VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire -07/05/12)- Oracle Mining Corp. ("Oracle Mining" or the "Corporation") (OMN.TO)(OMCCF)(OMCCF)(OCN.F) is pleased to announce that its Oracle Ridge Copper Mine project near Tucson, Arizona received its Class II Air Quality Operating Permit from the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality ("PDEQ") on July 3, 2012 (the "Air Permit").
The Air Permit is the first new mine Air Quality Operating Permit to be granted in Pima County in more than 11 years, and the only one issued under the current regulatory scheme.
"Receipt of the Air Permit for the Oracle Ridge Copper Mine project is a tremendous achievement for Oracle Mining and for our technical and consulting team," said Mr. Doug Nicholson, Oracle Mining's CEO.
"Oracle Mining would like to thank the entire team for their efforts but in particular to Tom Sheber, P.E., of Tetra Tech who developed the Air Permit application along with the extensive support team and other partners. Tetra Tech's ability to complete the application with no technical deficiencies on the initial application review is rare and outstanding," said Mr. Nicholson.
The Air Permit application was submitted in October 2011, and a technical review with Pima County was completed in March 2012. Oracle Mining hosted two general public meetings in the local communities of Oracle and Summerhaven in May to discuss all aspects of the project, including the Air Permit. Thereafter, PDEQ hosted an open house and a formal public hearing regarding the Air Permit. The public comment period for the Air Permit closed in late June. PDEQ did not receive any negative public comments regarding the Air Permit, despite extensive public notice and media coverage.
In addition to providing an update regarding the Air Permit, Oracle Mining provides the updates below regarding other aspects of the Oracle Ridge project.
Amended Aquifer Protection Permit process underway and expedited
The Corporation previously announced in August 2011 that the Arizona Department of Environmental Protection ("ADEQ") agreed to transfer the existing Aquifer Protection Permit No. P-102110 (the "APP") for the Oracle Ridge Copper Mine to its wholly owned subsidiary that operates the project. This was a major achievement in the permitting process for the reactivation of the mine. Because the APP applies to only the previous area of historical tailings storage, it needs to be amended to incorporate the proposed new tailings design. The APP amendment application was submitted in January 2012, and it is being considered under ADEQ's expedited review process.
The schedule under the expedited process indicates that a draft amended APP should be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2012.
Confirmation underground drilling begins
Oracle Mining began its underground confirmation drill program in June with the hiring of Boart Longyear Underground USA. Assay results from underground drilling will be used to add to the historical data and the data resulting from the surface drilling the Corporation has done to date. The engagement of the new drilling contractor is expected to speed the delivery of core for assay as the Corporation's alternate contractor had experienced equipment breakdown that led to delays.
Oracle Mining continues to rehabilitate the former mine workings, which includes the installation of ventilation equipment and securing the underground mine in accordance with United States Mine Safety and Health Administration standards.
Feasibility Study and reserve report progress
The Corporation announced in May the hiring of international mining consultants SRK Consulting ("SRK") and KD Engineering ("KD") of Tucson, AZ. SRK will author the Feasibility Study for the Oracle Ridge Copper Mine project and KD will complete the feasibility-level engineering of the processing facility and mine site infrastructure, as well as contribute to the Feasibility Study.
All assay information gathered from the Corporation's surface and underground drill programs to date will be used as source data for the resource report and Feasibility Study. Since hiring SRK and KD, progress has been made on the Feasibility Study and engineering design for the processing facility and final reports are expected to be delivered to Oracle Mining in the fourth quarter of 2012.
About Oracle Mining Corp.
Oracle Mining Corp. (OMN.TO)(OMCCF)(OMCCF)(OCN.F) is a Vancouver, Canada-based corporation that is the sole owner and operator of Oracle Ridge Mining LLC and the Oracle Ridge Copper Mine located 24 km north of Tucson, Arizona. Oracle Mining has minimal long-term debt and is managed by an experienced team of mining professionals with extensive operating and financial experience. The Corporation is focused on uncovering overlooked projects of value to achieve superior shareholder returns.
Forward-looking Statement Disclaimer
This document may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and Oracle Mining Corp. (hereinafter referred to as the "Corporation") does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect management of the Corporation's expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the receipt of permits to develop and operate the project, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, access to capital, capital expenditures, success of mining operations, commodity prices, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage.
In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "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. By their very nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Corporation to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of resources; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities; as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Corporation's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2011 filed and available for review on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Corporation has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.