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Minera Andes Inc

Published : May 16th, 2009

REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 2009 FINANCIAL RESULTS

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MINERA ANDES REPORTS FIRST QUARTER
2009 FINANCIAL RESULTS

  
TSX: MAI   
NASD-OTCBB: MNEAF   
   

SPOKANE, WA - May 15, 2009 - Minera Andes Inc. (the "Corporation" or "Minera Andes") (TSX-MAI and US OTC: MNEAF) today reported a net loss of $4.9 million ($0.02 per share) in its first quarter 2009 financial statements. All amounts in this news release are in US dollars unless otherwise noted. Our financial statements are available under the Corporation's profile at www.sedar.com.

Minera Andes' share of the net loss derived from Minera Santa Cruz S.A.("MSC") for the three months ended March 31, 2009 (before amortization), was $0.9 million. MSC is owned 49% by Minera Andes and 51% by Hochschild Mining plc ("Hochschild") (HOCM.L: Reuters and HOC LN: Bloomberg - London Stock Exchange). MSC owns and operates the San Jos� silver/gold mine in southern Argentina, which has recently expanded its processing capacity to a rate of 1,500 tonnes per day. Hochschild is the operator of the San Jos� Mine.

Allen Ambrose, President of Minera Andes said, "While we are disappointed with our loss for the first quarter, we are very pleased by the progress that MSC is making in reducing operating costs at the San Jos� Mine. Unfortunately, the mine had a considerable build-up of processed silver and gold in inventory during the quarter and showed a net loss for the quarter, but the products have now been sold, and the sale of this built up inventory will be reflected in the results for the second quarter."

The silver and gold sales from the San Jos� Mine in the first quarter of 2009 totaled $21.1 million. During the fourth quarter 2008, total sales from the San Jos� Mine were $19.6 million. The weighted average sales prices were $12.98/ounce of silver and $911/ounce of gold during the first quarter of 2009 and $8.93/ounce of silver and $774/ounce of gold during the previous quarter. San Jos�'s silver and gold sales are unhedged. The first quarter 2009 sales of silver and gold by MSC were lower compared to fourth quarter of 2008 due to built up processed product inventories of silver and gold at the end of the quarter while MSC negotiated new contracts and improved commercial terms for the sale of dor� bullion and concentrates. The accumulated inventories were sold at the start of the second quarter of 2009.

Cash operating costs (calculated on a co-product basis) for the mine were $4.99 per ounce for 1,299,000 ounces of silver and $357 per ounce for 16,560 ounces of gold. As previously reported, a total of 118,986 tonnes of ore was processed in the first quarter of 2009 with an average grade of 427 grams per tonne of silver and 5.29 grams per tonne of gold. The sale products are marketed in the form of concentrates and dor� bullion. Cash operating costs were $12.2 million for the quarter, which represents a decrease of approximately 28% compared to the fourth quarter of 2008 and the cash cost per tonne decreased by 29% to $111.80 per tonne. The decrease in total cash operating costs was mainly due to lower costs for marketing, labor, supplies, energy, and repairs and maintenance, which was partially offset by an increase in the tonnage mined and processed. The decrease in the cash cost per tonne and per ounce of silver and gold reflects the economies of scale achieved through the expansion of the processing plant as well as the effects of the Argentine Peso devaluation.

Allen V. Ambrose, Minera Andes' President and CEO, who is a "qualified person" as defined by National Instrument 43-101, is responsible for the information used in this news release and has supervised the preparation of the information and reviewed all information used in this news release.

Minera Andes is a gold, silver and copper exploration company working in Argentina. The Corporation holds or has an interest in approximately 304,000 acres of mineral exploration land in Argentina, including the properties comprising the 49% owned San Jos� silver/gold mine. Minera Andes is also exploring the Los Azules copper project in San Juan province, where a scoping study has been completed and a 43-101 technical report filed. Other exploration properties, primarily silver and gold, are being evaluated in southern Argentina. The Corporation presently has 230,538,851 shares issued and outstanding.

