SOURCE: La Mancha Resources

May 16, 2011 10:09 ET

Positive Feasibility Study for the Hassai Mine: La Mancha Set to Boost Production by 2013

PARIS--(Marketwire - May 16, 2011) -

All amounts are in US dollars and for 100% of the project, unless otherwise indicated.


-- Hassaï's proven and probable reserves increase to 1.1M oz of gold (up 233%)

-- Average gold production of 161,647 oz of gold per year

-- Average cash cost of US $571/oz (excluding silver credits)

-- After- tax Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 36%

-- NPV at 5% is $116.3 M (quick 1.8 year payback)

-- Expected commissioning: Early 2013

-- Initial capital requirement: $187.0 M

-- The project is fully permitted


-- Metallurgical testwork recovered significant quantities of silver from the heap leach tails

-- 1.2Mt of inferred resources in the heap leach tails remain to be converted

La Mancha Resources Inc. (TSX: LMA) (hereinafter "La Mancha" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has received a positive Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") for the proposed upgrade of its present heap leach plant to Carbon-In-Leach ("CIL") technology at its Hassaï gold mine in North-Eastern Sudan.

As shown in Table 1 below, the CIL plant should provide two major advantages to the mine: A) it should allow the processing of ore that cannot currently be economically processed with the heap leach method, thus increasing the mine's reserves by 233% to 1,088,000 ounces of gold, and B) the increased capacity (3.0 Mtpa vs. 0.8 Mtpa) should allow the mine's average gold production to increase by 136% to 161,647 ounces of gold per year while significantly reducing cash costs per ounce.

Table 1: Positive impact of upgrading the current plant to CIL technology

                                   Current Operation
                                  (as of December 31,  CIL Upgrade (as of
                                         2010)           March. 31, 2011)
                                  ===================  ===================
Processing Plant
Process type                            Heap leaching                  CIL
Capacity per year (Mtpa)                    0.8 - 1.0                  3.0
                                   Non-tailings: 70%,   Non-tailings: 90%,
Design metallurgical recovery          Tailings: < 30%        Tailings: 63%
                                  ===================  ===================
Gold reserves (oz)                            327,000            1,088,000
Yearly production (oz)*                        68,434              161,647
Mine life (years)                          Until 2014            2013-2018
Average cash cost ( US $/oz)**                    731                  571
                                  ===================  ===================

*Current operation: Realized 2010 production shown; CIL: Excludes low
 production projected in last year of operation;

** Current operation: Realized 2010 cash cost shown, CIL: Cash cost
   excludes capitalized mining costs associated to acidic ore stockpiles

Dominique Delorme, President and CEO of La Mancha, noted that: "This positive feasibility study reconfirms the robust economics outlined in the September 2010 Preliminary Economic Assessment and forms a good basis for the mine's successful long-term commercial viability. It is important to highlight the low mining risk associated with this project, as 75% of the intended feed for the plant is already stockpiled in proximity to the planned plant location. We remain confident that construction will start in the fall, once an agreement on project financing and ownership is finalized with our Sudanese partner. This would allow the plant to start operating in the fall of 2012, with full commissioning planned for early 2013. The Hassaï CIL project is instrumental to La Mancha's objective of increasing its consolidated gold production to 200,000 ounces per year by 2013."

The DFS was compiled by Sedgman Ltd. with the collaboration of CSA Global Pty Ltd., Golder Associates, Arethuse Geology and Wardell Armstrong. The key consultants involved in the studies and their respective areas of responsibility are described at the end of this press release, in the "Qualified Persons and Data Verification" section. Table 2 below provides the highlights of Sedgman's financial model for the CIL project based on all the available operating assumptions.

Table 2: Highlights of the DFS include:

                  Definitive Feasibility Study Highlights

Economic assumptions*
                                                       2013: $   1,200/oz
                                                       2014: $   1,100/oz
Gold price                                             Greater than /
                                                       Equal to 2015:
                                                             $   1,000/oz
Gold royalty fee                                                         5%
Corporate tax rate                                                      10%
Commissioning                                                         2013
Yearly mill run rate, Mtpa                                             3.0
Gold recovered, '000 oz                                                698
Metallurgical recovery                                                  72%
Yearly production**, oz                                            161,647
Mine life, years                                                       4.7
Initial capital cost                                   $           187.0 M
Total sustaining capital                               $             4.2 M
Average cash costs per year***                         $            571/oz
Internal rate of return                                                 36%
NPV @ 0% discount                                      $           148.8 M
NPV @ 5% discount                                      $           116.3 M
Payback**** , years                                                    1.8

*Applicable corporate tax rate and gold royalty fee are currently 15% and
7% respectively; **Excludes low production projected in last year of
operation; ***CIL cash cost excludes capitalized mining costs associated to
acidic ore stockpiles; ****Calculated from the commencement of production


Today's positive DFS has allowed for the conversion of 761,000 ounces to mineral reserves, representing an increase of 233% over reserves published as of December 31, 2010.

