HudBay plans C$42.8 million for 2008 exploration

Continuing its aggressive exploration, HudBay Minerals has announced plans to spend C$42.8 million on its 2008 exploration program. “Exploration delivers HudBay’s organic growth,” said Peter Jones, President and CEO. “Our long track record of discovery and ongoing aggressive exploration provides for significant potential future benefit.”

The 2008 budget builds on the 2007 $45.2 million program that delivered the Lalor Lake deposit. Lalor Lake has an indicative potential mineral resource to date of 18 to 20 Mt at 7.7% to 8.8% Zn, making it what HudBay believes to be a significant new zinc discovery in Canada.

Preliminary 2008 exploration plan is primarily focused (C$36.5 million) on the Flin Flon greenstone belt with grassroots exploration lined up for C$15.2 million, C$10.2 million for the Lalor Lake deposit, C$6.1 million for underground mine exploration and C$5 million for administration and studies. Elsewhere: Balmat and district C$2.1 million and other districts C$4.2 million.

HudBay’s exploration properties include approximately 400,000 ha in the prolific Flin Flon greenstone belt of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and approximately 20,000 ha in the Balmat district of New York state. HudBay owns the Tom/Jason zinc/lead/silver mineral deposit in the Yukon, zinc exploration properties in southwest Ontario and copper exploration properties in Chile. HudBay has also optioned mineral properties to six other exploration companies as a means to leverage its expenditures in the Flin Flon Belt.

Exploration targets in 2008 in the Flin Flon Belt include drilling known mineral deposits, structural re-interpretations and geophysical anomalies. HudBay also plans exploration within its operating mines, in an effort to further expand mineral reserves and resources.

At Lalor Lake HudBay plans to further define the extent of the deposit and for in-fill drilling to produce a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate as well as collect data for a feasibility study, expand geophysical coverage and perform mineralogical and other studies.

An NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for the Bur deposit is expected to be released prior to the end of 2007. Given the significance of the Lalor Lake deposit, the close by Bur deposit, which is small, will be held in abeyance and the recently discovered Lalor Lake deposit will be prioritised.

An NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for the Watts deposit is expected to be released prior to the end of 2007. Watts is located some 45 km from the Snow Lake concentrator.

At Balmat, exploration will focus both on extension of the underground mineral resources as well as new discoveries in the company’s 20,000 ha of exploration lands.

In southwest Ontario, plans include drilling, geophysics and geochemistry. While at the Tom/Jason deposit, Yukon, expenditures in 2008 will be in support of permitting and scoping studies as well as a more extensive exploration program in 2009.

In Chile, plans include evaluation and drilling of HudBay’s San Antonio copper project to define the extent of copper mineralisation.

HudBay is an integrated mining company operating mines, concentrators and a metal production facility in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. HudBay also owns a zinc oxide production facility in Ontario, the White Pine copper refinery in Michigan and the Balmat zinc mine operations in New York state.