Caribbean Rolls Out Plans to Reduce Climate Change Hazards

Dr. Mark Bynoe, senior environment and resource economist with the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Dr. Mark Bynoe, senior environment and resource economist with the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Desmond Brown
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Apr 30 2017 (IPS)

Climate change remains inextricably linked to the challenges of disaster risk reduction (DRR). And according to the head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Robert Glasser, the reduction of greenhouse gases is “the single most urgent global disaster risk treatment”.

Glasser was addressing the Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Americas. Held recently in Montreal, the gathering included more than 1,000 delegates from 50 countries, including the Caribbean.“We see disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation as two sides of the same coin.” –Dr. Mark Bynoe

“We recognise that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is arguably the single most urgent global disaster risk treatment, because without those efforts our other efforts to reduce many hazards and the risks those pose to communities would be overwhelmed over the longer term,” Glasser said.

The conference, hosted by the Canadian government in cooperation with UNISDR marked the first opportunity for governments and stakeholders of the Americas to discuss and agree on a Regional Action Plan to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030.

The Sendai Framework is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action. It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). The Framework is a 15-year, voluntary non-binding agreement which recognises that the state has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.

“The regional plan of action you will adopt . . . will help and guide national and local governments in their efforts to strengthen the links between the 2030 agenda for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction as national and local DRR strategies are developed and further refined in line with the Sendai Framework priorities over the next four years,” Glasser said.

The Caribbean is a minute contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions but will be among the most severely impacted.

The region is already experiencing its impacts with more frequent extreme weather events such as the 2013 rain event in the Eastern Caribbean, extreme drought across the region with severe consequences in several countries; the 2005 flooding in Guyana and Belize in 2010.

Inaction for the Caribbean region is very costly. An economic analysis focused on three areas – increased hurricane damages, loss of tourism revenue and infrastructure – revealed damages could cost the region 10.7 billion dollars by 2025. That’s more than the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all the member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

At the Montreal conference, Head of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Ronald Jackson was a panelist in a forum discussing the linkages between disaster risk reduction, climate change and sustainable development. He said the region needs to marry its indigenous solutions to disaster risk management with modern technology.

“We’ve recognised that in the old days, our fore parents…had to deal with flood conditions and they survived them very well. There were simple things in terms of how they pulled their beds and other valuables out of the flood space in the house in particular. This contributed to their surviving the storms with minimal loss,” Jackson said.

“That knowledge of having to face those adverse conditions and surviving them and coping through them and being able to bounce back to where they were before, that was evident in our society in the past. It has subsequently disappeared.”

CDEMA is a regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Agency was established in 1991 with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to participating states that require such assistance.

Another regional agency, the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) is collaborating with other agencies on the Caribbean Risk Management Initiative (CRMI).

The CRMI aims to provide a platform for sharing the experiences and lessons learned between different sectors across the Caribbean in order to facilitate improved disaster risk reduction.

“We see disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation as two sides of the same coin because to the extent we are able to enhance disaster risk reduction we are also beginning to adapt to climate change,” Dr. Mark Bynoe, the CCCCC’s senior environment and resource economist said.

He explained that there are a range of activities carried out specifically in terms of climate adaptation that will also have a disaster risk reduction element.

“We are looking at enhancing water security within a number of our small island states. One of the things we are focusing on there is largely to produce quality water through the use of reverse osmosis systems but we’re utilizing a renewable energy source. So, on the one hand we are also addressing adaptation and mitigation.”

Meantime, CCCCC’s Deputy Executive Director Dr. Ulric Trotz said the agency is rolling out a series of training workshops in 10 countries to share training tools that were developed with the aim of assisting in the generation of scientific information and analysis to help in making informed decisions. These include the Weather Generator (WG), the Tropical Storm Model/ Simple Model for the Advection of Storms and Hurricanes (SMASH), and the Caribbean Drought Assessment Tool (CARiDRO).

The training will target key personnel whose focus are in areas of agriculture, water resources, coastal zone management, health, physical planning or disaster risk reduction.

“The CARIWIG [Caribbean Weather Impacts Group] tool is a critical tool in that it more or less localizes the projection so that for instance, you can actually look at climate projections for the future in a watershed in St. Kitts and Nevis. It localizes that information and it makes it much more relevant to the local circumstance,” said Dr. Trotz.

