April 5, 2011.
Vancouver, Canada -- Fire River Gold Corp. (TSX.V:
FAU; OTCQX: FVGCF; FSE: FWR) (the "Company")
wishes to announce the President's Corporate Update.
I am pleased to provide you, our shareholders with
an update on the progress of Fire River Gold Corp. (FAU:
TSX.V). It is an exciting time for the company as we
make the transition from junior explorer to operator
by bringing the Nixon Fork Gold Mine back into
production. The board and past president, Harry
Barr, chose to make a management change to ready the
company for this transition, with the appointment of
David Russell as Chairman and me as President and
COO. Both David and I are seasoned veteran mining
engineers with many years of operational experience.
Fire River Gold is well funded, with
approximately $15 million in the treasury. In addition, the company is
on the final stages of completing the second tranche of a $7 million
non-brokered private placement. The purpose of this additional funding
is to assure that the project can overcome any unforeseen and unexpected
difficulties that increase spending or delay revenue. It will also fund
operations during the lag between production and payment by the smelter
The mining group is led by the Mine Manager, Leonard Therrien, a 30 year
veteran gold miner from Marathon, Ontario, where he worked on the mines
in the Hemlo camp. There are approximately 45 employees at site, 20 of
which are miners. They are conducting underground diamond drilling using
two company-owned Hagby drills, which are continuously staffed. This
work is going very well, with total weekly footages steadily improving
(with between 600 and 900 meters drilled each week). The miners have
also completed an extension rehabilitation program for the secondary
egress and ventilation raise, inclining ladders, installing grated
platforms, and applying mesh to the walls where necessary. Numerous
ventilation short circuits have also been sealed, providing stronger
flows through the mine than during its last operating season. The mine
received its first load of explosives and is beginning to stockpile mill
feed for a June start up.
The ongoing diamond drilling has been extensively reported in several
news releases. It has been planned primarily for defining resources in
the stopes that will be mined earliest in the production forecast. These
are primarily in the upper portion of the Crystal Mine and will supply
approximately six months of mill feed.
The mine plan was presented in a Preliminary Economic Assessment
prepared by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants (filed on Sedar, 14
March 2011). Two concerted development projects have already begun while
these stopes are extracted:
- The Crystal ramp is being deepened
to access the down dip of extensions of both the 3000 and 3300 zones
(which represent our highest grade resources). There is currently 3
ft of water at the bottom of the mine. A 200,000 gallon reservoir is
being constructed in the middle of the Crystal Mine. Water from the
bottom of the mine and the advancing ramp face will be pumped to
this reservoir, which will be used as the source of mine water for
drilling and for wetting muckpiles. The ramp has been advanced 24 ft
so far and is being driven as a priority heading.
- We will drive a shallow ramp
connecting the Crystal and Mystery Mines. This heading is being
driven as a secondary heading. The mine connection is valuable for
- to provide secondary egress to
- to open the zone between the two
mines to underground drilling (this area is considered our best
exploration target), and
- to allow the mined rock from the
Mystery mine to be hauled out the Crystal Portal, eliminating
The technical group at the mine currently
numbers nine, seven of which are geologists and geology technicians.
This number accurately portrays the complexity of the deposit and the
attention required to understand the mineralized zones to expand the
The underground mine fleet has been
rebuilt through the course of the winter. It is quite old, however, and
several units will be added to the fleet prior to resuming production
including a remote 4 ydł scooptram, two x 20 ton trucks, and a one boom
jumbo. A drill buggy for longhole drilling and cable bolting has been
purchased, as well as a skytrack for services installation.
