Shares Listed: Toronto Stock Exchange - Ticker Symbol - ARZ NYSE Amex - Ticker Symbol - AZK U.S. Registration: (File 001-31893) News Release Issue # 9 - 2011
VANCOUVER, April 8 /PRNewswire/ - Aurizon Mines Ltd. (TSX: ARZ) (NYSE Amex: AZK) announces its operating results for the first quarter of 2011. Aurizon plans to release its first quarter 2011 financial results on or about May 12, 2011, and will hold a conference call to discuss the results. Details of the call, including times and contact numbers, will be announced closer to the date.
Gold production from the Casa Berardi mine in the first quarter of 2011 totalled 31,976 ounces, 12% lower than budget and 9% lower than the first quarter 2010 production of 35,188 ounces. Ore processed in the first quarter 2011 amounted to 161,036 tonnes at an average grade of 6.9 grams of gold per tonne. Metallurgical recoveries were 90.2%.
Changes to the mining sequence were required in the first quarter of 2011 due to mining conditions in the eastern sector of Zone 113. This impacted both ore throughput and ore grades. As the gold grade of the individual stopes at Casa Berardi varies from 5 grams per tonne up to 12 grams per tonne or higher, a delay in the extraction of a high grade stope can impact quarterly results but is not expected to impact results for the year. Additionally, underground mining equipment downtime impacted productivities. The 2011 capital budget provided for equipment replacements, which are scheduled to be delivered over the course of the year.Accordingly, the Company expects first quarter total cash costs to be significantly higher than the forecast for 2011 of US$495 per ounce. The mine plan for 2011 had projected that the first quarter would be the weakest in terms of throughput, grade and ounces produced. The 2011 plan also anticipates higher ore throughput for the balance of the year and higher ore grades in the second half of the year. Total cash costs per ounce should decrease significantly as the year progresses. Based upon first quarter results and a review of the mine plan for the balance of the year, the Company now expects gold production for 2011 to be approximately 165,000 ounces compared to the previously announced guidance of 165,000 to 170,000 ounces.