Training and application of the tools will allow decision-makers to better understand the potential impacts of drought, tropical storms, and rainfall and temperature changes. When combined with other data and information, they can help to build a picture of potential impacts to key economic sectors in the various countries.

At UN, Rex Tillerson, Top US Diplomat, Delivers Stark Warnings to North Korea

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, right, who presided over the UN Security Council session on North Korea’s nuclear threats, with Yun Byung-se, his South Korean counterpart, April 28, 2017. Tillerson demanded that all UN member states must abide by UN sanctions on North Korea. Credit: RICK BAJORNAS/UN PHOTO

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, right, who presided over the UN Security Council session on North Korea’s nuclear threats, with Yun Byung-se, his South Korean counterpart, April 28, 2017. Tillerson demanded that all UN member states must abide by UN sanctions on North Korea. Credit: RICK BAJORNAS/UN PHOTO

By Barbara Crossette
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 29 2017 (IPS)

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council at a meeting on North Korea held at the foreign-minister level, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked member countries to join the United States in a strong campaign to enhance pressures on the Kim Jong-un regime, whose rapidly developing nuclear and missile programs have reached dangerous levels.

The high-level diplomatic session took place on April 28, the final day of the American presidency of the Security Council, a monthly rotating position. The atmosphere signaled that the US was back and needed partners after months of disparaging the UN and insulting various UN member countries.

All 15 Council members read statements at the session, in addition to South Korea’s foreign minister, Yun Byung-se. North Korean diplomats did not participate in the Council session. But as if to underline the menacing if predictable behavior of the regime, it fired a missile, which apparently failed, not long after the Council’s meeting ended.

The tone of Tillerson’s address to the Council was much more measured than the freewheeling style of Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, who said on her first day in the job that she would “take names” and later threatened to use her high heels for kicking those who opposed American policies. (The heels reference was used when she was governor of South Carolina, referring to labor organizers.)

She also compared the UN with the South Carolina state legislature for its clubbiness when she was governor, yet she promoted a fellow state governor to become head of the UN’s World Food Program. PassBlue obtained the letter she wrote to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Haley had promised to “fix” things at the UN as well. “I like to fix things,” she told the US Senate Foreign Relations committee at her confirmation hearing in January.

Hints that a new approach by the US toward world politics may be forming, perhaps led by Tillerson, followed a week of extraordinary chaos in an already chaotic White House. President Donald Trump, still lacking a coherent foreign policy of his own, flailed around for a single domestic success he could advertise on his 100th day in office.

He tried and failed again to get a new national health care bill and threw out an ill-considered American tax-reform outline that ran into a buzzsaw of criticism from experts who called it a gift to the rich.

The week of chaos began on April 24 with a White House lunch for all Security Council ambassadors and their spouses, in which the idea of a presidential “we need you” surfaced and praise for the UN Secretary-General Guterres was made by Trump, according to a diplomat at the meeting. Tillerson was not present at the lunch, but Haley sat at the president’s side.

Curiously, Trump tried to make a joke about her tenure in New York, thanking her for her “outstanding leadership” and then asking Council members: “Does everybody like Nikki? Because if you don’t she can easily be replaced. No, we won’t do that. I promise.”

Still, Trump inadvertently raised suspicions about whether Haley will be reined in by Tillerson, who is slowly but surely reorganizing his department and takes a cautious approach to his diplomacy so far. Reports soon emerged that Haley may be required to have her public statements pre-approved by the State Department, but whether she agrees remains to be seen.

Four days later, on April 28, Tillerson’s message in the Security Council session on North Korea was about partnership, stressing not only American fears — the stock rhetoric of the Trump White House — but also the anxieties of Asian nations and the wider world. “The more we bide our time, the sooner we will run out of it,” Tillerson said to a chamber full of UN ambassadors, whom he thanked for their presence. “I urge this Council to act before North Korea does.”

Tillerson’s demand for action — beginning “today,” he said — included familiar complaints from Washington; for example, doing a better job of enforcing UN resolutions aimed at bringing North Korea to a nuclear stand-down. He called for new financial sanctions on anyone, individual or country, who is supporting or abetting North Korea in its nuclear and missile development — thus defying the sanctions regime, the strictest set imposed by the UN on a member country. No higher-level sanctions on, say, digital activities that violate UN penalties, were mentioned.

