SKIPPACK, PA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/03/13 -- North Bay Resources Inc. (OTCQB: NBRI) ("North Bay" or the "Company") has issued the following shareholder update on the status of current operations at the Ruby Gold Project.
In reviewing the past year, we have made tremendous progress in preparing the Ruby Mine for the start of production. Almost one mile of underground tunnel has been completely refurbished with new timber supports, new ventilation duct, and a redesigned transport system. Infrastructure improvements include a new fire suppression system at the Ruby portal, electrical system upgrades at the Ruby Portal and Mill Site in compliance with Cal-OSHA specifications, reinforcement of berms and access roads, and the expansion of the designated tailings area to accommodate at least five to seven years of continuous mining. Our reclamation plan was updated to comply with California SMARA regulations and approved by the Sierra County Planning Commission and the California Department of Conservation Office of Mine Reclamation ("OMR"). In addition, our Alternative Mine Rescue Plan and Miner Safety Training Plans were approved by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration ("MSHA"). Including the cost of regulatory compliance, the Company has spent over $500,000 since work began one year ago to prepare the Ruby Mine for the start of production.
With several feet of snow now on the ground from a recent series of storms in the high Sierras, the Company has decided to temporarily suspend operations at the Ruby. Until the mine is in full production and better able to allocate manpower and equipment to snow removal activities, the Company believes it will be best to conserve resources for the time being and wait until weather conditions improve before resuming operations.
During the upcoming winter months the Company will be working with our mine engineering team to block out the first target zones where we expect to begin mining operations. The initial mining activity is expected to include the extraction of bulk samples that can be used to help determine an estimate of proven and probable reserves as those terms are legally defined in SEC Industry Guide 7 and National Instrument 43-101. The very nature of the Ruby gold deposits explains why there has been no IG7 or NI43-101 compliant resource estimate prior to this point in time. The Ruby gold deposits are contained within the Tertiary gravels found at the bottom of ancient river channels, and which were buried in lava millions of years ago when the Sierra Nevada mountains were formed. Since these Tertiary gold deposits follow the channels of these ancient rivers, they extend horizontally for miles from intercepts several hundred feet underground rather than vertically from outcrops above ground. Thus reliable data is extremely difficult to obtain by drilling vertically down from the surface. Drilling is therefore best initiated several hundred feet underground to access and follow the lateral course of the ancient river channels in which the gold is deposited. To reach these locations, it was therefore essential to first rehabilitate the Ruby Tunnel to allow safe access to the auriferous channels, which is precisely what we have been doing for the past year. Once the rehab work is completed, bulk sampling and mining operations can then begin simultaneously.
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