TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - ROMARCO MINERALS INC. (TSX: R) (the "Company") is pleased to provide an update of recent activities at
the Haile Gold Mine and Kershaw Mineral Laboratories ("KML"), a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Romarco. In parallel to permitting the
Haile Gold Mine project, the Company has been proactively completing
several other items necessary to get the site prepared for construction
and operations. All dollar amounts in this news release are expressed
in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise stated.
The Company continues its ongoing dialogue and weekly meetings with the
US Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps"), the lead agency responsible for
the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS"), its third-party contractor,
cooperating agencies and other interested parties, and significant
progress has been made. In a news release dated October 25, 2012 and a
conference call held October 25, 2012, the Company noted that two
cooperating agencies, the State of South Carolina Department of Health
and Environmental Control ("DHEC") and the Environmental Protection
Agency ("EPA") are completing their review of the hydrology model on
Haile. This review, with the participation of the Company's team and
consultants, is continuing and follow-up meetings are being scheduled
in connection with this activity.
Once the review and discussions have been concluded, the Corps has
indicated it will make adjustments to the EIS schedule, as appropriate,
on its hailegoldmineeis.com website.
Lancaster County Council Meetings
The Lancaster County Council rezoned an additional 3,081 acres of the
Haile Gold Mine property from Rural Residential/Intense Agricultural to
Heavy Industrial. The Council previously rezoned 1,778 acres of land
from Rural Residential/Intense Agricultural to Heavy Industrial in
2009. As the project and the Company's land position grew, additional
rezoning was necessary and today the rezoning actions have been
completed for the proposed mine plan. Lancaster County regulations for
rezoning Haile Gold Mine for heavy industrial use required petitioning
the Lancaster County Planning Commission to rezone the remaining Haile
project area, public notice by way of newspaper, US mail notification
to potentially affected neighbours, public notice sign posting, one
hearing and three individual formal readings and final vote by the
Planning Commission, three individual readings by Lancaster County
Council and a final favourable Council vote.
During phase one archeology work conducted on the Haile Gold Mine site,
an abandoned cemetery from the late 1800s - early 1900s was discovered
within the project boundary. The Company worked with the Sand Hill
Baptist Church of Kershaw, who graciously agreed to provide a
respectful and final resting place in an area adjoining an existing
cemetery. Haile then completed the State of South Carolina requirements
for relocating a cemetery, which included posting a notice in the local
newspaper for 30 days to relocate the graves. At the end of the 30-day
notice period, the Lancaster County Council held a public hearing and
favourably voted in formal session to approve the cemetery relocation.
The Company contracted the relocation to RS Webb & Associates, an
archeology consulting firm that specializes in such work. RS Webb &
Associates has successfully relocated 48 gravesites in compliance with
state regulations. This project has now been completed.
Kathy Sistare, Chairwoman Lancaster County Council commented:
Lancaster County is proud to count the Haile Gold Mine as one of our
leading corporate citizens. As Chairwoman of County Council, I see
firsthand the many benefits that Haile Gold Mine, Inc. and their
outstanding staff bring to Lancaster. Obviously they bring jobs to
the community but they also make a conscious effort to buy locally and
support the economies of Lancaster County and the Town of
Kershaw. They are also engaged in numerous philanthropic efforts,
ranging from the Haile Gold Mine Playground in the Town of Kershaw to
memberships in the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development
Corporation, United Way, and school booster clubs.
On any complex project, close communication and a good working
relationship is crucial to success. The management team of Haile Gold
Mine certainly exhibit these qualities. During 2012 we rezoned a large
number of parcels to include them in the Haile Gold Mine
operation. The Haile Gold Mine staff worked closely with the Planning
staff throughout this process. Their fine work is also displayed in
non-governmental areas as well. As part of one recent land
acquisition, they had to relocate a number of graves in an abandoned
cemetery. The Haile Gold Mine staff worked closely with the local
faith community to respectfully and reverently relocate these graves
after working with the Historical Commission to determine there were no
family members remaining in the area. The receiving church allowed
Haile Gold Mine to enhance the church cemetery as a suitable final
resting place. They installed a suitable marker when there had not
even been a single headstone at the prior site. The Haile Gold Mine
staff worked closely with our Historical Commission, our Coroners
Office, and the appropriate state agencies, going the extra mile to do
the right thing for these departed residents.
