TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 24, 2008) - Verena Minerals Corporation ("Verena" or the "Company")(TSX VENTURE:VML) is pleased to announce the successful renegotiation of the terms of the security held by the Companhia de Pesquisa de Recoursos Minerais ("CPRM"), a Brazilian state owned geological survey company, in relation to Verena's acquisition of the Volta Grande gold property. Under the new terms, CPRM has agreed to release to Verena 3,525,087 Reals (approximately US$2,035,738) of the total term deposit of 4,273,087 Reals (approximately US$2,467,708), held in security to cover the Company's debt owed to CPRM. In addition the Company allocated the balance of the original term deposit that was not released, amounting to 748,000 Reals (approximately US$430,000), to be retained in an interest bearing term deposit to cover the next eight (8) quarterly payments, starting with the March 2008 quarter.
Under the original agreement, Verena agreed to invest a minimum of US$1.5 million at Volta Grande over a two year period and pay CPRM 3,740,000 Reals, only if a mineable deposit was defined by a bankable feasibility study. The loan plus interest was to be repaid in quarterly payments over a ten year period, commencing two years after commencement of production. As security for the principle and interest of this loan, in September 2006 the Company purchased a term deposit of 3,740,000 Reals (or US$1,772,708 at the then exchange rate).The Company has fulfilled the investment condition of the original agreement and elected to trigger the loan repayment scheme to recover the majority of the funds held by CPRM.
"Recovering this money to invest into the project represents an important step forward for us," said Ron Stewart, President and CEO of Verena. "We recently updated our resource on Volta Grande gold and have developed a clear plan to move the project forward over the next 12 months. These funds, together with our recently announced financing and planned sale of Bonfim, give us the financial resources to aggressively pursue our work program."
Verena plans on completing a 10,000 metre in-fill drill program and will initiate a preliminary economic evaluation of the Volta Grande deposit. This work will include additional metallurgical test work and an assessment of the mining rate, capital and operating costs and a preliminary financial evaluation of the project to be used as a guideline for further studies. The Company announced an updated resource estimate on Volta Grande (see Press Release dated February 28, 2008), including 400,000 ounces of indicated resources (33.5 million tonnes at 0.92 grams per tonne (g/t)) and 1,629,000 inferred ounces of gold (54.5 million tonnes at 0.93 g/t) using a 0.5 g/t cut-off.
Verena Minerals Corporation is a Canadian based mineral exploration company with an outstanding portfolio of properties including gold, diamonds and gemstones in Brazil. Verena's prime focus is on advancing and expanding its 100% owned Volta Grande Project, located in Para State. Verena has a strategic alliance with Kinross Gold Corporation, which holds 7.2% of the common shares of Verena and is earning an interest into the Monte do Carmo and Patrocinio gold projects. Verena also operates the Lavrinha gold project and controls a portfolio of diamond and gem properties. Verena trades on the TSX Venture Exchange and has approximately 96.83 million common shares issued and outstanding.
Cautionary Statement on Forward Looking Information
This press release may include forward looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. Forward looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what is currently expected. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, refer to Verena's filings with the Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or the Company's website at www.verena.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Verena Minerals Corporation
Ron W. Stewart
President and CEO