The Company believes the percentage of gold reporting to the concentrate is low because the mineralization is oxidizing too quickly. In order to determine why this is occurring, a detailed study is being conducted on the mineralogy. If the cause can be determined, the Company plans to explore alternatives that would slow the oxidizing process. The results from the mineralogy study are due in the second quarter.
Los Azules Copper Project, Argentina (100%)
World Class Copper Asset - Size & Grade
Los Azules is one of the world's largest and highest grade undeveloped copper porphyry deposits. This year's exploration program, with a budget of $25 million, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the first quarter. New drill results and subsequent resource update have proven that there remains excellent potential to further grow this world-class copper asset. Significant drill results released in January 2013, included 0.47% copper over 610 meters, 0.61% copper over 160 meters, 0.44% over 529 meters. Based on the results of these holes, the inferred resource grew by 29%. Los Azules resource now contains 4.45 billion lbs in the indicated category and 13.95 billion lbs in the inferred category (Indicated: 310 million tonnes @ 0.65% copper; Inferred: 1.3 billion tonnes @ 0.49% copper).
Additional drill results from the Company's ongoing exploration program are expected to be released in approximately three weeks. In addition, McEwen Mining has begun work on an updated Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year. The updated PEA will be based on a significantly larger mineral resource and will also evaluate the possibility of increasing the daily throughput. The PEA will also incorporate further metallurgical studies currently being done on the possibility of producing copper cathode instead of a concentrate, and processing low grade mineralized material not previously considered, via a heap leach. The advantage of being able to produce a copper cathode is that it would eliminate the contemplated slurry pipeline through Chile and would reduce Argentina's export tax on concentrate.
Santa Cruz Exploration, Argentina (100%)
During the fourth quarter, the Company completed approximately 1,554 meters of reverse circulation drilling on its 100% owned claim package adjacent to the San Jose mine and Goldcorp's Cerro Negro project. A further approximate 1,000 meters were drilled in the first quarter of 2013. The assays from this drilling did not return any economic quantities of gold or silver. No further drilling is currently planned.
Fourth Quarter Conference Call DetailsMcEwen Mining will be hosting a conference call to discuss fourth quarterresults and project developments onMarch 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm EST.WEBCAST:http://www.gowebcasting.com/4215TELEPHONE:Participant dial-in number(s): 416-695-7848 / 800-769-8320Participant pass code: None RequiredREPLAY:Dial-in number(s): 905-694-9451 / 800-408-3053Pass code: 8222665
ABOUT MCEWEN MINING (www.mcewenmining.com)
The goal of McEwen Mining is to qualify for inclusion in the S&P 500 by 2015 by creating a high growth gold producer focused in the Americas. McEwen Mining's principal assets consist of the San Jose mine in Santa Cruz, Argentina (49% interest); the El Gallo complex in Sinaloa, Mexico; the Gold Bar project in Nevada, US; the Los Azules project in San Juan, Argentina and a large portfolio of exploration properties in Argentina, Mexico and Nevada.