Eagle Plains Forms Strategic Alliance to Explore for NWT Metals
Cranbrook, B.C. 15 June, 2007: Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. (“Eagle Plains”) (EPL:TSX-V) and Teck Cominco Limited (“Teck Cominco”) (TCK.B:TSX) have agreed to form a Strategic Alliance to explore for base-metals (zinc, lead, copper, silver) in the Mackenzie Mountain area of western NWT. Eagle Plains has been active in the region for over five years, and controls permits and claims covering an area of over 5,400 square km. During the 1970s, Cominco Ltd., prior to its merger with Teck Corporation was active in a portion of the Area of Mutual Interest (“AMI”) and will contribute proprietary data and geological and geophysical expertise to help guide exploration efforts. Eagle Plains has in turn acquired significant public and proprietary data over an area of some 19,000 square kms within the AMI, and will be contributing its data and regional expertise, as well as providing crews to carry out geological fieldwork. The budget for 2007 fieldwork in the project area has been set at $1,250,000, and fieldwork is now underway.
Under terms of the Strategic Alliance, Teck Cominco has agreed to complete a private placement financing to purchase 1,200,000 Units of Eagle Plains at $1.25 per Unit, each Unit consisting of a common share and 2-year share purchase warrant entitling Teck Cominco to purchase additional common shares of Eagle Plains at $1.75 per share. The Strategic Alliance will terminate on December 31st, 2008.
Tim Termuende, President and CEO of Eagle Plains recently stated, “We are excited and encouraged by the participation of Teck Cominco in this ambitious project. The experience, knowledge and capabilities of this world-class corporation will greatly enhance our efforts and will provide key support in the exploration of an under-explored, high-potential mineral district.”
During the term of the Strategic Alliance, Teck Cominco will hold a right of first offer (“ROFO”) on discoveries made by Eagle Plains within the AMI and, on termination of the Strategic Alliance, Teck Cominco may elect to exercise individual options on portions of the AMI which have not been offered to it under the ROFO. The area which hosts the Bronco occurrence (see EPL news release January 29th, 2007) is excluded from the AMI and remains 100% controlled by Eagle Plains. A $1,250,000 program is currently underway at Bronco, with diamond drilling scheduled for mid-July.
The AMI, under influence of the Strategic Alliance, was once subject to extensive exploration during the 1970s and early 1980s and was the site of numerous drilling programs, dozens of grassroots examinations, and thousands of individual claims held by various junior and major exploration companies including RTZ, Placer Dome Inc., Bethlehem Copper, Cominco, Noranda, Amax, Serem and others.
Eagle Plains has secured the area of past exploration activity, complete with all public data associated with millions of dollars of exploration work. Recent announcements regarding the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline and dramatically improved base-metal prices dictate that the area must now be viewed in an entirely new economic framework. Exploration technology and the understanding of the occurrence and genesis of shale- and carbonate-hosted deposits have also been advanced over the past 30 years, increasing the potential for new discoveries.
On June 27th, 2006, Eagle Plains announced that it had completed an agreement with Cordilleran Engineering Group whereby Eagle Plains was granted exclusive possession of over 5700 stream-sediment sample pulps collected during the 1970s in an area covering some 19,000 square kms, a portion of which is now covered by prospecting permits obtained by Eagle Plains during 2004 and 2005. The samples and associated data have a replacement cost of well over $1,000,000.
Location and Access
The southern boundary of the permit area is located along the North Canol Road, built in the 1940s to supply oil to the south during WW2. The lower project area stretches 65 km northward along the Mackenzie Mountains, and encompasses at least 8 drilled prospects and 1 advanced exploration project (Gayna River). The central permit area is located 180 km from Norman Wells, NWT while the most northerly permit area is located 190 km from Norman Wells, NWT or 240 km from Mayo, Yukon.
Geology and Mineralization
The prospecting permits held by Eagle Plains overlie a series of folded and thrusted Proterozoic to Devonian carbonates and shales. These rocks are time-equivalent to giant base-metal deposits in the region such as Howard’s Pass, currently controlled by Pacifica Resources Ltd (PAX:TSX-V), with an inferred resource of 115 million tonnes grading 5.4% zinc and 2.1% lead with >15 g/t silver plus an additional reported potential resource in excess of 360 million tonnes.
Other significant historical lead-zinc deposits exist in the area including Tom and Jason. Dozens of high-grade base metal occurrences are documented in Eagle Plains’ permit area, highlighted by the following projects*:
Gayna River: 27,000 m of diamond drilling completed by RTZ in the late 1970s, with drill-holes grading up to 20% combined lead-zinc over 20.0feet (6.0 m).
Ice: 9: 8.2% lead, 12.5% zinc over 9.1 m in a representative trench sample.
- Drill results: 10.1% combined lead-zinc over 50.0 feet (15.2 m) true-thickness; 43.0% zinc over 11.5 feet (3.5 m).
- Trench results: 22 feet (6.9 m) grading 9.0% lead and 39.1% zinc; 26 feet (7.9 m) returned 5.48% lead and 31.4% zinc.
Tap: 27.5% zinc, 3.7% lead from grab samples taken of 60 x 760 m breccia zone.
Keg: 25% combined lead-zinc in float samples. Best of 3 drill-holes intersected 4.23% lead-zinc over 20.4 m.
Bear/Twit: 24 drill-holes completed, with 4.9% lead-zinc reported over 13 feet (4.0 m), 5.1% lead-zinc over 20 feet (6.0 m).
AB-Main: 3 drill-holes (866 feet) completed in 1974. Surface samples assayed up to 41% zinc, 79.3% lead.
* (Note: reported results are excerpted from publicly-accessed reports whose accuracy cannot be confirmed, however Eagle Plains management considers the reported results to be relevant and reliable).
Eagle Plains Resources continues to conduct research, acquire and explore metal projects in western Canada. The Company controls over 35 gold, base-metal and uranium projects, many with third parties including Alexco Resource Corp. (TSX-V:AXR), Wellstar Energy Corp. (TSX-V:WST), Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (TSX-V:BSK), Blind Creek Resources and Golden Cariboo Resources Inc. (TSX-V:GCC). These agreements expose Eagle Plains to over $18.0 million in exploration expenditures over the next five years. In recent years, Eagle Plains has completed option agreements with Billiton Metals, Rio Algom Exploration, NovaGold Resources, Kennecott Exploration, Viceroy Resource Corp. and numerous other junior exploration companies, resulting in over 38,000 m (125,000 feet) of drilling and over $16,000,000 in exploration spending on its projects since 1998. During the 2006 season, Eagle Plains and its partners completed over 7,000 m (23,000 feet) of diamond drilling on its properties.
This news release has been reviewed and approved by Tim J. Termuende, P.Geo., hereby designated as a “Qualified Person” under National Instrument 43-101.
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.