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Press Release: Minera Andes Announces Discovery of 5 Kilometres of New High-Grade Gold/Silver Veins at San José Mine

TORONTO, ON – October 7, 2010 – Minera Andes Inc. (the “Corporation” or “Minera Andes”) (TSX: MAI and US OTC: MNEAF) is pleased to announce the discovery of nine new high-grade gold/silver veins plus important extensions of two other veins, which together total more than five kilometres in strike length. The discoveries represent significant exploration progress at San José where the total strike length of all the previously known veins totalled approximately 17 kilometres. The new veins are located primarily between the Kospi and Frea veins, and can be accessed from existing mine workings (see Exhibit 1).

Rob McEwen, Chairman and CEO of Minera Andes, said:

“We are very excited by the discovery of the new veins at the San José mine. The drilling results demonstrate that the area in and around the San José mine is extremely prospective, and we anticipate these new veins will significantly extend the mine life. Recent events such as the $3.6 billion bid for Andean’s nearby Cerro Negro property highlight the world class potential of this emerging gold/silver district.”

Selected assay results for three of the most promising new veins are shown below. The complete assay results for the new veins and vein extensions are provided in Exhibit 2. All of the drilling reported in this press release was completed during 2010. The assays reported below and in Exhibit 2 were analyzed by Alex Stewart Argentina SA laboratory in Mendoza, Argentina, and received up until August 25th 2010. The widths shown below are true widths (normal to the dip of the vein). Longitudinal sections of the new veins and extensions are provided in Exhibit 3.

  • Micaela Vein – 1,380 meter strike length, cut by 36 diamond drill holes.
    • Hole SJD-708 – 2.45 m (meters) at 8.33 g/t (grams/tonne) Au and 1,484 g/t Ag
    • Hole SJD-786 – 1.09 m at 33.50 g/t Au and 2752 g/t Ag
    • Hole SJD-807 – 0.53 m at 31.02 g/t Au and 629 g/t Ag
  • Sofía Vein – 600 meter strike length, cut by 20 diamond drill holes.
    • Hole SJD-477 – 1.52 m at 7.71 g/t Au and 885 g/t Ag
    • Hole SJD-486 – 10.13 m at 14.96 g/t Au and 1096 g/t Ag
    • Hole SJD-491 – 5.45 m at 13.54 g/t Au and 206 g/t Ag
    • Hole SJD-726 – 1.72 m at 10.94 g/t Au and 1255 g/t Ag
  • Antonella Vein – 870 meter strike length, cut by 13 diamond drill holes.
    • Hole SJD-524 – 5.30 m at 13.43 g/t Au and 199 g/t Ag

The following table provides a summary of new veins and extensions, the number of drill holes used to define the veins and the strike length of each. Complete assay data is provided in Exhibit 2.

Vein Number of
Holes
Strike Length
(meters)
Micaela 36 1380
Sofía 20 600
Antonella 13 870
Dos Lauras 11 400
Ayelén Extension 12 580
Marta 15 510
Ramal Frea 450 Extension 17 430
Shala 4 134
Pacha 7 180
Mara 5 150
Hera 8 235

The discoveries are a direct result of a significant increase in the exploration effort at San José compared to previous years. From the start of 2010 through September 25, 2010, a total of 47,431 meters have been completed in 233 diamond core holes, nearly double the drilling undertaken in 2009. The success of the current drilling is in large part a result of extensive surface geophysical surveys conducted during 2009 and 2010 that led to the development of the targets drilled this year. The geophysics consisted of 181 line-kilometres of induced polarity (“IP”)/resistivity, 55 line-kilometres of magnetics and 11 line-kilometres of pole-dipole IP. An updated 43-101 Report scheduled to be completed in the near future is being prepared that will contain full details of the 2010 and 2009 drilling.

A significant portion of the property continues to be open at depth and laterally. The discovery of the Micaela-Sofía vein system, which trends approximately east-west, is especially important because its orientation is different from the typical northwest trend of all the other veins at San José. The discovery of this system, which does not outcrop, will be used as an exploration guide to open up new exploration opportunities on the property. In addition, exploration drilling is continuing to expand resources in the known veins, including Ayelén and Odin, and exploration is also continuing in other areas of the property, such as the Saavedra and Aguas Vivas targets.

The Mineral Reserves and Resources for the San José mine as at December 31, 2009 were audited by P&E Mining Consultants and reported in the Corporation’s 2009 Annual Report (AIF), and are given in the following table.

