Sherwood Copper Corporation
TSX VENTURE : SWC
TSX VENTURE : SWC.DB

Sherwood Copper Corporation

April 17, 2008 07:00 ET

Sherwood Reports Minto Copper-Gold Mine Achieves & Exceeds Design Capacity

First Quarter Production of 11.3 million lbs of Copper, $4.95 million loan repayment made

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) - Sherwood Copper Corporation (TSX VENTURE:SWC)(TSX VENTURE:SWC.DB) today announced that the commissioning of its Phase 2 mill expansion at the high grade Minto copper-gold mine in the Yukon is complete and the mill has essentially achieved, and several times exceeded, its design capacity of 2,400 tonnes per day. During the past four weeks, to April 12, the mill processed an average of 2,336 tonnes per day at an average feed grade of 4.5% copper and 20g/t silver, achieved design copper recoveries of 93.5% and produced above design concentrate grades averaging 42.8% copper. Individual day highs during this period include mill throughput of 2,642 tonnes per day, recoveries of 97% copper and concentrate grades of 47% copper, showing that there is still room to fully optimize plant performance by achieving a higher level of performance on a sustained basis. Since gold is assayed off site, gold information is not available until sometime later.

"Once again, our operations team at the high grade Minto copper-gold mine have delivered a significant success by completing the commissioning of the Phase 2 mill expansion less than three months after construction was complete," said Stephen Quin, President & CEO. "Despite an initially slow start to the quarter, as the new equipment was commissioned and bedded down combined with temporary crusher availability issues in February and early March, the Minto Mine has clearly demonstrated its ability to not only sustain, but to also exceed design capacity," he added. "During the next few months, we aim to continue to optimize operational performance of the Minto Mine while, in parallel, looking to the implementation of the Phase 3 mill expansion."

In addition, on March 31, 2008, Sherwood's wholly owned subsidiary, Minto Explorations Ltd., made its first principal repayment of $4.925 million under its project loan facility. "Making our first principal repayment under our project loan facility is another significant milestone in Sherwood's rapid acquisition, financing, development and expansion of operations at the Minto Mine," said Mr. Quin. "Having achieved design performance and, given the exceptional grade and current very high metal price, Sherwood is looking forward to a very robust performance in 2008 and beyond."

Minto Mine Q1 Performance

As noted in the February 25, 2008 announcement, the first quarter production in 2008 was forecast to be lower than the average for the year as a result of commissioning activities, scheduling of lower grade feed and unusually cold weather. During the first three months of 2008, Sherwood completed the commissioning of the Phase 2 mill expansion, which included the addition of a second ball mill and additional flotation capacity to increase processing capacity from 1,563 tonnes per day to 2,400 tonnes per day. Throughput during the quarter was affected by commissioning activities as the new equipment was bedded down, but was also impacted (as reported February 25, 2008) by an extended period of unusually cold weather that affected crusher availability, reducing mill throughput. The crusher will be modified before next winter to avoid these issues in the future. However, the mill has been running at design performance for the past four weeks as detailed above. Details of the Minto Mine's quarterly performance are tabulated below.



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(ii)Q1 & Q2/07 (ii)Q3/07 Q4/07 Q1/08
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Production
(contained in concentrates)
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- Copper (000's lbs) 473,994 3,836,043 5,350,619 11,322,942
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- Gold (oz)(i) N/A N/A N/A N/A
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- Silver (oz) 2,018 17,938 25,929 63,440
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Mining
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- Waste (tonnes) 4,846,319 2,127,252 2,291,004 1,372,953
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- Ore (tonnes) 24,793 600,261 121,273 321,431
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- Total material mined (tonnes) 4,871,112 2,727,513 2,412,277 1,694,384
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- Copper grade (%) 1.09 1.72 2.17 3.57
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- Gold grade (g/t)(iii) 0.15 0.45 0.61 1.46
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- Silver grade (g/t) 4.34 6.20 8.10 14.6
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Milling
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- Tonnes processed 20,253 117,382 100,811 152,368
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- Copper grade (%) 1.64 1.90 2.57 3.61
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- Gold grade (g/t)(i) N/A N/A N/A 1.73
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- Silver grade (g/t) 5.06 6.93 9.13 14.80
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Recoveries
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- Copper (%) 64.8 78.1 93.7 94.5
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- Gold (%) N/A N/A N/A 79.7
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- Silver (%) 61.3 68.6 87.7 88.5
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Concentrate
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- Dry tonnes produced 580 4,965 7,086 13,243
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- Copper grade (%) 37.1 35.1 34.3 38.8
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- Gold grade (g/t)(i) N/A 9.8 11.4 N/A
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- Silver grade (g/t) 108.3 112.4 113.8 149.0
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(i) Gold is not assayed on site, resulting in a significant lag in
receiving this data.
(ii) Includes capitalized pre-stripping treated as pre-production costs in
the DFS.
(iii) Gold grades for ore mined are estimated from the reserve block model,
whereas copper and silver grades are based on blast hole assays.