He also asked all 193 UN member nations to “suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with North Korea,” saying that the regime of Kim Jong-un was exploiting its diplomatic openings and privileges to fund its technology programs, particularly for its military. And he emphasized the importance of imposing bans on North Korean imports, especially coal. He called for suspending the guest-worker program that bring laborers into various countries who can become agents of the Kim Jong-un regime.

He singled out China. “We must all do our share, but with China accounting for 90 percent of North Korean trade, China alone has economic leverage over Pyongyang that is unique, and its role is therefore particularly important,” Tillerson said. “The US and China have held productive exchanges on this issue, and we look forward to further actions that build on what China has already done.”

Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China, in his address to the Council, refused to accept that it was up to his country alone to solve the North Korea problem. “The key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side,” he said. China has preferred to deal with the North Korea issue in multination talks, although these have gained little ground in the past.

The Chinese minister told the media before the Council session that his country’s priorities are denuclearization of North Korea, upholding the nonproliferation regime there, peace talks and not to allow “chaos or war to break out on the peninsula.”

Tillerson repeated the long-held position that “all options” were on the table in dealing with North Korea, as Vice President Mike Pence repeated throughout his trip to Northeast Asia.

“Diplomatic and financial levers of power will be backed by a willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary,” Tillerson said. But he did not repeat Trump’s recent offhand remark that he would meet with Kim Jong-un if the situation required it. Nor did he refer to the cyberwarfare powers that the US has at its disposal, which Washington does not confirm or deny have been used to abort or destroy North Korean missiles after their launchings.

Russia, for its part, emphasized the toll that sanctions took on ordinary North Koreans and said that although Russia was united in condemning in North Korea’s missile launchings, the government won’t give up its nuclear program as long as it feels threatened by US naval exercises in the region.

Speaking to the Council first, Guterres of the UN described North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile firings in recent years as “clear violations of Security Council resolutions.”

He pointed out that these actions have violated numerous international agreements, including maritime law and aviation regulations.

Moreover, Guterres said, “The International Atomic Energy Agency remains unable to access the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to verify the status of its nuclear program,” though it does have sophisticated satellite monitoring in place.

“The DPRK is the only country to have conducted nuclear tests in this century,” Guterres noted. “We must assume that, with each test or launch. The DPRK continues to make technological advances in its pursuit of a military nuclear capability. . . . The onus is on the DPRK to comply with its international obligations. At the same time, the international community must also step up its efforts to manage and reduce tensions.”

In his concluding remarks, speaking as the US representative and not the Council presiding officer, Tillerson re-emphasized the crucial importance of a truly international effort beyond the calls for more negotiations.

“We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea,” he said. “We will not reward their violations of past resolutions. We will not reward their bad behavior with talks. We will only engage in talks with North Korea when they exhibit a good-faith commitment to abiding by the Security Council resolutions and their past promises to end their nuclear programs.

“And that is why we must have full and complete compliance by every country to the resolutions that have been enacted by this body in the past — no relaxation in the vigorous implementation of sanctions. . . . Any failure to take action diminishes your vote for these resolutions of the past, and diminishes your vote for future resolutions, and it devalues your seat at this Council. We must have full, complete compliance by all members of the Council.”

Leaving the Council after the hourslong session and skirting the media throng outside the chamber, Tillerson walked with Haley to the US mission to the UN across the street, where Council members were treated to lunch.

(Brought to IPS readers courtesy of PassBlue, online independent coverage of the UN, a project of the Ralph Bunche Institute, City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center)

Satellite Dishes Disappear from Residential and Commercial Rooftops

LAYTON, UT—(Marketwired – April 27, 2017) – Hauk, innovators of roof technology, unveils its solution to unsightly satellite dishes during the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference, April 27–29 in Orlando, Fla.

Most homeowners, and even commercial property owners for that matter, are undoubtedly bothered by the awkward and unpleasant display of their satellite dish, as well as the angst caused by following onerous home owner association regulations. Repair professionals are certainly not immune to the challenges these protruding menaces create.

“We thought…what if we can move the satellite dish into the attic space or inside the roof, without compromising its effectiveness,” says Mark Vogel, vice president of business development of Hauk. “Removing the requirement for the dish to be placed on an exterior surface was key.”

