January 10, 2013 at 06:30 AM EST
Capstone 2012 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Production Results Meet Guidance

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, January 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

- 2012 production of 82.8 million pounds of copper in concentrates

Capstone Mining Corp. ("Capstone") (TSX: CS) today announced the operating results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2012 of its two operating mines, Cozamin and Minto. Combined production totalled 19.7 and 82.8 million pounds of copper in concentrates in the fourth quarter and full year 2012, respectively, with additional by-products of zinc, silver, gold and lead.

    2012 Production
              Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4 2012
    Copper in concentrates
    (millions of pounds)
    Cozamin 13.0 12.1 11.0 10.8 46.9
    Minto    5.6  9.8 11.6  8.9 35.9
    Total   18.6 21.9 22.6 19.7 82.8


"We achieved our 2012 production guidance of 80 million pounds ±5% of copper, with both mines performing as anticipated in the fourth quarter," said Darren Pylot, President and CEO of Capstone.  "The flexibility of having two operating mines allowed Cozamin's strong performance to more than compensate for the shortfall experienced at Minto during 2012."

Operational highlights for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2012

  • Production of 19.7 and 82.8 million pounds of copper contained in concentrates, respectively.
  • By-product production of 4.3 and 17.2 million pounds of zinc, 415,060 and 1,759,352 ounces of silver and 0.5 and 2.9 million pounds of lead in concentrates, respectively.  Final gold production is not available since assaying is conducted off-site, but is estimated at 6,785 and 18,599 ounces for the respective periods.
  • Cozamin remained a very steady producer.  Over the past two years recoveries have consistently exceeded 92%, with throughput increasing from an average of 3,000 tonnes per day ("tpd") in 2011 to 3,200 tpd in 2012.  Despite copper grades trending down towards the reserve grade over time, continued exploration success has brought high-grade ore from the Mala Noche Footwall Zone into production and extended the current mine life (before inclusion of 2012 drilling) to nine years.  Grades in the fourth quarter were above the guided 1.7% copper, driven by the ability to selectively mine high grade blocks in the West Zone.
  • At Minto, 2011 and 2012 were transitional years as mining progressed into the Area 2 pit. Throughput has steadily increased at the mill, with 2012 throughput of 1.34 million tonnes up 7% from 2011.  In December, regulatory approval was received to provide the flexibility to further increase the milling rate up to 1.5 million tonnes per year.  Grades in the fourth quarter were at the expected 1.4% copper, and considered the plan changes due to highwall instability, which resulted in processing much more low-grade stockpile materials than long-term plans had anticipated.  The previously announced accelerated pushback that was necessary to improve the stability of the west pit highwall continued throughout the fourth quarter.  Mining in the Area 2 pit resumed in late December and we are working towards achieving the 2013 plan.
     Operating Details
                                  Cozamin                Minto                  TOTAL
                                       Total
                          Q4 2012       2012   Q4 2012   Total 2012   Q4 2012   Total 2012
    Production [(1)]
    (contained in
    concentrates)
          - Copper
          (000s
          pounds)          10,776     46,909     8,971     35,928    19,747      82,838
          - Zinc (000s
          pounds)           4,345     17,221         -          -     4,345      17,221
          - Lead (000s
          pounds)             524      2,891         -          -       524       2,891
          - Silver
          (ounces)        372,460  1,575,816    42,600    183,536   415,060   1,759,352
          - Gold
          (ounces)              -          -     6,785     18,599[2   6,785      18,599[2]
    Mine
          - Tonnes of
          ore mined       285,766  1,170,590   233,547    942,739   519,313   2,113,329
    Mill
          - Tonnes
          processed       285,415  1,172,902   312,325  1,341,584   597,740   2,514,486
          - Tonnes
          processed
          per day           3,102      3,205     3,395      3,666     6,497       6,870
          - Copper
          grade (%)          1.85       1.95      1.43       1.34      1.63        1.63
          - Zinc grade
          (%)                1.08       1.03         -          -
          - Lead grade
          (%)                0.18       0.20         -          -
          - Silver
          grade (g/t)        57.9       58.9       5.0        5.1      30.3        30.2
          - Gold grade
          (g/t)                 -          -      0.79       0.58
    Recoveries
          - Copper (%)       92.8       93.0      91.3       90.5      92.0        91.6
          - Zinc (%)         64.0       64.9         -          -
          - Lead (%)         47.2       55.8         -          -
          - Silver (%)       70.1       71.0      84.1       84.1      71.3        72.1
          - Gold (%)            -          -      85.8       74.0
    Concentrates
    [1]
          - Copper
          concentrate
          (dmt)            18,980     81,305    10,561     43,423    29,541     124,727
                 Copper
                 (%)         25.8       26.2      38.5       37.5      30.3        30.1
                 Silver
                 (g/t)        551        540     125.5      131.5     399.1       397.5
                 Gold
                 (g/t)          -          -      19.7       13.3
          - Zinc
          concentrate
          (dmt)             4,118     16,057         -          -     4,118      16,057
                 Zinc
                 (%)         47.9       48.6         -          -
          - Lead
          concentrate
          (dmt)               415      2,216         -          -       415       2,216
                 Lead
                 (%)         57.2       59.2         -          -
                 Silver
                 (g/t)      2,696      2,324         -          -


