Progress in 2008 and Plan for 2009
posted on Jan 26, 2009 04:11AM
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|January 26, 2009|
|Minco Silver: Progress in 2008 and Plan for 2009|
|VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2009) - Minco Silver Corporation (the "Company" or "Minco Silver") (TSX:MSV) provides a summary of the progress during 2008 and plan for 2009 on its Fuwan Silver project. In 2008, the Company completed a drilling program totaling 23,292 metres in 79 holes, delivered an updated resource estimate which expanded the deposit significantly, initiated an International Feasibility Study ("IFS"), made solid progress in permitting, conducted a regional exploration program, and won two awards for work completed on the project.
Exploration on Fuwan Deposit
Minco Silver completed an aggressive infill and step-out drilling campaign on the Fuwan deposit during 2008 and completed 56 holes for a total of 16,833 metres. The program was designed primarily to increase the level of confidence in the resource through infill drilling and the assay results were released in the first half of 2008.
The updated resource estimate was prepared by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. of Brampton, Ontario and released on May 22nd, 2008. Drilling was successful in expanding the indicated resource. From the previous resource announced in December 2007, the indicated resource increased from 11.9 million tonnes containing 71.6 million ounces of silver ("MM oz Ag") to 16.0 million tonnes containing 93.5 MM oz Ag, or a 31% increase. The overall resource base (indicated and inferred silver resources) also increased from 142.9 MM oz Ag to 156.8 MM oz Ag. These silver resources reflect Minco Silver's current exploration permit holdings, including 51% of the silver resources on the Changkeng permit. The Fuwan deposit remains open along strike to the southwest and down dip to the southeast.
Minco Silver initiated a regional exploration program along the Fuwan Silver Belt in May of 2008. The Company completed a detailed ground magnetic survey covering approximately 155 line kilometres as well as 21 line kilometres of dipole-dipole induced polarization survey over the main target areas. Combined with previous geochemical surveys consisting of 50,000 individual soil samples, a number of highly prospective targets were generated. The Company drilled 18 holes for a total of 5,003 metres testing some of these targets. Regional drill results are pending.
International Feasibility Study
Wardrop Engineering Inc. ("Wardrop") was retained in April of 2008 to conduct the international feasibility study using the resource update released in May of 2008. Significant progress has been made to date and mine planning and process engineering are well advanced. Currently, the process flowsheet and metallurgical test work are nearing completion and surface infrastructure sites are being finalized. Mine planning, surface layout, and development and production schedules are progressing well.
Additional metallurgical tests to optimise the initial work completed for the Preliminary Economic Assessment in October of 2007 were also initiated. Minco Silver received a comprehensive metallurgical report on Fuwan samples from the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy ("BGRIMM"). The results confirmed initial work carried out by Process Research Associates ("PRA") with overall recoveries of silver, using conventional flotation, reported as above 96%. Recoveries for lead and zinc were also over 95%.
Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA")
Environmental aspects of the feasibility study are being compiled by Environmental Resources Management ("ERM"), one of the world's leading providers of environmental consulting services, and will be done to IFC ("International Finance Corporation") and World Bank standards.
To satisfy Chinese regulatory requirements, Guangdong Nuclear Design Institute ("GNDI") has been contracted to complete the Chinese environmental impact assessment which is nearing completion. GNDI is working closely with ERM to cover all necessary aspects for national and international environmental acceptance.
Minco Silver has made solid progress in permitting on the Fuwan Silver deposit during 2008. Reports completed and in progress are summarized below:
- The Exploration Report on the Fuwan Silver deposit has been accepted and approved by the Ministry of Land and Resources ("MOLAR") in Beijing.
- The Chinese Preliminary Feasibility Study was completed by Changsha Non-Ferrous Mine Design Institute and approved by an expert panel.
- The reserve/resource has been registered and received approval from Guangdong Bureau of Land and Resources and MOLAR in Beijing.
- The mining area application was approved by Gaoming county, Foshan district, and the Guangdong provincial government. MOLAR's approval is pending.
- The Soil and Water Conservation Plan is nearing completion.
- The Safety Assessment and Geological Hazard Assessment are well advanced.
- The Land Usage application is being prepared for submission.
Additionally, the Gaoming county government granted official approval for the development of the project. Upon completion and approval of all required reports, the application for the mining permit will be filed with MOLAR in Beijing.
Minco Silver successfully incorporated Foshan Minco Mining Co., Ltd. ("Foshan Minco") as the operating company for the Fuwan Silver project. Subsequently, the exploration permits for the project held by Minco Mining (China) were transferred to Foshan Minco. Minco Silver retains 90% ownership in Foshan Minco with the remaining 10% held by Guangdong Geological Exploration and Development Cooperation ("GGEDC") as per the original 10% profit sharing agreement.
Minco Silver won two awards during 2008 for its work in advancing the Fuwan Silver project. In January, the Company received a Corporate Award for Project Development from Cambridge House International Inc., for the project's meaningful progress during 2007. Minco Silver received the Prospector / Explorer of the Year Award at the 2008 China Mining Conference for its outstanding progress of the Fuwan Silver project. This prestigious national Award was presented to Minco Silver by Mr. Wang Min, the Vice Minister of MOLAR on November 12, 2008.
In July of 2008, Mr. Christopher Zahovskis was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Minco Silver, replacing Mr. Tim Marlow, former V.P. Operations.
In January of 2009, Ms. Ellen Wei was appointed the Company's Controller replacing Ms. Fiona Zhou. Ms. Wei's qualifications include an AICPA designation in the United States and a CPA designation in China. Ms. Wei has 10 years experience with a major Chinese auditing firm and 3 years with Ernst & Young respectively. Ms. Wei has worked with the Minco Group for 4 years in the capacity of CFO for Minco Mining (China) Ltd. She was the former Controller of Dragon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a listed company for 2.5 years.
Minco Silver would also like to announce that Mr. Garnet Clark has resigned as Chief Financial Officer. The Company would like to thank Mr. Clark and Mrs. Zhou for their valuable contributions and wishes them well in their future endeavours.
Plan for 2009
In 2009, Minco Silver will focus its resources on advancing the Fuwan Silver deposit and work diligently to complete the international feasibility study and permitting. Upon completion, a production decision will be made based on feasibility results, commodity price outlook, and market conditions for financing for mine construction.
Given the current economic downturn, Minco Silver has implemented a number of cost-saving measures to preserve its treasury. The Company has suspended the regional exploration program until market conditions improve. Additional cost-saving measures include a reduction in non-essential personnel and streamlining of office space.
About Minco Silver
Minco Silver Corporation (TSX:MSV) is a TSX listed company focusing on the acquisition and development of silver dominant projects. The Company owns 90% interest in the world class Fuwan Silver Deposit, situated along the northeast margin of the highly prospective Fuwan Silver Belt. For more information on Minco Silver, please visit the website at www.mincosilver.ca or contact Ute Koessler at 1-888-288-8288 or (604) 688-8002 [email protected].
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
"Dr. Ken Z. Cai", Chairman & CEO