Minefinders Corporation Ltd.
TSX : MFL
AMEX : MFN

Minefinders Corporation Ltd.

September 27, 2005 09:00 ET

Minefinders Corporation Ltd.: Drilling Delineates High-Grade Zones Below Proposed Dolores Pit

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 27, 2005) - Minefinders Corporation Ltd. (the "Company") (TSX:MFL)(AMEX:MFN) reports that stepout drilling designed to extend mineralization to depth continues to intercept high-grade gold and silver mineralization beneath the open-pit minable deposit currently being developed at its 100% owned Dolores Project.

Recent drill results along the west side of the planned open pit have defined a continuous zone of high-grade gold and silver mineralization extending below the Dolores pit with potential to be exploited by underground mining. This mineralization is not included in current Dolores resource estimates and is expected to add substantially to the overall Dolores Project economics.

The West Flank High-Grade Structural Zone

The following two tables show recent drill intercepts and several previous drill holes that, collectively, define the West Flank high-grade structural zone that occurs beneath the proposed Dolores open pit. To date, this zone has been observed to have a total strike length of approximately 900 meters.

Drill intercepts reported in Table 1, below, occur over 325 meters of strike length from Section 1900 to Section 2225 at depths ranging from 20 to 200 meters below the current open-pit:



Table 1
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Au grams Aueq
Section Intercept Width Width per tonne Ag (ii)
DDH No. (m) meters meters feet ("gpt") gpt gpt
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D-389 1900 225-235.5 10.5 34.4 6.712 198.3 10.017
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includes: 2.5 8.2 15.837 331.1 21.355
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D-390 1925 245-255 14 45.9 4.280 106.2 6.050
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253-255 2.0 6.6 8.260 258.3 12.565
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D-352 1925 177.5-186 8.5 27.9 4.589 126.1 6.690
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includes: 1.5 4.9 10.540 243.1 14.592
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D-38(i) 1975 278-286 8 26.4 3.736 63.9 4.800
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includes: 2.0 6.6 7.560 171.4 10.417
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D-354 2000 191-199 8.0 26.4 12.047 380.6 18.390
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includes: 3.5 11.5 24.361 821.7 38.056
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D-107(i) 2000 279.9-287.9 8.0 26.4 11.125 528.9 19.940
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includes: 4.0 13.1 19.389 1026.9 36.503
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D-298 2025 368-374 6.0 19.7 14.273 924.3 29.678
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D-346 2050 407-411 4.0 13.1 2.074 59.0 3.057
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D-85(i) 2225 267.1-272.1 5.0 16.4 3.620 13.9 3.852
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and 279.7-282 2.3 7.5 15.669 277.7 20.297
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(i) previously reported drill holes
(ii) Gold equivalent grade based on 60:1, gold:silver, ratio
($420 gold and $7 silver)


Table 2, below, sets out widespread deep drill intercepts beneath the pit extending from Sections 2250 thru 2750, marking the continuation of the West Flank high-grade structural zone further to the south:



Table 2
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Aueq
Intercept Width Width Au Ag (ii)
DDH No. Section meters meters feet gpt gpt gpt
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D-274(i) 2400 402-410 8.0 26.4 4.817 116.35 6.756
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includes: 4.0 13.1 7.571 141.65 9.932
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D-394 2500 423-425 2.0 6.6 8.770 182 11.803
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D-326 2600 500-510 10.0 32.8 3.914 21.0 4.263
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includes: 2.0 6.6 8.020 12.4 8.227
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D-212(i) 2625 474-478 4.0 13.1 24.863 323.1 30.247
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D-193(i) 2625 480-487 7.0 23.0 21.126 43.24 21.847
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includes: 1.0 3.3 119.863 227.5 123.654
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D-260(i) 2750 394-400.7 6.7 22.0 10.919 135.7 13.179
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includes: 1.7 5.6 19.931 476.1 27.866
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(i) previously reported drill holes
(ii) Gold equivalent grade based on 60:1, gold:silver, ratio
($420 gold and $7 silver)


Additional Mineralization below the Proposed Pit

It should be noted that the West Flank zone is one of several high-grade mineralized zones that have now been identified beneath the planned open pit, including downward extension of the Dolores Central Breccia zone. For additional drill results, see the Company's news releases dated January 28, 2003, December 16, 2003 and October 4, 2004. Intercept grades and widths in these other areas also indicate underground mine potential, and will require further definition drilling to bring to a minable reserve.

