-Includes Shaft Extension to 610 metres, 600 metres of development and 70,000 metres of drilling-TORONTO, Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Rubicon Minerals Corporation (TSX: RMX, NYSE-AMEX: RBY) (the "Company") is pleased to outline development and exploration plans for the following twelve months at its 100% owned Phoenix Gold Project, located in the heart of the prolific Red Lake Gold District. The plans are designed to both maintain the Company on its critical path of development to support possible production in Q4 2013 and also to optimize its current positive PEA 1, which was filed in August, 2011. The key elements of the 12 month program are outlined below. Operational The Company's objective is to define sufficient additional indicated resources to support a minimum of five years of potential production at rates envisaged in the current PEA. In order to achieve this, the current shaft will be extended from 338 metres to 610 metres (2001 feet) below surface to allow better access for development and exploration drilling. It is planned to complete approximately 600 metres of new underground development on three levels (244 metre, 305 metre and 585 metre) to support further development and potential future mining and also to provide new drill access for infill and delineation drilling. As well, a rock pass and a new loading pocket will be constructed between the 585 metre and 610 metre levels. Approximately $3.6 million will be committed to secure key long lead orders including a SAG mill, a ball mill, mill engineering, procurement and construction management and initial Tailings Management Facility upgrades. Drilling A total of approximately 70,000 metres of drilling is planned over the next 12 months. The objectives of this drilling will be twofold. Firstly, approximately 30,000 metres will be directed towards infilling and delineation of known zones with the objective of expanding current indicated resources. Secondly, approximately 40,000 metres will test for expansions to known gold mineralization and will also test new areas for new potential resources. One important target area in this respect lies between 1,220 metres and 1,464 metres below surface where additional drilling will be carried out to establish whether the current average resource grade of 33.8g/t gold is maintained when drill density is increased and when a larger area is tested. It should be noted that, in determining the mining inventory in the current PEA, AMC elected to take a conservative mine planning approach in this area by applying the average diluted resource grade to the bottom five mining horizons (bottom 305 metres of the resource) rather than use the modeled average grade of 33.8 g/t, thus reducing the total ounces on these levels.
Shares of gold explorer Rubicon Minerals decline sharply after British Columbia securities regulators ask for more information about the company's most important project, fueling speculation that Rubicon will need to cut back its reserve estimates.