Dia Bras Exploration Inc.
TSX VENTURE : DIB

Dia Bras Exploration Inc.

April 13, 2007 10:32 ET

Record March Tonnage Boosts Dia Bras' Mill Throughput at its Bolivar Pilot-Mining Program in Chihuahua State, Mexico

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - April 13, 2007) - Dia Bras Exploration Inc. (TSX VENTURE:DIB) ("Dia Bras or the "Company") registered a record 12,336 dry metric tonnes (DMT) in March to close the first quarter of 2007 with 30,014 DMT processed and US$5.2 million in concentrate production value at its Bolivar Mine pilot-mining program in Chihuahua, Mexico.

During the first quarter ended March 31, 2007, the Company processed 30,014 DMT of material averaging 6.77% zinc and 1.34% copper, and produced 2,987 DMT of zinc concentrate and 1,172 DMT of copper concentrate for a total estimated production value of $6.1 million (US$5.2 million) (compared to $6.1 million (US$5.3 million) in Q1-2006). Operating cash costs amounted to $4.5 million (US$5.8 million) (compared to $2.75 million (US$2.4 million) in Q1-2006). Increased tonnage of material transported from the Bolivar site to the Malpaso mill as well as one-time new circuit start-up costs, account for the increase in costs.

Total mill throughput has increased significantly and reached a monthly high of 12,336 DMT as the Company started testing the recently installed 500 tpd "El Triunfo" circuit. The overall capacity of the Malpaso mill was increased to 850 tpd and the new circuit achieved a maximum daily throughput of 561 tonnes. Total tons of material processed averaged just over 10,000 per month. Commissioning and fine-tuning of the El Triunfo circuit continues.

The grades obtained in the first quarter were below the Company's internal forecasts of average grades of 7.5% for zinc and 1.5% for copper and below the grades for the same period of 2006 of 16.3% for zinc and 2.9% for copper. At that time the Company had mined a high grade zone and wanted to benefit from high metal prices to increase its cash position.

During the first quarter of 2007, Dia Bras focused on accessing the down-plunge portions of the high grade Selena breccia and Rosario body (see press release of March 21, 2007) by developing a ramp from Level 7 to Level 8 (a new level) as well as drifts along that level. In addition, work continued on the ramp from Level 2 to Level 3 to access the down-dip extensions of the Brecha Linda. As a result, development rock has been shipped to the Company's Malpaso mill, with the resultant lower mill-feed grades for the quarter. Mineralized rock from the high-grade bodies will be processed at Malpaso during the second quarter.

The Company anticipates that concentrate production will increase during the second quarter due to increased mill feed grades. Combined with higher copper and zinc prices, production value is also expected to increase. If metal prices stay at the present level, the pilot-mining program at Bolivar should generate sales of approximately $30 million (US$25.6 million).

"Dia Bras is in a strong position at this moment", says Rejean Gosselin, President and CEO, "The development work completed during the first quarter provides access to the high grade Selena and Rosario bodies for the second quarter production. This will raise our average production grades above our forecast levels as we move from development to mining of these bodies. In addition, we have a solid cash position, with working capital at the end of the first quarter of $19.7 million and cash on hand of $16.0 million. This year will be another exciting year for the Company as we expand our exploration drilling programs and access additional high grade bodies."



