VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 27, 2013) - Huldra Silver Inc. ("Huldra" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:HDA) is pleased to provide an open letter from the President and CEO to shareholders to outline the Company's going-forward objectives, as well as highlight key milestones achieved over the past three years. The Company's near-term mining objectives include:
- Produce a minimum of 1.4 million ounces of silver, 5 million pounds of Lead and 4 million pounds of zinc on an annualized basis by July 2013 until a mine expansion is warranted by increased resources; and
- Continue to expand the current resources at the Treasure Mountain Mine and explore for additional mining opportunities on the property.
Three years ago the Company commenced an exploration and development program with the objective of putting the Treasure Mountain Mine into production. Despite volatile equity markets, the Company was singularly focused on this goal. We would like to take this opportunity to review those achievements and congratulate the entire team on their efforts but more so provide focus on where we are planning on taking the Company over the next three years.
- Huldra currently has a dedicated fully integrated mining, milling, construction and exploration staff of over 100 people in Southern British Columbia.
- The Company is currently underground mining and exploring at the high-grade 100% owned Treasure Mountain Mine and exploration property.
- The mill feed is processed at the Company's 100% owned plant and property in Merritt, British Columbia and has an interest in a large copper/iron exploration property at the former Craigmont mine site.
Over the past three years, the Company has been following up on previous exploration work and utilizing modern exploration methods to provide new exploration targets. We have highlighted 4 high priority targets for drilling in 2013 but that is not the limit of the potential for the entire property.
- In 2010, two vein structures, the East Zone and the JK vein, were identified through trenching work and a small drill program. The East Zone was followed up in 2011 with a mini bulk sample from surface that resulted in a direct to smelter shipment of recovered vein material. The vein remains open at depth for exploration. The JK vein remains open for exploration.
- In 2011, the Company commenced a soil geochemistry program on the property that was increased in size in 2012 to a total of 1127 samples.
- In 2012, Huldra conducted an airborne survey on the property to cover the entire the entire 7000 acre Treasure Mountain Property.
- In addition to the four highlighted areas that are drill ready, the MB Zone, the Jensen Workings, and two anomalies in the Camp Zone, the Company has a number of geophysical anomalies that will be followed up with additional soil sampling. There are also a number of previous workings on other parts of the property that have not been followed up in recent years and will be part of a geological mapping and prospecting program.
The Company began opening up existing underground drifts on 4 levels in 2010 and this was completed in 2011. There is currently over 4000 metres of underground development on 4 levels over a down dip of 350 metres and a strike of 250 metres. The deposit is open at depth and to the east for future development and exploration.
- A complete mining camp was installed on the property in the summer of 2011 and underground operations commenced with exploration and development in September 2011.
- A Mines Act permit was received in May 2012 for underground mining at the Treasure Mountain Mine. To date, all mining activity has been focused on mining between level 1 and the surface. Two large stopes were completed in 2012 and a third is currently in progress. Two additional stopes are in planning and development on level 1. Once mining is complete between level 1 and surface, mining will be focused on the area between level 2 and 1 by Q3 or Q4 of 2013.
- Currently a 4700 metre drill program is in progress from 4 drill stations on level 2. Once completed, mine development will commence and a new NI 43-101 resource and technical report will be filed in late Q3 or Q4 of 2013.
- Future underground exploration will involve extending levels 2, 3 and 4 to the east, drilling below level 4 and following up on additional structures that have been identified during underground exploration. The objective of the underground exploration is to expand the resource to warrant an application for a major mines expansion. The Company has substantially completed all of the work required to file an Environmental Impact Assessment as part of the major mines expansion process.
- The 2013 mining and exploration budget was stated as $8.4 million in the year end MD&A dated December 31, 2012 and may be revised as conditions warrant.
The Company purchased the former Craigmont Copper Mine in Merritt, British Columbia in May 2011 for a total purchase price of $8 million with the final payment made in April 2013. The purpose of the acquisition was for constructing an expandable 200 tonne per day crushing/grinding/floatation mill. The property consists of 966 acres of fee simple land, 347 hectares of mining leases and 8456 hectares of mineral claims. The property covers a large area along the southern extents of the Guichon Batholith 25 kilometers south of the Highland Valley copper mine.
- The permit amendment for allowing for the construction and operation of the mill was received in May 2012 and above ground construction began immediately. With the exception of permanent office facilities, the construction has been substantially completed.
- The mill produces silver/lead and silver/zinc concentrates. The first concentrates were shipped in November 2012.
- The Company announced that commercial production had been achieved on March 26, 2013 with the expectation the mill would be running at 60% capacity over the next 90 days.
- As April 30, 2013, 810 tonnes of silver/lead concentrates and 697 tonnes of silver/zinc concentrates have been shipped to the smelter for total payments of US$5,014,045. Preliminary invoices and payments received were for a total of 239,717 ounces of silver, 893,767 pounds of lead and 622,513 pounds of zinc.
- The operating costs of the mill are currently projected to be $600,000 per month based on current costs.
- The mill is expected to achieve 100% of design capacity before July 2013 with one small additional upgrade to the ball mill scheduled for June 2013.
- The mill currently operates using reclaimed water from the existing underground workings on the mill property and by discharging tailings into a fully lined tailings pond.
- All of the mill components have an estimated capacity to process approximately 500 tonnes per day of material with the exception of the ball mill which would require only an upgrade to the existing ball mill or an additional ball mill in the current space along with the necessary mechanical and electrical components.
- The Company received a technical report on the Thule Copper-Iron project on April 29, 2013 outlining up to 12 exploration targets in addition to the partially mined underground workings.
- The Company also has a tolling arrangement on one aggregate pit on the property with additional aggregate permits on other parts of the property.
The objectives of the Company are to:
- Produce a minimum of 1.5 million ounces of silver equivalent on an annualized basis until a mine expansion is warranted;
- Have one of the lowest operating costs for an underground mining company in the industry by utilizing its fully integrated structure;
- Continue to expand the current resources at the Treasure Mountain Mine and explore for additional mining opportunities on the property; and
- Explore and evaluate additional opportunities for the excess mill and tailings capacity at the Mill.
The Company has spent $15,180,379 developing and exploring the Treasure Mountain Mine property over the past 3 years and $28,352,307 acquiring the Merritt Mill Property and developing the plant and tailings facility. The Company has $29,556,533 in property, plant and equipment exclusive of the mineral rights and permitted mines as of December 31, 2012.
Ryan Sharp, President and CEO states, "The team we have built at Huldra has made tremendous achievements over the past three years and we are more excited about our opportunities over the next three years. Our long-term objective is to turn Huldra in to a premium mid-tier silver producer."
Huldra Silver is a fully integrated silver mining, exploration and development company. The Company is currently mining at its Treasure Mountain Project, located three hours east of Vancouver, B.C, utilizing its offsite mill for processing mill feed at the Company's property outside of Merritt, B.C. The Company is also actively assessing other opportunities for acquisition and development.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Ryan Sharp, MBA, President, CEO & Director