Orvana Minerals Corp.
TSX : ORV

Orvana Minerals Corp.

February 21, 2012 09:23 ET

Orvana Announces Update on Resource and Reserve Estimates, Operations, and Drill Results at El Valle-Boinas/Carles Gold/Copper Mine, Northern Spain

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2012) - Orvana Minerals Corp. (TSX:ORV) ("Orvana" or the "Company") is pleased to announce an update on reserve estimates, operations, and drill results for its El Valle-Boinás/Carlés ("EVBC") gold-copper mine in northern Spain by Kinbauri España S.L.U. ("Kinbauri"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orvana.

Resource Estimate

The updated resource estimate included an additional 72 drill holes for 8,770 metres drilled from September, 2010 through August, 2011. Based on a 2 gram per tonne gold cutoff, measured and indicated gold ounces are about 1,300,000, an increase of 95,000 ounces as compared to the previous resource estimate (see press release of March 5, 2010). The inferred gold resources are over 1,300,000 ounces. The table below summarizes the updated resource estimate.

EVBC Resource Estimates - August 2011 (2 g/t gold cutoff)
Measured Indicated Inferred
tonnes, Gold, Copper, Silver, tonnes, Gold, Copper, Silver, tonnes, Gold, Copper, Silver,
ZONE '000s g/t % g/t '000s g/t % g/t '000s g/t % g/t
TOTAL BOINAS OXIDES - - - - 2,290 7.07 0.52 - 3,939 5.51 0.35 -
TOTAL BOINAS SKARNS 1,976 3.85 0.81 - 2,246 4.08 0.76 - 2,894 4.40 0.48 -
TOTAL CARLES 731 4.35 0.59 - 1,079 3.87 0.42 - 1,562 4.20 0.35 -
TOTAL EVBC 2,707 3.99 0.75 - 5,615 5.26 0.60 - 8,395 4.88 0.39 -
Measured & Indicated 8,323 4.84 0.65 -
Note: Silver grades are not reported because silver resources were not estimated for all ore bodies within the three zones.

Reserve Estimate

An updated reserve estimate and mine plan was developed based on the aforementioned resource estimate. This estimate shows an increase of 28,000 ounces of gold as compared to the previous estimate (see press release of July 14, 2010).

Proven Probable Proven & Probable
tonnes, Gold, Copper, Silver, tonnes, Gold, Copper, Silver, tonnes, Gold, Copper, Silver,
ZONE '000s g/t % g/t '000s g/t % g/t '000s g/t % g/t
TOTAL BOINAS OXIDES - - - - 2,586 4.37 0.35 - 2,586 4.37 0.35 -
TOTAL BOINAS SKARNS 1,557 2.88 0.66 15.25 1,982 2.78 0.73 14.94 3,539 2.83 0.70 15.07
TOTAL CARLES 361 3.36 0.61 - 1,180 2.34 0.30 - 1,541 2.58 0.37 -
TOTAL EVBC 1,918 2.97 0.65 - 5,748 3.40 0.47 - 7,667 3.30 0.52 -
Note: Silver grades are reported for the Boinás skarns because measured and indicated silver resources were estimated for those ore bodies that are converted to proven and probable reserves

The decrease in gold grade as compared to the previous estimate is a result of a mine-strategy review, more detailed engineering design, and the application of other mining factors, all of which were based on experience gained during 2011 operations. Given that the shaft is scheduled for commissioning in April, 2012, it was decided to bulk mine the El Valle/Boinás skarns by longhole stoping methods, followed by backfill, as opposed to the more selective cut-and-fill methods in certain areas. The bulk mining of the skarns requires less development for stope preparation and results in greater productivity. In addition, drill-and-blast methods will be replaced by mechanized mining methods for exploitation of the subvertical, higher-grade gold, oxide mineralization; although dilution is expected to be less than that planned for conventional mining, dilution factors remain conservative. Finally, unplanned dilution and ore loss were factored into this reserve estimate.

The projected production over the next ten years is summarized in the table below. Cash operating costs, including royalties, are estimated at $700-800 per ounce of gold net of by-product revenues using a price deck of $1,100 per ounce of gold, $2.75 per pound of copper, and $20 per ounce of silver. Input recoveries are 90% for gold, 67% for copper, and 60% for silver, all of which are lower than the current actual recoveries (see below).

EVBC 2011 Mine Plan - Production Projections
Fiscal Gold, Copper, Silver,
Year ounces tonnes ounces
2012 60,000 2,000 150,000
2013 65,000 2,300 139,000
2014 86,000 3,000 183,000
2015 76,000 2,600 161,000
2016 59,000 1,600 99,000
2017 78,000 2,200 137,000
2018 95,000 3,000 172,000
2019 86,000 3,500 203,000
2020 69,000 2,700 134,000
2021 58,000 2,800 121,000
Note: Fiscal year is October 1-September 30

Operations

Production for January was 38,730 tonnes with a head grade of 2.57 grams per tonne gold, 0.40% copper, and 10.3 grams per tonne silver; recoveries were 93.3%, 85.7%, and 79.4%, respectively, resulting in 2,980 ounces of gold, 295,890 pounds of copper, and 10,141 ounces of silver. 46% of the gold and 11% of the silver were produced as doré, which doré consisted of 55% gold and 45% silver. Cash operating costs, including royalties, were $710 per ounce of gold net of by-product revenues.

Earlier in the month, the shaft reaming and disassembly of the reamer were completed. Installation of both underground and surface infrastructure progresses as planned. Shaft commissioning is scheduled for April.