Table 3 below compares the new upgraded reserve estimate dated March 31, 2011, to the estimate dated December 31, 2010.

Table 3: Hassai Property Gold Resource (excluding VMS deposits)      

                                           As at Dec. 31, 2010
                                             Tonnes     g/t Au     Ounces
                                           ========== ========== ==========
Proven Reserves                                     -          -          -
Probable Reserves                           2,895,000       3.51    327,000
Subtotal                                    2,895,000       3.51    327,000
Measured Resource                           2,374,000       2.16    165,000
Indicated Resource                         10,840,000       3.34  1,163,000
Total M&I                                  13,214,000       3.12  1,327,000
Inferred Resource                           6,244,000       2.32    466,000
                                           ========== ========== ==========

                                           As per feasibility study
                                           (March 31, 2011)
                                             Tonnes     g/t Au     Ounces
                                           ========== ========== ==========
Proven Reserves                             2,456,000       2.15    169,700
Probable Reserves                          11,640,000       2.45    918,300
Subtotal                                   14,096,000       2.40  1,088,000
Measured Resource                           2,456,000       2.15    170,000
Indicated Resource                         13,611,000       2.88  1,262,000
Total M&I                                  16,067,000       2.77  1,432,000
Inferred Resource                           4,329,000       2.77    385,000
                                           ========== ========== ==========

It is important to highlight that an extra 1.2Mt of heap leach residue grading 2.06 g/t Au (for 79,475 oz of gold contained) remained in the inferred category as of March 31, 2011, as the access required to conduct the necessary drilling was impeded by the active heaps and the tonnage, grades and recoveries were therefore not supported by sufficient testwork to meet the requirements of a feasibility study according to the NI 43-101 standard. In the DFS, however, Sedgman outlines this potential as an "Improvement Opportunity" with sufficient data to make an estimate of the scope of its possible improvement benefit. Sedgman's preliminary economic assessment of this 1.2Mt inferred resource establishes that processing this additional tailings material through the plant to extend the project's life could increase the NPV of the project by $15.9 million to $132.2 million using a gold price of US $1,000 per ounce and a 5% discount rate.


The CIL mill throughput schedule, as outlined in the DFS, is based on the expected mineral reserve estimate as at commissioning of the mill in early 2013. As such, it is based on the expected December 31, 2012, mineral reserve estimate, which takes into account planned mine production for the period between March 31, 2011, and December 31, 2012.

Hassaï's gold reserve is composed of three different ore types: traditional gold ore, acidic gold ore and heap leach residue accumulated since the mine's start-up. Table 4 below provides a breakdown of the ore types comprised in the DFS reserve base for the CIL mill throughput.

Table 4: CIL throughput as per DFS

As of December 31, 2012                      Tonnes     g/t Au     Ounces
                                           ========== ========== ==========
Traditional Ore*                            1,940,000       3.87    241,000
Heap leach residue (tailings)              11,629,000       1.67    626,000
Acidic Ore                                    530,000       6.06    103,000
Total                                      14,099,000       2.14    971,000
                                           ========== ========== ==========

*Traditional ore is composed of silica-barite rock ("SBR") and Quartz ore

The CIL processing facility has been designed to process 3.0 Mtpa using conventional processes. As shown in Figure 1 of the appendix, the plant is set to be strategically located in proximity to the heap leach residue stockpiles.

Metallurgical testing indicated that gold recovery rates would differ according to Hassaï's various ore types, as described above. As such, the gold recovery rate over the life of the CIL phase is expected to average 72%, with rates varying over time depending on ore throughput composition. Metallurgical gold recovery rates for the traditional ore, heap leach residue and acidic ore are 85%, 63% and 95% respectively.

Moreover, metallurgical testwork carried out on a total of 23 composite samples taken from the tailings during the preparation of the DFS showed recoveries of significant quantities of silver (on average 4.4 ounces of silver per ounce of gold recovered). It is important to note that the tailings have never before been tested for silver content and silver recoverability. Further analysis is required to quantify the silver as a resource since tonnage, grades and recoveries are not supported by sufficient testwork to meet the requirements of the NI 43-101 standard. In the DFS, Sedgman outlined this potential as another "Improvement Opportunity", and the carbon circuit of the plant has been scaled to allow the recovery of silver and gold by increasing its carbon loading.

