COMSTOCK MINING RECEIVES FAVORABLE ACTION FROM BLM
Haulage to Shift off State Route 342
Virginia City, NV (February 21, 2013) -- Comstock Mining Inc. (the “Company” or “Comstock”) (NYSE MKT: LODE) announced that the United States Department of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has made a determination to allow the Company to move forward with a Class 1 Color-of-Title Act claim (“CoT claim”) with respect to Lot 51, a 25-acre parcel in Gold Hill, Nevada. As part of this process, the BLM is allowing for the Company’s limited interim use of the existing haul road segment that crosses Lot 51, providing a more efficient connection to a previously granted, non-exclusive Right-of-Way (“RoW”) for access to its processing facility in American Flat.
In its CoT claim, the Company successfully demonstrated its good faith belief that it has held title to this parcel for over 20 years, made valuable improvements in the form of constructed mining haul roads and provided explicit documentation of purported title conveyance. Permanent resolution of the claim will occur when the Company purchases a patent for the parcel. The BLM will require a plat survey from the Chief Cadastral Surveyor for the State of Nevada, an appraisal of Lot 51, public notices and payment of the purchase price before this patent is issued.
“This is a strong, positive example of a private-public partnership working diligently and effectively for the entire community at large,” stated Corrado De Gasperis, President and CEO of Comstock. “We are relieved to remove our trucks from the State Route and make better use of the existing haul road. I want to personally thank Storey County, the Nevada Department of Transportation and the BLM for their commitment to doing this right. Comstock Mining remains committed to the current Environmental Assessment process.”
In order to comply with the guidelines in the currently authorized RoW grant, the Company will use different, highway-rated vehicles. The vehicles will travel a shorter distance while carrying a larger load, thus decreasing overall traffic on American Flat Road, while also reducing haul truck traffic on the State Route. These vehicles will also un-block the mine area from logistical constraints imposed by the previously used vehicles, increase throughput by increasing the haul per trip and reduce costs significantly by reducing the number of trips, and most importantly, minimize disruption to the community caused by the use of the State Route.
The CoT claim does not conflict with nor negate the need for the Company to continue with its current Environmental Assessment process. Late in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Company and the BLM entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expedite the remainder of the permitting process for the exclusive-use Right of Way. In January, the BLM launched public scoping, a process for determining the scope of potential public issues. The relevant public meetings have already been completed. Once granted, this Right of Way will further increase the efficiencies of hauling by allowing the Company to widen the existing haul road, better accommodate residential and visitor traffic, and cross certain small sections of federal land not currently used by Comstock Mining.
Mr. DeGasperis concluded: “Allowing our claim represents a breakthrough that enables more expedient use of Lot 51 and significant hauling efficiencies. We look forward to a continued, productive partnership with the BLM and our community.”
About Comstock Mining Inc.
Comstock Mining Inc. is a Nevada-based gold and silver mining company with extensive, contiguous property in the Comstock District. The Company began acquiring properties in the Comstock District in 2003. Since then, the Company has consolidated a significant portion of the Comstock District, amassed the single largest known repository of historical and current geological data on the Comstock region, secured permits, built an infrastructure and commenced production in 2012. The Company continues acquiring additional properties in the district, expanding its footprint and creating opportunities for further exploration and mining. The goal of its strategic plan is to deliver stockholder value by validating qualified resources (at least measured and indicated) and reserves (probable and proven) of 3,250,000 gold equivalent ounces and commencing commercial mining and processing operations with annual production rates of 20,000 gold equivalent ounces.
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Thursday, February 21, 2013