Hauk is unveiling its solution during the 2017 AIA conference, and is confident the Signal Transparent Skylight (STS) will address many of the problems surrounding the satellite industry. “We feel the AIA Expo is the optimum setting to have conversations with roofers, builders and architects about how STS works to create value for the customer and reduces risk to their product.”

Hauk's newest product release provides consumers a solution to combat home owner association (HOA) regulations that restrict satellite and cell communicator placement on the home. The STS also removes liability from penetrations on roof, walls and soffits that can cause damage over time. The product's ability to work from an indoor space creates a safe environment for the television service providers to complete the install in a timely manner regardless of the weather, roof conditions, or even restrictions outside.

“Our roofing partners are looking forward to the ability of installing or repairing a roof structure, without ever coming into contact with the satellite dish,” says Vogel. “This solution allows them to concentrate solely on their area of expertise.”

The company touts their support system is being developed to cover the entire life cycle of what [satellite dish] brings technology to the home. “From architects and audio video installers to DirecTV and Dish Network service providers, we are focused on providing our customers with comprehensive tech support,” states Rick Yuill, president of business development.

The STS product is slated to hit the market Q3 of 2017.

About Hauk

Layton–based Hauk LLC, (HaukTechnology.com), the leading innovator of rooftop technology, recently launched its STS product. STS is designed to increase signal stability and reduce the risk of roof damage, while providing an aesthetic solution for homes and offices. Hauk is a partner with Ki Ho Kang, president and CEO of KIHOMAC. KIHOMAC, a leading contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense, specializes in applying cutting–edge technology to support the U.S. Air Force. Hauk is exhibiting at AIA 2017, booth #3786.

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DAVID LEVY SAYS Q1 EARNINGS AND GROWTH LIKELY TO SURPRISE MARKETS ON UPSIDE

MOUNT KISCO, NY—(Marketwired – April 27, 2017) – Economist David Levy, writing in the April issue of The Levy Forecast®, said that “first–quarter company earnings are likely to surprise markets to the upside, with some strength carrying over into the current period.”

The chairman of the independent Jerome Levy Forecasting Center LLC (www.levyforecast.com) advised clients to watch for some softening of business activity from April to June, after which “exogenous influences” will dictate the fate of the U.S. expansion, either up or down.

If the U.S. expansion is either to rev up powerfully or break down, the reason will almost certainly be a major jolt or windfall from the U.S. government or from abroad,” he wrote in the nation's oldest publication devoted to economic analysis.

The economists at the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center also warned of an increasingly hawkish Fed, saying that data on “wage and salary inflation and economic performance in the next two or three months might be sufficient to drive bond yields higher and encourage faster Fed tightening.”

Persisting questions about U.S. government policy and a range of global issues continue to cloud the outlook. Levy wrote that large tax cuts along the lines of the president's campaign proposal “could shift the U.S. economy into high gear in the second half, making the economy more resistant to higher U.S. interest rates and to international problems.”

On the other hand, tax policy disappointments could mean major market shifts. Research director Srinivas Thiruvadanthai wrote in the same issue that, “[Treasury] yields cannot be sustained at current levels without a sizable fiscal stimulus. Treasury yields are likely to move significantly lower if fiscal policy results in only a moderate fiscal stimulus, especially as markets increasingly question the global reflation thesis.”

About The Jerome Levy Forecasting Center

The Jerome Levy Forecasting Center LLC – the world leader in applying the macroeconomic profits perspective to economic analysis and forecasting – conducts cutting edge economic research and offers consulting services to its clients. The goal of the Levy Forecasting Center is to improve its clients' business and investment performance by providing them with powerful insights into economic risks and opportunities – insights that are difficult or even impossible to achieve with conventional approaches to macroeconomic analysis. Additional information may be found at www.levyforecast.com.

Note: The full Levy Forecast is available to the press in PDF format by contacting Andrew Edson & Associates – Andrew@edsonpr.com or 516 850 3195.

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HSLDA: Cuban Pastor Jailed for Homeschooling

PURCELLVILLE, VA—(Marketwired – April 27, 2017) – A Cuban pastor was sentenced to a year in prison on Tuesday because of his decision to homeschool his children. The three–hour trial concluded when the government prosecutor stated that homeschooling “is not allowed in Cuba because it has a capitalist foundation.”

