Santa Fe Gold Corporation (OTCBB: SFEG) today reported that its Summit silver-gold mine in southwestern New Mexico is expected to achieve commercial production during January 2012.
Mechanized long-hole mining of the ore body began in December 2011 and has proved to be very successful. At the targeted production rate of 400 tons per day, output during 2012 is anticipated to increase by 400% from 2011 levels. Annual revenues over the life of mine are projected to approximate $40 million at recent gold and silver prices. Operating costs are estimated to be $364 per ounce of gold equivalent produced. Ore reserve grades over the life of mine are estimated to average 10.78 ounces per ton silver and 0.143 ounces per ton gold.
The production ramp up has been aided significantly by the $25 million debt financing completed in December, said Dr Pierce Carson, President and Chief Executive Officer. In particular, we have been able to acquire additional underground equipment, which will help in the mining and removal of ore from the mine. Currently awaiting removal there are about 10,000 tons of drilled and blasted broken ore underground.
Dr. Carson continued, We are continuing to operate the Lordsburg mill two 8-hour shifts per day, five days a week, and the Summit underground mine two 10-hour shifts a day, seven days a week. We have added to our operating staff and instituted an aggressive training program with a strong emphasis on safety. Currently our work force totals 56, the majority employed at the mine and the mill.
With the present environment of attractive silver and gold prices, we expect 2012 to be a good year for Santa Fe, Dr. Carson said. Looking to the future, our flotation mill has significant extra capacity and an important priority will be to step up both our exploration and acquisition programs for additional mill feed.
About Santa Fe Gold:
Santa Fe Gold is a U.S.-based mining and exploration enterprise focused on acquiring and developing gold, silver, copper and industrial mineral properties. Santa Fe controls: (i) the Summit mine and Lordsburg mill in southwestern New Mexico, which began processing operations in 2010; (ii) a substantial land position near the Lordsburg mill, comprising the core of the Lordsburg Mining District; (iii) the Ortiz gold property in north-central New Mexico; (iv) the Black Canyon mica deposit and processing equipment near Phoenix, Arizona; and (v) a deposit of micaceous iron oxide (MIO) in western Arizona. Santa Fe Gold intends to build a portfolio of high-quality, diversified mineral assets with an emphasis on precious metals.
To learn more about Santa Fe Gold, visit www.santafegoldcorp.com .
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, forward-looking statements) within the meaning of applicable US and Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements by the Company are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, variations in the market price of any mineral products the Company may produce or plan to produce, the Company's inability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, the Company's inability to produce minerals from its properties successfully or profitably, to continue its projected growth, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2010 and its most recent quarterly reports filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), and other information released by the Company and filed with the appropriate regulatory agencies. All of the Company's US public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sec.gov and its Canadian public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials.
Santa Fe Gold Corp
W. Pierce Carson, President and Chief Executive Officer