Rusoro Mining Ltd.
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Rusoro Mining News


 June 19, 2008
Rusoro continues Venezuelan Consolidation, Acquires Hecla's Venezuelan Assets

 Vancouver, Canada - Rusoro Mining Ltd. ("Rusoro") is pleased to announce that it continues to implement its regional consolidation strategy with the acquisition of Hecla Mining Company's ("Hecla") Venezuelan assets which include the Block B - Isidora mining leases and the La Camorra mill facility in Bolivar State, southeastern Venezuela. Hecla's Venezuelan assets are being acquired for US$20 million in cash and 4,273,504 (US$5 million worth of) Rusoro shares. The Hecla-Venezuela acquisition is subject to final regulatory approval and is expected to close the week of June 23, 2008.

As a result of reaching this strategic milestone, the second tranche of Rusoro's syndicated US$80 million financing led by Peter Hambro Mining Plc ("PHM") in the amount of US$52 million has been released.

Commenting on the acquisition, Rusoro CEO Andre Agapov states: "The Hecla-Venezuela acquisition confirms our exceptional growth profile and allows us to target an annual production rate of 220,000 ounces per year by the end of 2008. We have received strong in-country support for this acquisition and we look forward to employing our Venezuelan expertise to re-energize the Hecla-Venezuela assets for the benefit of our shareholders and the local communities."

The Hecla-Venezuela Acquisition

This acquisition provides Rusoro with an immediate and significant increase in gold production, confirming Rusoro as a focused gold company with an exceptional growth profile. The key benefits of this transaction to Rusoro include:
  • 83% Increase in Gold Production. By the end of 2008, the annualized targeted production rate from the Hecla-Venezuela assets is expected to be 100,000 ozs/year, bringing Rusoro's aggregate targeted annualized production rate to approximately 220,000 ozs/year.
  • Exceptional Production Growth Profile. With production capacity available at the La Camorra mill as well as production expansion plans underway at Choco 10, management expects to increase production to 400,000 oz/yr by 2011, subject to the scoping and feasibility studies currently underway at Choco.
  • Exceptional Regional Synergies to Expedite Growth Profile. Hecla's fully operational La Camorra mill is situated approximately 2 km from Rusoro's San Rafael/El Placer ("SREP") deposits which are fully permitted for gold production, and 40 km from Rusoro's Ceiba deposit. The La Camorra mill has available capacity to treat SREP and Ceiba ore, which may eliminate the need to upgrade and expand the Emilia Mill facility. As a result, significant cost savings for Rusoro are anticipated.
  • Unlocking Venezuelan Value. This is the Company's second significant acquisition in the region and Rusoro's proven ability to operate in and manage the Venezuelan social and political environments should enable the Company to unlock further value from its assets and explore additional regional consolidation opportunities.
  • Increased Reserve and Resource Base. Rusoro currently has NI 43-101 compliant resources of 6.63 M oz Au M&I (84.0 Mt @ 2.5 g/t) and 6.22M oz Au Inferred (108.2 Mt @ 1.8 g/t). The Company expects the Hecla-Venezuela assets to add significant high quality gold ounces to the Company's portfolio. The Company has commissioned an NI 43-101 report on the resources and reserves at the Isidora Mine and a resource estimate on the Twin Shears potential mineral deposit to bring these resource estimates in line with NI 43-101 and TSX Venture Exchange guidelines.
Hecla's main Venezuelan asset is the Block B land package, including the producing Isidora Mine, near the town of El Callao in Bolivar State, southeastern Venezuela. Hecla also controls additional leases near El Callao called the Puyero and Choco 7 projects. In total, Hecla's land position is approximately 18,272 hectares.

Hecla also holds the fully permitted and operational La Camorra mill (and surrounding concessions north of the town of El Dorado) which was constructed in 1994 and has undergone periodic upgrades since that time. The mill is capable of processing 700 t/d through a modified carbon-in-leach process with historical recovery averaging approximately 95%. Since 2005 the mill has been processing ore from the Isidora Mine and small mining cooperatives at a rate between 300 and 400 t/d, on a five days per week basis.

The Isidora Mine is located 5 km from Rusoro's Choco 10 Mine and 112 km north of the La Camorra mill. The mine commenced production in 2005 and to date has produced a total of 190,000 ounces of gold at a rate of 250 to 300 t/d of high grade gold ore.

