HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Atna Resources Ltd. is placing the Pinson Mine in Humbolt County, Nevada on a care and maintenance status until further notice.
Atna has made this decision in response to declining gold prices and to cut costs while conserving developed reserves. Ore stockpiles at Pinson are currently being shipped to third party processing facilities to support the cost of demobilization and the temporary shutdown of operations.
Atna is taking this action until such time that a revised operating plan is developed and gold prices are sufficient to support positive cash flow from operations. A core team will remain at the mine site to maintain developed infrastructure and to consolidate technical data to use in preparing a revised operating plan. Since announcing reduced operations at the mine in May, work has focused on testing operating systems to provide information needed to better assess the project. Recent work has demonstrated that improvements to future project economics can be achieved. Areas of improvement include:
-- Screening of mined ore has demonstrated that an 18% to 22% improvement
in mined ore grade with an equal decrease in tons is achievable with a
minimal loss of gold. Early ore shipments were made without this
screening process resulted in significantly reduced sales revenue. This
screening removes both internal and external waste inclusions from mined
ore reducing ore processing and transportation cost. Initial tests have
been completed sequentially using a 5" grizzly, 4" screen and a 3"
-- Initial work indicates that ground conditions support larger openings
than originally anticipated, particularly under cemented rock fill. This
results in increased mining productivity and reduced cost. Any increase
in waste dilution can be effectively removed by low cost screening on
-- Knowledge of ore zone orientation from detailed drilling improves
overall design and work-flow which in-turn improves productivity and ore
yield from mining. Initial reconciliation study of the limited mining
completed in the Ogee zone demonstrates that the resource model provides
good guidance for design, but is impacted locally by complex geometry in
mineralized zone. Delineation drilling is required to outline ore
geometry for ore stope development. Some areas of the deposit may also
be amenable to lower cost mining alternatives as compared to the high
cost underhand-cut-and-fill method initially used at Pinson.
-- Many of the operating functions at Pinson were performed by third party
contractors. This step was taken to accelerate mine development, but
resulted in high cost and reduced control of operations. Consideration
will be given to limit the use of third party contractors in future
operations as part of an overall cost reduction effort.