Table 5 below shows the gold production expected over the life of CIL phase, with the corresponding cash cost per ounce.

Table 5: CIL-Phase Production Schedule

                                           2013        2014        2015
                                        ==========  ==========  ==========
Tonnage Milled (t)                       3,000,000   3,000,000   3,000,000
Gold Grade (g/t)                              2.58        2.61        2.28
Recovery (%)                                  75.2%       73.8%       73.5%
Gold Production (oz)                       187,198     185,691     161,464
Cash Cost (US $/oz)                            498         509         565
                                        ==========  ==========  ==========

                                           2016        2017      Tot /Avg
                                        ==========  ==========  ==========
Tonnage Milled (t)                       3,000,000   1,982,152  13,982,152
Gold Grade (g/t)                              1.75        1.28        2.16
Recovery (%)                                  66.5%       63.0%       71.9%
Gold Production (oz)                       112,235      51,513     698,099
Cash Cost (US $/oz)                            681         839         571
                                        ==========  ==========  ==========

Since the mine is already in production and water pipeline permits were granted on April 5, 2010, no additional permits are necessary.


The total capital development budget is $191.2 million, which includes Sedgman's estimates of $187.0 million for the upgrade of the plant and infrastructure, and $4.2 million for replacement of mining equipment. The main capital items are presented in Table 6 below.

Table 6: Capital Cost Estimate

                          Capital Cost Estimate

Plant                                                             $  83.8 M
Nile pipeline                                                     $  44.5 M
Power                                                             $  18.7 M
Indirect costs                                                    $  26.4 M
Contingencies                                                     $  13.9 M
Subtotal                                                          $ 187.0 M
Mining equipment                                                  $   4.2 M
TOTAL                                                             $ 191.2 M

Estimated to +/-15% accuracy

As shown above, one of the main capital investments addresses the need for water. As the mine is located in the Red Sea Desert, nearby water sources are limited. Strict management of the underground water sources found around the mine have met the water requirements of the existing heap leaching operation but would not be sufficient for a CIL plant. In order to meet the water requirements of the upgraded plant, a 160 km pipeline is planned. With a projected capacity of 7.7 million cubic metres of water per year, the pipeline is designed to provide sufficient water for an eventual addition of the 5 Mtpa flotation plant required to process Hassaï's VMS deposits, which would consume 4.1 million cubic metres of water per year. The construction of a single, final pipeline (rather than two smaller lines over time) is planned to reduce overall capital requirements.

The DFS is based on power supply from the construction of a fixed 16 MW Heavy Fuel Oil on-site power station. As a result, capital costs for power supply are $6.7 million lower than for the connection to the National Power Grid provided for in the September 2010 Preliminary Economic Assessment. The planned power station is designed to generate 11 kV and should consist of 12 generators in a 10-operating/2-spare configuration, each rated at 1.6 MW (continuous).


Sedgman built a financial model for the project, using the financial parameters and available operating assumptions provided by La Mancha. The results shown are based on conservative gold price assumptions ranging from $1,200 to $1,000 per ounce of gold.

The net present value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) are presented for the after-tax scenario. Table 7 below presents the financial highlights associated with the plant upgrade.

Table 7: Financial Highlights

                                                          DFS Financial
Main assumptions
                                                       2013: $    1,200/oz
                                                       2014: $    1,100/oz
Gold price                                             Greater than /
                                                       Equal to 2015:
                                                             $    1,000/oz
Royalties: Gold                                                          5%
Corporate tax rate                                                      10%
Revenues                                               $           753.5 M
Operating income                                       $           146.1 M
Net earnings                                           $           131.2 M
Cash flow from operations                              $           339.9 M
Free cash flow to equity                               $           148.8 M
Investment analysis:
Initial capital cost                                   $           187.0 M
Total sustaining capital                               $             4.2 M
After-tax internal rate of return                                       36%
Payback*, years                                                        1.8
After-tax NPV @ 0% discount rate                       $           148.8 M
After-tax NPV @ 5% discount rate                       $           116.3 M

*Calculated from the commencement of production

Although the corporate tax rate and gold royalty fee are currently 15% and 7% respectively, assumptions of 10% and 5% respectively were used in the DFS, based on La Mancha management's best estimates of future rates. Should the rates remain at current levels, the NPV discounted at 5% would be $98.0 million and the IRR would be 31%.

The sensitivity of the project's NPV/IRR to changes in the gold price was tested and is presented in Table 8 below.