As part of the agreement with Hecla, the parties anticipate that the La Camorra mill and concession may revert to the Venezuelan State on or about January 1, 2009. Rusoro will own the La Camorra assets until that time and is pleased to announce that it is in discussions with the Venezuelan government to explore opportunities with Minerven and MIBAM to form a joint venture regarding the La Camorra and Block B - Isidora assets. Commenting on the prospective joint venture, Rusoro CEO Andre Agapov states: "We would be delighted to be selected as the partner of choice to work with Minerven and MIBAM to explore a joint venture that will benefit both the Venezuelan people and our shareholders and we are excited about the future opportunities that this type of collaboration may present for our shareholders."

Summary of Hecla's Venezuelan Reserves, Resources and Exploration

Isidora Mine Reserves as of December 31, 2007

Reserves

Tonnes (t)

Grade (g/t)

Gold (oz)

Proven 70,298 37.20 84,029
Probable 109,149 28.80 101,056
Total Reserves 179,447 32.10 185,085

Isidora Mine Resources as of December 31, 2007

Resources

Tonnes (t)

Grade (g/t)

Gold (oz)

Measured 158,135 28.97 147,265
Indicated 443,512 17.36 247,574
Total Resources 601,647 20.41 394,839
Note - Mineral resources are inclusive of mineral reserves.

Isidora Mine Inferred Resources as of December 31, 2007

Inferred

Tonnes (t)

Grade (g/t)

Gold (oz)

Inferred 119,455 13.60 52,235
Total 119,455 13.60 52,235

The resource and reserve estimates at the Isidora Mine were previously reported by Hecla as part of their SEC 10-K filing for 2007. Rusoro has commissioned an NI 43-101 technical report to be prepared to confirm these as current and CIM compliant mineral resource and reserve estimates. The report is expected to be completed in the next 45 days.

Twin Shears, also situated on the Block B concession, is a potential mineral deposit between 0.7 to 1.3 Mt and an average grade between 10 to 13 g/t Au. A resource estimate is currently underway and the results are expected to be reported as an NI 43-101 compliant resource within 45 days. Until the estimate is available the disclosure of a potential mineral deposit requires the statement that the potential quantity and grade must be considered conceptual in nature, and that there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and that it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.

The interpretation of the Twin Shears potential mineral deposit is based on a total of 36 diamond drill hole intersections along a 1 km portion of a 2.2 km long structure. The structure is adjacent to the principal structures in the Isidora Mine. The mineralized zone has variable widths generally between 1 and 4 metres.

Under the terms of the definitive stock purchase agreement signed today, Rusoro will acquire all of Hecla's Venezuelan assets for US$20 million in cash and 4,273,504 (US$5 million worth of) Rusoro common shares.

Company President George Salamis stated that, "The successful completion of this transaction will dramatically expand and accelerate Rusoro's production growth profile and offers an excellent opportunity to fast track production at the SREP and surrounding deposits, while positioning Rusoro as an intermediate gold producer with a strong platform for further growth. In addition, we view the exploration potential for further gold discoveries on these concessions as excellent."

Advisors
Rusoro's financial advisor is Endeavour Financial International Corporation and its legal advisors are Anfield Sujir Kennedy & Durno in Canada, Gersten Savage LP in the United States and Figueiras & Annicchiarico in Venezuela.

Qualified Person: Mr. Gregory Smith, P.Geo, the Vice-President Exploration of the Company, is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, and is responsible for the accuracy of the technical information in this news release.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
"Vladimir Agapov"
Vladimir Agapov, Chairman
CONTACT INFORMATION
George Salamis, President
Tel: 604-632-4044 Fax: 604-632-4045
Toll Free: 1-800-668-0091
Symbol: TSX-V: RML Email: info@rusoro.com
Website: www.rusoro.com

Forward-looking statements: This document contains statements about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward-looking in nature and as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, competitive and general economic factors and conditions, the uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, the occurrence of unexpected events, and the Company's capability to execute and implement its future plans. Actual results may differ materially from those projected by management. For such statements, we claim the safe harbour for forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Legislation Reform Act of 1995.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not take responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release
 
 

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