This news is submitted by Allen V. Ambrose, President, CEO and Director of Minera Andes Inc.



For further information, please contact: Art Johnson at the Spokane office, or Krister A. Kottmeier, investor relations - Canada, at the Vancouver office. Visit our Web site: www.minandes.com.

Spokane Office
111 East Magnesium Rd.,
Spokane, WA 99208 USA
Phone: (509) 921-7322
E-mail: mineraandes@minandes.com

Vancouver Office
Suite 911 - 470 Granville St,
Vancouver, BC. V6C 1V5
Phone: (604) 689-7017 / 877-689-7018
E-mail: ircanada@minandes.com

Non-GAAP Financial Measures:
In this news release, we use the term "operating cash cost." Operating cash costs are defined as the sum of the geology, mining, processing plant, general and administration costs as well as royalties, refining and treatment charges and sales costs applied to dor�, but with respect to concentrate sales do not include refining, treatment charges and sales costs. The operating cash costs per ounce are calculated on a co-product basis by dividing the respective proportionate share of the total costs for the period for each metal by the ounces of each respective metal produced. The proportionate share of the total costs is calculated by multiplying the total cash costs by the percentage of total production value that the respective metal represents. For 2009, approximately 52% of the value of the production was derived from silver and 48% was derived from gold based on the year 2009 average London PM fix for silver and for gold. We use operating cash cost per ounce as an operating indicator. We provide this measure to our investors to allow them to also monitor operational efficiency of MSC's mine at San Jos�. Operating cash cost per ounce should be considered as non-GAAP Financial Measure and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. There are material limitations associated with the use of such non-GAAP Financial Measures. Since these measures do not incorporate revenues, changes in working capital and non-operating cash costs, they are not necessarily indicative of operating profit or cash flow from operations as determined under GAAP. Changes in numerous factors include, but are not limited to, mining rates, milling rates, silver and gold grades, silver and gold recoveries, and the costs of labor, consumables and mine site operations general and administrative activities that can cause these measures to increase or decrease.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements:
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable US and Canadian securities laws. Such forward-looking statements or information include expected production at MSC's San Jos� Project. In making the forward-looking statements and providing the forward-looking information, we have made numerous assumptions. Although our management believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to be materially different from that expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include among other things, declines in the price of gold, silver, copper and other base metals, capital and operating cost increases, changes in general economic and business conditions, including changes in interest rates and the demand for base metals, economic and political instability in Argentina, discrepancies between actual and estimated production and mineral reserves and resources; operational and development risk; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and regulatory risks.

Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. We undertake no obligation to reissue or update forward-looking statements or information as a result of new information or events after the date hereof except as may be required by law. See our annual information form for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to the forward-looking statements and information. All forward-looking statements and information made in this news release are qualified by this cautionary statement. Minera Andes' joint venture partner, a subsidiary of Hochschild Mining plc, and its affiliates do not accept responsibility for the use of project data or the adequacy or accuracy of this release.


THE TSX HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

 

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Minera Andes Inc. | S. 911 - 470 Granville Street | Vancouver | British Columbia | V6C 1V5 | Canada

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Data and Statistics for these countries : Argentina | Canada | All
Gold and Silver Prices for these countries : Argentina | Canada | All

Minera Andes Inc

CODE : MAI.TO
ISIN : CA6029101012
CUSIP : 602910101
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Minera Andes is a silver producing company based in Canada.

Minera Andes is listed in Canada and in United States of America. Its market capitalisation is CA$ 730.0 millions as of today (US$ 728.7 millions, € 555.9 millions).

Its stock quote reached its lowest recent point on February 06, 2009 at CA$ 0.32, and its highest recent level on April 15, 2011 at CA$ 3.39.

Minera Andes has 282 959 000 shares outstanding.

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