17/10/2007 - 11:51

Ashburton subsidiary wins right to acquire gold tenements

17/10/2007 - 11:51

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West Perth-based Ashburton Minerals Ltd's Brazilian subsidiary Trans Pacific Gold Mineraçao Ltda has won the right to acquire an 80 per cent stake in ten gold tenements for under $1.2 million, the company has announced.

West Perth-based Ashburton Minerals Ltd's Brazilian subsidiary Trans Pacific Gold Mineraçao Ltda has won the right to acquire an 80 per cent stake in ten gold tenements for under $1.2 million, the company has announced.

The company entered in to an option agreement with Empresa de Mineraçao Ouro Novo Limitada over three tenements of 40 sq km2 in area, as well as lodging applications for a further seven.

Under the terms of the option agreement, TPGM has to pay EMON six monthly payments of around 12,000 per month during which time TPGM must evaluate the properties to determine if it wishes to continue with exploration of the project.

TPGM can earn an 80 per cent interest in the EMON tenements at any time by paying EMON US$1 million.

 

 

The full text of a company announcement is pasted below

The Company is pleased to announce that it has secured the Sapucai Gold Project in the state of Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil. Sapucai (pron. Sapu-kye) is accessed by sealed roads, and lies 320 km southwest of Belo Horizonte and approximately 300 km northeast of Sao Paolo.

The project comprises ten tenements covering an area of approximately 150 sq km of metamorphosed Proterozoic sediments and volcanic rocks of the Andrelandia Complex. The project area encompasses a series of remarkably large historical gold workings, the largest of which extends for over 4 km along strike, up to 400 m in width and is on average 30 m deep.

Sapucai is prospective for large tonnage low-grade supergene gold deposits and higher-grade primary deposits. The project area contains many drill-ready targets generated by previous workers which are amenable to drilling by the Company's 50%-owned Transdrill exploration drill rig.

The area has not previously been drilled, other than by shallow auger holes, with numerous anomalous results representing immediate drill targets. These include trench samples of 36 m @ 0.63 g/t, 4 m @ 1.17 g/t, 5.8 m @ 0.91 g/t; channel samples of up to 12 m @ 0.47 g/t; auger intercepts of 20 m @ 0.33 g/t, 6 m @ 0.54 g/t; and shallow exploration shafts returning 10 m @ 0.40 g/t. In addition, several large surface geochemical anomalies (up to 1 km long; >250 ppb gold) exist within the project area and these have either been only sporadically tested by
auger or not tested at all.

The Sapucai area has been mined for gold since the early 1700's by the Portuguese Bandeirante pioneers using slave labour. The main source of gold won by these miners was the supergene enriched zone above shallow dipping primary orebodies comprising quartzite and quartz biotite gneiss. Previous work by Unamgen, a subsidiary of Eldorado Gold Corporation of Canada, in 1998 estimated that of the order of 5 million ounces of gold was taken from the greater Sapucai area at a grade of between 0.5 and 1.5 g/t.

Site visits by Ashburton staff confirm the stunning scale of these excavations and the enormous amount of material moved by the early miners, albeit at a reported loss of countless slaves' lives. At their peak, the scale of workings was such as to prompt a visit by a certain Princess Isabella and Count D'Eu.

Unamgen recorded the presence of 73 major historical excavations in the greater Sapucai area within a belt 50 km long and 20 km wide. The great bulk of the mining is believed to have been completed from the 1730's to the 1890's, with some mines worked through to the 1940's.

In the 1980's the area was explored by the state owned Metamig in joint venture with private contracting firm Andrade Gutierrez, followed by Unamgen in 1996-97. Although identifying significant coherent gold anomalies, Unamgen withdrew from the area, reportedly due to the depressed gold price at the time, without following up on its positive results. The project tenements reverted to the current owner, with no company-scale work completed since.

The Company's Brazilian subsidiary, Trans Pacific Gold Mineraçao Ltda ("TPGM"), entered in to an option agreement with Empresa de Mineraçao Ouro Novo Limitada ("EMON") over three tenements (830131/2006, 830132/2006 and 830493/1993) of 40 km2 in area, covering some 10 km of strike of historical workings located 10 km NE of the town of Sao Gonçalo do Sapucai, in the state of Minas Gerais.

In addition, TPGM has lodged applications for a further seven tenements surrounding the EMON leases to cover the eastern strike extension of the mineralized sequence and its interpreted fold repetition to the north.

Under the terms of the option agreement, TPGM has to pay EMON six monthly payments of US$11,000 per month during which time TPGM must evaluate the properties to determine if it wishes to continue with exploration of the project. TPGM can earn an 80% interest in the EMON tenements at any time by paying EMON US$1 million.

Interpretation of past results and the geological setting leads the Company to believe that the Sapucai project holds excellent potential to host a number of near surface supergene gold deposits of the order of 0.25 M oz to 0.5 M oz. Initial work will involve detailed geological mapping and rock chip sampling of pit walls to confirm the structural orientation of the main mineralised sequence. Drilling will then commence to test existing soil, trenching and channel sampling anomalies for broad zones of near surface supergene mineralisation and to target selected zones for primary gold mineralisation at depth.

Due to the easy access to the project area the Company expects to have its evaluation work completed and be able to determine the economic potential of the Sapucai project within six months.

The Company looks forward to exploring this quite impressive, under-explored, gold field.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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