Press release from Marketwire
Carpathian Reviews 2011 Achievements & Budgets $152 Million for 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Carpathian Reviews 2011 Achievements & Budgets $152 Million for 201210:03 EST Tuesday, January 10, 2012TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 10, 2012) -Carpathian Gold Inc. (TSX:CPN) (the "Corporation" or "Carpathian") is pleased to provide a review of the results and achievements for 2011 and its capital expenditure and exploration work programs and outlook for 2012 for which it has allocated a total budget of approximately $152 Million. The Corporation is pleased with the achievements it made in 2011 on its two wholly owned assets: 1) Riacho dos Machados Gold Mining Project (the "RDM Mine" or "Project") in Brazil which is now in the mine construction phase and; 2) the Rovina Valley Project in Romania which is currently undergoing a Pre-feasibility Study. These two projects provide the means for the Corporation to achieve its goal of becoming a gold producer in the near-term and advance its project pipeline toward a gold production profile of a mid-tier mining company. Despite 2011 being a year of very unsettled and turbulent markets the Corporation was able to raise significant equity funds enabling it to advance its two projects. These funds are utilized for the on-going exploration and Pre-Feasibility Study on the Rovina Valley Project as well as provide the equity contribution necessary towards the capital to construct the RDM Mine where the goal is to commence gold production by mid-2013. To help achieve this goal, the Corporation finalized in late 2011, a senior debt financing package dedicated for the construction of the RDM Mine.In summary, the Corporation achieved the following in 2011.RDM Mine, Brazil:Completed and announced and updated Resource Estimate and the results of a bankable Feasibility Study; Received the environmental and construction permit for the construction of the Project, and: Senior debt Project financing of $80 Million arranged. Rovina Valley Project, Romania:46,590 metres of drilling, mainly at the Ciresata porphyry in order to define the extent of this deposit as well as upgrade resource categories on the Ciresata, Colnic and Rovina porphyry deposits in preparation for a updated Resource Estimate slated for 2012; Additional drilling to provide geo-technical information in preparation for a Pre-Feasibility Study slated for mid-2012, and; Barrick Gold acquired a 9% interest in the Corporation for $20 Million dedicated exclusively to the advancement of the Rovina Valley Project. Corporate:Completed a $46 Million bought deal equity financing, and; Approved a $152 Million budget for 2012 of which approximately $136 Million is dedicated to the construction of the RDM Mine. The following is a brief overview of the 2011 objectives for the RDM Mine and the Rovina Valley Project along with summary results and/or progress developments on both projects.RDM Mine, BrazilFor 2011, the Corporation established the following goals:complete an updated Resource Estimate; complete a bankable Feasibility Study for the open-pit portion of the deposit; complete the permitting process to allow for the construction of the Project; proceed with a construction decision, and; evaluate the on-strike extension of the gold mineralization. In April of 2011, the Corporation announced an updated Resource Estimate and the results of its Feasibility Study.The 2011 Resource Estimate highlights include (see the Corporation's press release of April 5, 2011):Measured plus Indicated mineral resource of 19.4 million tonnes at 1.50 g/t Au for 936,600 ounces of gold (open-pit plus underground), an increase of 15% from the 2010 Resource Estimate. Inferred resource of 9.5 million tonnes at 1.93 g/t Au for 587,300 ounces of gold (open-pit plus underground), inclusive of inferred open-pit resource of 4.6 million tonnes at 1.62 g/t Au for 240,700 ounces of gold. Highlights of the feasibility study are as follows (see the Corporation's press release of April 6, 2011):Proven and Probable open-pit reserves of 20.9 million tonnes at 1.24 g/t Au for 830,200 ounces of gold (based on a US$950 per ounce gold pit-shell). Initial 8-year mine life at a mill throughput of approximately 7,000 tonnes per day utilizing conventional open-pit mining and crushing-grinding with a CIL circuit and an ADR plant to recover the gold. Average annual recoverable gold production of 93,400 ounces (100,000 ounces/year in the first three years of operation). Average cash operating cost over the life of mine of US$558 per ounce. Pre-tax project net present value ("NPV") of US$150.8 million based on a 5% discount rate using a gold price of US$ 1,150 per ounce for gold resulting in an internal rate of return ("IRR) of 24.9%. After-tax Project NPV of US$123.8 million based on a 5% discount rate at US$ 1,150 per ounce of gold with an IRR of 21.9%. Estimated start up capital of US$160 million (R$2.00 to $US1.00). Additional opportunities for future conversion of resources