Joint News Release Eagle Plains & Prize Mining Announce Filing of NI 43-101 Compliant Technical Report on the Yellowjacket Project
Cranbrook, B.C., February 1, 2010: Eagle Plains Resources Ltd (TSX-V:EPL) and Prize Mining Ltd. (TSX-V:PRZ) announced today the filing of an NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report on the Yellowjacket Project. The Technical Report indicates an inferred resource as follows:
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Barry J. Price, P.Geo., an independent geological consultant, was retained to review and compile previous drilling and current production data for the project with a goal of producing a formal valuation report and an NI 43-101-compliant inferred resource estimate for the property. In calculating the resource, Price noted the constraints imposed by the complexity of the historical drill pattern and the strong nugget effect of the gold mineralization.
Price noted the current resource is considerably smaller than the previous estimates by Homestake and by Canamera Geological. For the former study, drill spacing was much wider; recent drilling has established that the geology is erratic and it is difficult to trace the mineralization as far as originally thought and, for the latter, the estimate appears to be unreliable.
Based on the results of the exploration and development conducted to date on the Property, the Report concludes that the Yellowjacket Gold Zone represents a legitimate development target with the potential to host an economically feasible mineral deposit. The report also states that additional zones on the Property are legitimate early stage exploration targets and recommends a tentative budget of $520,000 for the next stage of exploration. Currently the Yellowjacket Zone is open along strike in both directions and to depth.
The technical report, entitled “Technical Report Yellowjacket Gold Project “ and dated January 27, 2010, was authored by Barry J. Price, P.Geo. and Linda Dandy, P.Geo. Barry Price is an “independent person” as defined by NI 43-101. The Technical Report has been filed by the company and will soon be available on SEDAR as well as the Eagle Plains and Prize Mining websites.
About the Yellowjacket Gold Project
The Yellowjacket Project is located 9 km east of Atlin, BC and is accessed by all-season road. The project received a Small Mines Act Permit in July, 2009 for the development and production of gold from the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (see EPL/PRZ news release July 13th, 2009). The Permit allows for the development and operation of an open pit gold mine and onsite concentrator processing up to 75,000 tons per year of ore. The local Taku River Tlingit First Nation (“TRTFN”) were active participants in the review and approval of the Permit. In October 2009, Eagle Plains and Prize announced the formal ratification of an Impact and Benefits Agreement with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. The Agreement recognizes that the Yellowjacket Project is located within the TRTFN Territory; and the YJV holds certain interests and rights granted by British Columbia to extract gold resources. Furthermore, the parties recognize that they have a mutual and beneficial interest in cooperating with each other to advance and complete the Yellowjacket Project in a timely, environmentally responsible and orderly manner.
Recent Work on the Yellowjacket Zone
Commissioning and test work on the mill facility was completed in June of 2009 and stockpiled material from the 2008 bulk sample work was processed for approximately two weeks. Due to unexpected lower grades of the bulk sample material, equipment problems and unforeseen circumstances that resulted from permitting of the Project, additional funding was required to keep the project moving forward and to maintain, as much as possible, a production schedule that was originally envisioned by the JV partners.
Excavation activity and expansion of the existing pit took place from mid-August to mid-September. Approximately 40,000 tonnes of material was mined, with approximately 9,000 tonnes of material stockpiled for processing. Milling at a peak daily rate of approximately 350 tonnes per day was achieved at times, but numerous breakdowns, equipment failures and permitting delays hampered production overall. Although some doré was produced onsite, the smelting furnace was not efficient which led to a decision to process the bulk of the concentrate offsite. Unfortunately, the processing of the gold concentrate into gold matte for delivery to the refinery has progressed much slower than anticipated and final results for the gold production for 2009 are not expected for approximately three weeks. However, based on the amount of gold delivered to the refinery to date and the results of fire assays on the gold concentrate it is believed that the 2009 production will be between 200 and 250 ounces of gold. A definitive quantity of gold recovered will be reported when final processing activity has been completed.
C.C. (Chuck) Downie, P.Geo, VP Exploration, Eagle Plains Resources and Project Manager for the Yellowjacket Venture states: “The majority of the problems with the 2009 production are directly related to unforeseen problems related to equipment failure and a four week delay in July to facilitate construction of a clay lined storage facility. Although the milling circuit worked very efficiently at times in terms of tonnage throughput and gold recovery, it operated for much of the time at below capacity due to mechanical and power issues. Our original mine forecast anticipated between 20 to 25 weeks of production, but we actually realized approximately 5 weeks of production from the new material excavated in 2009. In addition approximately one half of the ore mined in 2009 remains on the stockpile due to the failure of the SAG mill, which effectively ended our production for the year.
Going forward we need to focus on better definition of the Yellowjacket ore zone in terms of near surface grade and tonnage through detailed chip sampling and shallow drilling. Expansion of the east pit indicates that the mineralized zone extends into areas that have not been tested by any diamond drilling and a better understanding of the distribution of the nugget gold should result in more efficient grade control. As well, additional work will be required to upgrade the electrical system in the mil and replace the generator and SAG mill.
Our goal is to mine and process the near surface ore grade material, while continuing to explore and expand the overall gold resource.”
About the Joint Venture
The project is operated through the Yellowjacket Joint-Venture, jointly owned by Eagle Plains and Prize Mining and operated by Eagle Plains. Under the terms of the Joint Venture Agreement, Eagle Plains earned an initial 40% interest in the Project from Prize by making a $2,000,000 cash payment. EPL retains the right to increase its interest by a further 20% by making staged cash payments of $2,000,000 to PRZ over 6 years. Since commencing activities, Eagle Plains has advanced the JV an additional amount of approximately $2,600,000 to cover 2009 expenditures and to keep the underlying property agreement in good standing. Prize Mining subsequently agreed to accept dilution of its interest in the project in accordance with a formula established in the Yellowjacket JV agreement. The current JV ownership ratio resulting from this dilution will be announced as final figures are established.
A detailed history of the project and recently updated photo-gallery may be found here
Update on Titan property, Northwestern B.C.
Eagle Plains has recently been notified by partner XO Gold Resources Ltd (a private B.C. company), that XO has terminated its option on the “Titan” copper-gold property located 50 km west of Atlin.
About Eagle Plains Resources
Eagle Plains continues to conduct research, acquire and explore metal projects in western Canada. In addition to holding mining royalties on various projects, the Company controls over 35 gold, base-metal and uranium projects, several with third parties including Swift Resources Inc. (TSX-V:SWR), Prize Mining Corp. (TSX-V:PRZ), Waterloo Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:WAT.P), Touchdown Capital Inc. (TSX-V: TDW) and 99 Capital Corp. (TSX-V:WDG). In recent years, Eagle Plains has completed option agreements with Teck Limited (TSX:TCK.B), Alexco Resource Corp. (TSX-V:AXR), Billiton Metals, Rio Algom Exploration, NovaGold Resources, Kennecott Exploration and numerous other junior exploration companies, resulting in over 53,600m (163,370’) of drilling and over $28.3 million in exploration spending on its projects since 1998.
Expenditures during 2008 and 2009 on Eagle Plains’ projects were approximately $7,300,000, funded by Eagle Plains and third party partners. This work resulted in approximately 6,900m of drilling and extensive ground-based exploration work and facilitated the advancement of numerous projects at various stages of development.
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.