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Capstone Mining 2017 First Quarter Production Results

04/11/2017

VANCOUVER, April 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Capstone Mining Corp. ("Capstone") (TSX: CS) today announced production results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. Combined production totalled 20,900 tonnes of copper, with additional by-products of zinc, molybdenum, lead, silver and gold. 

Q1 2017 Copper Production (tonnes)



Pinto Valley

11,300

Cozamin

4,100

Minto

5,500

Total copper production (1)

20,900

 (1) Total production includes copper in concentrate and cathode production.

"The first quarter was challenging at Pinto Valley," said Darren Pylot, President and CEO of Capstone. "The heavy rain early in the year reduced the throughput capacity of the crusher and ultimately caused us to advance our decision to proceed with the primary crusher mainframe replacement. The rains also had an impact on grade, as we had to adjust our mine plan given the water in the pit."

"At the same time, we made some adjustments to optimize our mine plan at Minto to both capitalize on short term opportunities as well as lay the groundwork to extend operations beyond this year," continued Mr. Pylot. "Cozamin was a bright spot, performing better than expected for the quarter."

Operational Highlights

  • Copper production at Pinto Valley was impacted by a 7-day planned shutdown in January to complete repairs in the fine ore bins and the tailing thickener distribution system. Production was also impacted by considerable rain in the first quarter, with Pinto Valley receiving five inches of rain over a two day period in late January, followed by additional rainfall in the following weeks. The heavy rains reduced mining productivity and slowed the primary crusher intake, delaying the return to full operations from the planned shutdown. Mine plan sequencing was changed to address high moisture in the bottom of the pit with more ore coming from the lower grade foothills area. Following the shutdown, saturated fine ore placed additional stress on the primary crusher mainframe. As a result, the lower frame replacement, originally deferred from Q2 2016, was done over 11 days in late February and early March. Temporary primary crushing units allowed for production at reduced rates. Full production resumed on March 9 and since then throughput has averaged 58,900 tonnes per day as of April 9.
  • At Cozamin, grade and throughput were both better than expected for the quarter, with recovery as planned. Significant progress has been made in development rates with ongoing positive results from the process and contractor changes made in 2016.
  • At Minto, grade for the quarter was lower than originally planned due to mine plan sequencing changes affecting timing of ore to the mill. A number of changes were made to optimize the mine plan in anticipation of the extension of operations at Minto beyond 2017 and to reduce re-handling costs. As a result, more low grade partially oxidized ore was directed to the mill causing recoveries to be slightly behind plan, offset by higher throughput.

Q1 2017 Operating Details


Pinto Valley

Cozamin

Minto

Total

Contained Production (1)

- Copper (tonnes)

11,300

4,131

5,520

20,950

- Zinc (tonnes)

-

1,258

-

1,258

- Molybdenum (Mo tonnes)

-

-

-

-

- Lead (tonnes)

-

19

-

19

- Silver (ounces)

61,481

261,622

56,385

379,488

- Gold (ounces) (2)

2,840

-

8,627

11,467

Payable Copper Production (1) (tonnes) (in concentrate and cathode)

10,920

3,970

5,340

20,231

Mine

- Ore (tonnes) – open pit

4,437,029

-

43,242

4,480,271

- Waste (tonnes)

6,384,301

-

2,008,027

8,392,328

- Ore (tonnes) – underground

-

236,802

68,082

304,884

Mill

- Tonnes processed

4,177,083

234,223

368,321

4,779,627

- Tonnes processed per day

46,412

2,602

4,092

53,107

- Copper grade (%)

0.31(3)

1.84

1.68

0.49

- Zinc grade (%)

-

0.78

-

0.78

- Molybdenum grade (%)

-

-

-

0.005

- Lead grade (%)

-

0.07

-

0.07

- Silver grade (g/t)

*

46

6

21

- Gold grade (g/t)

*

-

1.51

1.51

Recoveries (%)

- Copper

83.8(3)

95.9

89.3

87.5

- Zinc

-

68.8

-

68.8

- Lead

-

12.3

-

12.3

- Silver

*

76.0

82.3

77.0

- Gold

*

-

48.3

48.3

Concentrates

- Copper concentrate (dmt)

38,276

15,029

11,897

65,203


Copper (%)                                                                                  

28.3

27.5

46.4

31.4


Silver (g/t)

*

534

147

363


Gold (g/t)

*

-

22.55

22.55

- Zinc concentrate (dmt)

-

2,635

-

2,635


Zinc (%)

-

47.7

-

47.7

- Molybdenum concentrate (dmt)