Ramón and Adya Rigal decided to homeschool their children earlier this year but were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors for failing to send their children to state schools. During the trial, Ramón was not allowed to speak in his own defense. “I brought evidence that my children were learning–notebooks and materials–[but] they didn't care,” he said. “When I tried to tell the judge about my evidence or to say that the government was acting unfairly, the judge told me that if I continued to speak she would have me removed from the courtroom.”

Ramón claimed that the trial was a platform for denouncing alternatives to state education, and the court relied on scripted testimonies from school officials to reaffirm that only trained teachers are qualified to teach socialist values. “Whenever I tried to bring up one of my witnesses,” Ramón said, “the judge would tell them to 'get out of here.'”

Home School Legal Defense Association's (HSLDA) Director of International Relations, Mike Donnelly, was distressed to hear the details of the trial, but not surprised. “It was just about what one expects from the communist courts of Cuba: anything but justice,” he said. “Their jurisprudence reflects a disregard for accepted principles of due process and the rule of law, as well as Cuba's international human rights obligations.”

The Rigals have three days to appeal the decision, but HSLDA and the Rigals face an uphill battle finding attorneys willing to challenge the status quo in Cuba. “Communist governments do not appreciate lawyers who are willing to defend people whose human rights have been violated,” Donnelly said.

In addition to Ramon's one–year prison sentence, Adya Rigal faces one year of house arrest. “We are only trying to do what is best for our children,” she said. “I do not want to be separated from my husband. Our children need him. Our church needs our pastor. My children are very sad and worried.”

Although Ramón would prefer to remain in Cuba, he hopes that the United States will offer refuge to his family since the Cuban authorities are determined to jail him rather than allow him to homeschool his children.

HSLDA has pledged their support to the Rigals and are encouraging supporters of homeschooling to send a message to the Cuban government by signing a petition calling on them to respect the Rigal family's right to homeschool their children.

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at www.HSLDA.org

SingleHop Bolsters Compliance Portfolio with New Managed Security Solution for Midsize Organizations

CHICAGO, IL—(Marketwired – April 27, 2017) – SingleHop, a global provider of on–demand private cloud and managed hosting, today announced significant enhancements to its security and compliance portfolio with the introduction of Shield Plus Compliance. The fully managed, custom–built security service for hosted environments at SingleHop or AWS protects midsize organizations storing and exchanging sensitive data, including information covered by HIPAA (for patient health information), PCI DSS (for payment cardholder data) and other common industry rules and regulations.

High–profile data breaches are placing a spotlight on information technology's critical role in managing regulatory compliance. In 2016, HIPAA settlements for data security and patient privacy violations reached a record $22.9 million.1 Evolving PCI DSS standards, meanwhile, mandate stringent and time–consuming activities, such as daily log reviews and 500–question self–assessment questionnaires.

“Regardless of an organization's size, the smallest compliance misstep can result in violations and significant fines, or worse yet, breaches that threaten customer privacy and business viability,” said Jordan Jacobs, vice president of products at SingleHop. “Protecting sensitive information can quickly overwhelm resource–strapped IT departments. Shield Plus Compliance arms midsized organizations with an economical, fully staffed remote Security Operations Center, drastically minimizing risk while reducing bottlenecks in the IT project backlog.”

Shield Plus Compliance is an extension of SingleHop's existing managed security solutions, Shield and Shield Plus, which offer a comprehensive suite of physical, account, network, server and application–level services. Shield Plus Compliance includes those essential services and offers a custom mix of additional automation–driven technologies and solutions offered by SingleHop and its security partners, including:

  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Log collection and analysis
  • Real–time monitoring
  • Host–based IDS
  • Data–at–Rest encryption

Monitoring, analysis and event management features of Shield are also available to customers of SingleHop's Service First Support for AWS. For a full list of features included in Shield Managed Security plans, see here.

“The cost of implementing a suite of security tools like Shield in–house, including network solutions like DDoS mitigation, are mostly out of reach for all but the largest of enterprises,” said Jacobs. “For midsize organizations, most enterprise solutions simply don't scale down in terms of cost or capabilities. We've seen midsized healthcare, retail and financial institutions take advantage of Shield's economies of scale to directly solve some of their toughest IT challenges.”