(1) Adjustments based on final settlements will be made in future periods.
(2) Full-year 2012 gold production includes an upward adjustment for higher assays not reported in the third quarter.

2012 Year-End Financial Results Timing

Capstone will report 2012 year-end financial results on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 after market close, followed by a conference call and webcast for investors and analysts on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 11:30 am Eastern Time (8:30 am Pacific Time).

Conference Call and Webcast Details

    Date:             Thursday, March 14, 2013
    Time:             11:30 am Eastern Time -- 8:30 am Pacific Time
    Dial in:          North America: 1-888-390-0605, International: 1-416-764-8609
    Webcast:          http://www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/detail/1096935/1195123
    Replay:           North America: 1-888-390-0541, International: 1-416-764-8677
    Replay Passcode:  017456


The conference call replay will be available until March 28, 2013. The conference call audio and transcript will be available on Capstone's website within approximately 24 hours of the call at http://capstonemining.com/s/Conference_Calls.asp.

About Capstone Mining Corp.

Capstone Mining Corp. is a Canadian base metals mining company, preferentially focussed on copper, with two producing copper mines, the Cozamin copper-silver-zinc-lead mine located in Zacatecas State, Mexico and the Minto copper-gold-silver mine in Yukon, Canada. In addition, Capstone has two development projects, the large scale 70% owned Santo Domingo copper-iron-gold project in Chile in partnership with Korea Resources Corporation and the 100% owned Kutcho copper-zinc-gold-silver project in British Columbia, as well as exploration at properties in Canada, Chile, Mexico and Australia. Using its cash flow and strong balance sheet as a springboard, Capstone aims to grow organically through continued mineral resource and reserve expansions, exploration, and through acquisitions in politically stable, mining-friendly regions. Additional information is available at http://www.capstonemining.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and Capstone Mining Corp. (the "Company") does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable securities legislation.

Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect Company management's expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, success of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "outlook", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. In this document certain forward-looking statements are identified by words including "scheduled", "guidance", "plan", "planned", "estimated", "projections", "projected" and "expected". By their very nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of mineral resources; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; accidents; dependence on key personnel; labour pool constraints; labour disputes; availability of infrastructure required for the development of mining projects; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities; and other risks of the mining industry as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements.

National Instrument 43-101 Compliance

Unless otherwise indicated, Capstone has prepared the technical information in this news release ("Technical Information") based on information contained in the technical reports, news releases and MD&A's (collectively the "Disclosure Documents") available under Capstone Mining Corp.'s company profile on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com. Each Disclosure Document was prepared by or under the supervision of a qualified person (a "Qualified Person") as defined in National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101").  Readers are encouraged to review the full text of the Disclosure Documents which qualifies the Technical Information.  Readers are advised that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.  The Disclosure Documents are each intended to be read as a whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context.  The Technical Information is subject to the assumptions and qualifications contained in the Disclosure Documents.

The disclosure of the technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by John Wright, P. Eng., Capstone's Business Development Manager, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. In addition, Gregg Bush, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Capstone reviewed all technical information in this news release.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors

This news release contains disclosure that has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Canadian securities laws, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Without limiting the foregoing, this news release uses the terms "indicated" and "inferred" resources. U.S. investors are cautioned that, while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian securities laws, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") does not recognize them. Under U.S. standards, mineralization may not be classified as a "reserve" unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of indicated resources will ever be converted into reserves. U.S. investors should also understand that "inferred resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be mined legally or economically. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of "inferred resources" will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Therefore, U.S. investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of inferred resources exist, or that they can be mined legally or economically. Accordingly, information concerning descriptions of mineralization and resources contained in this news release may not be comparable to information made public by U.S. companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of the SEC.

For further information:
Cindy Burnett, VP, Investor Relations and Communications
+1-604-637-8157 
cburnett@capstonemining.com

SOURCE Capstone Mining Corp.

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