Scorpio Receives Mill Facility Construction Completion
Certificate And Provides A Project Update On The Nuestra Senora
Project, Sinaloa State, Mexico
Vancouver, March 31, 2008 - Scorpio Mining Corporation (TSX:SPM) is
pleased to provide an update on its progress toward production at the
100% owned Nuestra Senora project, Sinaloa State, Mexico.
Peter J. Hawley, Chairman, CEO comments, "The Scorpio team is extremely
proud to have reached completion of the Nuestra Senora mill facilities.
Considering that the initial ground breaking for the mill facility was
on August 1, 2007, attaining this milestone within a period of only 8
months is an achievement that demonstrates the know-how and dedication
of the Scorpio team. This extraordinary fast track time line is
particularly impressive given current mining industry shortages of
supplies, components, and experienced professionals including trades
people. In addition to this feat, the Company also cleared and
constructed a tailings dam impoundment area, a 34 kilometre power line,
4.8 km water line, mine personnel living complexes and 4.3 km of
by-pass road, all while underground development and stockpiling of
mineralized material continues to progress. At the same time the
geological team has recently delineated some new discoveries and
controls of high-grade mineral emplacement that is expected to
significantly enhance the grade of the mill throughput in the future,
as well as offer more flexibility in mine planning."
- As of March 27, 2008 the Company has received the mill facility
construction completion certificate sign off from Exergy Engineers &
Constructors Inc. who has overseen the mill construction and
pre-commissioning and will oversee the commissioning.
- From this point in time the Company will proceed with 8 scheduled
weeks of verification of the equipment and mill commissioning. This
will include approximately 2 weeks of final verification confirming
that all equipment is mechanically sound, and that electrical
panels / wiring is correctly installed. This will be followed by
powering up the facility to check on motors, etc. This is to be
followed by the initial ore processing including further
commissioning for the first three months (April - June) during which
time mill throughput will average 500 tonnes per day. The purpose of
this preliminary production is to determine the reagent consumption
and maximize the recovery of metals. Following these steps,
throughput will be increased to 1,000 tonnes per day commencing July
- Construction of the Company's 100% owned, dedicated 34 kilometre
power line from the main hydro dam to the mill facility has been
fully completed, including the building of an electrical sub-station
and is expected to go live on April 1st, 2008.
- The two 1 million litre water tanks are full and ready for processing
start up. It is anticipated that 80% of the water used will be
recovered for re-cycling in the process.
- Ore stockpile inventory as of the end of February 2008 was as
Stockpile 1: 52,148 tonnes grading 69g/t Ag, 0.08g/t Au, 0.25% Cu,
1.42% Pb, and 2.55% Zn.
Stockpile 2: 22,724 tonnes (assay results pending)
By Pass Road - Housing
- The 4.3 kilometre Cosala by-pass road has been completed. This road
was used for moving oversized mill equipment, trailers, etc. for
installation at the mill facility and the future transfer of daily
metal concentrates to smelters without impacting the town of Cosala
with heavy traffic.
- Construction work on the permanent facility camp is 75% complete;
final details in progress consist of completion of the installation
of doors and windows, roof tiles and exterior and interior painting.
Sewage lines have been connected to Cosala's municipal system with
fresh water now being connected.
- When finished the camp will initially house 48 persons in 16 houses
and the site allows expansion for further construction. This facility
is being built on 14 hectares of land that Company has purchased
which is ideally situated on both sides of the Company's Cosala
by-pass road. This purchase of the land is a cost effective measure
allowing the Company to build houses for personnel and construct its
own core logging and equipment storage facilities rather than rent
- Currently land is being cleared and prepared for the construction of
a main central office, core logging and equipment storage facilities
which will allow the Company to relocate its entire support staff to
the new facility.
Tailings Pond and Dam Construction
- Tailings dam construction has been completed for Phase 1 (first year
- The bottom of the tailings receiving pond has been completed and the
geo-membrane installation is in progress. The tailing facility is now
ready to receive material from the milling process.
- The contouring of the tailings pond area for the second phase (years
2 - 5) is in progress.
