Gold Hawk Resources Inc. ("Gold Hawk" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that ore production and concentrator operations at its Coricancha Mine in Peru, have commenced. The mill production rate is ramping up to designed levels and full production at 600 tonnes per day is expected to be achieved during the month of June.
The previously announced target of full production during the month of May has been delayed until June due to an uncontrollable delay in the delivery of mining equipment. In addition, the installation, and more specifically the commissioning of the underground ore handling system, required more time to complete than originally planned. The ore handling system is now operating satisfactorily and rental mining equipment was sourced and is currently in operation at the mine site while awaiting the delivery of the new equipment, now scheduled to arrive in early July.
Concentrator modifications that have been completed to date include the installation of additional conditioning tanks, thickeners and flotation capacity. In addition, the installation of a fines handling system has been installed in the underground ore handling system which will result in a significant reduction in metal losses. Other modifications include the installation of a heating system to raise the pulp temperature of the pyrite/arsenopyrite concentrate, which test-work has shown, will significantly improve gold recoveries.
The installation of the lead flash flotation cell is also underway and should be completed in the second half of June. The flash cell facilitates the removal of coarse lead particles before they have an opportunity to be over-ground in the grinding circuit. This improves the subsequent differential flotation of other concentrates and results in an overall improvement in concentrate grades. The Dense Media Separator (DMS) originally scheduled to be completed at the end of June will be delayed to September. This delay is due to the long delivery of the two main pumps and magnetic separator. When fully operational, the DMS plant will result in higher grade ore reporting to the mill, and in general will also result in lower operating costs due to electricity savings. However, the greatest benefit from the DMS plant will be that a higher feed rate at a higher grade can be sent to the mill, without increasing the capacity of the mill.
The production of lead and zinc concentrates has begun with the first shipment delivered on May 4, 2007. Since then, production and shipments have been steadily increasing. The BIOX circuit is in operation with BIOX product now flowing to the cyanidation circuit, where gold and silver is being adsorbed onto carbon. Preliminary results of the BIOX circuit operation suggest that performance is meeting designed gold recovery. A small gold bar has been poured as a test of the systems and it is anticipated that carbon loading will be sufficiently advanced so that the first full gold pour will occur in early June.
Due to the delays, the Company now expects to produce approximately 11,000 (15,000) ounces of payable gold, 400,000 (500,000) ounces of payable silver, 4,800,000 (6,000,000) of pounds of payable zinc and 4,300,000 (5,800,000) pounds of payable lead in 2007 (brackets denote previous guidance).
Gold Hawk would like to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts of all its employees and contractors who have worked so diligently to get us to this point. These efforts have allowed us to reach this very important milestone and enable the Company to take advantage of the continuing high metal prices.
About Gold Hawk Resources Inc.
Gold Hawk is a precious metals producer with its primary asset, the Coricancha Mine, in Peru, now in production. The company purchased the Coricancha Mine in March of 2006 and since then has permitted, refurbished the mine and concentrator and is now ramping up production to design levels. The company, through it subsidiary, CMSJ Peru, has some 500 employees and contractors. Its head office is in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Company also, has exploration properties in Peru and Canada (Quebec).