Baja Mining starts surface mining at Boleo project, Mexico
Baja Mining Corp. (TSX:BAJ) is pleased to announce the commencement of surface mining activities at its 70% owned Boleo copper-cobalt-zinc project ("Boleo"), located near Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Beginning in the week commencing May 2, 2011, the Company's surface mining team completed an initial machine operator training program and commenced mining activities to develop the surface facilities and underground mining portals that are scheduled for operation later this year.
The initial surface mining team of 43 personnel were trained in machine operations to produce the requisite volume of materials required to comply with the Company's mining plans. The surface and underground mining teams will increase to over 450 personnel at the peak of Boleo's construction.
In its initial phase, the training program was successfully implemented, as activities exceeded short term performance expectations in both safety and productivity. The male and female operators now working at site will form the nucleus for all surface mining operations going forward.
The surface mining equipment fleet currently consists of 12 large machines, including a hydraulic excavator, front end loader, tractor bulldozers, and mine hauling trucks which the Company took receipt of in the first quarter of 2011. Over the next quarter this fleet will double, enabling the Company to execute critical surface construction works such as mining to provide materials for the construction of the onsite tailings dam.
"Meeting another milestone on schedule brings us a step closer towards the development of the project," said Baja's President and CEO, John Greenslade. "This is the Company's first surface mining activity onsite, and is consistent with Boleo's operational plans to ramp up production this year."
The Company will continue to provide updates as progress continues at site. Updated pictures and videos of construction and special events are posted frequently on Baja's website.
Baja Mining (TSX:BAJ)(OTCQX:BAJFF) is a mine development company with a 70% interest in the Boleo copper-cobalt-zinc-manganese Project located near Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Baja is the project operator and a Korean syndicate of industrial companies holds the remaining 30%. Boleo is fully permitted, fully funded, currently under construction and targeted for copper commissioning in 2012, and copper production in early 2013. Boleo has 265 Mt of measured and indicated resources (including 85 Mt of proven and probable reserves) and 165 Mt of inferred resources. A March 2010 updated technical report to the 2007 definitive feasibility study, confirmed that Boleo can be developed economically at an after-tax IRR of 25.6% (100% equity). The Project, which has a minimum scheduled mine life of 23 years (during which approximately 70 Mt of the noted proven and probable reserves will be exploited), has a NPV of US$ 1.3 billion (8% discount rate), and an average life-of-mine cash cost of negative US$ 0.29/lb for copper, net of by-product credits. Metal Prices are based on SEC pricing guidelines. For more information, please visit www.bajamining.com.