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Amazon Mining Holding Plc: Preliminary Economic Assessment for Cerrado Verde Provides Encouraging Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - 10/28/10) - Amazon Mining Holding Plc (TSX-V:AMZ - News) ("Amazon" or the "Company"), is pleased to announce the receipt of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA" or the "Scoping Study") from SRK Consulting ("SRK") and ECM S/A Projetos Industriais ("ECM") on Amazon's wholly-owned Cerrado Verde project ("Cerrado Verde" or the "Project") located in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The PEA evaluated the technical and the financial aspects of the mine operation and beneficiation facility. The Scoping Study assumed open pit mining and pyrometallurgy process for the production of ThermoPotash product.The Study supports Amazon's positive outlook on Cerrado Verde's value and represents a significant milestone toward full development of the Project. Amazon took a conservative base case approach to the Scoping Study, limiting the production rate to 1.1 Mt per year of ThermoPotash at 8.34% K2O. ECM estimates that with a production rate of 1.1 Mt per year and the inferred resource base of 105 million tonnes at 10.3% K2O determined by Coffey Mining, the Project has a projected life of around 100 years, 40 years was assumed for the analysis. Amazon also evaluated a second scenario with a production rate of 2.2 Mt per year.

 

The results of the study for the 1.1Mt production rate scenario include:

-- Estimated Project Capital Cost of US$155.3 million, plus $23.3 million
in contingency and $18.2 million of pre-construction costs
-- Estimated Operating Cost (including production, work force, and variable
costs) of US$37.01 per tonne plus estimated marketing and administrative
costs of US$4.79 per tonne for a total cost of US$41.80 per tonne of
ThermoPotash
-- Net Present Value of US$455.4 million at a 10% discount rate
-- Net Present Value of US$339.1 million at a 12% discount rate
-- Estimated after-tax and royalty Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 32.9%
-- Payback of the initial Capital Expenditure: 2.38 years


The results of the study for the 2.2Mt production rate scenario include:

-- Estimated Project Capital Cost of US$218.4 million, plus $32.8 million
in contingency and $18.2 million of pre-construction costs
-- Estimated Operating Costs (including production, work force, and
variable costs) of US$32.12 per tonne plus estimated marketing and
administrative cost of US$4.24 per tonne for a total cost of US$36.36
per tonne of ThermoPotash
-- Net Present Value of US$858.1 million at a 10% discount rate
-- Net Present Value of US$652.6 million at a 12% discount rate
-- Estimated after-tax and royalty Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 40.2%
-- Payback of the initial Capital Expenditure: 1.87 years

The Scoping Study assumed a constant US Dollar-Brazilian Real exchange rate of $1USD=$1.8BRL and constant petroleum coke and limestone pricing of R$310 per ton and R$15 per ton, respectively. Also, the cash flow projections exclude the cost of financing. Mine life was assumed at 40 years. Income tax calculations did not include any loss carry forwards.The Scoping Study utilized the weighted average delivery-adjusted sales prices of US$151.82/t and $133.23/t for the 1.1 and 2.2Mt, respectively, based on the independent market study conducted by Agroconsult Consultoria & Marketing. (Please refer to the news release on October 26, 2010.) The Marketing Study assumed an FOB Vancouver potash (KCl) price of $400/t long term.With the encouraging results of the Scoping Study, the Company will continue to study the feasibility of the Project led by Mr. Pedro Ladeira, Vice President of Engineering and Mr. Mauricio Sampaio, Vice President of Operations. President & CEO, Cristiano Veloso, said "We are very pleased with the results of the study. Based on cement production cost estimates, we had previously estimated the operating costs before marketing and administrative costs to be approximately $53 per tonne. This study lowers the estimates by 30% to $37 per tonne. Also, the total capital expenditure associated with the development of the Project is well within the range of our expectations and is significantly lower than other potash projects under development." Mr. Sampaio added, "Our strategy to incorporate ThermoPotash in NPK removes much of the adoption risk, as 90% of all fertilizer in Brazil is sold as an NPK formulation. The Study's projected low operating costs combined with the strong ThermoPotash prices estimated by Agroconsult should secure future profitability with first production slated for early 2013."The Company will file a NI 43-101 PEA report of the Study on the Cerrado Verde project with Canadian securities regulators within 45 days of this release. The PEA will be available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and also on the Company's website.Conference CallA conference call to discuss the results of the Scoping Study has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 10:00 am ET (7:00 am PT). Conference Call details can be found below:

