Orvana Minerals Corp.
TSX : ORV

Orvana Minerals Corp.

April 10, 2012 08:30 ET

Orvana Announces Commercial Production and Increases Gold and Silver Guidance at the Upper Mineralized Zone ("UMZ") Copper-Gold-Silver Mine, Bolivia

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 10, 2012) - Orvana Minerals Corp. (TSX:ORV) ("Orvana" or the "Company"), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Empresa Minera Paititi ("EMIPA"), reports that commercial production was achieved at UMZ in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Fiscal year 2012 production guidance for gold increases from 11,000 ounces to 12,500 ounces, silver increases from 425,000 ounces to 500,000 ounces, and copper decreases from 6,000 tonnes to 5,500 tonnes.

The Company also provides an operations update and comments on the updated reserve estimate issued on January 18, 2012.

Operations

The Leach-Precipitation-Flotation ("LPF") circuit was operable for only 40 days during the second quarter ended March 31, 2012 due to repairs and maintenance required on the sulphuric acid plant as well as higher than expected acid consumption of the ore. Copper recovery remained stable, but the copper grade in the concentrate improved (see table below).

During January and February, transition ore was fed directly through the flotation circuit at the same time as laboratory testing of this ore proceeded. In March, based on the results of both the processing at the mine site and the laboratory testing, transition ore was processed by conventional flotation for 14 days at an average throughput of about 2,500 tonnes per day (see table below). A copper concentrate with high lead content was produced.

"We made changes in the LPF circuit that will eventually improve performance, but due to increased acid consumption of the ore, we cannot run the LPF circuit continuously even though we have stabilized daily throughput at 1,900 tonnes per day," said Jim Jacques, Orvana's Vice President, Operations. "However, we have successfully processed the transition ore by conventional flotation and stabilized throughput at 2,700 tonnes per day, which will allow us to maintain high plant utilization, and thus, high production levels in the future."

Total March production was 462 tonnes of copper, 1,232 ounces of gold, and 52,560 ounces of silver from a throughput of 53,269 tonnes (see table below). For the second quarter, unaudited direct operating cash costs (C1) were $0.73 per pound of copper net of by-product versus $1.65 per pound of copper net of by-product in the first quarter. Unlike the concentrate produced by the LPF process, the majority of expected revenue to be generated from the flotation-only processing of transition ore will be from precious metals.

UMZ Mill Production LPF - Oxide Ore Flotation - Transition Ore
Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12
Throughput (tonnes) 21,117 22,669 18,915 7,420 - 34,354
Head Grade Cu, % 1.96 1.80 2.17 1.80 - 1.70
Au, g/t 1.54 2.01 1.67 1.56 - 2.11
Ag, g/t 73.8 93.1 76.5 105.0 - 91.0
Recovery Cu, % 48.0 60.2 50.4 23.2 - 43.6
Au, % 29.0 30.0 25.2 5.5 - 41.9
Ag, % 20.8 22.1 25.2 17.0 - 40.6
Concentrate tonnes 365 491 367 125 - 742
Cu, % 54.4 50.1 56.4 24.8 - 34.3
Au, g/t 25.9 27.7 21.6 5.1 - 40.9
Ag, g/t 889 949 992 1,057 - 1,712
Production Cu, tonnes 199 246 207 31 - 255
Cu, pounds 438,795 542,717 456,405 68,272 - 561,321
Au, ounces 304 438 255 20 - 976
Ag, ounces 10,435 14,991 11,710 4,248 - 40,849
Q2, 2012 LPF -
Oxide Ore
Flotation -
Transition Ore
TOTAL
Throughput (tonnes) 62,701 41,774 104,475
Head Grade Cu, % 1.97 1.72 1.87
Au, g/t 1.75 2.01 1.85
Ag, g/t 81.6 93.5 86.4
Recovery Cu, % 53.1 40.0 47.9
Au, % 28.2 35.4 31.1
Ag, % 22.6 36.4 28.1
Concentrate tonnes 1,223 867 2,090
Cu, % 53.3 32.9 44.8
Au, g/t 25.4 35.7 29.7
Ag, g/t 944 1,618 1,223
Production Cu, tonnes 652 286 938
Cu, pounds 1,437,917 629,593 2,067,510
Au, ounces 997 997 1,994
Ag, ounces 37,136 45,097 82,233

To date, over 6,000 dry metric tonnes of concentrate with grades over 40% copper, over 25 grams per tonne gold, and over 800 grams per tonne silver have been produced, most of which has been transported to the ocean port in Arica, Chile. Shipments of most of this concentrate have been made to customers. Marketing of the high-lead copper concentrate is ongoing.

