corporation and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include changes in market conditions and other risk factors discussed or referred to in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Corporation's annual information form dated March 29, 2010. Although the Corporation has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Corporation undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Iberian Minerals Corp.
    Laura Sandilands
    Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
    416-815-8558