BOLIVAR PILOT-MINING

Summary of the First Quarter 2007 (in US dollars)
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Average Zn price: US$ 1.57/lb Total Estimated
Cu price: US$2.69/lb Estimated Operating
Production(1) Cash
US$ Cost(1)
Tonnes (Millions) US$
Material Processed (Millions)
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Actual 30,014 5.2 3.8
Forecast 24,000 4.2 3.2
Over (under) 6,014 1.0 0.6
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Zn Production
Concentrate Value
Production in US$
Average (Millions)
Zinc Grade Recovery (DMT) (1)
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Actual 6.77% 84.61% 2,987 3.6
Forecast 7.50% 92.20% 2,718 3.0
Over (under) (0.83)% (7.59)% 269 0.6
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Production
Cu Value
Concentrate in US$
Average Production (Millions)
Copper Grade Recovery (DMT) (1)
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Actual 1.34% 81.62% 1,172 1.6
Forecast 1.50% 79.20% 967 1.2
Over (under) (0.16%) 2.42% 205 0.4
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Summary of the First Quarter 2006 (in US dollars)
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Average Zn price: US$ 0.95/lb Total Estimated
Cu price: US$2.12/lb Estimated Operating
Production(1) Cash
US$ Cost(1)
Tonnes (Millions) US$
Ore Processed (Millions)
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Actual 22,469 5.3 2.4
Forecast 22,500 4.5 2.5
Over (under) (31) 0.8 (0.1)
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Zn Production
Concentrate Value
Production in US$
Average (Millions)
Zinc Grade Recovery (DMT) (1)
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Actual 13.62% 92.12% 4,898 3.7
Forecast 11.00% 85.00% 3,700 2.6
Over (under) 2.62% 7.12% 1,198 1.1
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Cu Production
Concentrate Value
Production in US$
Average (Millions)
Copper Grade Recovery (DMT) (1)
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Actual 2.50% 78.04% 1,483 1.6
Forecast 2.60% 75.00% 1,600 1.4
Over (under) (0.1%) 3.04% (117) 0.2
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Financial Results (unaudited)
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Quarter Quarter
ending ending
March 31, March 31,
2007 2006
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US$ US$
Net smelter production value 5.2 M 5.3 M
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Direct operating cash costs 3.8 M 2.4 M
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Direct operating cash margin 1.4 M 2.9 M
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Net smelter production value and
Cash Operating Costs / Tonne Processed (unaudited)
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Quarter Quarter
ending ending
March 31, March 31,
2007 2006
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US$ US$
Net smelter production value (1) 173.25 234.70
Direct operating cash costs (1) 126.20 104.70
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Gross margin before amortization (1) 47.05 130.00
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(1) Non-GAAP measures: The Company reports production value, production
costs, net smelter revenue per tonne, direct operating cash costs per
tonne and gross margin before amortization per tonne even if it is a
non-GAAP measure to inform about the approximate value of the quarter
sales, isolate the measure of pilot-mining direct operation costs
activities less amortization and depreciation. The Company believes
this is useful supplemental information however it should not be
considered as a substitute for measure of performance prepared in
accordance with GAAP.


The Company's total concentrate production is sold to MRI Trading AG (MRI), a Swiss-based, privately-owned commodity trading company, pursuant to a standard concentrate purchase agreement. Total billings to MRI during the quarter amounted to $6.5 M (US$5.4 M) and include final settlements from 2006 shipments, which were impacted by decreases in metal prices in early 2007.

The pilot-mining program provides essential data on costs, logistics, grade, recovery and metallurgy that will serve for a feasibility study on the Bolivar property. The short-term objective of the program is to generate sufficient cash flow from zinc and copper concentrate production to finance development and exploration at the Bolivar mine and elsewhere on the Bolivar project.

It is important to note that Bolivar is not at a commercial production stage. The completion of a feasibility study is required to confirm the economic viability of a property before it is brought into commercial production. The Company expects completing its exploration program on the Bolivar property and extensions in order to achieve a feasibility study in 2007.

About Dia Bras

Dia Bras is a Canadian exploration mining company focused on precious and base metals in the State of Chihuahua, in northern Mexico. The Company is committed to developing and adding value to its assets -- the Bolivar copper-zinc project and the newly acquired Cusi silver mining camp. The Company trades on the TSX Venture Exchange, under the symbol "DIB".

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Forward-looking statements: Except for statements of historical fact, all statements in this news release, without limitation, regarding new projects, acquisitions, future plans and objectives are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Contact Information

  • Dia Bras Exploration
    Thomas L. Robyn
    Executive Chairman
    514-393-8875
    or
    Dia Bras Exploration
    Rejean Gosselin
    President
    514-393-8875
    www.diabras.com
    or
    Sun International Communications
    Nicole Blanchard
    Managing Partner
    450-627-6600