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Capstone Mining 2013 First Quarter Production Results

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

- First quarter production of 18.6 million pounds of copper in concentrates

Capstone Mining Corp. ("Capstone") (TSX: CS) today announced its operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2013 of its two operating mines, Cozamin and Minto. Combined production totalled 18.6 million pounds of copper in concentrates, with additional by-products of zinc, silver, gold and lead.

                 Q1 2013 Production
            Copper in concentrates Cash cost[1]
            (thousands of pounds)   (US$/pound)
    Cozamin         10,142             $1.06
    Minto           8,444              $2.50
    Total           18,586             $1.72

"Both operations ran well during the first quarter," said Darren Pylot, President and CEO of Capstone. "At Minto, our first quarter production and costs were better than planned as we successfully accommodated the pit wall failure that affected the fourth quarter of 2012. At Cozamin, we were impacted in February by water shortages; however we quickly secured additional water supplies and expect to make up any production shortfall in the second quarter."

Operational Highlights

  • Production of 18.6 million pounds of copper contained in concentrates.
  • By-product production of 4.9 million pounds of zinc, 402,272 ounces of silver and 937,000 pounds of lead in concentrates. Final gold production is not available since assaying is conducted off-site, but is estimated at approximately 3,500 ounces for the quarter.
  • At Cozamin, production was negatively impacted by the ongoing drought conditions in Central Mexico that affected water supplies in February.  Additional short and long term sources of water were secured, and during March the mill operated at throughput rates which are expected to have production back on plan by the end of the second quarter.  The copper grade was lower than expected because of a delay in mining the high grade 11C block. The area required more ground support, but mining has resumed in this block.  The zinc and lead grades were higher than planned, primarily as a result of mining in alternate zones while ground support work was taking place. Despite the lower production at Cozamin, costs on a per pound basis were in line with full year guidance, primarily because of higher by-product credits resulting from higher zinc and lead grades.
  • Operations at Minto ran better than planned in the first quarter.  Ore that was deferred from the fourth quarter of 2012, due to the stability issues in the west pit highwall, was accessed in the first quarter and mining is now fully operational along the west wall.  With mining activities advancing in the Area 2 pit and the west wall once again accessible, additional dig faces have been accessed, providing greater operating flexibility and productivity. Costs per pound for the quarter at Minto were lower than anticipated, primarily due to higher production and the deferral of some site administrative costs for the quarter.

(1) The item marked with a "1" is an alternative performance measure; please see "Alternative Performance Measure" at the end of this release.

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