MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 30, 2012) - Osisko Mining Corporation (the "Corporation" or "Osisko") (OSK:TSX)(FRANKFURT:EWX) in response to recent community protests and media reports and requests regarding Osisko's activities in La Rioja State, Argentina, would like to provide an update regarding the company's current and planned involvement in the Famatina Project.
On August 31, 2011, Osisko and Energía y Minerales Sociedad Del Estado ("EMSE"), the La Rioja State mining corporation announced that they had signed an agreement regarding the Famatina Project (the "Agreement"). (See press release: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/osisko-and-emse-sign-agreement-for-development-of-famatina-project-in-argentina-tsx-osk-1555790.htm.)
An exploration project - not a mining project
The Famatina Project is located near Famatina and Chilecito, towns of respectively 6,500 and 50,000 people (including surrounding areas) in the northern part of the state of La Rioja. The mineral rights to Famatina are held by EMSE. At this point in time Famatina is an exploration project only; there is no current plan, design or intent for any mining operations. Osisko has committed to spend $10 million, including environmental baseline studies, during the initial year of a 4-year term. Osisko intends to execute the agreement through its subsidiary Minera El Portal S.A. ("MEP"). Osisko's partner in the project, EMSE, is responsible for gaining all required permits through the life of the Famatina Project.
Osisko, in all its endeavors, is committed to socially and environmentally responsible exploration and development, and is dedicated to performing its work programs to the highest international standards of acceptance.
The Famatina Project is still in its organizational stage, and Osisko has made no significant financial investment in the project to date. Osisko, through its subsidiary MEP has not conducted, nor has it attempted to conduct, any field work on the Famatina Project.
MEP representatives have started to design and prepare a community information and consultation program. This information and consultation is primary to the commencement of any exploration work on the site. If there is no social license for exploration and development around the Famatina project area, no work will be conducted by MEP.
In the days immediately following the signature of the Agreement, groups from Famatina and elsewhere in Argentina commenced organized protests against what has misleadingly been called the "Famatina mega-mine project". In fact, the development of a mine is still highly hypothetical, since very little is known about the amount, quality and location of the mineral resources that may exist in the properties within the Famatina Project. The environmental regulations of Argentina and the best practices policy of Osisko ensure that even if future exploration was to prove successful, there are many checks and balances in place that would ensure a thorough and lengthy review process prior to any potential mine permit being granted.
On January 2, protesters obstructed access to the Famatina Project site. As of today this blockade is still in place, and demonstrations have been staged in Famatina, La Rioja City and elsewhere in Argentina. Although this obstruction has not had any impact on field work, the protest activities have impeded MEP representatives in their efforts to make initial contacts with people living in the vicinity of the Famatina Project as part of the community information program for planning and preparation.
Osisko believes that factual information about mineral exploration in general and about this project specifically would reassure Famatina residents regarding environmental impact, as well as potential economic benefits to the community and state. Osisko fully supports the government of La Rioja and EMSE in this endeavor.
About Osisko Mining Corporation
Osisko Mining Corporation operates the Canadian Malartic Gold Mine in Malartic, Quebec and is pursuing exploration on a number of properties, including the Hammond Reef Gold Project in Northern Ontario.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical fact, that address events or developments that the Corporation expects to occur, are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential", "scheduled" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur including, without limitation, the obtaining by EMSE of all rights and authorizations including the social license from surrounding communities, the availability of skilled labour force, and the discovery of a deposit which would warrant commercial production of the Famatina project. Although the Corporation believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, including, without limitation that the diligent ongoing optimizing of its operations will be achieved and will, accordingly, improve its operating performance, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include gold prices, the Corporation's limited experience with production and development stage mining operations, uninsured risks, regulatory changes or sanctions, defects in titles, availability of personnel, materials and equipment, timeliness of government approvals, actual performance of facilities, equipment and processes relative to specifications and expectations, unanticipated environmental impacts on operations costs, continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. These factors are discussed in greater detail in the Corporation's most recent Annual Information Form filed on SEDAR, which also provides additional general assumptions in connection with these statements. The Corporation cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Investors and others who base themselves on the Corporation's forward-looking statements should carefully consider the above factors as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risk they entail. The Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release.