SOURCE: International Minerals Corporation

December 18, 2008 08:30 ET

International Minerals -- 2008 Review and 2009 Business Plans

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - December 18, 2008) - International Minerals Corporation (TSX: IMZ) (SWX: IMZ) ("the Company") reports a calendar year-end summary of its corporate and project activities during 2008 and its business plans for calendar year 2009.


    -- The Company's share price, like that of most resource companies,
       has not performed well in 2008 due primarily to prevailing adverse
       market conditions not only in the natural resources sector but also
       in the general financial market. IMZ's current share price is
       essentially at the same level as five years ago.

    -- Management believes that the Company's accomplishments of the past
       year (especially at the Pallancata underground silver-gold mine in
       Peru) combined with our future plans will remedy this situation and
       IMZ's share price should recover in 2009 together with a likely
       resurgence in metal prices.

    -- In terms of financial health, the Company is in the enviable
       position of having a strong balance sheet with cash and short-term
       investments of over US$50 million at calendar 2008 year end, with
       expected cash dividends commencing in late 2009 from the 40%-owned
       Pallancata Mine.

    -- In mid-October 2008, IMZ instituted a share repurchase program
       because the Board believed that the market price of the Company did
       not fully reflect the underlying value of the Company's business
       and its future business prospects. An update on the share
       repurchase program will be provided in the Company's second fiscal
       quarter financial information for the period ending
       December 31, 2008.

A brief update on the Company's key projects is provided below:

Pallancata Silver-Gold Mine, Peru

    -- Owned 40% by IMZ and 60% by the mine operator, Hochschild
       Mining plc.

    -- Pallancata has become one of the success stories in the mining
       industry in 2008 and is now the number-one primary silver mine
       in Peru in terms of silver reserves.

    -- Proven and probable reserve estimates in August 2008 were
       approximately 80 million ounces of silver equivalent (using a
       75:1 silver:gold ratio) contained within 5.8 million tonnes at
       329 g/t silver and 1.2 g/t gold in proven and probable reserves.
       See IMZ news release dated August 25, 2008 for further details.

    -- Production (100% project basis):

       - From start-up (September 2007) to September 30, 2008 almost
         3 million ounces of silver and over 10,000 ounces of gold have
         been produced.

       - For calendar year 2008, production is expected to reach
         approximately 4.5 million ounces of silver and 18,000 ounces
         of gold.

       - In 2009, Pallancata should become one of the top-10 largest
         primary silver mines in the world, producing an expected 6 to
         7 million ounces of silver annually.

    -- Total cash costs, including the government royalty, are currently
       under US$6.00 per ounce of silver net of by-product gold credits.
       Currently, direct mine site costs (included in the US$6.00 cash
       cost) are approximately US$3.15 per ounce (assuming only mining,
       processing and mine G&A costs).

    -- IMZ's net earnings from the Pallancata Mine to September 30, 2008
       are approximately US$3.8 million.

    -- Because all cash flow has been required for funding the aggressive
       capital expansion program at the Pallancata Mine, to date there
       have been no cash dividends distributed to the joint venture
       partners. Cash dividends are expected to commence, however, in the
       final quarter of calendar year 2009, dependent on metal prices and
       ongoing capital requirements.

Rio Blanco and Gaby Gold Projects, Ecuador

    -- It has been a difficult year for the mining/exploration sector in

    -- The market awaits the expiry of the mining mandate (that suspended
       exploration and mining activities in April) and approval of the new
       mining law in January 2009. Normalization of exploration/mining
       activities likely will take several months longer while the detailed
       regulations for the mining law are prepared and approved.

    -- The negotiation of project-specific mining contracts (covering
       issues such as income/windfall taxes and royalty payments) for the
       more advanced projects (such as IMZ's Rio Blanco, Kinross' Fruta
       del Norte, IAMGOLD's Quimsacocha and Corriente's Mirador projects)
       are expected to take up to an additional six months to negotiate
       with the government.

    -- In calendar year 2009, IMZ does not expect to spend significant
       funds in Ecuador at the Rio Blanco underground gold-silver project
       and the Gaby open-pit gold project and has already reduced its
       workforce accordingly. The Company is, however, maintaining its
       significant in-country infrastructure and its commitment to
       developing its Ecuadorian projects.

    -- IMZ has previously completed much of the environmental permitting
       process for the proposed development of a mining operation at Rio
       Blanco. Final permitting approval is expected by the end of 2009,
       with construction (subject to required additional financing)
       starting in 2010.

    -- In February 2008, the Company completed a preliminary feasibility
       report at Gaby, which was not positive at US$650 per ounce gold
       price but is currently being optimized for higher tonnage
       production. Results of the optimization program will be announced
       in the first quarter of 2009.

New Acquisitions

    -- In the current market there are significant opportunities for IMZ
       to acquire gold-silver companies and/or projects that are in or
       near production at low acquisition costs that have not been seen
       in the industry for the past 20 years. IMZ is well-positioned with
       its cash resources and strong technical team to take advantage of
       this situation.

    -- IMZ's preference is to seek these opportunities in the Americas,
       especially in South America in order to leverage off of IMZ's
       considerable technical and corporate expertise from over 15 years
       of exploration and development of projects in that region.

    -- The Company has evaluated at least 25 companies/projects in 2008,
       using its experienced acquisition team, and management is confident
       that IMZ will achieve at least one major acquisition during the
       coming year.

The technical information in this news release was reviewed by IMZ's Qualified Person, Nick Appleyard, Technical Manager.

Cautionary Statement:

Some of the statements contained in this release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities law requirements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this release include statements regarding capital expansion costs and completion, drilling and development programs on the Company's projects, timing of commencement of production, completion of feasibility studies, obtaining of required environmental and production permits, and timing and amounts of future cash flows from operations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results include risks and uncertainties such as: risks relating to estimates of mineral resources and reserve; risks relating to project capital and production costs; risks relating to obtaining mining and environmental permits; mining and development risks; risk of commodity price fluctuations; political and regulatory risks; risks related to a new mining law in Ecuador, and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's Renewal Annual Information Form for the year ended June 30, 2008, which is available at under the Company's name. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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