Cyanide Ban Could Threaten Mining in Europe

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Proposed legislation would prohibit cyanide mining by the end of 2011.

Despite its plans to work its Pampalo gold mine in eastern Finland as a cyanide-free operation, Swedish/Finnish gold explorer and developer, Endomines, has some strong comments to make on the recent EU Parliament decision to initiate a complete ban on cyanide mining technologies in the European Union by the end of 2011.

Endomines notes that the Parliament decision was based on erroneous information about the use of cyanide in European gold mining and could threaten gold exploration and gold mining operations across Europe. In particular, Endomines points out, gold mining using cyanide in the Nordic nations is controlled by strict environmental regulations and does not threaten the environment. With a number of other gold exploration targets in the region, this is of particular concern to the company if such legislation is implemented.

Meanwhile, Endomines comments that its Pampalo mine, near the Finland/Russian border, which is currently under construction, will be working free-milling gold which can be processed without cyanide by using gravity and flotation techniques. Its environmental permits there are based on such cyanide-free milling.

Pampalo is a relatively small resource by global standards with Proven and probable reserves of 826,000 tons of ore containing some 122,000 ounces of gold—sufficient to give the mine an eight-year life. However, the deposit is open at depth and there should be additional ore available as mining and new drilling proceeds.

The Pampalo mineralisation consists of three parallel auriferous lodes. They have been core drilled down to approximately 450 meters depth. Deep drilling indicates that the mineralization has continuity at least to 700 meters depth.

Endomines will proceed with the construction of the mine and processing plant at Pampalo, and remains on schedule, with targeted test production to commence in Q4/2010, and full-scale commercial production, in Q1/2011.

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