Shield Plus Compliance complements SingleHop's dedicated, compliant–ready hosting solutions for HIPAA and PCI DSS. These custom–designed, managed dedicated server or Dedicated Private Cloud environments are fully isolated and configured for specific workloads and compliance needs. All solutions are backed by SingleHop's industry–leading, nine–point Bill of Rights SLA.

Additional Resources:

1. “OCR HIPAA Enforcement: Summary of 2016 HIPAA Settlements,” HIPAA Journal, January 12, 2017.

About SingleHop
SingleHop is a leading global provider of hosted IT infrastructure, cloud computing and managed services. The company's powerful automation platform makes it simple for enterprises of all sizes to design and support the optimal cloud environment. Services include full life–cycle, white–glove support, instantly–scalable dedicated environments, managed services for Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, and comprehensive security and business continuity solutions. SingleHop serves more than 5,500 customers in more than 124 countries with data centers across the United States and Europe.

Excellon Provides Update on Optimization Program and Q1 2017 Production Results

TORONTO, ON—(Marketwired – April 27, 2017) – Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX: EXN)(TSX: EXN.WT)(OTC: EXLLF) (“Excellon” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on the ongoing optimization program and announce first quarter 2017 production results from the Platosa Mine in Durango, Mexico.

Highlights

  • Continued positive results from optimization program, with drawdown over past two weeks of 1.3 metres, higher than forecasted at current pumping rates
  • Five of 12 submersible pumps operating, with well–cleaning and pump installation ongoing and four additional submersibles to be installed in next two weeks
  • Primary booster station running at full capacity, with second booster pump station commissioned and ready to commence pumping this week
  • Q1 2017 Production (Compared to Q1 2016)
    • Silver equivalent (“AgEq”) production of 205,314 oz (Q1 2016 – 363,552 AgEq oz)
    • Silver production of 108,118 oz (Q1 2016 – 211,557 oz)
    • Lead production of 0.6 million lb (Q1 2016 – 1.3 million lb)
    • Zinc production of 0.9 million lb (Q1 2016 – 1.6 million lb)
  • Development completed during Q1 and continually drier mining conditions resulting in improved grades and productivity being realized in April as operations access main body of Rodilla manto

“The Platosa optimization program is nearing completion,” stated Brendan Cahill, President and Chief Executive Officer. “With each additional submersible pump we are increasing the local rate of drawdown at Platosa resulting in drier mining conditions day–by–day and the results continue to confirm or exceed our projections. Essential well cleaning was largely completed during Q1 and we are now in position to install submersibles more rapidly. We remain on track for a dry mine by the end of Q2.”

Mr. Cahill continued, “Almost the entirety of production during Q1 came from outside of the Rodilla manto resource area, which resulted in relatively higher dilution and lower grades, as development focused on accessing the next level of Rodilla. Production has improved during April, with higher grades now being mined on multiple ore faces. With the increased rate of drawdown realized from the optimization program, we expect significantly improved production from Rodilla in Q2 and also expect to bring the high–grade Guadalupe South manto back on line during the quarter, with development reaching the 623 manto by the end of Q2. Despite lower than expected production in Q1, the project is headed in the right direction.”

Optimization Program Update

As further described in the Company's annual information form (the “AIF”), the Company has developed an optimization program to more effectively dewater Platosa through an enhanced well–pumping system. The optimization program will maintain and increase a localized “cone of depression” of the water table around mine workings, ultimately resulting in dry mining conditions at Platosa. Under dry mining conditions, the Company expects to achieve higher rates of production at lower costs relative to current and historical production at Platosa. Refer to the AIF for a summary estimates on Platosa production rates and costs subsequent to the completion of the optimization program.

The Company has now completed the installation of both the primary and secondary booster stations, with the primary booster station fully commissioned and operating at full capacity and the secondary booster station being commissioned this week and expected to be at near full capacity in the next week. Twelve dewatering wells have been completed with five submersible pumps now installed and an additional four planned for installation in the next two weeks. Well cleaning procedures initiated during the first quarter have been successful and were a necessary part of ensuring the long term efficiency of the dewatering system. Complete installation is expected during May.

