Argonaut Gold Exceeds 2012 Guidance with Gold Production of

Argonaut Gold Exceeds 2012 Guidance with Gold Production of 108,081
Ounces 
Q4 Gold Production of 25,805 Ounces at El Castillo; 6,195 Ounces at
La Colorada 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/17/13 -- Argonaut Gold Inc.
("Argonaut Gold" or the "Company") (TSX:AR), announced today that the
Company achieved record gold production of 32,000 ounces during the
4th quarter ended December 31, 2012. This included 25,805 ounces at
its 100% owned El Castillo Mine ("El Castillo") in Durango, Mexico
and 6,195 ounces at its 100% owned La Colorada Mine ("La Colorada")
in Sonora, Mexico. All dollar amounts are in US dollars except as
otherwise noted.  
FOURTH QUARTER 2012 HIGHLIGHTS:  
El Castillo 


 
--  Record production of 25,805 gold ounces (+31% improvement over Q4 2011) 
--  39,329 gold ounces loaded on the pad (+30% improvement over Q4 2011) 
--  West Side Pad 8 construction moving forward; first cell to be loaded
    starting in Q2 of 2013 

 
La Colorada 


 
--  Production of 6,195 gold ounces and 47,890 silver ounces 
--  8,845 gold ounces and 815,219 silver ounces loaded on the pad 
--  Phase 2 pad construction is 65% complete 
--  Crushing circuit relocated and fully operational 
    --  Final crushing circuit expansion scheduled for early in Q2 of 2013 
--  Overburden removal commenced in the La Colorada/Gran Central pit  

 
Financial  


 
--  Year-end cash balance was $191 million as of December 31, 2012, of which
    C $115 million for warrant exercises was included 
--  Fourth Quarter sales of 29,500 ounces of gold and 70,910 ounces of
    silver 

 
Full year 2012 


 
--  Total production of 108,081 ounces of gold (+50% over 2011) 
    --  El Castillo 87,712 ounces (+22% over 2011) 
    --  La Colorada 20,369 ounces 

 
El Castillo In Pit Sulphide Mineralization 


 
--  Over 360,000 gold ounces have been added to El Castillo's in-pit
    resources. The additional sulfide mineralization is divided into two
    categories including non-silicified sulphides and silicified sulphides;
    this provides 22.6 million tonnes at a grade of 0.504 g/t. The majority
    of the mineralization falls in the non-silicified category which has an
    average grade of 0.47 g/t with recoveries ranging from 25% to over 50%.
    The smaller silicified zone of mineralization is mainly confined to a
    higher grade breccia pipe averaging 0.80 g/t. yielding recoveries of 11%
    to 28%.  
--  Results encompass approximately 5,000 meters of core drilling for 32
    holes completed in multiple programs over the last three years. All
    metallurgical testing was completed by Kappes, Cassidy & Associates
    ("KCA") in Reno, Nevada.  
 
Measured and Indicated Resource Table                                       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Sulphide non-silicified                 Sulphide silicified      
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cutoff           Tonnes  Au g/t  Au oz cont.     Tonnes  Au g/t  Au oz cont.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.15         24,032,586   0.428      330,392  2,801,142   0.717       64,590
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.20         22,639,932   0.443      322,310  2,599,320   0.759       63,388
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.25         20,200,020   0.469      304,655  2,415,744   0.799       62,064
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.30         17,337,720   0.501      279,379  2,085,348   0.882       59,127
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.40         10,978,344   0.589      208,000  1,680,330   1.013       54,715
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
For economic evaluation, the non-silicified sulphide zone is based upon 30% 
recovery; the silicified sulphide zone is based upon 17% recovery.          
 
--  Global Sulphide Resource: 
    --  El Castillo's global measured and indicated ("M&I") sulphide
        resource shows 1.5 million ounces of gold at an average grade of
        0.296 g/t; it lies below the oxide and transitional gold resource at
        El Castillo. It is the Company's current interpretation that the
        silicified sulphides make up a relatively low percentage of the
        total sulfides and is largely limited to the silicified breccia
        pipe. 