Resource Category Tonnes Ag g/t Au g/t AgEq g/t AgEq M oz
Measured 692,000 527 9.11 1,074 23.86
Indicated 1,953,000 463 6.78 870 54.60
Meas. + Ind. 2,645,000 480 7.39 923 78.46
Inferred 2,002,000 310 4.98 609 39.20
Reserve Category Tonnes Ag g/t Au g/t AgEq g/t AgEq M oz
Proven 618,000 457 7.66 917 18.21
Probable 902,000 452 7.09 877 25.44
Prov. + Prob. 1,520,000 454 7.32 893 43.67

None of the new veins are included in the December 31, 2009 resource or reserve estimate. An updated 43-101 Technical Report to be completed in the near future will include updated resource estimates including the new veins.

About Minera Andes Minera Andes is an exploration company exploring for gold, silver and copper in Argentina with three significant assets: A 49% interest in Minera Santa Cruz SA, owner of the San José Mine in close proximity to Andean Resources’ Cerro Negro project; 100% ownership of the Los Azules copper deposit with an inferred mineral resource of 10.3 billion pounds of copper and an indicated resource of 2.2 billion pounds of copper; and, 100% ownership of a portfolio of exploration properties bordering Andean’s Cerro Negro project in Santa Cruz Province. The Corporation had $8 million USD in cash as at June 30th 2010 with no bank debt. Rob McEwen, Chairman and CEO, owns 33% of the company.

About Minera Santa Cruz Minera Santa Cruz SA is a joint venture owned 51% by Hochschild Mining Argentina, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hochschild Mining plc, and 49% by Minera Andes S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Corporation. The joint venture owns and operates the San José property.

About Hochschild Mining plc Hochschild Mining plc is a leading precious metals company listed on the London Stock Exchange (HOCM.L / HOC LN) with a primary focus on the exploration, mining, processing and sale of silver and gold. Hochschild has over forty years of experience in the mining of precious metal epithermal vein deposits and currently operates four underground epithermal vein mines, three located in southern Peru, one in southern Argentina and one open pit mine in northern Mexico. Hochschild also has numerous long-term prospects throughout the Americas.

This news release has been submitted by Jim Duff, Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation. For further information, please contact Jim Duff or Daniela Ozersky or visit our Web site: www.minandes.com.

Daniela Ozersky
Manager, Investor Relations

Jim Duff
Chief Operating Officer

Source: Company website

Hochschild Mining and Minera Andes agree on settlement of lawsuit

· Minera Andes signed formal loan agreement regarding $65 million project financing loan

· Settlement signed with immediate discontinuation of pending litigation


Hochschild Mining plc (“Hochschild”) today announces that it has signed an agreement with Minera Andes Inc (“MAI”) and its subsidiary, Minera Andes SA (“MASA”) regarding the $65 million project financing loan provided by Hochschild to the San José gold and silver mine in Argentina.  The parties have also agreed to restructure the 2004 shareholder loan agreement pursuant to which Hochschild and MAI lent approximately $50 million to the co-venture entity, known as Minera Santa Cruz (“MSC”).


Subject to final closing, which is expected to occur this week, the parties have agreed to a repayment schedule for the project finance loan and the shareholder loan over a maximum period of 8 years, with fixed interest rates of 7% per annum. Future payments on both the shareholder loan and project finance loan may be accelerated based on mine performance and metal prices thus maximizing cash flows for both MAI and Hochschild.

Hochschild has agreed to provide Minera Andes with the right to consent to certain extraordinary capital expenditures (not including regular sustaining CAPEX) in certain limited circumstances.


The San Jose mine, a co-venture between Hochschild and MAI, has been in operation since June 2007. Under the terms of letter agreements between the parties executed in October 2006, Hochschild alone provided the full amount of the project financing, totalling $65 million in instalments between October 2006 and July 2007. On 17 March 2010 Hochschild filed a lawsuit against Minera Andes alleging the undue delay in the execution of formal loan documents and repayment of the loan by MSC. Under the terms of the settlement, Hochschild will discontinue the litigation filed in the New York State Supreme Court.


The lawsuit had no impact on the running of the San José mine, which is operated by Hochschild. The mine has a throughput capacity of 530ktpa and in the first half of 2010, produced approximately 2 million ounces of silver and 36 thousand ounces of gold.


Ignacio Bustamante, CEO of Hochschild Mining said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of the negotiations and the ending of litigation. The properties and operation of MSC are located in a premium geological location in Argentina, neighbouring the Cerro Negro project which was recently sold by Andean to Goldcorp for US$3.6 billion.  We are confident that Hochschild and Minera Andes will now be able to focus their full efforts towards building a meaningful and constructive partnership to create further value for their respective shareholders through production at San Jose and further exploration in this very prospective area.”

Source: Hochschild Website