Table 8: Gold Sensitivity

                      Gold price forecast (US $/ oz)
Change in                                 Greater than
Gold Price            2013       2014     Equal to 2015  NPV @ 5%    IRR
                    ========== ========== ============= ========= ========
-10%                     1,080        990           900 $  58.1 M       21%
+0%                      1,200      1,100         1,000 $ 116.3 M       36%
+10%                     1,320      1,210         1,100 $ 173.8 M       49%
+20%                     1,440      1,320         1,200 $ 231.1 M       62%
+30%                     1,560      1,430         1,300 $ 288.4 M       75%
+40%                     1,680      1,540         1,400 $ 345.7 M       87%
                    ========== ========== ============= ========= ========


As shown in Table 3 above, as of December 31, 2010, there was still a total of 2,895,000 tonnes in reserves at the Hassaï mine that could be treated with the current heap leaching facility. These reserves come mainly from the last two deposits of traditional ore identified to date on the property. As the mine's extraction and processing capacity are now stabilized at around 800,000 - 900,000 tonnes per annum, Hassaï can continue its current operations until mid-2014. Table 9 below shows the mine's theoretical operating profile without the upgrade to CIL technology.

Table 9: Highlights of the Current Operation

                       2011       2012       2013       2014       Total
                     =========  =========  =========  =========  =========
Tonnage Milled, t      900,000    853,000    700,000    442,000  2,895,000
Gold Grade, g/t           3.89       3.65       3.45       2.57       3.51
Recovery, %                 70%        70%        70%        70%        70%
Gold Production, oz     78,857     70,115     54,351     25,582    228,905
                     =========  =========  =========  =========  =========

The rapidity with which the CIL plant can be commissioned should not be overlooked; it has a significant impact on this scenario, as all the planned ore feed would be re-directed towards the CIL plant as soon as it became operational. It is also worth mentioning that the Company has been very successful at identifying new pockets of traditional ore over the past years, virtually replacing reserves as they are mined. Future exploration success of that nature could positively impact both the current operations scenario and the CIL scenario.


Based on the results of the DFS, La Mancha's Board of Directors is aiming to start developing the new project in the third quarter of 2011. The Company must meet two conditions by the end of June to achieve this time line:

A) Successful ownership discussions - La Mancha considers that the successful development of an industrial project of this nature requires a corporate structure with operational and financial flexibility. The Company is currently in discussion with its Sudanese partner to determine an ownership structure that supports the success of the project.

B) Full project financing - Once the ownership structure has been determined, La Mancha will finalize the structure of the project funding required. As of December 31, 2010, La Mancha had a cash position of $38.4 million and was debt free. The Company also has the option of monetizing its $7.2 million investment in long-term notes. Lastly, the Company is currently in discussions with AREVA, its major shareholder, to extend and increase the line of credit set up in the fall of 2008.


The DFS summarized here for the Hassaï CIL project will be incorporated into an NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Assessment Report to be available on SEDAR and the La Mancha Resources website within 45 days of the date of this news release.

The mineral resource estimate upon which the DFS was based was carried out by or under the direction of Rémi Bosc, an independent geologist, Simon McCracken of CSA, and Jean-Jacques Kachrillo of La Mancha, all Qualified Persons under NI 43-101. The DFS financial model included only Measured and Indicated Resources.

La Mancha is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other issue that might materially affect this estimate of mineral resources. The projections, forecasts and estimates presented in the DFS that will form part of the Technical Report constitute forward-looking statements, and readers are urged not to place undue reliance on such statements. Additional cautionary and forward- looking statement information is provided at the end of this press release.

The Qualified Persons (QPs) for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects" for the DFS are show in the following table:

Qualified Persons

Section                             Company            Qualified Person
                            ======================= =======================
                            Arethuse Geology        Remi Bosc*
                            ======================= =======================
Mineral Resources           CSA                     Simon McCracken*
                            ======================= =======================
                            La Mancha Resources     Jean-Jaques Kachrillo
                            ======================= =======================
Mining and Mine Operating
 Costs                      CSA                     Clayton Reeves*
                            ======================= =======================
Metallurgy, Processing
 Facilities, Capital Cost
 Estimate, Operating Cost
 Estimate                   Sedgman                 Aaron Massey^
                            ======================= =======================
Heap Leach Mine Life        La Mancha Resources     Nigel Tamlyn
                            ======================= =======================

* Have visited the site for this function
^ A qualified company representative has visited the site for this function

Remi Bosc - Geological Engineer, Director and Principal Consultant - Arethuse Geology. Remi is a member of the European Federation of Geologists and has spent several weeks on site over a three-year period during the various stages of resource evaluation. Remi is responsible for resources estimates. The resources of the Heap Leach Residue were jointly estimated with CSA and La Mancha.