Note that the 2007 production statistics, previously reported on February 25, 2008, have been adjusted as a result of year-end reconciliations completed subsequent to that announcement.

Concentrate Shipments

In early March, Sherwood loaded approximately 9,158 dry metric tonnes of concentrate grading approximately 36% copper on the vessel MV Beluga Enterprise and, in early April, an additional 9,849 tonnes of concentrate grading approximately 39% copper on the vessel MV Sanka Enternal for sale to Japanese smelters. Of these quantities delivered, approximately 79% will be delivered into Sherwood's copper forward sales contracts, while the balance has been or will be sold at spot between the loading date and final settlement date. In addition, these concentrates contain significant gold and silver credits.

2008 Outlook

Given that the mill has demonstrated capacity in excess of design, for the balance of the year Sherwood aims to average mill throughput in excess of 2,400 tonnes per day in order to achieve its production forecast of approximately 55 million pounds of payable copper and 24,000 oz of payable gold in 2008. This forecast was made without assuming any benefits from on-going optimizations, such as rescheduling the pit sequencing in order to bring production forward, coarsening the grind and implementing the Phase 3 mill expansion, details of which were outlined in the February 25, 2008 announcement.

About Sherwood Copper

Sherwood Copper's current focus is profitable production of base and precious metals from high grade, open pit mines in Canada. Sherwood's first operating mine, the high grade Minto copper-gold mine in Yukon, Canada, was built on budget and ahead of schedule. The Minto Mine is one of the highest-grade open pit copper-gold mines in the world, and is forecast to be a low cost producer. Aggressive exploration on the Minto property has yielded significant success, providing Sherwood the opportunity to 'grow from within' by expanding the resource and reserve base, potentially leading to further production increases. To further accelerate its production growth, Sherwood intends to pursue merger & acquisition opportunities that fit its business model and, in March 2008, Sherwood acquired more than 93% ownership in Western Keltic Mines, owner of the high-grade Kutcho copper-zinc-gold-silver deposit in northwestern British Columbia. Sherwood aims to repeat its successful development of the Minto Mine at the Kutcho project.

Quality Assurance

The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 and reviewed by Stephen P. Quin, P. Geo., President & CEO for Sherwood Copper Corporation. The operational information relating to the Minto Mine in this release have been carried out under the supervision of Randall Thompson, General Manager of the Minto Mine, and Kevin Weston P.Eng., Chief Operating Officer for Sherwood Copper.

Additional Information

Additional information on Sherwood and its Minto Project can be obtained on Sherwood's website at http://www.sherwoodcopper.com.

On behalf of the board of directors

SHERWOOD COPPER CORPORATION

Stephen P. Quin, President & CEO

This document may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and the Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect management's expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, success of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. By their very nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of resources; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities; as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.

Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

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

Contact Information

  • Sherwood Copper Corporation
    Stephen P. Quin
    President & CEO
    (604) 687-7545
    or
    Sherwood Copper Corporation
    Brad Kopp
    Investor Contact
    (604) 687-7545
    (604) 689-5041 (FAX)
    Website: www.sherwoodcopper.com