The other major activity at site is the completion of the cyanidation
plant inside the mill. Work is being performed under the direction of
Bruce Ferguson, our Mill Superintendent, and Alaska Mechanical Inc.'s
construction supervisor, Dave Alvey. They lead a small team of five
construction workers, which will be expanded to nine in April and 13 by
The mill building was expanded by 80 feet of length in 2006 and most of
the equipment for a cyanidation circuit was purchased and delivered to
site. FAU has conducted a thorough review and of the existing design and
two important modifications were made: 1) the reduction of water to the
detox tanks through use of an existing idle thickener in the mill and 2)
the addition of a carbon stripping circuit (original plans were to fly
out loaded carbon from site). Work is progressing well, with three of
the five cyanidation tanks installed. All long lead items have been
ordered. The plant is projected to be operational by mid-summer.
The existing gravity and flotation circuits have also been inspected and
tested. The circuitry of the gravity circuit will be re-routed such that
it receives the cyclone feed rather than the full stream, which should
make the circuit more efficient and increase gravity gold recovery. Some
lines are frozen, but will be thawed before the anticipated start up of
these circuits in June.
Starting a mill is a tricky process that involves testwork, repair, and
fine-tuning of chemical additives, all done in an iterative fashion to
maximize gold recovery. FAU plans to stockpile the underground
production ahead of the mill start up period such that there is a steady
source of mill feed for mill commissioning. The existing dry stack was
permitted as an unlined facility, but will be lined in the early summer.
The percolation pond at the dry stack will also be enlarged, lined and
converted to a containment pond.
As the higher grade gold mineralization is not always visually
discernable, an extension amount of testhole sampling will be required
starting with diamond drilling, but including short jackleg or
jumbo-drilled holes. Accordingly, the assay lab is being re-started by
the end of March, for on-site grade control and to assay all mill
streams during start up and operations..
The utilities at site are managed by James Sadler, a veteran of the
operation through its last production period in 2007. The camp houses 85
workers, 50 in an older wing and 35 in a new wing completed in 2006.
Only the new wing is required at present. The maintenance group has
begun a renovation program to freshen the look of the old camp. This
will be completed in the summer of 2011. Other tasks for the group
include the completion of the new mine dry and conversion of the
existing mine dry for use by the mill workers.
The current plans for the operation are to operate the gravity and
flotation circuits in June of this year and commission the cyanidation
circuit shortly afterward in July or August. The operation is steadily
ramping up toward this goal and eager to start pouring gold.
While the Nixon Fork Gold Mine is the "central focus" for the company,
we are already investigating avenues for expansion. This will likely
take the form of additional acquisition of near-term or past producers,
as our management team is geared for production rather than exploration.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, David and I would like to thank our
many shareholders for placing their faith in our company. This is a
challenging but exciting time for us and we will continue to do our best
to add value.
President and COO
About Fire River Gold Corp.
Fire River Gold Corp. is a near term production company with an
experienced technical team focused on bringing its flagship project, the
Nixon Fork Gold Mine, back into production in 2011. The Nixon Fork Gold
Mine is a permitted and bonded mine which include a ~200 tpd processing
plant with a gravity gold circuit, sulphide flotation circuit and a gold
recovery system (CIL circuit) that is scheduled to be completed by
Summer 2011. The mine also includes a fleet of surface & underground
mining vehicles, a self-contained power plant, maintenance facilities,
drilling equipment, an 85 person camp, office facilities and a 1.2 km
long landing strip.
A 28,000 metre exploration and ore definition drill program is in
progress to expand the current resources and support the detailed mine
plan. Fire River Gold Corp. is a member of the International Metals
Certain information regarding the Company including management's
assessment of future plans and operations, may constitute forward-looking
statements under applicable securities laws and necessarily involve risks
associated with mining exploration and development, volatility of prices,
currency fluctuations, imprecision of resource estimates, environmental and
permitting risks, access to labour and services, competition from other
companies and ability to access sufficient capital. As a consequence, actual
results may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking
statements. A feasibility study has not been completed and there is no certainty
the disclosed targets will be reached nor that the proposed operations will be
economically viable. The TSX Venture Exchange or its Regulation Services
Provider have not reviewed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of the contents of this news release, which has been prepared
by management. We seek