Additional exploration drilling is targeted at further defining the geometry and limits of the West Flank high-grade zone. The Company is continuing drilling to test for other zones of high-grade mineralization that occur beyond the limits of the open pit, and to further define and extend the Central Breccia zone.

Dolores Project Economics

Further drill definition and economic assessment of underground resources will be required before the benefits of underground mining can be included in the projections of the Dolores Project economics. Projected economics for the Dolores open pit mine operation were reported by the Company on September 7, 2005. At prices of US$400/oz gold and US$6/oz silver, the Dolores project shows an internal rate of return ("IRR") of 22.5%, an undiscounted net present value ("NPV") of US$258 million (before tax), and a gold production cost of US$104 per ounce (net of silver credits). At present metal prices the IRR will exceed 30% with a 0% discounted NPV of more than US$365 million, and corresponding production costs of less than $60 per ounce of gold (net of silver credits).

Dolores Gold and Silver Resources

Current estimated gold and silver resources at Dolores are based on drill results completed prior to November 2004. Additional drill results from the past year are being incorporated into an updated resource model, which will be completed this fall.

The current open-pit mine plan estimates mining 72.5 million tonnes of proven and probable ore reserves at an average grade of 0.84g/t gold and 44.5g/t silver with a strip ratio of 3.7:1 (43.68 million tonnes proven at an average grade of 0.88g/t gold and 45.4g/t silver, and 28.8 million tonnes probable, at an average grade of 0.78g/t gold and 42.96g/t silver). The mine would place 1.95 million ounces of gold and 103.6 million ounces of silver on the heap leach pad and recover approximately 1.45 million ounces of gold and 53.2 million ounces of silver (2.25 million ounces Aueq) over a 11.5 year mine life.

Total audited measured and indicated resources at Dolores (which include the proven and probable reserves) are 2.73 million ounces of gold and 132.7 million ounces of silver, contained in 101 million tonnes grading 0.84g/t gold and 40.8g/t silver, at a cutoff grade of 0.3g/t Aueq (see Table 3, below). An additional 696,000 ounces of gold and 25.3 million ounces of silver, in 28.1 million tonnes, are classified as inferred resources.



Table 3 Audited Measured and Indicated Resources
(as at November 2004)
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Tonnes Gold Silver Gold Silver
Category (000s) g/t g/t Ounces Ounces
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Measured 53,413 0.89 43.7 1,485,000 72,599,000
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Indicated 47,652 0.78 37.5 1,161,000 55,580,000
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Total 101,065 0.84 40.8 2,726,000 132,698,000
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Dolores Project Update

The Company is proceeding with final optimization and detail engineering design for the Dolores open pit mine and heap leach operation. Final permits will be applied for this fall and construction, commissioning, start-up and full production are expected to be achieved by the second half of 2007.

Quality Control and Assurance

All analyses reported are fire assay analyses for gold and multi-acid digestion with AA analyses or fire assay analyses for silver, and completed by either Chemex Labs of Vancouver, Canada, or Inspectorate Labs of Sparks, Nevada. Samples from these intervals were comprised of HQ or NQ core all representatively split prior to analysis and transported by the labs to sample preparatory facilities in Hermosillo, Mexico (Chemex) or Durango, Mexico (Inspectorate). Mark Bailey MSc., P.Geo. is the "qualified person" with overall responsibility for the Dolores Project and is responsible for the contents of this news release.

MINEFINDERS CORPORATION LTD.

Mark H. Bailey, President and Chief Executive Officer

Safe Harbor Statement under the United States Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995: Statements in this release that are forward-looking, including statements relating to the size, and potential growth in size, of the Company's mineral reserves and resources, the economic feasibility of, and commencement of mine construction and mining operations at, the Company's Dolores Project and the timing of the further exploration and development of the Company's mineral projects, are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors identified above and in the Company's periodic filings with the Ontario Securities Commission and the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Such information contained herein represents management's best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. The Company does not intend to update this information and disclaims any legal liability to the contrary.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors: The SEC permits mining companies to disclose only those mineral deposits that can be extracted or produced economically in their filings with the SEC. This news release uses the term "inferred resource" that the SEC guidelines prohibit from inclusion in filings with the SEC.

Contact Information

  • Minefinders Corporation Ltd.
    Mark H. Bailey
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    1-866-687-6263
    (604) 687-6267 (FAX)
    www.minefinders.com