 
Please visit www.argonautgold.com for a full table of metallurgical
results and images related to the sulphides.  
FOURTH QUARTER 2012 El CASTILLO OPERATING RESULTS 
Fourth quarter 2012 operating statistics showed improvement over
fourth quarter 2011 results. Ore production is now at an annualized
rate of approximately 13 million tonnes.  


 
El Castillo Operating Statistics                                            
                                                                            
                       3 Months Ended                  Year End             
                   12/31/2012 12/31/2011 Change 12/31/2012 12/31/2011 Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mining (000)                                                                
Total tonnes mined      6,695      5,437    23%     24,052     20,009    20%
Tonnes ore              3,321      2,912    14%     11,962     11,145     7%
Heap Leach Pad                                                              
 (000)                                                                      
Direct ore tonnes                                                           
 to leach pad           2,033      2,098    -3%      7,561      8,114    -7%
Crushed Ore tonnes                                                          
 to pad                 1,282        839    53%      4,555      3,041    50%
Production                                                                  
Gold grade (g/t)         0.37       0.32    15%       0.39       0.33    18%
Gold loaded to pad                                                          
 (oz)                  39,329     30,162    30%    151,462    117,939    28%
Gold loaded to                                                              
 carbon(oz)            25,805     19,698    31%     87,712     72,049    22%
Gold sold (oz)         23,595     20,468    15%     89,881     66,521    35%
1 "g/t" is grams per tonne                                                  
2 "oz" means troy ounce                                                     

 
Richard Rhoades, Chief Operating Officer of Argonaut Gold said
"Year-end production at El Castillo of 87,712 gold ounces came in
above increased guidance of 85,000 ounces for the year. The team at
El Castillo team delivered yet another quarter of continued
improvement, providing a 10% increase over the initial 2012 guidance.
In addition to exceeding guidance expectations, the Company has seen
dramatic improvement in crushing at the operation. The operation is
now crushing at a rate of approximately 5 million tonnes per year."  
Production has approached a near steady state at El Castillo. Higher
grade material during the fourth quarter of 2012 provided for
production of over 25,000 ounces against to guidance of 21-22,000
ounces for the quarter. In 2013, the operation anticipates lower
grades, offset by higher volumes of material, for an estimated 5-10%
increase over total 2012 production.  
FOURTH QUARTER 2012 LA COLORADA OPERATING RESULTS 
Overburden removal continues at La Colorada in preparation for full
scale mining. During the fourth quarter, the crusher was relocated
with a minimal impact to the production plan. Fourth quarter
production provided 6,195 ounces of gold, for a total 2012 production
of 20,369 ounces. Final production exceeded expectations due to
higher than anticipated recoveries from the reprocessing of material
and positive grade reconciliation. 


 
La Colorada Operating Statistics                                            
                                          3 Months Ended          Year Ended
                                              12/31/2012          12/31/2012
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mining (000)                                                                
Total Tonnes mined                                 2,945               7,173
Tonnes ore                                           922               3,332
Heap Leach Pad (000)                                                        
Crushed ore tonnes to pad                            623               2,895
Production                                                                  
Gold grade (g/t)                                    0.43                0.43
Gold loaded to pad (oz)                            8,845              40,180
Gold loaded to carbon(oz)                          6,195              20,369
Silver loaded to carbon (oz)                      47,890             132,805
Gold sold (oz)                                     5,907              19,900
Silver sold (oz)                                  54,108             116,717
1 "g/t" is grams per tonne                                                  
2 "oz" means troy ounce                                                     

