Apogee Minerals Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Oscar Calero as the Vice President of Operations of the Company effective February 15th, 2011. Mr. Calero brings extensive engineering experience in both mine operations and development projects with over 20 years of practice in both Peru and Canada. Most recently, Mr. Calero was the Superintendent of Projects and Productivity at Volcan Compania Minera, a publicly traded Peruvian mining company that produces zinc, lead, silver, and copper from six underground mining operations. Previously, Mr. Calero held the position of Manager of Underground Mine Planning and Projects, Peru, for Hochschild Mining PLC, and Mine Operations Manager for Century Mining’s Sigma-Lemaque Operation in Val d’Or Quebec. Mr. Calero holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mine Engineering from the National Engineering University of Peru, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the ESAN Graduate School of Business in Peru.
In connection with his appointment, the Company shall grant Mr. Calero 100,000 stock options of the Company at an exercise to be determined in accordance with the closing price of the Company’s common shares on the date immediately prior to his engagement with the Company. The options shall vest immediately and will expire within five years from the date of grant, in accordance with the terms of Apogee’s stock option plan. The options shall remain subject to receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, including the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Apogee is also pleased to report that that it has invited several South American based mining contractors to submit detailed proposals for the provision of contract mining services at its 100% owned Pulacayo project during 2011. The Company is currently undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of the feasibility of initiating a pilot mining and toll milling program at the Pulacayo Deposit. The focus of the mining program would be on higher grade zones within the deposit, which may be readily accessible utilizing the historical mine development. A key part of this assessment is identifying and engaging a contract miner who would be responsible for the rehabilitation of the existing level development and haulage drifts, development of new access to planned stopes and the production of ore from these stopes. It is anticipated that a comprehensive pilot mining plan will be completed before the end March 2011 and a contract would be awarded shortly thereafter.
The toll milling development is viewed as the first stage in the development plan at Pulacayo. The Company will also commission a feasibility study for developing a stand-alone mill at the Pulacayo site which would support a higher production rate in future.
Chris Collins, P. Geo., the President of the Company, stated, “We are very pleased to have Oscar Calero join the Apogee team at this very exciting time in our development. His experience in underground operations and development projects combined with his leadership skills will be invaluable to us as we evaluate the opportunity to transition from exploration, to development and production at Pulacayo.”
In addition to the pilot mining and toll milling initiative, Apogee is also maintaining an aggressive exploration program at the Pulacayo Deposit, with two diamond drills continuing to work on the property targeting extensions to the known mineralization along strike east of the current resources and a third drill being commissioned. (See Press Release dated January 10th 2011 and January 18th 2011). Additional results from the drilling program will be released as they become available.