Orvana Minerals Corp.

Orvana Minerals Corp.

July 11, 2011 09:30 ET

Update on Orvana Operations

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 11, 2011) - Orvana Minerals Corp. (TSX:ORV) today provided an update on its operations at its copper-gold-silver-mine in Bolivia, its gold/copper mine in Spain and its developing copper project in Michigan.

Orvana's wholly-owned Bolivian subsidiary, Empresa Minera Paititi S.A. ("EMIPA"), operates the open pit copper-gold-silver Don Mario Mine, Upper Mineralized Zone in Bolivia. This operation started up in April 2011 and continues to proceed through its commissioning stage. Currently over 500,000 tonnes of ore has been broken and stockpiled, grading 1.91% copper, 2.16 g/t gold and 25.95 g/t silver. During June, about 27,000 tonnes of ore was processed with a head grade of 1.92% copper, 1.87 g/t gold and 68.19 g/t silver. Total concentrate production to date has been about 750 tonnes grading about 35% copper, 28 g/t gold and 690 g/t silver. Of this, June production of concentrate was 355 tonnes grading about 42% copper, 31 g/t gold and 750 g/t silver. Once 1,000 tonnes of concentrate has been accumulated at port, expected within a month, Orvana expects to account for the first revenues from this operation.

The commissioning stage has been slower than planned, due in part to initial issues with the acid plant. These initial issues have been resolved, and the plant is now running at 90% of its design capacity. Recoveries have also been significantly lower than planned, primarily due to higher than life-of-mine average content of dolomite and talc in the mill feed, which has affected the leaching circuit and has resulted in periodic instability of the flotation process. These issues are being addressed by improving agitation, more precisely blending mill feedstock and fine tuning reagents. Copper recoveries currently in the 60% range are expected to reach the targeted 80% level within the next few months. Until these recoveries are obtained, doré production will continue to be negatively impacted, with first doré production expected in the next couple of months.

Orvana's wholly-owned Spanish subsidiary, Kinbauri España SLU ("Kinbauri"), operates the underground El Valle-Boinás/Carlés ("EVBC") gold-copper mine in Asturias, northern Spain started up and has been commissioning its mill since May 31, 2011 and currently over 600 tonnes of concentrate grading 20.3% copper, 28 g/t gold and 332 g/t silver has been trucked to port. Once 1,000 tonnes has been trucked to port, which is expected to happen later this month, Orvana will recognize revenues from this operation. EVBC also expects to pour its first gold bars before month end. During June, over 38,000 tonnes were processed through the mill grading 1.40 g/t gold, 0.45% copper and 9.56 g/t silver. This head grade for gold is low as much of the initial material is development ore mined to access the mining stopes, and is primarily lower grade skarn ore compared to the higher grade oxides. Recoveries have been close to target for initial production, with 83.3% gold recovery and 64.5% copper recovery.

As previously reported, EVBC will initially operate at 1,400 tonnes per day (70% of capacity) with production increasing to 1,900 tonnes per day when the shaft is completed in early 2012. Overall, shaft construction is on schedule. The first 200 metres of the 440-metre deep shaft have now been reamed to a 5.5 metre diameter and construction of shaft surface facilities can now commence. As noted in a previous release, Kinbauri has received final approval from the Spanish Ministry of the Environment for the EVBC operation, but is required to post a €5 million (US $7.2 million) cash bond by month end. To address the cash requirements of the additional EVBC bond as well as increased working capital needs from slower than anticipated recoveries of VAT receivables in Spain and accumulating additional ore inventories in both Bolivia and Spain, Orvana is reviewing funding alternatives to raise approximately US $10 million.

Orvana's wholly-owned Michigan subsidiary, Orvana U.S. Corp. ("Orvana USA"), is developing the Copperwood copper project in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Orvana USA announced in a June 24 press release highlights of a National Instrument 43-101-compliant prefeasibility study which outlines a 14-year underground operation with average annual production of 23,900 short tons of copper and 111,000 ounces of silver. The full report is expected to be released within a month. Orvana USA is completing the mine-permit application and is pleased with the support of the nearby Michigan communities and their representatives.

Orvana will be releasing its financial results for the quarter ended June 30th on August 15th and will have a conference call on August 16th at 10:00 a.m. to provide a discussion of these results and a further update on operations.

About Orvana

Orvana Minerals is a gold producer with a strong balance sheet and is transforming itself into a multi-mine gold and copper producer. Orvana's primary asset is the El Valle-Boinás/Carlés ("EVBC") gold-copper project in northern Spain, which is now being commissioned towards targeted production levels. Orvana owns and operates the Don Mario Mine in Bolivia where a newly completed leaching-precipitation-flotation ("LPF") plant is being commissioned to process its copper-gold-silver Upper Mineralized Zone ("UMZ") deposit. In addition, Orvana is advancing 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 March 31, 2011 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.

Non-GAAP Measures

The Company has used Non-GAAP measures, including direct mine operating costs, cash operating costs, total cash costs and total production costs, and related unit cost information, because it understands that certain investors use this information to determine the Company's ability to generate earnings as cash flow for use in investing and other activities. The Company believes that conventional measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP do not fully illustrate the ability of its operating mine to generate cash flow. Non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under Canadian GAAP, should not be construed as an alternative to GAAP reporting of operating expenses, and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The measures are not necessarily indicative of cost of sales as determined under Canadian GAAP. Cash costs are determined in accordance with the former Gold Institute's Production Cost Standard. For a reconciliation of the non-GAAP costs and unit costs provided above with the Company's GAAP-based statement of operations, please see the Company's Management's Discussion & Analysis for the period ended March 31, 2011.

Contact Information

  • Orvana Minerals Corp.
    Natalie Frame
    Investor Relations
    (289) 200-7640

    Orvana Minerals Corp.
    Roland Horst
    Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 369-1629

    Orvana Minerals Corp.
    Carlos Mirabal
    Chief Operating Officer