NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews
FOR: HIGH RIVER GOLD MINES LTD.
TSX SYMBOL: HRG
OCTOBER 31, 2003 - 08:41 ET
High River Gold Mines Ltd.: Positive Development
Decision at Taparko Gold Project
TORONTO, ONTARIO--High River Gold Mines Ltd.(TSX:HRG) is pleased
to announce that a positive decision has been made, subject to
formal board approvals, to commence development of the Taparko
gold property in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
The feasibility study evaluated the construction of a mill and
infrastructure on High River's Taparko property to process ore
from both the Taparko Gold deposit and Axmin's Bouroum Gold
deposit located 49 kilometres northwest of the Taparko property.
The combined operation would process one million tonnes per year
and produce approximately 680,000 ounces of gold over a 7 1/2
year mine life. Annual production would average 91,000 ounces but
would be approximately 100,000 ounces in the first few years.
The feasibility study considered mining from three pits on each
property. The following table of mineral reserves has been
established for the three pits on the Taparko property:
Property Pit Ore Contained Gold Strip Ratio
(kt) (g/t) (oz)
Taparko 3/5 4632.8 2.83 421,500 4.6
GT 892.3 3.83 109,900 6.0
2N/2K 1227.0 1.86 73,400 3.5
At this time, High River expects that ore containing a minimum of
110,000 ounces of gold will be available from the Bouroum
property to be trucked to Taparko for processing. This will
result in total contained gold of approximately 715,000 ounces
for the project.
A number of independent consultants and contractors provided
input to the feasibility study under the Project management of
Mr. Daniel Vanin, with ongoing technical support provided by
Strathcona Mineral Services Limited (press release - July 31,
At a US $350 per ounce gold price, the project is expected to
generate an IRR in excess of 15%. Although the feasibility study
is complete, further optimization studies that will result in a
bankable feasibility study could impact certain costs, including
the total capital costs which could be lower than currently
estimated. Definitive operating and capital costs will be
provided following completion of the bankable feasibility study.
High River has designed the facility with a longer term operation
in mind as both companies believe there is excellent potential to
define additional satellite deposits on both properties. Previous
exploration has defined a total of 16 prospective gold targets
within the Taparko property: nine of these targets are within the
Taparko grid area itself and seven targets are outside that area.
High River has carried out sufficient exploration, including
trenching and drilling, on four of the targets to establish a
high confidence level that additional gold resources, amenable to
open pit mining, will be defined on these areas. These four areas
are called Zemce, Goengo (V1 and V3 North), Zone 9 and Kan 2. In
addition, High River has extended its exploration activities
beyond the Taparko property, but in close proximity to the
planned mill and infrastructure, through an agreement with Jilbey
Gold Exploration Ltd.
High River has an 80% interest in the Taparko Project; the
Burkina Government has a 20% interest (5% of which is
Development and exploration of the Taparko deposits will be
undertaken by a Burkinabe company in accordance with the
provisions of the Mining Investment Agreement established between
High River and the Burkina Government in 1996. The "Heads of
Agreement", regarding Bouroum, between High River and Axmin
provides for the negotiation of a Joint Venture Agreement between
the companies acceptable to the Burkina Government that would
allow for the joint development of the project. Production is
targeted to begin in late 2005, subject to a production decision
following the granting of the required permits.
High River enjoys working in Burkina Faso and has developed an
excellent relationship with the Government. With the Government's
support, the Company has been able to keep the Taparko Project
moving forward during the difficult years of low gold prices.
High River is looking forward to a successful mining operation at
Taparko and plans to expand its activities throughout Burkina
Faso and West Africa, using Taparko as its base.
The drilling programme required to produce a National Instrument
43-101 compliant resource was recommended and carried out under
the supervision of Dr. Henrik Thalenhorst, P. Geo. of Strathcona
Mineral Services Ltd. and Michael Michaud, P. Geo. of SRK
Consulting, both of whom participated in the modeling and
resource calculation. Andrew Bradfield, P. Eng. of SRK produced
the mining plan and production schedule, and consulted on the
mining costs with Daniel Vanin, P. Eng., consulting project
manager. Metallurgical Design and Management Ltd. completed the
process plant design and cost estimates, surface infrastructure
lay-out, and supervised the metallurgical testing which was
carried out by Lakefield Research Africa (Pty) Limited in South
Africa. Golder Associates completed the geotechnical evaluation
and pit stability studies. Roche Ltee., in conjunction with three
Burkinabe companies, BIGH, BEM, and SOCREGE, carried out the
environmental, socio-economic and water studies. Knight Piesold
and Co. provided the preliminary tailings facility design.
Laboratories which completed analyses on the drilling samples
included Intertek Testing Services, Bondar Clegg in Ouagadougou,
Burkina Faso; Abilab in Bamako, Mali; and Transworld Labs of
Tarkwa, Ghana. Check analytical work at other independent
laboratories was carried out at Omac Lab, Ireland; X-RAL
Laboratories (SGS), Toronto; and ALS Chemex, Vancouver.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
High River Gold Mines Ltd.
President and CEO
High River Gold Mines Ltd.
Visit our website at www.hrg.ca