TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2013) -Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:ATM) ("Atacama Pacific") is pleased to report continued positive results from the ongoing 20,000-metre infill drilling program at its 100% owned Cerro Maricunga oxide gold project located in Chile's Maricunga Mineral Belt, 120 kilometres northeast of the city of Copiapo.
Highlights from the drill program, summarized on the attached table, include:
- 532 metres grading 0.54 grams per tonne gold ("g/t Au") from the Phoenix (CMD-249) including 50 metres grading 1.44 g/t Au
- 180 metres grading 0.68 g/t Au from the Lynx Zone (CMR-254) including 1.80 g/t Au over 22 metres
Drill hole CMD-249, which returned 532 metres grading 0.54 g/t Au including a 50 metre interval grading 1.44 g/t Au, was drilled through the core of the Phoenix Zone in a southwest direction, opposite to the northeastern orientation of the majority of the Cerro Maricunga drilling. The results from CMD-249 confirm that the drill hole orientation does not create a noticeable bias to the gold grades.
The drill results confirm the continuity of the oxide gold mineralization within the pit constrained resource estimate which formed the basis of the recently released preliminary economic assessment ("PEA"). The PEA demonstrated the potential economic viability of an open pit mine and associated conventional heap leach processing operation at Cerro Maricunga producing 2.7 million ounces of gold over a ten year mine life at cash costs of $652 per ounce gold with an after-tax NPV5% of $531 million and an internal rate of return of 26.6%.
As part of the continuing development of the project, a further 14 column and 34 bottle roll tests are nearing completion at Kappes, Cassidy and Associates' extractive metallurgical laboratory in Reno, Nevada. The test work is being completed on low to average grade mineralization from the three main gold zones typically crushed to 19 millimetres. A series of composite samples were prepared and tested to determine the impact of agglomeration on gold recoveries and two columns were loaded with mineralization crushed with high pressure grinding rolls. It is anticipated that the final results will be available during March 2013.
At the Santa Teresa property, located northwest and adjacent to the Cerro Maricunga property, Atacama Pacific recently completed an induced polarization survey identifying a strong chargeability anomaly, associated with a prominent magnetic high, overlying a series of trenches which have returned anomalous gold grades. Two holes are planned to test the source of the chargeability anomaly during the second quarter.
National Instrument 43-101
Michael Easdon, a professional geologist registered with the State of Oregon, USA, is the independent qualified person for the current exploration program and has reviewed, approved and verified the content of this press release.
Carlos Guzmán, a mining engineer, Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a registered member of the Chilean Mining Commission, is the independent qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") for the Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Cerro Maricunga project. Mr. Guzmán is a Principal and Project Director with NCL Ingeneiría y Construcción Ltda., Santiago, Chile.
Dr. Eduardo Magri, a mining engineer (University of Witwatersrand) and a Fellow of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, is the independent qualified person for the Cerro Maricunga resource estimate released September 25, 2012. The Cerro Maricunga resource estimate was prepared under Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") Definition Standards (2005). NCL Ingeneiría y Construcción Ltda. undertook to prepare and is responsible for the resource estimate under the supervision of Dr. Eduardo Magri and Antonio Couble (NCL Associate). The $1,400 pit constrained resource estimate was estimated through the use of economic and mining parameters applied to the global resource.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including predictions, projections and forecasts. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the PEA, including total gold production of 2.7 million ounces over a 10 year mine life, initial life of mine estimated operating cash costs of $652 /oz Au, After-tax NPV5% of $531 million and an IRR of 26.6%, exploration results (including with respect to water resources), the success of exploration activities generally, mine development prospects, and potential future gold production. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "planning", "expects" or "does not expect", "continues", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "potential", "anticipates", "does not anticipate", or "belief", or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, prediction, projection, forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the results of due diligence activities, changes in economic parameters and assumptions, the interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; the results of regulatory and permitting processes; future prices of gold; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; the results of further economic and technical studies, delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, as well as those factors disclosed in Atacama Pacific's publicly filed documents.
Although Atacama Pacific 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 as 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. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
|Table 1 - Summary of Cerro Maricunga Drill Results (≥ 10 m intervals composited at a 0.2 g/t cut-off)|
|Hole #||Section||From||To||Interval||Grade||Zone|| ||Notes|
| || ||(metres)||(metres)||(metres)||(g/t Au)|| || || |
|CMD-240||900||140||154||14||0.42||Pollux|| || |
| || ||206||216||10||0.26|| || || |
| || ||238||268||30||0.63|| || || |
|CMD-247||1500||16||148||132||0.42||Phoenix|| || |
| || ||202||234||32||0.58|| || || |
| || ||292||372||80||0.63|| || || |
|CMR-248||900||0||68||68||0.50||Phoenix|| ||transition between Phoenix and Crux|
|CMD-249||1550||22||554||532||0.54||Phoenix|| ||drilled SW direction|
| ||including|| ||110||120||10||1.28|| || || |
| ||and|| ||338||388||50||1.44|| || || |
| || ||570||606||36||0.55|| || || |
|CMR-251||2450||62||82||20||0.30||Lynx|| ||along SW contact|
| || ||122||132||10||0.30|| || || |
| || ||152||168||16||0.22|| || || |
|CMR-252||1650||0||78||78||0.55||Phoenix|| || |
| || ||208||230||22||0.33|| || || |
| || ||242||334||92||0.49|| || || |
| || ||380||420||40||0.39|| || || |
|CMR-253||2050||0||26||26||0.47||Lynx|| || |
| || ||124||140||16||0.22|| || || |
| || ||222||278||56||0.30|| || || |
|CMR-254||2300||0||180||180||0.68||Lynx|| ||includes 16 m dike grading 0.1 g/t Au|
| ||including|| ||0||106||106||0.83|| || || |
| ||Including|| ||14||36||22||1.80|| || || |
| ||and|| ||122||180||58||0.58|| || || |
|CMR-255||1200||16||28||12||0.25||Pollux|| || |
| || ||62||80||18||0.27|| || || |
| || ||128||238||110||0.28|| || || |
|CMR-257||1200||96||112||16||0.30||Pollux|| || |
| || ||148||162||14||0.20|| || || |
| || ||252||338||86||0.49|| || || |
|CMR-259||1100||156||172||16||0.25||Pollux|| || |
|CMR-261||1000||2||26||24||0.30||Pollux|| || |
| || ||84||94||10||0.31|| || || |
| || ||156||166||10||0.48|| || || |
|NOTES: Unless otherwise noted, reported gold grades are composited at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off. All intervals represent down-hole lengths and not true widths. Drill holes prefixed "CMD" are diamond drill holes; holes prefixed "CMR" are RC drill holes.|