Eagle Plains and Silver Standard Complete 2016 Exploration Program on Fisher Gold Project and Outline 2017 Exploration Plans
Cranbrook, B.C., January 9th, 2017: Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:EPL) (“EPL” or “Eagle Plains”) has recently received and interpreted final assays and geophysical data from the $400,000 2016 exploration program funded by Silver Standard Resources Inc. (TSX: SSO) (NASDAQ: SSRI) (“Silver Standard”) on EPL’s 100%-owned Fisher project located 125km east of La Ronge, Saskatchewan and contiguous to the north, south and east with Silver Standard’s Seabee Gold Operation. Silver Standard holds an exclusive option to earn up to an 80% interest in the 34,000 ha property by completing $4M in exploration expenditures, including the $400,000 for the 2016 exploration program, and making $3.3M in cash payments (see details below). Fieldwork for 2016 included a 3,590 line-km airborne geophysical survey, geological mapping, trenching and till and soil geochemical surveys designed to define high-grade gold targets for upcoming drilling activity.
- Two new showings discovered at the George Lake Grid:
- Mineralization at the un-drilled BC-trench returned up to 143 g/t Au (grab) and 30.1 g/t Au over 30cm (chip);
- The new King Fisher showing returned 1.4 g/t Au in quartz vein grab sample
- Footprint Grid:
- 2016 resampling of historical trench returned 11.6 g/t Au
- Follow-up prospecting of soil geochemical anomaly led to discovery of new vein system with grab sample result of 19.4 g/t Au
- Kettle Falls Grid:
- 32 soil samples returned over 95th percentile Au with best to 2300 ppb Au
- Soil results and three 2016 anomalous grab samples (2.6 g/t, 1.5 g/t, and 0.6 g/t Au) extend the known strike-length of the Fisher mineralized zone to over 1100m
- Spark Lake/Santoy Extension: a 47-sample till survey covering the southeastern strike-extension of the Santoy mine fault has identified a 5 sample-cluster anomaly
- Other significant results verified at historical showings in 2016, include: 15.2 g/t Au (George Lake Showing); 13.4 g/t Au (WEK Showing); and 4.1 g/t Au (Wilbert Showing)
The overall objective of the 2016 exploration program was to identify mineralization similar to that of the nearby Seabee and Santoy deposits. The 2016 Fisher field program verified certain similarities to those seen at the Seabee Gold Operation, including host lithologies and contact relationships, style of mineralization, and presence of multiple fault systems that allowed for high fluid flow regimes. The Seabee Gold Operation has been in continuous production since 1991 and has produced approximately 1.2M ounces of gold from the Seabee and Santoy deposits. Ore geology at the Seabee Gold Operation consists of high-grade vein mineralization associated with volcanic and mafic intrusive rocks which have been structurally disrupted by splays of the deep-crustal Tabbernor Fault system. The Tabbernor Fault is a 1500 km-long regional structure which has been traced from as far north as the Rabbit Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan to as far south as the Black Hills of South Dakota, the latter of which hosts the 40M oz Homestake gold deposit. The shared proximity to the Tabbernor fault and similarities in terms of age and tectonic history to the Homestake and Seabee deposits was the main driving force behind EPL’s interest in acquiring the Fisher property.
The Seabee Gold Operation and the Fisher Project overlie the Pine Lake greenstone belt. Mineralization at the Seabee Gold Operation is affiliated with the more westerly-oriented Laonil Lake shear zone which is a splay of the north-trending Tabbernor Fault. Field and underground observations at Seabee indicate that shear structures nucleated at contacts between felsic intrusive and mafic intrusive or volcanic lithologies, with high-grade zones forming at fault intersections. Management cautions that past results or discoveries on proximate land are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved on the subject properties.
2017 Exploration Plans
Permitting is underway to mobilize heavy equipment to the property via winter road access in preparation for 2017 spring and summer exploration. Exploration plans include detailed geological mapping, extensive soil geochemical sampling, trenching and diamond drilling. The goal of the 2017 work program is to identify gold mineralization in geological settings similar to those recognised at the Seabee Gold Operation.
Details of the Fisher Option Agreement
To earn a 60% interest over four years, Silver Standard has agreed to complete $4,000,000 in exploration expenditures, make an initial cash payment to Eagle Plains of $100,000 and make annual cash payments of $75,000 for each of the four years of the option period. Silver Standard funded the $400,000 2016 exploration program completed by Eagle Plains (see news releases July 18, 2016 and September 12, 2016), which is included in the $4,000,000 exploration expenditures. Once the 60% earn-in has been completed, Silver Standard has a 90-day, one-time option to earn an additional 20% interest (for a total of 80%) by making a cash payment of $3,000,000 to Eagle Plains, at which time an 80/20 joint venture will be formed to further advance the property. Eagle Plains will retain a 2.5% Net Smelter Return (“NSR”), subject to reduction on certain claims by underlying NSR agreements. Eagle Plains’ NSR may be reduced by 1% at any time upon payment of $1,000,000 by the joint venture. In addition, Eagle Plains will receive advance royalty payments of $100,000 annually from the joint venture until commencement of commercial production.
Additional Eagle Plains Projects in the Area
Eagle Plain’s 100%-owned Chico and Orchid projects are located south of the Fisher property and contain similar geology and mineralization as the Fisher project (see location map). Both properties overlie significant strike-lengths of the Tabbernor structure in addition to hosting mineralized splay structures interpreted to be related to Tabbernor.
As announced by EPL on December 13th, Eagle Plains and Aben Resources Ltd. (TSX-V-ABN) (“Aben”) have executed an agreement whereby Aben holds the exclusive right to earn up to an 80% interest in the Chico property by completing $3.5M in exploration expenditures, issuing 2.5M shares of Aben and making $150,000 in cash payments to Eagle Plains (subject to TSX-V approval).
About Eagle Plains Resources
Based in Cranbrook, B.C., Eagle Plains continues to conduct research, acquire and explore mineral projects throughout western Canada. The Company is committed to steadily enhancing shareholder value by advancing our diverse portfolio of projects toward discovery through collaborative partnerships and development of a highly experienced technical team. Managements’ current focus is to preserve its treasury while advancing its most promising exploration projects. In addition, Eagle Plains continues to seek out and secure high-quality, unencumbered projects through research, staking and strategic acquisitions. Since 2012, Eagle Plains has added to its portfolio a number of new projects exceeding 130,000 ha targeting mainly gold, uranium and base-metals in Saskatchewan, a highly-prospective mining jurisdiction which was recently recognized by the Fraser Institute as the second-best place in the world in terms of Investment Attractiveness. Throughout the exploration process, the Company’s mission is to help maintain prosperous communities by exploring for and discovering resource opportunities while building lasting relationships through honest and respectful business practices.
Expenditures from 2011-2015 on Eagle Plains-related projects were approximately $15.5M, which was funded by Eagle Plains and, for the most part, by third-party partners. This exploration work resulted in approximately 15,000 m of diamond-drilling and extensive ground-based exploration work facilitating the advancement of numerous projects at various stages of development.
Technical aspects of this news release have been reviewed by Jarrod Brown, P.Geo.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
“Tim J. Termuende”
President and CEO
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore, involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.