The caring and concern to do the right thing is exhibited by the Haile
Gold Mine staff in their business dealings, work in the community, and
concern for the environment.
Diane Garrett, President and CEO, stated: "As the Company continues to
move through the permit process there are dozens of other items being
completed which are necessary to commence construction and operations.
Our team is working diligently to ensure these items are completed
efficiently and on a schedule that coincides with the overall project
progress. Providing an update on these activities allows our
shareholders to get a glimpse of the types of activities that our team
has been able to successfully conclude. As part of its on-going cash
conservation efforts, the Company is pleased to report that its
November 30, 2012 cash balance stood at $67 million - nearly $3.5
million ahead of the Company's most recent 2012 forecast. Limited
drilling continues to be performed at Haile and regionally in addition
to permit related drilling activities. The detailed engineering design
work is nearing 75% complete which has been the Company's goal for year
Kershaw Mineral Lab
KML has successfully passed the accreditation process and numerous
round-robin tests over an 18-month period to receive its ISO/IEC 17025
accreditation from the Standards Council of Canada. The Toronto Stock
Exchange - Ontario Securities Commission (TSC-OSC) Mineral Task Force
recommends in its "Setting New Standards" report that mineral
exploration companies use only ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories.
The Company is currently considering taking on clients and performing
third-party assays for other mining companies. The current plan is to
continue to have all Romarco ore assays reported to the public
completed by third party, independent assay laboratories as has been
the practice in the past. At the present time, KML is preforming
assays for the Company and ore holes are then verified by a third-party
laboratory before the results are released to the public. Also, KML is
proactively conducting metallurgical test work with the goal of
improving upon silver recoveries. In the Company's National Instrument
43-101 Technical Report dated March 13, 2012, silver recoveries were
reported as 50% and provide an approximate $16/oz by-product credit
assuming $18/oz silver.
Jim Arnold, Sr. VP and COO commented: "Certification of our lab is
particularly noteworthy because it is so much work and the standards
are so high. It is rare that an operations lab shoots for these
standards and more rare that they attain them. I'm proud of our team
and the quality of work they do. This is one more in a long line of
accomplishments that show that the Haile team aims for and achieves the
very best in everything they do."
The Company anticipates its Ball and SAG mills will arrive on site early
in 2013. Currently, these mills are in route from India and Germany
respectively and are scheduled to arrive during December 2012 at the
ports of Wilmington, NC and Charleston, SC, respectively.
In early November, the Hitachi shovel arrived from Japan. The local
dealer, Flint Equipment Company ("Flint") is storing the shovel in
Savannah, GA. In the current agreement with Flint, the Company will
take delivery of the shovel not later than February 2013 and the final
payment will be approximately $2 million.
As previously announced, the Catepillar mobile mine fleet is currently
being held in South Carolina by the local dealer, Blanchard Machinery
Company ("BMC"). In the current agreement with BMC, the Company will
take delivery of this equipment upon the final payment of approximately
$28 million on or before September 30, 2013.
About Romarco Minerals Inc.
Romarco Minerals Inc. is a gold development company focused on
production primarily in the US. The Company has completed a positive
Feasibility study and is continuing exploration drilling and permitting
for its flagship project, the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina.
This entire press release may be accessed via fax, e-mail, Romarco's
website at www.romarco.com and through CNW Group's website at www.newswire.ca. All material information on Romarco Minerals Inc. can be found at www.sedar.com
SOURCE ROMARCO MINERALS INC.