SINGAPORE–March 12 /CNW-PRN/- Marcus Randolph–President of First Dynasty Mines Ltd.–today issued an updated outlook for the company’s principal projects and a review of recent strategic decisions that will affect the future direction of the company.
"Nine months ago we announced that we were moving our headquarters to Singapore to build a gold mining company focused on Asian projects," Mr. Randolph said. "We currently have exploration programs in Indonesia and Myanmar–one gold project under construction in Armenia and two major Armenian gold projects undergoing feasibility studies that all fit within First Dynasty’s strategic direction. With last week’s announcement that an agreement has been reached to sell our Indonesian oilfield–and with an investigation of the sale of our Dublin Gulch project in Canada underway–we can see a clear route to becoming a focused–major gold producer with sufficient financial resources to develop all our current projects."
Mr. Randolph released the following outlook for First Dynasty’s major projects:
In February–First Dynasty announced that it had entered into an agreement with Global Gold Corporation to provide for investmen’s by First Dynasty in Global Gold Armenia. Global Gold Armenia is party to a multi-stage joint venture with the Ministry of Industry and Armgold–the Armenian state gold mining company. Construction is underway on the Ararat tailings reprocessing facility–which is expected to begin producing 24,000 ounces of gold a year in September. Feasibility studies are already underway on restarting the Zod and Meghradzor mines with new plants and mining fleets. Depending on feasibility studies–construction at both sites could begin in about one year. The joint venture’s goal is to produce 470,000 ounces of gold annually beginning in the year 2000–at an average cash cost of US$150 per ounce. First Dynasty expects to manage these projects and have a 50% interest in the joint venture.
"The Zod and Meghradzor mines previously closed because they were shipping crude ore up to 275 kilometres to a central processing facility," Mr. Randolph said. "The mines are high grade–averaging 6.7 and 14.8 grams gold per tonne–but they could not overcome the high transportation cost. The joint venture’s plans for the projects involve building on-site metallurgical plants for processing metallurgically-simple oxide ore."
"While the plants are being built–we plan to investigate the down dip extensions of the orebodies. Based on the massive nature of the orebodies on the lowest current levels at the two mines–both of which are accessed from adits from the surface–there appears to be significant potential to add to currently estimated resources."
An expanded discussion of the Armenia transaction is contained in a February 3 news release. Closure of the transactions with the government and with Global Gold are currently scheduled for April and are subject to finalization of the joint venture agreement covering Zod and Meghradzor–completion of due diligence–settlement of definitive documentation and all necessary regulatory–stock exchange and other approvals.
A large group of investors and analysts will visit the Armenian projects March 18-21.
(other projects ommitted)
Mr. Randolph concluded by saying–"First Dynasty’s management and Board of Directors is excited to see us fulfilling our strategic objectives so early in the year. We believe this is going to be a great year for First Dynasty’s shareholders."
First Dynasty’s shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FDM and are quoted in the U.S. on the NASDAQ National Market–under the symbol FDYMF.
SOURCE: First Dynasty Mines Ltd. 03/12/97
For further information: Marcus Randolph–Singapore 011-65-430-0808 North America (604) 685-8382/
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