Simon McCracken - MAIG, Principal Geologist, CSA Global. Simon is a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Simon is responsible for part of the heap leach resource estimate by mass balance based on cyanidable gold assay.

Clayton Reeves - BSc. Engineering Hons. (Mining), Principal Mine Engineer - CSA Global. Clayton is a member of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Clayton has spent in excess of seven weeks on site at Hassaï over a period of approximately one year. Clayton is responsible for mining and mine operating costs.

Aaron Massey, B.Eng. (Chemical), Senior Process Engineer, Sedgman Ltd. - Metals Engineering Services. Aaron is a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and is responsible for the metallurgy, processing facilities and the capital and operating cost estimates.

Nigel Tamlyn, Chartered Engineer (UK), - Chief Operating Officer of La Mancha Resources Inc., is a member of the IMMM, a Professional Engineer (South Africa), and member of the SAIMM. Nigel is responsible for the current heap leach operation section.

Jean-Jacques Kachrillo, Ph.D. in Geology - Vice President of Exploration for La Mancha Resources Inc., is a registered Geoscientist with Ordre des Geologues du Quebec. As Vice President of Exploration for La Mancha Resources, he regularly visits the Hassai Mine property. He is responsible for the partially treated ore portion of the resource estimate from January 1, 2008, until March 31, 2011.

Each of these qualified persons has reviewed and approved the information relevant to their part of the study contained in this press release.


La Mancha will hold an investor meeting / conference call on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at 4:00 PM (Montreal time) to discuss the results of the DFS and respond to questions from interested parties.

Interested parties can access the conference call by dialling: 1-416-981-9000 or toll free for North America 800-768-2481 or by accessing the webcast through our web site at

An instant replay of the conference call will be available until May 31 at the numbers below:

416-626-4100 or toll free for North America 800 558 5253 code #21523626.

An archived recording of the conference call will be available at


The Hassaï mine is located in the Red Sea Hills desert of north-eastern Sudan, some 450 km from Khartoum. Inaugurated in 1992, it is Sudan's first and only gold mine in production. Twelve pits have been mined over the years, generating a cumulative production of more than 2.1 million ounces of gold. La Mancha owns 40% of the mine through a subsidiary and is the mine operator. The Hassaï exploration licenses effectively encompass the entire geological district that extends over 24,000 square kilometres.


La Mancha's VMS project involves development of the volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits underlying the mined-out pits of the Hassaï mine in Sudan. To date, the VMS resource delineated on the Hassaï property includes an Inferred resource of 51.4MT (20.6MT attributable to La Mancha) at 1.31 g/t Au and 1.23% Cu. This Inferred resource has been delineated in the VMS lenses found under the Hassaï South and Hadal Awatib pits. The Hassaï property is a mining complex consisting of 18 mined pits, of which six have visually-identified VMS potential. Following the publication of a positive PEA on September 7, 2010, a 12-month, 100,000-metre drilling program was launched with the intent of upgrading the Inferred resource to the Measured and Indicated category, increasing the current resource at the first two targets, and testing the potential of the VMS structure identified at the third target, Hadayamet. As of April 30, 2011, the campaign remained on schedule, with a total of 41,715 metres drilled. A total of seven drill rigs are currently in operation, with three rigs each at Hassaï South and Hadal Awatib carrying out development and infill drilling and the seventh having started target delineation drilling at Hadayamet.


La Mancha Resources Inc. is an international gold producer based in Canada with operations, development projects and exploration activities in Africa, Australia and Argentina. La Mancha's shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol "LMA". For more information, visit the Company's website at

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements", including, but not limited to, statements regarding the Company's strategic plans, future commercial production, sales and financial results, development, construction and production targets and timetables, mining costs; statements regarding capital expenditures, development plans, and exploration programs, objectives and budgets; statements regarding the Company's expectations; statements regarding the capital costs associated to the development of the CIL project of the Hassaï property, and its economic viability and profitability. Forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this press release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events and results. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause results or future events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward- looking statements include, but are not limited to, factors associated with fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, mining industry risks, exploration risks, risks associated with foreign operations, environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves, requirement of additional financing or additional permits, authorizations or licences, risks of delays in construction and production and other risks referred to in La Mancha's 2010 Annual Information Form filed with the Securities Commissions, as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Figure 1: Property Map

(See picture in attachment)

(See picture in attachment)

Contact Information

  • For additional information, please contact:
    La Mancha Resources Inc.

    Martin Amyot
    Vice President Corporate Development
    Tel: (514) 987-5115 ext 25
    Email: Email Contact

    Nicole Blanchard
    Investor Relations
    (514) 961-0229