 

Toll-free US / Canada +1 (800) 200-6965
Brazil 0800 891 1814
United Kingdom 0800 032 3502
Rest of the World +1 (646) 216-7221
Participant Code 978133#

Qualified PersonsNeal Rigby of SRK Consulting is the Principal author of the Technical Report and incorporated the results of the Resource Estimate prepared by Porfirio Cabaleiro Rodrigues of Coffey Mining. All persons are Qualified Persons, independent of Amazon Mining within the meaning of section 1.4 of NI 43-101, SRK Consulting has reviewed and approved the technical information within this news release.The preliminary assessment includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.About SRK ConsultingSRK Consulting is an independent, international consulting practice that provides focused advice and solutions to clients, mainly from earth and water resource industries. For mining projects, SRK offers services from exploration through feasibility, mine planning, and production to mine closure. Formed in 1974, SRK now employs more than 1,000 professionals internationally in 38 permanent staffed offices on 6 continents.About ECMECM, founded in 1984, is a Brazilian engineering company with extensive experience in developing multidisciplinary industrial projects of all sizes, including project design for the minerals and mining industry, from feasibility studies to plant commissioning. ECM has about 550 employees and has been involved in significant mining projects over the past decade in Brazil.About AmazonAmazon Mining is a mineral exploration and development company founded by Brazilians in 2005. The company is focused on the development of the Cerrado Verde project. Cerrado Verde is a source of potash rich rock from which Amazon plans to produce a slow-release, non-chloride, multi-nutrient, fertilizer product. Amazon Mining is a UK public company with shares listed on the TSX Venture Exchange since November 2007.On behalf of the Board of Directors of Amazon Mining Holding Plc, Jed Richardson, Vice President of Corporate Development.Cautionary Language and Forward Looking StatementsTHIS PRESS RELEASE CONTAINS CERTAIN "FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS", WHICH INCLUDE BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, STATEMENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE FUTURE FINANCIAL OR OPERATING PERFORMANCE OF THE COMPANY, ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND ITS PROJECTS, STATEMENTS REGARDING USE OF PROCEEDS, EXPLORATION PROSPECTS, IDENTIFICATION OF MINERAL RESERVES, COSTS OF AND CAPITAL FOR EXPLORATION PROJECTS, EXPLORATION EXPENDITURES, TIMING OF FUTURE EXPLORATION AND PERMITTING, REQUIREMENTS FOR ADDITIONAL CAPITAL, GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS OF MINING OPERATIONS, ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS, RECLAMATION EXPENSES, TITLE DISPUTES OR CLAIMS, AND LIMITATIONS OF INSURANCE COVERAGE. FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS CAN GENERALLY BE IDENTIFIED BY THE USE OF WORDS SUCH AS "PLANS", "EXPECTS", OR "DOES NOT EXPECT" OR "IS EXPECTED", "ANTICIPATES" OR "DOES NOT ANTICIPATE", OR "BELIEVES", "INTENDS", "FORECASTS", "BUDGET", "SCHEDULED", "ESTIMATES" OR VARIATIONS OF SUCH WORDS OR PHRASES OR STATE THAT CERTAIN ACTIONS, EVENT, OR RESULTS "MAY", "COULD", "WOULD", "MIGHT", OR "WILL BE TAKEN", "OCCUR" OR "BE ACHIEVED". FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS INVOLVE KNOWN AND UNKNOWN RISKS, UNCERTAINTIES AND OTHER FACTORS WHICH MAY CAUSE THE ACTUAL RESULTS, PERFORMANCE OR ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COMPANY TO BE MATERIALLY DIFFERENT FROM ANY FUTURE RESULTS, PERFORMANCE OR ACHIEVEMENTS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED BY SAID STATEMENTS. THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCES THAT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS WILL PROVE TO BE ACCURATE, AS ACTUAL RESULTS AND FUTURE EVENTS COULD DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THOSE ANTICIPATED IN SAID STATEMENTS. ACCORDINGLY, READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE RELIANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS.Readers are cautioned not to rely solely on the summary of such information contained in this release and are directed to the complete set of drill results posted on Amazon's website (www.amazonplc.com) and filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and any future amendments to such. Readers are also directed to the cautionary notices and disclaimers contained herein.NEITHER TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.