Virginia City, NV (July 2, 2012) — Comstock Mining Inc. (the “Company” or “Comstock”) (NYSE Amex: LODE) announced the completion of its Heap Leach construction project. Construction completed the existing Heap Leach from three cells to five while establishing the footprint for future expansions of an additional two cells. This supports the production of stacked ore delivered during the first two years of production from the Lucerne West Mine. The Company has also completed a significant portion of the Lucerne mine preparation, including ramps and roads.
“Completing the constructing of the Heap Leach and preparing the Lucerne mine for ore extraction were two of the major objectives in our march to production,” stated Corrado De Gasperis, President and CEO of Comstock Mining. “Our team managed these projects on plan and our Nevada suppliers delivered with the utmost professionalism and safety.”
Construction of the heap pads was regulated by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) and was engineered to exceed the standards established in the Company’s Water Pollution Control Permit. A three-layer barrier structure permanently contains all fluids within the boundaries of the heap and connects the leaching field to the process ponds. From the bottom up, the three layers contain a one-foot layer of compacted clay base, a non-porous Bentomat liner, and an 80 mil plastic liner. In addition, a leak detection system was installed and approximately two feet of over liner material was placed on top of the plastic liner, primarily to buffer the liner from contacting ore.
In addition, the three pre-existing heap leach cells were leveled and re-contoured to accommodate stacking of new material to the permitted height of 105 feet. The Company will stack the new material using its new 150 foot retractable Super Stacker. Irrigation of the material will use an environmentally friendly buried drip system.
While the complete leach cycle is estimated at a minimum of 150 days, the majority of the metal should be recovered in less than 60 days. The Company anticipates that a sufficient quantity will have accumulated to begin the Merrill Crowe process after about 30 days of irrigation.
The cost to construct the heap leach facility and new process pond was approximately $2.4 million. Approximately half of the effort went toward the earthwork for the pads and the process pond and the other half was for the supply, transport and installation of the bentomat, 80 mil plastic liner and the over liner material. The contract to supply and transport the over-liner material was awarded to Cruz Construction based about ten miles from the mine in Mound House, Lyon County, Nevada. “The hauling project alone employed nearly 40 additional people from our local area,” stated Kale Peery, Cruz Construction’s Operations Manager over the Comstock Project. Mach 4 Construction, LLC, of Elko, Nevada, and Comanco Environmental Construction Company, of Reno, Nevada, completed the remainder of the construction.
Comstock remains on schedule to complete the construction of its expanded Merrill Crowe processing and refining building and its new crusher facility in early July. Upon completion, the facilities will be tested and commissioned. The Company will then commence crushing, stacking, leaching and recovering the contained precious metals through the Merrill Crowe zinc precipitation process.
“We remain on track for our first pour this summer,” stated Mr. De Gasperis, “We are looking forward to commissioning the Merrill Crowe and new Crushing Facility and hiring the remaining processing staff, raising our employment to over 100 people. We are rapidly becoming Nevada’s newest gold and silver miner.”
Upon completion of these other construction projects, over $18 million dollars will have been invested into northern Nevada, including the Caterpillar fleet, with significant economic and employment benefits to both Storey and Lyon Counties and the greater Northern Nevada region.
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 brought the exploration project into test mining production. The Company continues acquiring additional properties in the district, expanding its footprint and creating opportunities for 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 in 2013, and commencing commercial mining and processing operations with annual production rates of 20,000 gold equivalent ounces.
This press release and any related calls or discussions may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements about matters such as: future prices and sales of and demand for our products; future industry market conditions; future changes in our exploration activities, production capacity and operations; future exploration, production, operating and overhead costs; operational and management restructuring activities (including implementation of methodologies and changes in the board of directors); future employment and contributions of personnel; tax and interest rates; capital expenditures and their impact on us; nature, timing and accounting for restructuring charges, gains or losses on debt extinguishment, derivative liabilities and the impact thereof; productivity, business process, rationalization, restructuring, investment, acquisition, consulting, operational, tax, financial and capital projects and initiatives; contingencies; environmental compliance and changes in the regulatory environment; offerings, sales and other actions regarding debt or equity securities; and future working capital, costs, revenues, business opportunities, debt levels, cash flows, margins, earnings and growth.
The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “should,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “potential” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of doing so. These statements are based on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of their experience and their perception of historical and current trends, current conditions, possible future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees, representations or warranties and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Some of those risks and uncertainties include the risk factors set forth in our SEC filings and the following: the current global economic and capital market uncertainties; the speculative nature of gold or mineral exploration, including risks of diminishing quantities or grades of qualified resources and reserves; operational or technical difficulties in connection with exploration or mining activities; contests over our title to properties; potential dilution to our stockholders from our recapitalization and balance sheet restructuring activities; potential inability to continue to comply with government regulations; adoption of or changes in legislation or regulations adversely affecting our businesses; business opportunities that may be presented to or pursued by us; changes in the United States or other monetary or fiscal policies or regulations; interruptions in our production capabilities due to unexpected equipment failures; fluctuation of prices for gold or certain other commodities (such as silver, copper, diesel fuel, and electricity); changes in generally accepted accounting principles; geopolitical events; potential inability to implement our business strategies; potential inability to grow revenues organically; potential inability to attract and retain key personnel; interruptions in delivery of critical supplies and equipment raw materials due to credit or other limitations imposed by vendors; assertion of claims, lawsuits and proceedings against us; potential inability to maintain an effective system of internal controls over financial reporting; potential inability or failure to timely file periodic reports with the SEC; potential inability to list our securities on any securities exchange or market; and work stoppages or other labor difficulties. Occurrence of such events or circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows or the market price of our securities. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements by or attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement.
Neither this press release nor any related calls or discussions constitutes an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.
Contact information for Comstock Mining Inc.:
P.O. Box 1118
Virginia City, NV 89440
Director of External Relations
Tel (775) 847-7376
Tel (775) 847-0545