-

-

-

-

- Lead concentrate (dmt)

-

30

-

30


Lead (%)

-

64.4

-

64.4


Silver (g/t)

-

3,526

-

3,526

Payable Copper Shipped (tonnes)

12,403

4,064

5,115

21,582


(1) Adjustments based on final settlements will be made in future periods. (2) Pinto Valley gold production reaches payable levels from time to time. Any payable gold production will be reported in the period revenue is received. At Minto, final gold production is not available since assaying is conducted off-site, but is estimated above. (3) Grade and recoveries were estimated based on concentrate production. *Silver and gold have not been estimated in the Pinto Valley resource model. Only recovered silver and payable gold is reported for this mine.

Operating Outlook

Capstone's 2017 production guidance for 94,000 tonnes (±5%) of copper remains unchanged as Minto and Cozamin are expected to complete the year on, or slightly above, plan and Pinto Valley is expected to attain higher run rates for the remainder of 2017 since the major planned maintenance activity was completed in the first quarter.

Financial Results Timing

Capstone will report Q1 2017 financial results on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 after market close, followed by a conference call and webcast for investors and analysts on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 11:30 am Eastern Time (8:30 am Pacific Time).

Conference Call and Webcast Details

Date:                   

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Time:                    

11:30 am Eastern Time (8:30 am Pacific Time)

Dial in:                  

North America: 1-888-390-0546, International: +416-764-8688

Webcast:            

http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=1383293&s=1&k=8C2CB279A9CAA1477A4D9A6573F75350

Replay:                  

North America: 1-888-390-0541, International: +416-764-8677

Replay Passcode:

472544#


The conference call replay will be available until Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The conference call audio and transcript will be available on Capstone's website within approximately 48 hours of the call at http://capstonemining.com/investors/events-and-presentations/default.aspx.

About Capstone Mining Corp.

Capstone Mining Corp. is a Canadian base metals mining company, focused on copper. We are committed to the responsible development of our assets and the environments in which we operate. Our three producing mines are the Pinto Valley copper mine located in Arizona, US, the Cozamin polymetallic mine in Zacatecas State, Mexico and the Minto copper mine in Yukon, Canada. In addition, Capstone has two development projects; the large scale 70% owned copper-iron Santo Domingo project in Region III, Chile, in partnership with Korea Resources Corporation, and the 100% owned Kutcho copper-zinc project in British Columbia, Canada, as well as exploration properties in Chile and US. Capstone's strategy is to focus on the optimization of operations and assets in politically stable, mining-friendly regions, centred in the Americas. Our headquarters are in Vancouver, Canada and we are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Further information is available at www.capstonemining.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and Capstone does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable securities legislation.

Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect our expectations or beliefs regarding future events. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production and capital expenditures, the success of our mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses and title disputes. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", "believes" or variations of such words and phrases, or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. In this document certain forward-looking statements are identified by words including "anticipation", "guidance", "plan" and "expected". By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, amongst others, risks related to inherent hazards associated with mining operations, assumptions related to geotechnical condition of tailings facilities, future prices of copper and other metals, compliance with financial covenants, surety bonding, our ability to raise capital, counterparty risks associated with sales of our metals, use of financial derivative instruments and associated counterparty risks, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, changes in general economic conditions, accuracy of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates, operating in foreign jurisdictions with risk of changes to governmental regulation, compliance with governmental regulations, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, reliance on approvals, licences and permits from governmental authorities, impact of climatic conditions on our Pinto Valley, Cozamin and Minto operations, aboriginal title claims and rights to consultation and accommodation, land reclamation and mine closure obligations, uncertainties and risks related to the potential development of the Santo Domingo Project, increased operating and capital costs, challenges to title to our mineral properties, dependence on key management personnel, potential conflicts of interest involving our directors and officers, corruption and bribery, limitations inherent in our insurance coverage, labour relations, increasing energy prices, competition in the mining industry, risks associated with joint venture partners, our ability to integrate new acquisitions into our operations, cybersecurity threats and other risks of the mining industry as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause our results, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that our forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as our actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements.

National Instrument 43-101 Compliance

The technical information in this news release ("Technical Information") was prepared by, or under the supervision of, a qualified person (a "Qualified Person") as defined in National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101"). The disclosure of the Technical Information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Gregg Bush, P. Eng., Capstone Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.


SOURCE Capstone Mining Corp.

For further information, please contact: Cindy Burnett, VP, Investor Relations and Communications, 604-637-8157, cburnett@capstonemining.com