to reserves and resource growth, reduction in capital and increased mill feed grade. Using near current spot prices of US$1,600 per oz of gold, the after-tax NPV based on a 5% discount rate is US$268.2 million with an IRR of 36.5%. With the release of the feasibility study results, the board of directors of the Corporation announced, on April 6, 2011 a decision to proceed with the development of the RDM Mine. On November 28, 2011 the Corporation announced that it had received official notice to the effect that the Licenca Instalacao ("LI"), allowing for the construction of the RDM Mine had been granted. The Corporation originally announced the governmental approval for the construction of the Project on September 16, 2011, but was later advised that the COPAM (an environmental agency group) wanted to further review the technical data and consequently the construction activities at the Project were suspended for the Project until the approval of the license was granted and subsequently announced on November 28, 2011. While the suspension on the previous permission to proceed with construction of the Project was fairly short, it nonetheless resulted in an overall cumulative delay of the time line for construction and gold production. The work suspension happened at a time when the earthwork contractors would have been mobilizing. This delay resulted in limiting the work activity that could be carried out during the rainy season and the holiday season. The Corporation envisions that the RDM Mine will now commence production by mid-2013. The Corporation's goal to carry out an exploration drill program along strike of the open-pit deposit on several gold mineralized targets did not commence during the year, predominantly as a result of delays in obtaining drilling permits, which delays were related to obtaining the LI, and of the Corporation's focus on getting the necessary permits required for the construction of the Project. This exploration drill program is now scheduled to start towards the end of the first quarter of 2012. Rovina Valley Project, RomaniaThe Corporation set out the following objectives for 2011:a drill program of approximately 35,000 metres (originally established at 20,000 metres but later increased during the year), with the primary goals of: 1) expanding the size of the Ciresata gold-rich copper porphyry deposit and upgrading its inferred resources to the measured plus indicated resource categories, and; 2) in-fill drilling at the Rovina copper-gold porphyry deposit and the Colnic gold-rich copper porphyry deposits to up-grade the inferred resources to the measured plus indicated categories, all to be incorporated into a updated Resource Estimate planned for 2012; in addition to the planned drilling above, during the course of the year a further 15,000 m diamond drilling program was initiated to evaluate exploration/satellite porphyry targets on the Project, initiate a Pre-Feasibility Study on the Project to be completed by mid-2012; amend technical reports with results from the 2011 drilling program including any related mine design impacts and the potential expansion of the Ciresata deposit to be incorporated into documentation required for the conversion of the Exploration License to a Mining License, and; continue Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") and Social Impact Assessment ("SIA") programs throughout the year as well as all long-lead time programs that will be required for permitting of the project. During 2011, the Corporation completed a series of drill programs for 77 core holes totaling 46,590 metres. The majority of this drilling, about 33,230 metres was completed on in-fill and lateral extension drilling on the Ciresata porphyry. At the Colnic porphyry 4,695 metres of in-fill drilling was also completed. Both of these porphyries are now drilled off for purposes of an updated resource estimate. In late 2011, in-fill drilling commenced on the Rovina porphyry and 2,110 metres was completed by the end of the year. An additional 7,300 metres will be required to drill off this porphyry (for the resource update) that will be carried out in early 2012. As indicated above, the 2011 drill program for resource updating purposes was budgeted at 35,000 metres, however because of positive drill results this program will now total approximately 48,000 m. In addition to the above drilling for the resource update, 8 drill holes totaling 2,140 metres of geotechnical drilling was also completed at the proposed Rovina and Colnic open-pits as part of the geotechnical work program for the Pre-Feasibility Study. During the latter part of 2011, the Corporation commenced a 15,000 metre exploration drill program to test satellite targets on the property. Five drill-holes totaling 4,415 metres were completed by the end of the year with a focus on testing potential extensions of the Ciresata deposit. The balance of this drilling program will be carried out during 2012 and will focus on new porphyry targets on the Rovina Exploration License.Some highlight