Intrepid Mines Limited (TSX: IAU)(TSX: IXN)(ASX: IAU), an international gold and silver production, development and exploration company, announced today that it has expanded its exploration portfolio by optioning the 13,724 hectare Taviche Property in Oaxaca State, Mexico from Plata Panamericana S.A. de C.V.
The optioned property comprises two concessions underlain by a large number of silver and gold-bearing quartz veins. Historic small-scale mining activity is evident in various parts of the property. The Western Concession surrounds the San Jose silver-gold deposit. This deposit consists of multiple quartz-vein and hydrothermal breccia hosted epithermal silver-gold mineralization which, from the 1880's to 1942 produced 19.2 million ounces of silver and 144,000 ounces of gold from one million tonnes of ore (reference, March 2006 technical report prepared for Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. current holders of the San Jose deposit).
"The Taviche property acquisition marks a return to Mexico for Intrepid," said Laurence Curtis, Intrepid Mines President and Chief Executive Officer. "This is one of the most exciting exploration properties brought to our attention in recent years by our field consultants. We are also pleased to welcome our partner Aura Silver Resources Inc. ("Aura") to this venture. As a newly merged entity with a strategic vision for near-term development projects, Intrepid views Mexico as a very promising jurisdiction in which to discover and develop new mines."
During November 2006, Intrepid signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Aura Silver Resources Inc. allowing Aura to earn 50% in Intrepid's interest in the Taviche property. Aura will fund all of the required first year commitments for the project, providing the initial US$115,000 of exploration work and Intrepid's US$60,000 signing payment to Plata. Aura will also fund the second anniversary payment of US$80,000 to Plata to complete its earn-in right. During the remainder of the five year option period, Intrepid and Aura will share exploration expenses and payment requirements equally. Intrepid will act as operator during this period.
The underlying agreement calls for Intrepid to commit to spending a total of US$4.0 million over five years and making option payments totalling US$790,000 over the same period to earn a 70% interest in the Concessions. Plata holds the right to back-in at the end of the fifth anniversary if a NI 43-101 compliant report has identified a measured and indicated resource estimate of at least 50 million ounces of contained silver. Should Plata exercise their right, they can recover 40% of the property interest, for an aggregate 70% by funding 100% of subsequent expenditures over a four year period. These expenditures will equal three times Intrepid's aggregate investment to that date.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Intrepid Mines,
Laurence Curtis, President & CEO
About Intrepid Mines:
Intrepid Mines Limited has an international production, development and exploration profile, and holds interests in several gold-silver and silver-base metal properties in Australia, Argentina, El Salvador, and Canada, either directly or through joint venture partnership. The issued capital is 150,032,576 shares comprised of 119,086,756 ordinary shares of Intrepid Mines Limited quoted on the TSX:IAU
Information in this announcement is based on information compiled by William McGuinty, P. Geo., V.P. Exploration, who is a competent person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the JORC 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves' and is a Qualified Person as defined in the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects). Mr. McGuinty is a full time employee of Intrepid Mines Limited and has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which is being undertaken, and consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that may involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations and projections. The TSX & ASX has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained in this press release. Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Corporation, certain information contained herein constitutes "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate" 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 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. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other ecological data, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other factors. Circumstances or management's estimates or opinions could change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
ABN: 11 060 156 452
Intrepid Mines Limited - Toronto, Canada
VP Investor Relations
Intrepid Mines Limited - Perth, Australia
Chief Operating Officer
+61 8 9346 0000
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