The expansion of the La Negra mill capacity from 1,000 to 1,500 tpd (metric tons per day) is now completed and is expected to achieve a steady daily rate of over 1,250 tpd at the end of May and continue to ramp up to 1,500 tpd during the following weeks.
A new more efficient cyclone pack and a second ball mill have been added to the mill circuit, and the flotation circuit has been expanded with the addition of more conditioning and flotation tanks. All of these additions are now in operation.
The installation of ancillary equipment such as a 3rd fine ore bin, a second water tank, and optimization of grinding/flotation circuits are currently underway and will support the increase of the plant production capacity from 1,250 tpd to 1,500 tpd.
The La Negra mine is already producing at a higher tonnage rate which averaged 1,200 tpd in March and 1,280 tpd in April. Stockpiled ore, ready to haul to the mill at the end of April, consisted of 20,000 tonnes in the mine and 33,000 tonnes on surface.
The underground ore stockpile includes 8,000 tons of high grade material at the Maravillas Deposit, where contractor production of 300 tpd is now available, with the completion of the truck self-loading chute on the ore pass.
The Concentrate sales contract was renegotiated with improved terms that will take effect on June 1, 2010 and includes the following:
• Reduction in the amount deducted for assumed losses of concentrate due to handling during shipping and storage (Merma).
• Reduced port handling charges.
• Reduced treatment charges, with a metal price trigger
Collectively, these terms plus increased production will have a significant positive impact on the La Negra revenues, cash flow and profitability in 2010.
Aurcana President Mr. Lenic Rodriguez said "With Silver prices approaching a 2 year high the timing of this expansion is excellent, we are very proud of the La Negra team of engineers who have executed this complex expansion project at minimum cost, on time and on budget."
For more information on the La Negra expansion see the January 2010 independent article in Mundo Minero, Ampliacion en Mina La Negra, on the Aurcana website.
About Aurcana Corporation:
The Shafter Silver Mine is scheduled to start up production within 18 months of securing permits and financing, producing 3.9 million ounces silver in the first year. It has a NI 43-101 measured and indicated resource of 24.6 million ounces of silver (2,900,000 tons at 8.48Ag opt) and an inferred resource of 22.8 million ounces of silver (2,167,000 tons at 10.52 Ag opt) using a 4.0 ounce per ton cut off. The 92% owned La Negra silver-lead-zinc-copper mine is on target to increase production to over 2 million ounces Silver Equivalent annually when expansion to 1,500 t/d, is completed by mid year. Ron Nichols, P.Eng. a Director and Senior Vice President for Aurcana, and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, supervised the preparation of the technical information in this release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
"Lenic Rodriguez", President
For further information, visit the website at www.aurcana.com or contact:
Jack Barnes, Corporate Relations
Phone: (604) 331-9333
Toll Free: (866) 532-9333
Fax: (604) 633-9179
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements -- This news release contains certain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the business and anticipated financial performance of the Company. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from results contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include unsuccessful exploration results, changes in metal prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration and development, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. When relying on forward-looking statements to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, oral or written, made by itself or on its behalf.
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