Fire River Provides Nixon Fork Operations Update
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CIL circuit is now fully operational
Fifty percent improvement in mill throughput since management changes in
Plant availability has improved from an average of 60% for the first
half of the year to 80% in October.
Plant throughputs in excess of 200 tonnes per day (tpd) have recently
been achieved on a number of days
Fiscal fourth Quarter gold production of 3048 ounces.
VANCOUVER, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Fire River Gold Corp. (TSXV: FAU),
(OTCQX: FVGCF), (FSE: FWR) (the "Company", or "Fire River") is pleased
to announce that the commissioning of the CIL (Carbon in Leach) circuit
at the Nixon Fork gold project, which began on April 18, 2012, is
complete. The commissioning process was more time consuming than was
expected, primarily due to difficulties in hiring experienced plant
personnel. The change of management at Fire River in mid-July
accelerated the plant commissioning process leading to the first pour
of dore' from the CIL circuit on August 12th. Dore' is now being poured on site on a regular basis. In October
almost half of the total gold produced was poured as dore' on site, in
a saleable form, and is now being shipped on a regular basis to Johnson
Matthey for refining.
In the first half of the year, the processing plant averaged 86 tpd.
Mill throughput averaged 126 tpd in October and is expected to further
increase in Q1 2013. Recently in November, we have seen a number of
days exceeding 200 tpd.
Total gold produced from both the CIL and flotation circuits at Nixon
Fork during in the three month period between August and October 2012
was 3,048 ounces.
Plant availability has been a major focus during the ramping up of
operations. From January through July 2012, plant availability
averaged only 60% and reached a low of 42% in July. Coinciding with the
change in management, a more disciplined approach to plant maintenance
was implemented which is showing significant benefits. Over the past
three months, even with major failures involving the Larox tailings
filter, the rod mill pinion and the ball mill coupling, the plant
availability has averaged 76% with October reaching 80%. Additional
increases are expected in coming months as improved operating and
maintenance procedures continue to be implemented.
Mill recovery during the first 6 months of the year averaged 66%. With
the completion of the CIL circuit, and other operational improvements,
the past 3 months have seen this increase to 74%. Further improvements
in recovery are expected in the coming months as mill operations
stabilize and further enhancements are implemented.
Conversion to a dry stack tailings disposal system in January 2012
resulted in a significant reduction in mill throughput. The new
management team has been working to overcome this production bottleneck
and in October the mill achieved its highest monthly throughput for
2012, 126 tpd. October's throughput was up 50% from the January through
July period and is expected to increase another 50% over the next two
months. This will surpass the previous guidance on plant capacity of
150 tpd and move closer to the current permitted throughput rate of 250
Grade from the mine was somewhat lower than expected during the quarter.
As a result, a mine operations' review has been conducted which
outlined a number of opportunities to enhance the estimating and
planning of mining activities. We are now in the process of
implementing the required changes to be able to deliver on this front
Having made significant progress with the processing facility, our focus
is now dedicated toward optimizing the mine performance both in terms
of grade and throughput. It is anticipated that an updated mine plan,
and results from recently completed drilling will be made available to
investors by the end of this year. The low cash position exacerbated
with a cash flow negative operation has been mitigated with the
financial support of Waterton Global. Additional technical expertise
has been deployed at site in order to accelerate the development and
implementation of the required corrective measures.
The Company is pleased to announce that Richard Wells has been appointed
to the Board of Directors. Mr. Wells was awarded the Canadian
Chartered Accountant designation in 2002 while working with
PricewaterhouseCoopers. While at PwC, Richard worked in the audit
practice, and serviced audit clients ranging from small privately held
manufacturing facilities to large multinational public clients. Since
2005, Mr. Wells has been with Waterton Global Resource Management. The
Company has accepted the resignation of David Fox and would like to
thank Mr. Fox for his contribution to the Board.
About Fire River Gold:
Fire River Gold Corp.'s flagship property is the wholly owned Nixon Fork
Gold Project located in the Tintina Gold Belt, Central Alaska.
Operations at Nixon Fork recommenced in July 2011. Nixon Fork is a past
producing mine with a high grade production history, and a low capital
requirement due to pre-existing infrastructure. The mine operates
year-round producing both gold concentrate and doré bars. District
scale exploration potential provides additional upside for the project.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FIRE RIVER GOLD CORP.
President and CEO
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
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.
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the
business and operations of Fire River Gold. In particular, statements
regarding use of proceeds and production targets in the upcoming years
are forward-looking statements. 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. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially from Fire River's plans or expectations include risks
relating to the actual results of current exploration activities,
fluctuating gold prices, possibility of equipment breakdowns and
delays, exploration cost overruns, availability of capital and
financing, general economic, market or business conditions, regulatory
changes, timeliness of government or regulatory approvals and other
risks detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by Fire
River with securities regulators. Fire River expressly disclaims any
intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statements whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise except as otherwise required by applicable securities
SOURCE Fire River Gold Corp.