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Stirling Resources' associate Swan Gold Mining to commence mining in May

Stirling Resources (ASX:SRE) associate company, Swan Gold Mining is on track to start gold production in June 2010, following a planned recommencement of mining operations in early May.

The Company is also intending to re-list on the Australian Securities Exchange on 3 May 2010 under the ASX code SWA.

Swan Gold owns the Carnegie and Mt Ida gold projects in the West Australian Goldfields.  It was formed following the successful recapitalization of Monarch Gold by Stirling Resources completed earlier this month.

Stirling owns and controls 37% of the Company.

Mining will commence at Carnegie by 1st May, and start processing at the established Davyhurst processing plant by 1st June 2010. This will be followed by the restart of operations at the high grade Mt Ida project later in the year.

Swan Gold Chairman Michael Kiernan said “We are aiming to kick off in May with a small, low cost mining operation, which will be ramped up over the course of the next 12 months toward our target production rate of 100,000 ounces per year from both the open cut and underground mining operations.”

“The Company is well positioned for a quick start at Carnegie, with relatively low capital requirements. The pits are pre-stripped, have been re-designed and are ready to go, and the plant has been on care and maintenance and can be bought back on line with minimal upfront costs”.

Mining is proposed to commence in May at the Carnegie open pit project. The mine plan includes an initial focus on the Sand King and Missouri deposits, which will then be followed by the Riverina pit. The Company has a production target of 60,000 ounces per annum from JORC compliant Reserves from June 2008 of 1.5Mt at 2.7 g/t Au for 135,874 oz and Resources of 20.3 Mt at 2.3 g/t Au for 1.5 Moz.

A new processing circuit will be installed in parallel with the CIP circuit at the processing plant, to accommodate ore from the high grade Mt Ida project.

The targeted production rate at Mt Ida is 40,000 ounces per annum from JORC compliant July 2009 Reserves of 115 kt at 17.4 g/t Au for 64,000 oz and Resources of 317 Kt at 13.8 g/t Au for 139,000 oz.

Mining at Mt Ida is by underground methods, consisting of small scale rail mounted hand held development and stoping. Assets include underground mining equipment, a refurbished shaft and hoisting system and production drives largely grade controlled for immediate continuous production at the hoisting capability of 6,000 tonnes per month (72,000 tonnes per year).

The Swan Gold asset portfolio also includes a prospective landholding of 2400km2 in the goldfields, and an extensive geological database from more than 140,000 drill holes which the Company is continuing to evaluate.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company