Currently, roadheaders are mining the Charnela and A107 (330 level) subvertical, high-grade gold structures. At level 80, mining of the San Martín skarn continues in one stope and an adjacent stope is being developed; development to access levels 100 and 120 is in progress. Boinás East ore is constantly being fed to the plant. At Carlés, mining currently proceeds at the -10, -40 and -80 levels.

Drilling

Underground drilling continues both at El Valle/Boinás and Carlés. Whereas the focus of the drilling was for mine development, many of the holes were step-outs beyond known NI 43-101-compliant resources and reserves. The table below is a summary of select results.

True
From, To, Thickness, Au, Ag, Cu, Recovery
HOLE metres metres metres g/t g/t % % ZONE Purpose
11CNW1005 203.35 238.65 7.06 3.43 1.8 0.09 98.44 NorthWest Exploration
CARLÉS 11CNW1006 173.50 176.75 2.54 4.53 1.9 0.04 100.00 NorthWest Exploration
11CNW1007 191.5 198.4 2.42 2.57 1.4 0.04 100.00 NorthWest Exploration
Boinas East (BE)
11BE1030 143.85 146.40 2.55 3.21 12.3 0.29 100.00 Boinas E. Step Out
11BE1031 241.20 242.65 1.12 4.72 18.8 0.25 100.00 Boinas E. Step Out
11BE1032 0.00 5.00 4.85 2.16 23.8 0.63 96.00 Boinas E. Step Out
11BE1032 47.60 50.00 2.33 3.00 29.4 0.70 100.00 Boinas E. Step Out
San Martín (SM)
11V1206 150.20 191.85 10.41 4.92 21.0 0.85 93.88 San Martin Infill
including 158.55 178.55 5.00 6.85 30.8 1.23 95.00 San Martin Infill
11V1207 51.65 66.95 5.36 5.19 68.6 3.13 100.00 San Martin Infill
EL VALLE- 11V1207 110.15 132.85 7.95 34.28 4.3 4.72 97.50 San Martin Infill
BOINÁS 11V1208 148.55 153.65 2.04 5.57 31.3 0.61 97.06 San Martin Infill
11V1208 159.70 170.20 4.20 3.36 4.1 0.08 99.05 San Martin Infill
11V1209 132.40 141.90 3.33 2.64 15.7 0.65 100.00 San Martin Infill
11V1209 182.50 186.50 1.40 4.37 37.2 0.77 100.00 San Martin Infill
11V1210 18.80 29.85 2.21 8.91 21.4 0.41 96.83 San Martin Infill
11V1210 106.90 151.65 8.95 5.04 35.8 1.24 86.37 San Martin Infill
11V1211 4.50 6.00 0.75 9.63 1.0 0.00 93.33 San Martin Infill
11V1212 15.20 22.15 5.35 5.84 26.3 1.77 98.56 San Martin Infill
11V1212 72.40 76.30 3.00 4.41 20.4 1.59 98.72 San Martin Infill
11V1212 86.60 103.40 12.94 3.38 26.5 0.83 99.11 San Martin Infill
11V1213 25.80 28.80 2.25 7.00 67.0 3.07 98.33 San Martin Infill
Note: True thicknesses were determined graphically by measuring the distance approximately perpendicular to the contacts. No values were capped.

None of these drill holes were included in the resource and reserve estimates reported herein. Current drilling is focused on the higher-grade San Martín skarn, specifically proximal to the stopes currently being mined and developed.

More information related to the EVBC geology and mineralization can be found on the Company's website www.orvana.com. The NI 43-101 technical report detailing the information herein will be available on www.sedar.com and the Company's website within 45 days.

QA/QC

Security measures were taken to ensure the integrity and validity of the mineralization and proximal rocks in the new drill core under the supervision of Santiago Gonzalez-Nistal, Chief Geologist, Kinbauri Espana S.L.U., a qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101. The core was sampled based on lithologic and alteration considerations. Assays for the samples were analyzed at Kinbauri España SLU laboratory on site; pulps were sent to ALS Chemex for check analyses. The QA/QC protocol included internal and laboratory certified reference materials, blanks, duplicates and check assays. At the EVBC laboratory, a 30-gram sample was analyzed by fire assay methods for gold, and copper, silver, arsenic and antimony were analyzed by ICP-optical emission spectroscopy after an agua regia digestion. Also, a 30-gram sample was analyzed by fire assay methods for gold and a conventional ICP-AES analysis was used for the analysis of 35 elements at ALS Chemex.

Qualified Persons

The resource estimate was prepared by Ore Reserves Engineering under the supervision of A. Noble, P.E., an independent qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101. The reserve estimate and mine plan were prepared by Adam Wheeler, C.Eng. and Bob Dowdell, C.Eng., both of whom are independent qualified persons for the purposes of NI 43-101. The other technical information contained in this document was prepared under the supervision of Santiago Gonzalez-Nistal, Chief Geologist, Kinbauri Espana S.L.U. and Bill Williams, Ph.D., CPG, President and CEO of Orvana, both of whom are qualified persons for the purposes of NI 43-101.

About Orvana

Orvana is a multi-mine gold and copper producer. Orvana's primary asset is the El Valle/Boinás-Carlés gold-copper project in northern Spain. Orvana also owns the Don Mario Mine in Bolivia, where the mining and processing of the copper-gold-silver Upper Mineralized Zone deposit remains in the commissioning stage. Orvana recently announced a feasibility study on its Copperwood copper project in Michigan, USA. 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/Carlés 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/Carlés 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 Management's Discussion and Analysis for the period ended September 30, 2009 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
    ask_us@orvana.com
    www.orvana.com

    Kinbauri Espana S.L.U.
    Agne Ahlenius
    Director General