CEO Q & A - Aug 9, 2010
Monday, August 09 2010 14:00

Question: When will mining restart?

Answer: Our entire team (Board, Management and Keen Stakeholders) supports our objectives of initial production of up to 20,000 ounces of gold per annum, starting in 2011.

Certain mine sites in Storey County, Nevada are permitted for production of ore.  This resulted from a successful, multi-year, multi-million dollar regulatory process.  We are permitted for production at our existing heap leach facility for processing that includes the production of metal rich precipitate. We are in the process of completing an application for a newly required mercury air permit, under a new permit program by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection - Bureau of Air Quality. Upon applying for and receiving the new mercury air quality permit, the operation will be able to make the finish metal dore for sale to refineries. We are also in the process of amending our existing air quality permit to include new crushing equipment and process up-grades.  The amendment will be prepared based on metallurgical test results. We are effectively permitted for mining up to 720,000 tons of ore grade material per annum and the process permits amendments are systematically being advanced.  Our permitting position is a significantly more advanced one than most exploration-only companies planning for production.  

While we anticipate meeting our mining start up schedule in early 2011, that is, anywhere between March and June, this is fully dependent on some critical factors. As disclosed in our May 17, 2010, NI 43-101 report, we still have some prerequisite tasks for completing our mine and production plans, including extensive metallurgical testing to finalize the design of our heap leach process and related economic requirements. The metallurgical test results enable a more economically predictable, stable and effective production start up.  

Lastly, while our bridge financing allows for the continuation of most production project tasks, certain capital-sensitive tasks require additional funding.  If our capital raising activities are delayed past September, which we do not anticipate, then production start up would be delayed accordingly.

We will publish the progress on these activities timely, both through the continuous NI 43-101 updates and informative releases and postings, as we complete the intermediate objectives noted above.

Kindest regards,

Corrado De Gasperis
President and CEO