TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 29, 2012) -
ANDINA Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ADM) ("Andina" or the "Company") wishes to update the market on progress made during the first quarter of 2012 on the Company's Volcan project.
"Our environmental permitting and engineering teams have made significant progress advancing their respective studies in 2012," said George Bee, President and CEO. "Our metallurgical work program in support of a feasibility study is complete and final reports are currently being drafted. Preliminary indications suggest that grade recovery curves will be similar to that reported in the 2011 prefeasibility study. The Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") is substantially complete and we expect to submit it to the authorities in the second quarter of 2012 after we conclude discussions with both government agencies and local communities. The feasibility study could be delayed as late as the first quarter of 2013, while the Company continues to optimize all aspects of the study, including sourcing of people, products and material which is taking longer than anticipated."
Volcan Project Update:
- In January 2012, the Company reviewed and finalized a detailed project description of the Volcan Gold Project ("Volcan") for its EIA and construction permit application, for the initial development plan.
- Extensive metallurgical engineering studies to support a feasibility study for Volcan are now largely complete. These studies were aimed at optimizing reagent consumption and providing an acceptable level of detailed information for any independent engineer reviews.
- Management has included a Sulphidation, Acidification, Recycling, and Thickening circuit into the Volcan project description to reduce operating costs and eliminate risk.
- The project description now includes a combined mill-heap leach production rate of 60,000 tonnes of ore processed per day using the same or similar crushing equipment as identified in the prefeasibility study where total throughput was set at 55,000 tonnes per day.
- Additionally, new processes to mitigate environmental risks associated with tailings have been added to the project description. These measures have been included to give comfort to stakeholders that Andina is proposing all reasonable measures, above and beyond those presented in the prefeasibility study, to save water, protect the environment and eliminate risk associated with the project.
- During the first quarter of 2012, the Company successfully completed a study linking idiosyncrasies in the Volcan geology and mineralogy to the metallurgical results that have been seen in the metallurgical test work conducted over the past three years.
- The study has significantly advanced our knowledge of the Dorado ore bodies that form the Volcan project. The protocols developed are applicable to the wider geologic setting and give management confidence that Andina can manage a gold deposit in the area with minimal operational risk.
- The Company has now developed a block-model that clearly identifies low pH material, thought to be associated with exotic sulphate salts, therefore further de-risking the planned selective mining and processing practices to be employed at Volcan.
- Having now identified a limited horizon of low pH material at Volcan, the Company believes it can improve heap leach performance by now directing this material to either waste or the proposed mill where it can be effectively processed. The Company anticipates improvements in reagent consumption having developed a protocol to manage low pH material related to sulphate salts.
- The 2011/2012 Development Program Field Season was successfully completed in April 2012.
- The Company's objective was to gather the remaining essential data for the feasibility study. Information includes: detailed investigation and additional drilling to establish pit-slope angles, condemnation drilling under key project facilities, water well drill and pump test investigations to support the site hydro-geochemical and hydrological models, geotechnical and site foundation investigations.
- Feasibility Study Status:
- We are currently evaluating the final results of the metallurgical program to confirm the optimal plant flowsheet and to finalize projected recoveries and reagent consumptions.
- The geotechnical investigation has been completed on site for all the proposed site facilities.