TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 27, 2007) - High River Gold Mines Ltd. ("High River" or the "Company")(TSX:HRG) is pleased to report on construction progress at its unhedged Berezitovy Gold Project in Russia.|
Commissioning at the Berezitovy Mine has begun and the first gold pour remains on schedule for August. Annual production, after commissioning, at the Berezitovy Mine is expected to exceed 100,000 ounces of gold for at least 10 years. High River recently announced (see press release dated May 30, 2007) scoping level plans for the installation of flotation circuits to recover zinc and lead and to improve the recovery of silver. The production of zinc and lead concentrates could begin as early as January 2009.
Project Construction Update
Pre-stripping is proceeding according to plan, with most activity in the north and the south ends of the pit. Three production drills, two 5-cubic metre electric shovels, four loaders, five bulldozers, and twelve 45-tonne diesel trucks are operating around the clock, and approximately 100,000 tonnes of ore, representing approximately 1 month of production, has been mined and stockpiled.
Cold commissioning has been completed on the SAG mill and ball mill, and will be starting shortly on the jaw crusher and conveyor systems. The leach and carbon column tanks have been installed, and associated mechanicals are largely completed. Work continues and is progressing well on the carbon stripping circuit, thickener and gold room.
Low cost, reliable electrical power has been available on-site for more than 2 years from the regional hydroelectric power grid, which the project accesses through a 110 KV, 100 kilometre-long power line built by the Company. Power costs in 2006 were less than US 4o per kilowatt hour.
Tailings Storage Facility
Construction of the double-lined, zero discharge tailings storage facility has resumed with the onset of early summer weather. Remaining work also includes construction of the 1,000 metre tailings slurry pipeline, and installation of the filter plant and radial stacker.
All pumps and piping supplying water is largely complete. Water sources are abundant and of high quality.
Daniel Vanin, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of High River commented: "I am extremely pleased with the progress of construction at Berezitovy achieved by our management and operational team. The quality of materials and labour sourced locally has been excellent. I look forward to a successful start-up in August."
Project Construction Timeline
The Berezitovy Mine is expected to reach commercial production according to the following schedule:
June: start of Cold Commissioning
(testing of mechanical equipment on a no load basis)
July: start of Hot Commissioning
(testing and operation of mechanical equipment on a
partial/full load basis)
August: first Gold Pour
October: Commercial Production
(after 30 days of continuous production at 60% of
Project Construction Progress in Pictures
To view photographs showing the latest progress at the Berezitovy Mine, please follow this link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/BerezitovyMineJune2707.pdf
Berezitovy Mine Tour
High River is hosting a tour of Berezitovy during the week of October 15, 2007 for institutional investors and analysts. Participants will have the opportunity to view early production at the Berezitovy Mine.
About High River
High River is currently constructing two open-pit gold mines which are scheduled to commence production this year, the Taparko-Bouroum Project in Burkina Faso (June) and the Berezitovy Project in Russia (August/September). Annual gold production from Taparko-Bouroum is planned at 100,000 ounces for the first twelve months increasing to over 140,000 ounces in the third year of operation, and annual production from Berezitovy is expected to exceed 100,000 ounces. Combined with gold production from High River's 85%-owned Russian subsidiary, OJSC Buryatzoloto, High River's attributable gold production is expected to exceed 200,000 ounces in 2007, and 300,000 ounces in 2008. In addition, the Company has two advanced exploration projects, the Bissa Gold Project in Burkina Faso and the world-class Prognoz Silver Project in Russia. These projects are expected to significantly add to the Company's production profile in the future.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations. These forward-looking statements entail various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected. Risk and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Management's Discussion and Analysis published in the Company's Annual Report and in the Annual Information Form.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
High River Gold Mines Ltd.
Vice President Investor Relations
(416) 360-0010 (FAX)