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Press release from Marketwire

Golden Minerals Provides Update of First Quarter Production and Full Year Guidance for Velardena Operations

Friday, May 04, 2012

Golden Minerals Provides Update of First Quarter Production and Full Year Guidance for Velardena Operations18:43 EDT Friday, May 04, 2012GOLDEN, CO--(Marketwire - May 04, 2012) - Golden Minerals Company </b>(NYSE Amex: AUMN) (TSX: AUM) ("Golden Minerals" or "the Company") today provided an update of first quarter 2012 production at the Velardena Operations along with updated production guidance for full year 2012.First quarter 2012 production from the Velardena Operations was better than the preliminary results previously reported. Payable production for the quarter totaled approximately 1,700 ounces of gold and 110,000 ounces of silver, exceeding guidance by approximately 30% for gold and 22% for silver.Production guidance for the remaining three quarters of 2012 has been updated, with a slight increase in anticipated gold production and a decrease in anticipated silver production. Payable silver production for 2012 is now expected to be approximately 590,000 ounces, as compared to previous guidance of 740,000 ounces. Payable gold production guidance is now approximately 9,400 ounces, as compared to previous guidance of 9,000 ounces.The decrease in anticipated silver production during 2012 is primarily the result of a six month delay in the planned arrival of underground mobile mining and ancillary equipment, including loaders, trucks and drills that are no longer required at the El Quevar project. Due to customs delays in Argentina, the equipment which was expected to arrive in January 2012 is now expected to arrive at the mine site in June. This delay has reduced the amount of mine development completed, which has in turn delayed access to stopes with higher grades and delayed further reductions in dilution. Gold production is forecast to remain near previous guidance as the Company expects to be able to use the new bulk flotation process being installed at the oxide plant, planned to come on line in July, to improve gold recoveries more than originally anticipated.The following table shows updated actual gold and silver production for first quarter 2012 and updated guidance for full year 2012.---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Q1 2012 Full Year Actual Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2012 2012----------------------------------------------------------------------------Production (payable metals)----------------------------------------------------------------------------Gold (oz) 1,700 1,700 2,200 3,800 9,400----------------------------------------------------------------------------Silver (oz) 110,000 110,000 160,000 210,000 590,000----------------------------------------------------------------------------Silver Equivalent (oz)- 195,000 195,000 270,000 400,000 1,060,000----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Calculated using a silver to gold ratio of 50:1; does not include lead or zincAssuming metals prices of $30.00 per ounce of silver and $1,500.00 per ounce of gold during the remainder of 2012, the Company expects that revenue from the sale of metals net of cost of metals sold will be positive at the Velardena Operations in the fourth quarter of 2012.The Company is continuing engineering studies of a number of alternatives for a possible phased expansion of production at the Velardena Operations, in place of the 1,300 tonne per day expansion still under review. The Company currently expects costs in the range of approximately $20 million for the 1,300 tonne per day alternative. The timing of a potential expansion is subject to the availability of funding.About Golden Minerals </b>Golden Minerals is a Delaware corporation based in Golden, Colorado, primarily engaged in the ramp-up and expansion of existing production at the Velardena Operations in Mexico and advancement of the evaluation stage El Quevar project in Argentina.Forward-Looking Statements </b>This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, and applicable Canadian securities laws, including statements regarding forecasts of production from the Velardena Operations and the effects on such forecasts of the delay in underground development work resulting from the delay in the arrival of mobile mining and other equipment from the El Quevar project, delays in accessing higher grade stopes, increased mine dilution and reduced head grades; the anticipated Velardena Operations site arrival time of mobile mining and other equipment from the El Quevar project; the potential expansion of Velardena Operations production, expected costs for a potential expansion to 1,300 tonnes per day, and the requirement for funding for an expansion; and anticipated achievement of cash flow positive operations at the Velardena Operations in the fourth quarter 2012. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including unexpected events at the Velardena Operations, including further delays in obtaining the underground mobile mining equipment from El Quevar or in completing installation of the bulk flotation process at the oxide plant; operational changes or problems; variations in ore grade and relative amounts, grades and metallurgical characteristics of oxide and sulfide ores; delays or failure in receiving required board or government approvals or permits; technical, permitting, mining, metallurgical or processing issues; failure to achieve anticipated increases in production and improvements in dilution, head grades, recoveries and concentrate production and quality at the Velardena Operations; problems that delay or reduce mine development; delays in or failure to realize anticipated benefits of plant optimization efforts; timing and availability of funding on acceptable terms to construct expanded production facilities; unfavorable interpretations of geologic information; failure to realize anticipated gold production increases from the addition of the bulk flotation process being installed at the oxide plant; failure to realize anticipated production increases from the anticipated increase in mine development; unfavorable results of new resource estimates; loss of and inability to adequately replace skilled mining and management personnel; possible disputes with customers; failure of undeveloped ore or veins to meet expectations; interpretations of geologic information; volatility or other changes in the U.S. and Canadian securities markets; availability and cost of materials, supplies and electrical power required for mining operations and exploration; fluctuations in silver, gold, zinc and lead prices, costs and general economic conditions; changes in political conditions, tax, environmental and other laws, diminution of physical safety of employees in Mexico, and other conditions in the countries in which the Company operates. Additional risks relating to Golden Minerals Company may be found in the periodic and current reports filed with the Securities Exchange Commission by Golden Minerals Company, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.For additional information please visit http://www.goldenminerals.com/ or contact:FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Jerry W. DanniGolden Minerals Company(303) 839-5060Executive Vice President