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Liberty Mines to restart mill production in Timmins, Ontario in Q1 2012

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Liberty Mines (TSE:LBE) announced Tuesday it expects to restart production at its Timmins tailings pond facility (TPF) in the first quarter of 2012.

In Toronto, investors cheered the news, sending Liberty shares up 5.56% to $0.095 as of 9:30 am EDT.

The company's plan includes repairs and upgrades to the existing TPF, which has been closed due to maintenance and related issues since February 2011.

Librty Mines President and CEO Chris Stewart said: "Our single focus over the past six months has been to restart production and we are extremely pleased with the progress we have made.

"Since February, we have been working closely with various regulatory bodies to take the proper corrective measures and have hired qualified engineering consultants to support our efforts. Today's plan provides us a clear roadmap to realize our short- and long-term objectives."

Liberty said it will also begin to mill the stockpiled ore it has both at surface at the mill site and underground at the McWatters Mine. The company will also restart its underground operations.

To implement its plan and restart all operations, Liberty said it will utilize a portion of its $20 million credit facility, which it established with Jilin Jien, a majority shareholder of the company and a major nickel sulfate producer.

In addition, the company has commenced environmental work for the permitting of a new TPF that will provide more than 15 years of tailings storage, it said. Liberty will also be performing a dam raise to the current TPF, in order to provide three more years of capacity, at an operating rate of 1,500 tonnes per day.

"The planned repairs to our TPF and the dam site raise will support our operations through to 2015," Stewart continued.

"To support our longer-term objectives and ensure that our full potential is maximized, we envision the construction of a new, much larger TPD with a capacity of approximately 15 years."

The new TPF is targeted for regulatory approval in the third quarter of 2013, with construction to commence immediately following.

Currently, Liberty has about 25,000 tonnes of ore stockpiled on surface at the mill site, and an additional 170,000 tonnes of ore broken in the stope underground at the McWatters Mine.

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TSX-V:LBE
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