Solitario Reports Progress On Its Mt. Hamilton Gold Project, Nevada
September 19, 2011
Denver, Colorado: Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp.
("Solitario;" NYSE Amex: XPL; TSX: SLR) and Ely Gold & Minerals
("Ely Gold;" TSX.V: ELY) are pleased to announce significant progress on
their advanced Mt. Hamilton gold-silver project located at the southern
end of the prolific Battle Mountain gold trend, Nevada. Virtually all
work currently being conducted is related to feasibility and permitting
in anticipation of making a production decision for the Centennial
deposit early in 2012. Completion of the Feasibility Study is expected
in the later part of the fourth-quarter 2011, with a Plan of Operations
to be filed soon thereafter.
Ongoing feasibility-level engineering has identified several important
improvements over the previous mine plan outlined in the Updated
Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) completed in July 2010 by Ely.
Highlights of these improvements include:
Production rate increased from 5000 to 8,500 tons per day with an estimated mine life of approximately seven years
An updated and improved resource model for mine scheduling
An increase in the sizing of mining equipment for greater productivity and cost efficiency
Improved ore delivery scheme from the open pit to the heap leach pad
Enhanced environmental design for ore transportation and heap leach pad location
Favorable results concerning water availability and waste rock characterization
SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc., an independent international mine
engineering firm, has been engaged by Solitario to manage and complete
the Feasibility Study for Mt. Hamilton. The final mine and processing
plan is nearly complete. Mining will occur in a single pit with
20-foot mine benches utilizing 100-ton capacity haul trucks. Ore will
be hauled approximately 3,500 feet to the primary crusher. Waste will
be hauled to a single waste storage area. The life-of-mine waste-to-ore
ratio is estimated at approximately 2.5 tons of waste to 1.0 tons of
The current mine plan reduces the ore haulage distance and related
expenses by dropping crushed ore approximately 350 feet down a vertical
underground ore pass where it will then be transported via conveyor belt
through a 3,400-foot tunnel to a secondary crusher. The secondary
crusher will reduce the ore to minus ¾-inch, after which it will then be
conveyed about 1,000 feet to the heap leach pad. A standard ADR
recovery plant will recover gold and silver in the form of doré. Final
recovery rates are expected to be in the range of 75% for gold and 36%
for silver. The heap leach pad and recovery plant will be situated on
Solitario is concurrently completing other work supporting the mine plan
including completion of a Plan of Operations to be filed with the U.S.
Forest Service as required for environmental permitting with the state
and federal agencies. In addition, Solitario has embarked on a core
drilling program to further test extensions of higher grade
mineralization along the eastern edge of the Centennial deposit and to
test for new mineralization at the Chester prospect area situated
approximately one-mile south of the Centennial deposit.
Chris Herald, President and CEO of Solitario commented, "We are
extremely pleased with the substantial improvements that have been made
in the operational design of the Mt. Hamilton project and believe that
these changes will result in enhanced overall economics and operational
efficiencies for the project moving forward."
John Brownlie, Executive Chairman of Ely Gold stated, "The robust
economics of this project should be further enhanced by some very
creative mine planning and material handling. The vertical ore pass and
underground extraction tunnel could also increase our exploration
options, possibly increasing minable resources and mine life.
"Solitario is an outstanding joint venture partner and has added
significant value to the fast tracked development of the Mt. Hamilton
Project, " stated Trey Wasser, Ely Gold's President & CEO.
Terms of the Mt. Hamilton LLC Joint Venture
Solitario and Ely Gold formed the Mt. Hamilton LLC ("MH-LLC"), a limited
liability company which now holds 100% of the Mt. Hamilton project
assets under an Operating Agreement ("MH-Agreement"). Per the terms of
the MH-Agreement, DHI-US, Ely Gold's wholly owned US subsidiary,
currently has a 90% initial interest in the MH-LLC and Solitario has a
10% initial interest. Solitario can earn up to an 80% interest in the
MH-LLC by completing a feasibility study. Further Solitario obligations
include arranging project financing, and making future property and
advanced royalty payments.
Solitario is a gold, silver, platinum-palladium, and base metal
exploration and royalty company actively exploring in Brazil, Mexico,
Peru and Nevada. Solitario has significant business relationships with
Votorantim Metais, Compañia de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A., Anglo
Platinum, and Newmont Mining. Solitario has approximately US$16 million
in net cash and marketable securities. Solitario is traded on the NYSE
Amex ("XPL") and on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("SLR"). Additional
information about Solitario is available online at www.solitarioxr.com.
About Ely Gold
Ely Gold is focused on the acquisition and development of gold resources
in North America. The Company is currently working toward production
from the Centennial Gold Deposit, a project located on the Company's
100% owned Mount Hamilton property. More recently, Ely Gold has entered
into a series of transactions to acquire a portfolio of assets in the
Abitibi Gold Camp in Quebec. Ely Gold is traded on the TSX Venture
Exchange ("ELY"). Additional information about Ely Gold is available
FOR MORE INFORMATION AT SOLITARIO, CONTACT:
Director - Investor Relations
Christopher E. Herald
President & CEO
FOR MORE INFORMATION AT ELY GOLD, CONTACT:
President & CEO
This press release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements"
within the meaning of section 21E of the United States Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements
of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation,
statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration
results and future plans and objectives of Solitario, are
forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties.
There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be
accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially
from those anticipated in such statements. Development of Solitario's
properties are subject to the success of exploration, completion and
implementation of an economically viable mining plan, obtaining the
necessary permits and approvals from various regulatory authorities,
compliance with operating parameters established by such authorities and
political risks such as higher tax and royalty rates, foreign
ownership controls and our ability to finance in countries that may
become politically unstable. Important factors that could cause actual
results to differ materially from Solitario's expectations are disclosed
under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Solitario's documents
filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Commissions and the
United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as
that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange)
accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.