TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2011) - Dia Bras Exploration Inc. (News - Market indicators) ("Dia Bras" or the "Company") is pleased to report that construction of its new, 1,000 tpd Piedras Verdes Mill at the Bolivar Property in Chihuahua, Mexico, continues to progress on time and under budget for commissioning in the second quarter of 2011.
"This commissioning our new mill is an important step forward for Dia Bras", stated Daniel Tellechea, President and CEO. "Our operational staff has worked diligently to keep the construction of the mill and water reservoir on schedule and on budget. We are also developing additional deposits, such as El Gallo and La Narizona, to provide feed for the mill. Operation of the mill will significantly reduce the cash cost of production as well as increase the life of the mine, and will optimize the NAV of the Company as we will be able to mine lower grade material."
Piedras Verde Mill
The new Piedras Verdes Mill will process mineralized rock mined from the Bolivar Mine (Alta Ley), Increíble mine, Narizona and Gallo mines. The latter three mines are being developed so that they will begin operations at the same time the Piedras Verdes Mill is commissioned.
The Company seized the opportunity to purchase larger ball mills at essentially the same price as the smaller mills included in the original budget, which allowed Dia Bras to increase the initial capacity of the mill to 1,000 tonnes per day (tpd), as opposed to the original design of 500 tpd (please see Dia Bras News Release of November 2, 2010). Each of the two Dominion 9'6" x 14' ball mills purchased will provide a capacity of 1,000 tpd, so only one will be installed this year.
When the new mill begins production in mid-2011, the initial throughput is planned to be about 500 tpd. As the mill is tuned and operating efficiency of the newly-trained staff improves, the throughput will be ramped up to about 1,000 tpd by the end of this year using the single ball mill. During 2012, the second ball mill will be installed, and throughput will be gradually ramped up to about 2,000 tpd. The Company expects that total operating costs will be decreased significantly as a result of higher mining and milling rates.
Several aspects of the construction are notable:
- The Piedras Verdes Mill is being constructed by Dia Bras' 100%- owned subsidiary, EXMIN, S.A. de C.V.
- Eighty people from the ejido of Piedras Verde have applied for employment at the Piedras Verde Mill, and only 55 of these will be accepted. The people selected for employment at the mill will be sent to the Company's Malpaso Mill for training as operators of the mill. The new mill is expected to employ 55 people, in addition to the 183 people currently employed at the mine, which makes Dia Bras a major employer in the region. This level of employment is a major, positive impact on the economy of the region because Piedras Verdes town has a population of only 648 people.
- The frames for the concentrate patio and mill/flotation buildings are complete and ready to have roofing and siding installed.
View of concentrate patio and flotation buildings ready for roofing and siding http://www.diabras.com/files/media/70862_New%20Picture%201.png
- Flotation cells, pumps, motors, agitator mechanisms, etc. necessary for the initial 1,000 tpd operation have been acquired, and 50% of all needed equipment is on site. The cells, of 300 cubic feet capacity are on site and being installed.
Flotation cells being unloaded for final positioning http://www.diabras.com/files/media/28172_New%20Picture%202.png
- The underflow tunnel for the tailings dam is 70% complete.
View of drainage tunnel of the tailings dam under construction http://www.diabras.com/files/media/2c714_New%20Picture%203.png
- One of the two Dominion 9'6" x 14' ball mills has arrived at the Company's Malpaso Mill and will be transported to the new mill site when its foundations are complete, which is scheduled for late March. The second ball mill is being refurbished in Colima and will be installed during 2012, which will bring the capacity of the Piedras Verde mill to at least 2,000 tpd.
Photo of one of the two ball mills that will be installed at the Piedras Verde Mill http://www.diabras.com/files/media/cc3f2_New%20Picture%204.png
- Construction of the water reservoir, located only two kilometres from the mill site and with a design capacity of 1.5 million m3, is well underway and is expected to be completed late in the second quarter of 2011, before the beginning of the rainy season that typically starts during late June.
Piedras Verdes Reservoir under construction. Photo taken February 1, 2011. http://www.diabras.com/files/media/73e05_New%20Picture%205.png
Development of the El Gallo deposit continues on schedule. A ventilation and escape raise has been completed, and the upper and lower ramps have been advanced significantly.
El Gallo body with development plan shown http://www.diabras.com/files/media/5941e_New%20Picture%206.png
Development of this deposit has advanced, and rock from the deposit has been shipped to the Malpaso Mill for processing. The cut-off grade shown in the map is for rock being shipped to Malpaso. The cut-off grade will be reduced significantly when the rock is shipped to the nearby Piedras Verde Mill, located only six kilometres from the deposit.
Development has exposed high-grade zinc mineralization along the drift, as shown in the map and section below.
La Narizona drift and sampling results http://www.diabras.com/files/media/0be4f_New%20Picture%207.png
Cross Section of La Narizona
About Dia Bras
Dia Bras is a Canadian exploration mining company focused on precious and base metals in Chihuahua State and other areas of northern Mexico. The Company is pursuing the development and exploration of its most advanced assets – the Bolivar Property (copper‐zinc‐silver) and the Cusi Property (silver). Dia Bras is also exploring several precious metal targets such as La Cascada project at the Bolivar Property, the Las Coloradas project at Melchor Ocampo (Zacatecas State), the Bacerac Property (Sonora State) and the La Verde project at the Batopilas Property (Chihuahua State).
The Company's shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "DIB".
Neither the 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 news release.
Except for statements of historical fact, all statements in this news release without limitation regarding new projects, acquisitions, future plans and objectives are forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.