 
In discussing the Company's fourth quarter and year end highlights,
Mr. Pete Dougherty, President and CEO said "2012 has been a year of
significant accomplishments for Argonaut Gold's employees. The
Company has delivered on operational production expectations and
added an important project, Magino, for future growth and
development.   
The El Castillo production rate has shown continual improvement
quarter over quarter. La Colorada has exceeded initial expectations
while forming the foundation for the future. There is still more work
to be done to elevate the Company to the status of a mid-tier
producer and I am grateful for what has been accomplished so far."  
Argonaut Gold Q4 and Year End Financial Results Conference Call and
Webcast:  
The Q4 and year end financial results call is set to take place on
March 26, 2013 at 8:30 am ET. Details for the call in participation
are included below:  


 
Q4 and Year-End Conference Call Information:                                
 Toll Free (North America):              1-866-226-1792                     
 International:                          1-416-340-2216                     
                                                                            
 Webcast:                                www.argonautgold.com               
                                                                            
Q4 and Year End Conference Call Replay:                                     
 Toll Free Replay Call (North America):        1-800-408-3053               
 International Replay Call:                    1-905-694-9451               
         Passcode:                             7979249                      

 
The conference call replay will be available from 10:30 a.m. ET on
March 26, 2013 until April 2, 2013. 
About Argonaut Gold  
Argonaut Gold is a Canadian gold company engaged in exploration, mine
development and production activities. Its primary assets are the
production stage El Castillo Mine in Durango, Mexico and, the La
Colorada Mine in Sonora, Mexico, the advanced exploration stage San
Antonio project in Mexico, the recently acquired advanced exploration
stage Magino project in Ontario, Canada and several exploration stage
projects, all of which are located in North America. 
Creating Value Beyond Gold 
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements  
This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and
"forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities
laws concerning the proposed transaction and the business, operations
and financial performance and condition of Argonaut Gold Inc.
("Argonaut"). Forward-looking statements and forward-looking
information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect
to estimated production and mine life of the various mineral projects
of Argonaut; synergies and financial impact of completed
acquisitions; the benefits of the development potential of the
properties of Argonaut; the future price of gold, copper, and silver;
the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; the realization of
mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future
production; costs of production; success of exploration activities;
and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Except for statements of
historical fact relating to Argonaut, certain information contained
herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking
statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan,"
"expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate"
and other similar words, or statements that certain events or
conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are
based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the
statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and
subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors
that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from
those projected in the forward-looking statements. Many of these
assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the
control of Argonaut and there is no assurance they will prove to be
correct. 
Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from
results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include
changes in market conditions, variations in ore grade or recovery
rates, risks relating to international operations, fluctuating metal
prices and currency exchange rates, changes in project parameters,
the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and
expenses, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry,
failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated.
Although Argonaut has attempted to identify important factors that
could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially
from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be
other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be
anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that
forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual
results and future events could differ materially from those
anticipated in such statements. Argonaut undertakes no obligation to
update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's
estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable
securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance
on forward-looking statements. Statements concerning mineral reserve
and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute
forward-looking statements to the extent they involve estimates of
the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is
developed. Comparative market information is as of a date prior to
the date of this document. 
Technical Information and Mineral Properties Reports  
The technical information contained in this document has been
prepared under supervision of, and reviewed and approved by Mr.
Thomas H. Burkhart, Argonaut's Vice President of Exploration, and a
qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 ("NI
43-101"). For further information on the Company's properties
discussed herein please see the reports as listed below on the
Company's website or on www.sedar.com: 


 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
El Castillo Mine  NI 43-101 Technical Report on Resources and Reserves,     
                  Argonaut Gold Inc.,                                       
                  El Castillo Mine, Durango State, Mexico dated November 6, 
                  2010                                                      
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
La Colorada Mine  NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment La Colorada     
                  Project, Sonora, Mexico dated December 8, 2011            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contacts:
Argonaut Gold Inc.
Nichole Cowles
Investor Relations Manager
(775) 284-4422 x 101
nichole.cowles@argonautgold.com
www.argonautgold.com
 
 
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