Water Supply for the Mill
- A water supply system consisting of a well by the river, a storage
tank, a pumping station, and a 4.8 km pipe line to the mill is under
construction. The pipeline construction is at 90% completion.
- The pipe line consists of a six inch diameter steel pipe along the
road with cement holding supports and anchors whereas the cement
water well holding tank consists of an 18 inch diameter steel pipe
under the river bed with three different pipe water feeders which
feed the well. In addition, a backup supply of excess clean mine
water can also be pumped from Level 6 of the mine into the storage
tank. The entire infrastructure is 95% complete. The Habitas river
flows all year long thus insuring a constant flow of water available
for the milling process even in the driest months.
- The staging storage tank has been constructed on site.
- The cement work for the pump station is completed.
- Although it is planned to re-circulate some 80% of the process water,
the water supply system will have the capacity to supply 100% of the
- As of the end of March 2008, a total of 6,769.5 meters of development
were done which includes cross-cut and access points of 4 x 4 meters.
Of this total, 1,804.0 meters of ramp (section of 4 x 5 meters) have
- During one 10-hour shift, the Company is currently capable of moving
over 1550 tonnes of waste/ore from stope development and preparation
activities in three zones to the mill site. This only requires eight
12 cubic meter trucks completing 82 trips per shift which supports
management's view that the Company can easily haul from underground
the initial 1,000 tonnes per day projected for mill feed.
- The initial full-scale mining is planned to start from the lower
grade Hoag zone where primary and secondary blocks have been
outlined. Each primary block contains approximately 23,000 tonnes on
level 10.5 and between 30,000 to 45,000 tonnes on level 10. Long-hole
drilling of the blocks from the Level 10 to Level 10.5 (15 metres)
began in February 2008, with the first blasting of blocks begun in
March 2008. In addition, five blocks have been excavated at the
bottom and the top and two of these blocks are currently ready for
long-hole drilling, development is ongoing to prepare the others.
- The Alimak ventilation raise from the 6th Level of the Nuestra Senora
mine to the Candelaria mine has been completed and installation of
the vent fan system will be completed by July.
- The up ramp from the 3rd Level of the Nuestra Senora mine to the
Candelaria Mine (located 175 meters vertically above) has advanced
220 meters of the overall 470 meters required to connect with the
above Candelaria Mine ramp. Once connected this will allow the
Company to access the high-grade Candelaria mineralization for the
blending of mill feed to increase mill head grades.
Surface and Underground Exploration
- The Company currently has three underground diamond drills performing
in-fill delineation drilling for areas of exploitation as well as
exploration drilling which is also targeting the zones outlined by
the recent successful surface drilling of the Santa Teresa and Santo
Domingo satellite deposits, and based on new exploration models
established from ongoing underground structural mapping. Recent
exploration results in the Santa Teresa Extension and below the Main
Northwest Zone (Jewel Box area) have been surpassing our
- On February 18th, 2008 the Company completed a geophysical program of
down-hole pulse electrical magnetic (DHPEM) surveying to determine if
this system will accurately locate known mineralized bodies within
the Nuestra Senora Project. The survey was successful in identifying
the known ore bodies, particularly in the Main Zone. This tool is
expected to greatly enhance our exploration efforts in underexplored
and/or structurally complex areas.
- The Company is in the final stages of signing commercial smelter
agreements and once finalized will inform the public during the next
President, Mr. D. Roger Scammell, PGeo, is the Company's Qualified
Person for the Nuestra Se�ora project. Mr. Scammell is responsible for
the current exploration and development program and has reviewed the
content of this release.
ON BEHALF OF SCORPIO MINING CORPORATION
Peter J. Hawley
Chairman & CEO
For further information contact:
Glenn Little, Jackson Little Holdings Ltd: 604-930-4375; 1-888-930-4375
Rich Kaiser, YES International: 1-800-631-8127; 001-757-306-6090
(outside North America)
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking statements". All statements in this news release,
other than statements of historical facts, that address future
exploration drilling, exploration, development activities and
production expectations and related events or developments that the
Company expects, are forward looking statements. Although the Company
believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements
are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees
of future performance and actual results or developments may differ
materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking
statements include metal prices, exploration success, continued
availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or
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