Drawdown rates continue to exceed the Company's forecasts, with a local drawdown of the water table of 1.3 metres from April 11th–25th at an average pumping rate of 18,600 gpm, with the Company's original forecast expecting a drawdown of 0.85 metres over such period at that pumping rate. The dewatering program is currently in a transitional phase from using historical pumping infrastructure to entirely submersibles, with inflows from mining faces decreasing rapidly as the water table drops to the level of operating faces. The deepest development heading (730 ramp at level 958) is now less than 10 metres below the water table, with production headings now less than five metres below the water table. The Company expects pumping rates to increase rapidly in the next two weeks as a 1,000 hp vertical pump (3,000 gpm) was taken down for maintenance last week and is currently being reinstalled and as additional 250 hp submersibles (2,500 gpm each) come on line.

Q1 2017 Productions Results
 
  Q1 2017 Q1 2016
Tonnes Mined 12,064 12,778
Tonnes Milled 11,934 14,720
Grades    
Silver (g/t) 317 483
Lead (%) 2.89 4.80
Zinc (%) 4.12 6.15
Recoveries    
Silver (%) 89.8 91.6
Lead (%) 81.3 83.6
Zinc (%) 81.8 79.3
Metal Production*    
Silver (oz) 108,118 211,557
Lead (lb) 610,033 1,318,916
Zinc (lb) 872,976 1,588,778
AgEq (oz)** 205,314 363,552
* Subject to adjustment following settlement with concentrate purchaser.
** Silver equivalent ounces established using average metal prices during the period indicated applied to the recovered metal content of concentrates.

Ore production during the first quarter was primarily from the Rodilla Manto, with minimal tonnage from the Guadalupe North and South Mantos. In Rodilla, primary working faces are in the deepest parts of the mine and ore is below the water table, which restricted production levels during the first quarter. Almost 90% of production from the Rodilla area during the first quarter came from the 674 heading, outside of the Rodilla resource area. The Company extracted high–grade, though narrow mineralization on this heading through much of the quarter with dry mining conditions. The narrow and somewhat erratic nature of the mineralization led to increased dilution on the heading, which negatively impacted grades. During the period, development focused on accessing ore faces within the Rodilla block model and, by early April, operations were again accessing higher grade ore on multiple faces from Rodilla in increasingly drier conditions. During the second quarter, the Company expects production will continue from Rodilla on multiple headings, access to the Guadalupe South Manto will be regained from the 892 heading in May and development will access the 623 Manto during June from the 892 and 725 headings.

The Company expects to release first quarter financial results at market close on May 10, 2017.

Qualified Person

Michael Verreault, Ing., has acted as a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43–101 for disclosure in respect of the drawdown rates referenced in this release. Mr. Verreault has a Masters in Applied Science (Hydrogeology) and 15 years of relevant experience focused on hydrogeology. He is a certified professional engineer (OIQ 125243) by the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and is President of Hydro– Ressources Inc. Mr. Verreault is independent of the Company and visited Platosa several times during the preparation and ongoing implementation of the optimization plan referenced herein.

About Excellon

Excellon's 100%–owned Platosa Mine in Durango has been Mexico's highest–grade silver mine since production commenced in 2005. The Company is focused on optimizing the Platosa Mine's cost and production profile, discovering further high–grade silver and CRD mineralization on the Platosa Project and capitalizing on the opportunity in current market conditions to acquire undervalued projects in Latin America.

Additional details on the La Platosa Mine and the rest of Excellon's exploration properties are available at www.excellonresources.com.

Forward–Looking Statements

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this Press Release, which has been prepared by management. This press release contains forward–looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 27E of the Exchange Act. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the future results of operations, performance and achievements of the Company, including potential property acquisitions, the timing, content, cost and results of proposed work programs, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves, geological interpretations, proposed production rates, potential mineral recovery processes and rates, business and financing plans, business trends and future operating revenues. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward–looking statements are typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward–looking statements by the Company are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, significant downward variations in the market price of any minerals produced [particularly silver], the Company's inability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, to produce minerals from its properties successfully or profitably, to continue its projected growth, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies. All of the Company's public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials, including the technical reports filed with respect to the Company's mineral properties, and particularly the July 9, 2015 NI 43–101–compliant technical report prepared by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. with respect to the Platosa Property. This press release is not, and is not to be construed in any way as, an offer to buy or sell securities in the United States.