Updated Reserve and Mine Plan

The updated reserve estimate, and its corresponding mine plan, announced on January 18, 2012 was reviewed given the findings and results described above. In April, oxide ore is planned to be processed by the LPF circuit at 1,900 tonnes per day for 10-12 days in order to comply with a concentrate sales contract, after which repairs, maintenance, and certain upgrades to both the sulphuric acid plant and the leach-precipitation circuit will be completed. Through September, transition ore is planned to be processed through the flotation circuit at a planned throughput of 2,700 tonnes per day with an availability of 90%; two 15-day campaigns of LPF processing of oxide ore at 1,900 tonnes per day are planned in that period. Flotation testing of oxide ores will proceed and results from those tests will determine the future treatment of oxide ores and the overall future mine plan.

"This revised mine plan maximizes plant availability and production, which in turn will result in higher productivity of saleable product," said Bill Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "We are confident this change will result in a significant improvement in cash flow as well as increased production of gold and silver from the UMZ."

The information presented herein was compiled by Bill Williams, Ph.D., CPG, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orvana Minerals Corp., who is a qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101.

About Orvana

Orvana Minerals is a gold-copper producer. Orvana's flagship is the El Valle/Boinás-Carlés ("EVBC") gold-copper project in northern Spain. Orvana owns and operates the Don Mario UMZ Mine in Bolivia. In addition, Orvana recently completed an NI 43-101-compliant feasibility study on its Copperwood copper project in Michigan, USA and received a draft permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Additional information is available at Orvana's website (www.orvana.com).

Forward Looking Disclaimer

Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, potentials, future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "believes", "expects" "plans", "estimates" or "intends" or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", "will" or "are projected to" be taken or achieved) are not statements of historical fact, but are forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, all aspects of the development of the Upper Mineralized Zone ("UMZ") deposit at the Don Mario Mine in Bolivia, the El Valle-Boinás/Carlés project in Spain and the Copperwood project in Michigan and their potential operations and production; the outcome and timing of decisions with respect to whether and how to proceed with such development and production; the timing and outcome of any such development and production; estimates of future capital expenditures; mineral resource estimates; estimates of permitting time lines; statements and information regarding future feasibility studies and their results; production forecasts; future transactions; future metal prices; the ability to achieve additional growth and geographic diversification; future production costs; future financial performance, including the ability to increase cash flow and profits; future financing requirements; and mine development plans.

Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Orvana as of the date of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The estimates and assumptions of Orvana contained or incorporated by reference in this news release, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to, the various assumptions set forth herein and in the Company's most recently filed Annual Information Form, or as otherwise expressly incorporated herein by reference as well as: there being no significant disruptions affecting operations, whether due to labour disruptions, supply disruptions, power disruptions, damage to equipment or otherwise; permitting, development, operations, expansion and acquisitions at the UMZ deposit, El Valle-Boinás/Carle╠üs and the Copperwood projects being consistent with the Company's current expectations; political developments in any jurisdiction in which the Company operates being consistent with its current expectations; certain price assumptions for gold, copper and silver; prices for key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; production and cost of sales forecasts meeting expectations; the accuracy of the Company's current mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; and labour and materials costs increasing on a basis consistent with Orvana's current expectations.

A variety of inherent risks, uncertainties and factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control, affect the operations, performance and results of the Company and its business, and could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results expressed or implied by forward looking statements. Some of these risks, uncertainties and factors include fluctuations in the price of gold, silver and copper; the need to recalculate estimates of resources based on actual production experience; the failure to achieve production estimates; variations in the grade of ore mined; variations in the cost of operations; the availability of qualified personnel; the Company's ability to obtain and maintain all necessary regulatory approvals and licenses; the Company's ability to use cyanide in its mining operations; risks generally associated with mineral exploration and development, including the Company's ability to develop the UMZ deposit, the Copperwood project or the El Valle-Boinás/Carle╠üs project; the Company's ability to acquire and develop mineral properties and to successfully integrate such acquisitions; the Company's ability to obtain financing when required on terms that are acceptable to the Company; challenges to the Company's interests in its property and mineral rights; current, pending and proposed legislative or regulatory developments or changes in political, social or economic conditions in the countries in which the Company operates; general economic conditions worldwide; and the risks identified in Orvana's latest Management's Discussion and Analysis under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties". This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Company's forward-looking statements and reference should also be made to the Company's Annual Information Form for a description of additional risk factors.

Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions and, except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Orvana Minerals Corp.
    Natalie Frame
    Investor Relations
    (289) 200-7640

    Orvana Minerals Corp.
    Bill Williams
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 369-1629
    ask_us@orvana.com
    www.orvana.com