intersections from the 2011 diamond-drill program at the Ciresata gold-rich porphyry are as follows:Drill holeFrom (m)To (m)Length (m)Au (g/t)Cu (%)Au-eq* (g/t)RGD-191097336640.860.171.20Including173386222.214.171.124also289337481.590.292.19RGD-211477736260.920.191.32Including1476294821.060.211.50also20854433126.96.36.199RGD-273206343141.080.201.48Including343408651.490.252.01RGD-413148845700.770.191.16Including3147524380.830.191.23Including3214911701.080.191.48Including321352311.390.191.78RGD-551906774870.900.151.21Including2653821171.390.201.80also310333231.960.252.47* To estimate Au-eq (Gold Equivalent) a gold price of US $1,000 and a copper price of US $3.00/lb is used. Metallurgical recoveries are not taken into account. This is consistent with the Au-eq. calculations the Corporation has used in its recent press releases for Ciresata. See the Corporations website at http://www.carpathiangold.com/ for drill hole locations and drill hole orientations.A consortium of leading engineering groups and specialists, led by AGP Mining Consultants Inc. ("AGP"), was selected in 2011 to complete a Pre-feasibility Study on the Project, specifically on the Ciresata, Colnic and Rovina porphyries. AGP was also retained to complete an updated resource estimate for the three porphyry deposits incorporating new drill hole data from 2010 to 2012. This new database will include an additional 46 step out and in-fill drill hole results at the Ciresata deposit, the in-fill drill results from the Colnic deposit and the on-going in-fill drilling results from the Rovina deposit. It is expected that the resource update will be completed in the 2nd quarter of 2012 with the Pre-Feasibility Study results announced in the 3rd quarter of 2012.A consortium of Romanian certified consultants have been retained by the Corporation to complete the studies and provide a report required by the National Agency of Mineral Resources ("NAMR") for conversion of the Rovina Exploration License to a Mining License. These studies include resource-reserve assessments, mining and processing evaluations, environmental-social baselines and risk assessments, and health & safety evaluations. The technical portion of the report were initially completed in early 2011 and were to be submitted to the NAMR; however, and in cooperation with the NAMR, the anticipated positive impact of the 2011 drill program that could increase the gold-copper resources at the Ciresata deposit led to a mutual agreement to include the 2011 Ciresata drill results in the Mining License Application prior to the conversion to a Mining License. This revised report work is near completion and it is expected that this report will be submitted to the NAMR by the end of the first quarter of 2012. In addition to the technical fieldwork, the Corporation, through its wholly owned operating subsidiary in Romania, continued to maintain its proactive local stakeholder engagement programs. These included local community hall public meetings, a public information centre and partnership programs with local NGO's (partly funded by the European Union) and community leaders to implement community-based projects. The good relations with the community have allowed unhindered surface access for drilling in the project area which requires permission from landowners. In addition, throughout the year the Corporation continued with its long lead time work activities for both EIA and SIA documentation that will be required for the permitting of the project.2011 Corporate ActivityAt the Corporate Level the following achievements were realized in 2011.On July 18, 2011 the Corporation announced a strategic private placement with Barrick Gold Corporation ("Barrick") for a CDN$20 Million private placement, which gave Barrick an equity interest in the Corporation of approximately 9% at that time. The proceeds from the private placement are to be exclusively applied to the exploration and development work on the Rovina Valley Project. On October 5, 2012, the Corporation announced that it would enter into a committed arrangement with Macquarie Bank Limited ("Macquarie Bank") for a Project Loan Facility (the "Facility") ranging from US$75 to US$97 million and associated currency and commodity price protection facilities to fund the construction and development of the RDM Mine. On December 14, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Corporation and Macquarie Bank agreed to enter into final documentation for a Facility of US$80 million. In conjunction with this the Corporation, through Macquarie Bank, also entered into price protection programs in the form of currency swaps for the Project's CAPEX (R$1.90 to $US1.00) and OPEX (R$1.983 to $US1.00) as well as a gold price protection program comprised of 216,600 ounces of gold (approximately 26% of the open-pit reserves) at a price of US$1,600 per ounce. It is expected that the Facility documentation will be completed during the first quarter of 2012 and that the first draw down from the Facility will be around April 2012, once the