Virginia City, NV (August 30, 2011) — Comstock Mining Inc. (the “Company”) (AMEX: LODE) announced it has received the Mercury Permit from the State of Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) and it has successfully cleared the final appeal process period without incident. This permit is regulated under the Nevada Mercury Control Program and is intended to ensure the safe and proper collection of mercury at a precious metal processing facility. Mercury is a naturally occurring metal found in very low concentrations in the mineralized rocks of the Comstock Lode. When gold and silver ore is processed, a portion of the mercury that is also present is simultaneously extracted from the ore. The permit demonstrates NDEP’s assessment that the proper equipment and procedures are in place to safely separate this mercury (through use of a Mercury Retort). The natural concentration of mercury is very low on the Comstock, and the Company anticipates very small quantities will be collected.
“The issuance of our Mercury Permit represents another important step in our progress toward gold and silver production,” said Corrado De Gasperis, President and CEO of Comstock Mining Inc.
Comstock Mining does not use mercury at any time in the processing of gold and silver. The mineral process equipment involved is routine and required for all Merrill-Crowe type processing facilities operating worldwide. The mercury vapors are collected in the furnace retort, which is a closed system with engineering controls and monitoring equipment. The mercury vapor is then condensed into the liquid state. All the equipment is located in the processing facility at the Company’s American Flat location.
In contrast, historic mining on the Comstock did use mercury to process ore. Prior to 1906, mercury was used in the amalgamating process to attach to and separate the gold and silver from the ore. The miners at that time did not know the dangers of doing this and used about one pound of mercury per ton of ore. At the turn of the 20th century the U.S. Bureau of Mines, in conjunction with the newly established MacKay School of Mines at the University of Nevada, developed a cyanide vat leach process to replace the mercury process in mining. Interestingly, the first mill to use this system in Nevada was the Donovan Mill located in Silver City, and the technology was almost immediately implemented on the Comstock because of its superior efficiencies.
This historic use of mercury on the Comstock is well documented from the original Carson River Superfund Site Investigation in the 1990s. NDEP, supported by the U.S. EPA, continues monitoring these sites and is currently preparing an updated archaeological study to increase its understanding of the historic mill sites in the area. The Company does not see any conflict between NDEP’s efforts and its exploration and mining plans. In fact, the Company is working with NDEP officials to establish protocols for safe and intentional mitigation of some of the historic mercury sites where this can be done in conjunction with normal mining and drilling operations. The Company is committed to sampling relevant areas of disturbance with the intention of eliminating or mitigating any concerns over pre-existing mercury sites.
“Our cooperation with NDEP represents an unprecedented effort for effectively defining the existence of any residual mercury in the Comstock in conjunction with our planned drilling and mining activities,” Mr. De Gasperis concluded. “This is a real opportunity to discover more knowledge about the precise location of past mills and residual mercury levels that can only benefit us and the community at large.”
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 by 2013, and commencing commercial mining and processing operations in 2011, with annual production rates of 20,000 gold equivalent ounces.
This press release and any related calls or discussions may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. All statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. 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 production capacity and operations; future 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 and timing of restructuring charges 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 this press release and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010 and the following: global economic and capital markets uncertainty; 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 inability to obtain requisite permits or zoning clearance; potential inability to continue to comply with government regulations and/or listing requirements; adoption of or changes in legislation or regulation adversely affecting our business opportunities that may be presented to or pursued by us; deficiencies in our internal controls; 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 commence production; 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; 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 action on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. All forward-looking statements included in this report are based on information available to us as of the filing date of this report. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.
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
|Doug McQuide||Joanna Longo|
|Director of Marketing and Public Relations||Investor Relations|
|Tel (775) 847-7376||Tel (416) 238-1414 x233|
About Comstock Mining Inc.