Orex Minerals' Completes Mill Upgrading, Begins Direct Shipments of Tennantite and Readies Project for Drilling
Vancouver, B.C. - Orex Minerals Inc. (formerly Orex Ventures Inc.) - REX: TSX-V wishes to provide an operational update on its Santa Cruz Project in Durango State, Mexico a joint venture with Silverex S.A. de C.V.("Silverex").
Located in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, Otaez Municipality, midway between Tayoltita (San Dimas) and Topia mining camps, the Santa Cruz Project is in one of the World's most prolific mineral belts. Santa Cruz is an epithermal gold-silver camp divided into three structural districts. The property hosts three main gold-silver bearing districts, the Eastern, Central and Western, as well as the previously operating Santa Cruz Mine.
Our joint venture partner, Silverex reports that most of the refurbishment and upgrading of the 90 ton per day mill at Santa Cruz is complete at this time. Rehabilitation of the coarse and fine ore bins is completed, as well as the construction of new decantation tanks, a 150,000 litre water reservoir and a new fire assay / wet assaying building. In addition, all electrical starters and switches have been dismantled, cleaned and reinstalled, the entire plant has been rewired, all electrical motors, all generators, conveyors and sand pumps have been fully serviced, floatation cells have been cleaned and inspected, and primary and secondary crushers and a 60 tpd ball mill have been disassembled, cleaned, lubricated and reassembled and are fully operational. The test milling operation will be operated and overseen by Silverex and an experienced mine/mill manager with over 20 years experience has been hired to manage the day-to-day operations. As a result of this significant progress to date, the mill is expected to commence production later this month, initially at 60 tpd, and to ramp up to 90 tpd, when a second ball mill will be operational. All proceeds from the operation are to be split on 50/50 basis by Silverex and Orex, once Orex's start-up advance is repaid.
The daily direct-shipping production has averaged 300 kg of tennantite, and the first shipment of 22 tons of Tennantite concentrate, grading 23 g/ton Au, 2,950 g/ton Ag and 22 per cent Cu is ready to be made, which is expected to yield net proceeds of approximately US$56,000.This is high grade ore from the La Fragua Vein in the Eastern District which is shipped to China without going through any milling process.
Looking ahead, the 2008-09 exploration program on Santa Cruz will be divided into several phases of drilling, totaling about 20,000 metres, as well as additional geological mapping and sampling, the scheduling of which will depend on access.
Western District: Road extension of the Zambraneña Road (upper road) and Jesus Maria (lower road) has been conducted in 2008 to provide improved access. At the time of writing, the upper road is 150 metres from the Zambraneña workings and a spur road will be constructed to La Perla. The lower road is still approximately 1000 metres from the Jesus Maria area and will be completed later this year.
The Western District has never been drilled. Drilling is planned for two phases totaling 10,000 metres on the Jesus Maria, Christian, Zambraneña, La Perla and Carmen vein areas. Old mine workings will be re-opened for examination and additional mapping is planned along the Creston and Cordon veins.
Central District: Location of the original Santa Cruz Mine, the Central District consists of multiple veins, including Santa Cruz, Guadalupana, Marte, Buena Suerte, El Chino, Veta Grande, San Juan and Guadalupe. Only the El Chino and Veta Grande veins have had a minor amount of historic drilling. A two phase 5,000 metre drilling program is being planned for this district, focusing initially along the Santa Cruz vein to identify additional "clavos" (mineralized shoots) along strike adjacent to the mine workings.
Eastern District: Current production operations are in the La Fragua vein of the Eastern District. This is a small-scale mine extracting tennantite direct-shipping ore being sent to China and ore destined for the Santa Cruz mill. Similar to many privately operated Mexican vein hosted mines, past mining has drifted on known mineralization without pre-defining drill indicated resources. A further 5,000 metres drilling along La Fragua and nearby Orozco veins is planned. Additional veins in the district, Las Trojas, San Luis, San Jose, San Pedro, San Juan (east) and San Benedicto, will also be examined.
Ben Whiting, P.Geo., is the Qualified Person and takes responsibility for the technical disclosure in this news release.
Gary Cope, President of Orex, adds, "We are very pleased with the progress of our Joint Venture partner Silverex in moving forward the Santa Cruz Project. We continue to believe that Santa Cruz will be an excellent combination of near term source of net production revenues, with significant upside exploration potential."
About Orex Minerals Inc.
Orex Minerals Inc. is a junior mineral exploration company comprised of highly qualified mining professionals with a focus on the exploration of prospective gold and gold-silver properties in Mexico and northern Peru.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
For further information, contact Orex Minerals Inc. at (604) 684-4691 or Via email at or visit our website on line at www.orexminerals.com
This News Release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. Orex relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for this News Release.
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