Corporation has funded its share of Project expenditures through its equity. On November 29, 2011, the Corporation announced that it closed a bought deal equity financing of $46 Million, with the majority of the proceeds to be used for the construction and development of the RDM Mine. On December 14, 2011, the Board of Directors approved a 2012 consolidated budget of $152.4 Million of which approximately $136 Million will be used for the construction and development of the RDM Mine, approximately $12 Million for the exploration and further development of the Rovina Valley Project and the balance for corporate expenditures. The 2012 funding requirement will be provided for by the US$80 Million Project Loan Facility, (net proceeds of approximately US$74.0 Million), current cash of approximately CDN$96 Million and in-the-money warrants of approximately $2.5 Million. 2012 Outlook The Corporation's priorities are to expedite the construction and development of the RDM Mine as well as to continue to advance and expand the resources at the Rovina Valley Project. Additionally the Corporation will continue to evaluate any other opportunities that may add significant shareholder value. The following lists the major objectives for each of the RDM Mine and the Rovina Valley Project for 2012.2012 Objectives for the RDM Mine, BrazilConstruct and develop the open-pit portion of the Project throughout the year and into 2013 for an anticipated commencement of production by mid-2013. Embark on an exploration drill program (approximately 6,000 metres) primarily on-strike of the open-pit mineralization to outline additional shallow resources for future growth and extending the mine life of the Project. Evaluation studies for the exploitation of deeper resources via an underground operation with the objective of adding approximately 50% more mineable material approximately half way through the open-pit mining operation. Continue EIA and SIA programs throughout the year. 2012 Objectives for the Rovina Valley Project, RomaniaObtain final approval for the conversion of the Exploration License to a Mining License. Complete the in-fill drilling program on the Rovina porphyry (approximately 7,300 metres). Continue with the exploration drilling on new potential porphyry targets on the property (approximately 10,600 metres). Complete an updated resource estimate. Complete a Pre-Feasibility study. Convert the Exploration License to a Mining License. Continue EIA and SIA programs throughout the year as well as all long-lead time programs that will be required for permitting of the project. Initiate the detailed permitting process in order to put the project into production. Further details on the Corporation and the individual projects can be found on the Corporation's website at www.carpathiangold.com and www.sedar.com. Mr. Titaro is the qualified person (as defined in National Instrument 43-101) overseeing the design and implementation of the present exploration programs. He is responsible for preparing the technical information contained in this news release.About CarpathianThe Corporation is an exploration and development company whose primary business interest is developing near-term gold production on its 100% owned Riacho dos Machados Gold Mining Project ("RDM Mine") in Brazil, which is currently focusing on activities surrounding permitting and construction, along with progressing its exploration and development plans on its 100% owned Rovina Valley Au-Cu Project located in Romania. On a company wide basis, the Corporation currently hosts NI 43-101 resources of 4.0 million ounces of gold in the measured plus indicated categories and 4.5 million ounces of gold in the inferred category, as well as 759.1 million pounds of copper in the measured plus indicated category and 663.1 million pounds of copper in the inferred category.The RDM Mine is targeted to produce in the order of +/-100,000 ounces of gold per annum with an anticipated goal for the commencement of production by mid-2013. The Rovina Valley Project will enhance the Corporations growth profile as a mid-tier gold producer.Forward-Looking Statements: This press release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "Project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address future exploration drilling, exploration activities and events or developments that the Corporation expects, are forward-looking statements. Although the Corporation believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated statements. The Corporation undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change, except as required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Mike O'Brien or Shobana ThayaCarpathian Gold Inc.(Investor Relations)+1(416) 368-7744+1(416) 363-3883 (FAX)firstname.lastname@example.orgORMontrealParadox Investor Relations+1(514) 341-0408 or 1-866-460-0408+1 (514) 341-1527 (FAX)email@example.comORToni VallenSeton Services, UK+44 207 224 firstname.lastname@example.orgThe TSX does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.