Toronto, April 14th , 2014 - Scorpio Mining Corporation (TSX: SPM) ("Scorpio Mining" or the "Company") today announced updates with respect to its El Cajón and San Rafael Development Projects, located 14 km and 15.5 km, respectively, by road from its Nuestra Señora plant.
- El Cajón mine development - The mine portal was collared on March 29, 2014 and a letter of intent ("LOI") has been signed with a Mexican mining contractor for establishing said portal and the sinking of the ramp and associated lateral workings within the first 112 m below surface.
- Surface Exploration Program to upgrade the resources at the San Rafael Main Zone and El Cajón - The combined submittal of the Environmental Impact Statement ("MIA") and related request for Change of Use of Land ("ETJ") has been provided to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources ("SEMARNAT") for the State of Sinaloa, Mexico, for its evaluation and approval.
"The El Cajón and San Rafael Projects are expected to maintain our past production tonnage and provide Scorpio Mining with growth opportunities over the following years" said Pierre Lacombe, President and Chief Executive Officer.
El Cajón Mine Development in Progress
Scorpio Mining is pleased to announce that, through its subsidiary Minera Platte River Gold, S. de R.L. de C.V. ("MPRG"), it has entered into a binding LOI and is finalizing the details of contractual terms with the contractor DIEMPSA. The scope of the agreement is to provide for the establishment of the mine portal at the El Cajón Mine and the sinking of approximately 1,500 m of ramp, as well as 1,700 m of lateral development in waste and mineralized material.
These underground workings would allow access to the resources outlined above level 290, with the mine entrance elevation corresponding to level 402, and thus cover the first phase of production using the long-hole stoping with fill mining method.
Geotechnical drilling, clearing and grubbing activities along with cut-and-fill activities at the location of the mine adit and surface infrastructures have been completed, along with the first rounds of drilling and blasting for collaring the mine portal entrance.
Scorpio Mining is reviewing alternate options to improve the haulage road from El Cajón to its Nuestra Señora processing plant. The revised access road configuration, while avoiding some settlements, would reduce disturbances and bring the haulage distance down from 14 km to about 10.7 km. Final design and permitting are to proceed shortly.
Underground development work, giving access to the upper production stopes in El Cajón, is expected to be completed in Q3 2014. An additional quarter will be needed to ramp up the mining activities to a regular production regime, at an expected potential of up to 1,500 tpd using design assumptions based solely on surface drilling data. A level of sustainable output will be better determined once underground operations are underway and multiple accesses to the orebody are achieved. JDS Energy and Mining Inc. is currently working on a Pre-Feasibility Study which is expected to be completed in Q3 2014.
Exploration Program Permit Application, to upgrade the resources at the San Rafael Main Zone and El Cajón in 2014
The Documento Técnico Unificado ("DTU") application has been filed by MPRG with SEMARNAT on March 19th, 2014. The permit sought is for enabling surface drilling over the El Cajón and San Rafael deposits. The DTU application consists of the combined Environmental Impact Statement (Spanish acronym Manifiesto de Impacto Ambiental "MIA") and the Change of Use of Land Permit (Spanish acronym Estudio Tecnico Justificativo "ETJ").
The timing of such environmental permitting approval is not guaranteed. However, the existing land access agreements, proven environmental compliance of existing operations and continuing community support, give the Company a high level of confidence that a positive outcome will be expeditious.
Upon approval of the DTU, the exploration program defined for 2014 will put an emphasis on the infill drilling required to enhance the quality of the near-surface resources found within the Main and Upper Zones of the San Rafael deposit, leaving for later definition of the deeper Ag-Cu 120 Zone at San Rafael.
Scorpio Mining announces date change of 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Scorpio Mining's Annual General and Special Meeting of Shareholders (the "Meeting") will now be held on June 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel located at 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON. The Meeting was originally scheduled to be held on May 13, 2014, but has been rescheduled in order for the Board to consider possible changes to its composition, as proposed by one of its major shareholders.
The record date for shareholders eligible to vote at the Meeting will be April 28, 2014. During the meeting, management will provide an overview of the Company's 2013 operating and financial results.
Scorpio Mining Corporation is a silver producer operating in Mexico with significant base metal by-product credits. The 100% owned Nuestra Señora Mine in the Cosalá District of Sinaloa State, Mexico, has flexible mining methods and diversified metal production. It has a fully mechanized underground operation and a 1,600 tonnes per day processing facility with permitted capacity for expansion to 4,000 tonnes per day. The plant produces zinc, copper and lead concentrates, with a significant payable silver component in the copper and lead concentrates.
In addition, the Company has numerous exploration targets in the vicinity of its current operations as well as the advanced El Cajón and San Rafael development projects. The Company's strategy for near-term growth is currently focused on mine development of the El Cajón deposit upon receipt of permitting.
Scorpio Mining's President and CEO, Mr. Pierre Lacombe, Eng., is a Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the content of this release.
ON BEHALF OF SCORPIO MINING CORPORATION
President & CEO
For further information contact:
Victoria Vargas, Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Communications +1 416-585-2200
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the Company's operations, exploration and development plans, expansion plans, estimates, expectations, forecasts, objectives, predictions and projections of the future. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "projects", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or "variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "can", "could", "would", "might", or "will" be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Scorpio Mining Corporation to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: risks related to the exploration and development and operation of the Company's projects in Mexico, risks related to international operations, construction delays and cost overruns, the actual results of current exploration, development and construction activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, future prices of silver, zinc, copper, lead and gold, risks relating to completing acquisition transactions as well as those factors discussed in the sections relating to risk factors of our business filed in Scorpio Mining Corporation's required securities filings on SEDAR, including its Annual Information Form dated March 14, 2013. Although Scorpio Mining Corporation has attempted to identify important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results to be materially different from those anticipated, described, estimated, assessed or intended.
There can be no assurance that any forward-looking statements will prove accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Scorpio Mining Corporation does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are incorporated by reference herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.