RENO, NEVADA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/08/13 -- Allied Nevada Gold Corp. ("Allied Nevada", "we", "our" or the "Company") (TSX: ANV)(NYSE Amex: ANV)(NYSE MKT: ANV) reports preliminary first quarter 2013 operational results. Hycroft continues to demonstrate an exemplary track record in the health and safety departments with no lost time accidents or reportable environmental incidents in the first quarter of 2013. In the first quarter of 2013, we placed 9.6 million tons of ore on the leach pads at average grades of 0.011 ounces per ton gold and 0.142 ounces per ton silver, containing approximately 106,473 ounces of gold and approximately 1,359,467 ounces of silver, as per expectation. Mined grades are planned to increase into the second half of the year. Metal produced in the first quarter of 2013 was 38,019 ounces of gold and 188,000 ounces of silver and we sold 27,256 ounces of gold and 174,766 ounces of silver. In addition to planned sales in the second quarter of 2013, we currently expect to sell approximately 7,200 ounces of gold and 43,200 ounces of silver in the second quarter which remained in precipitate at the end of the first quarter of 2013 due to retort capacity limitations. With the successful commissioning of a second retort during the first quarter, we are now able to process all of the precipitate generated from our Merrill-Crowe plant.
Flow rates to the leach pads have increased through the first quarter of 2013 from 9,800 gallons per minute to 13,000 gallons per minute, and we currently expect to increase that flow rate further in the next month as planned ore deliveries increase and in preparation for the start-up of the North Leach Pad. Currently 10,600 gallons per minute of pregnant solution at average grades of 0.01 ounces per ton of gold are being processed through the plants. This increase is due to the commissioning of the new carbon columns. We believe we are on track to meet previously disclosed six month production guidance of 90,000 to 100,000 ounces of gold.
"Clearly Allied Nevada has underperformed and this unacceptable performance is the result of unsatisfactory execution of the mine plan under previous leadership. This lack of acceptable execution does not imply that the orebody has deficiencies nor does it suggest that our overall business plan is flawed. As we indicate in this press release, guidance remains unchanged. The mine is starting to perform as it should and we currently believe that it will continue to do so," commented Bob Buchan, Chairman, President and CEO of Allied Nevada. "We also remain committed to completing our expansion on time and on budget. So far (58% financially completed) we are doing that. Allied currently has an excellent team in place to meet production expectations and is positioned to build one of the largest mining operations in the state of Nevada. I am committed to ensuring that they have the resources they need to do their jobs. While I believe that it will take some time for these improvements to rebuild investor confidence, I am optimistic that they will."
Hycroft expansion update
The capital cost estimate for the expansion project remains at $1.24 billion. To date, we have purchased or have fixed contracts in place for approximately $720 million, or 58% of the total capital budget. Management continues to believe that the remaining capital to be committed of $523 million is sufficient to complete our expansion project within our estimate of $1.2 billion, with start-up in the first quarter of 2015.
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