Roca Mines Inc.
TSX VENTURE : ROK

Roca Mines Inc.

April 16, 2008 18:13 ET

ROCA-MAX Molybdenum Mine Achieves Commercial Production

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2008) - Roca Mines Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ROK) ("Roca" or "the Company") provides the following update on operations and development activities at the MAX Molybdenum Project near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Highlights of this update include;

- Phase I Commercial Production was achieved on April 12, 2008;

- Startup operations produced approximately 410,000 lbs of contained molybdenum in concentrate;

- Key Phase II expansion work to be completed in Summer 2008; and,

- Phase I target production rates recently achieved.

Phase I Commercial Production Achieved

In February 2008, while operating at a prescribed lower throughput rate for startup, the MAX mine and mill achieved continuous daily throughput of approximately 80% of its Phase I design rate of 500 tonnes per day. During the period, the mill also achieved molybdenum recovery rates averaging 90%, exceeding the design recovery of 87%.

Phase I ore grade material has recently been supplied from underground stopes and delivered directly to the MAX mill and concentrator. Based on a 10-day average grade of the ore supplied, the diluted head grade from the mine exceeded 75% of the planned mine-diluted grade of 1.7% MoS2. As a result of this recent development, the Company is declaring that Phase I commercial production was achieved on April 12, 2008.

Startup Operations

Startup operations at the MAX Molybdenum Mine have now overcome minor challenges and disruptions to commissioning resulting from crusher and mill equipment modifications, process optimization, and reagent quality control. As planned, the initial operations made use of lower-grade stockpiled development rock to facilitate the startup production run. That material was significantly lower in grade than the ore currently being processed. During the period, the MAX operation delivered approximately 880,000 dry lbs of concentrates containing an estimated 410,000 lbs of molybdenum, with a gross metal value of $13.5 million based on average molybdenum oxide prices during the period. Proceeds received from concentrate sales during startup have been used for completion costs and to fund ongoing Phase II expansion of the mine and mill.

Phase II Expansion and Development

Previously, the Company announced the development of a second adit to the mine working area. Adit #2 recently reached a break-through location to workings in the mine, and final completion of the connection is expected early in May 2008. Once connected, the underground mine will be capable of achieving its Phase II ventilation requirements. This will allow for concurrent mine development and production to increase to 1,000 tonnes per day for the first time in the history of the project.

The Company has also previously announced the acquisition of a third primary ball mill. The installation of this mill will allow for greater production flexibility and will provide for a nominal capacity of at least 1,000 tonnes per day. The third mill has been delivered to the site and power distribution systems and controls have been prepared. Engineering of a new mill base is complete and construction will commence shortly, with the new equipment to be fully commissioned by the fall of 2008. A concentrate drying system will also be installed during the month of May 2008, which will assist in controlling moisture content in the concentrates produced.

The Company plans to seek a graduated permit increase for the operation of the Phase II mine enabling it to produce at the as-built capacity in late 2008 and beyond. The application for this increase in production rate will be submitted after environmental and water quality data is collected and compiled this spring/summer. The information will demonstrate that the mine is working well within its compliance requirements and with minimal impact to the environment.

Production Targets

Phase I target production rates are currently being realized and are equivalent to approximately 300,000 lbs of contained molybdenum in concentrate production per month. In the coming weeks, mill throughput rate is expected to increase as all process operations are raised to Phase I capacity.

Completion of the Phase II expansion work, as described above, will provide opportunities for the mine and the mill to operate at nominal rates of 1,000 tonnes per day. At those throughput rates, and estimated tonnes and grades available from the mine schedule, the Phase II production target for the remainder of calendar 2008 is estimated to be approximately 600,000 lbs of contained molybdenum per month.

Accounting and Financial Reporting

Proceeds from sales of molybdenite concentrates from the date of commercial production forward will be recorded as revenues and associated costs treated as operating expenses which will first be reflected in the Company's financial statements dated May 31, 2008 to be reported in July 2008. All costs associated with Phase I production, have been capitalized to date, with any startup concentrate proceeds recorded as a reduction to capital costs in accordance with Canadian GAAP. Net pre-production costs will be amortized on a unit of production basis over the Company's Phase I mine plan.

The permitted Phase I mine plan for MAX will focus on the deposit's high-grade zone containing 280,000 measured and indicated tonnes grading 1.95% MoS2 (refer to T.N. Macauley's 43-101 compliant technical report dated September 2004 available via SEDAR). Molybdenum oxide currently trades in the US$33-34/lb. range.

ROCA MINES INC.

Scott E. Broughton, P.Eng. - President & CEO

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

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