Drilling Commences on Copper Canyon Copper-Gold Project

Cranbrook BC, 05 July 2004: Management of Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:EPL) has been notified by partner SpectrumGold Inc. (TSX:SGX), a subsidiary of NovaGold Resources Inc. (AMEX, TSX: NG), that diamond drilling has commenced on Eagle Plains’ Copper Canyon gold-silver-copper project located in northwestern British Columbia. Exploration at Copper Canyon is primarily designed to confirm existing mineralization on property, and will be conducted concurrently with work on the contiguous Galore Creek project.

NovaGold/SpectrumGold announced recently (see SGX News Release June 3rd, 2004) that preparations are under way to begin a major drill campaign at Galore Creek (greater than 20,000 m/65,000 ft) using three diamond drills. The current budget for Galore Creek and surrounding properties (including Copper Canyon) is over $8-million. Up to 70 technical personnel will be on site at Galore Creek during the field season, with work focused on drilling, geophysics, mine planning and infrastructure as well as environmental baseline data collection in preparation for a pre-feasibility study which is targeted for completion in early 2005.

The Galore Creek/Copper Canyon properties cover one of the largest and highest grade alkalic porphyry-related gold-silver-copper systems in North America. NovaGold/ SpectrumGold plans to drill approximately 10,000 ft (3,000 m) in 10-12 holes at Copper Canyon with an objective to define a resource on the property and to target additional areas based on geological mapping and airborne geophysical surveys to be conducted in July. Project supervision will be the responsibility of Scott Petsel, P.Geo., identified as a Qualified Person under the definitions of National Instrument 43-101.

As announced on March 4th, 2004, Eagle Plains and SpectrumGold executed a formal option agreement under which SGX can earn a 60% interest in the Copper Canyon project from EPL by completing C$3 million in exploration expenditures, issuing 400,000 shares of SpectrumGold over the next 3 years and making property payments totalling C$250,000. SpectrumGold may earn an additional 20% interest in the project (for a total of 80%) by paying Eagle Plains C$1 million and completing a feasibility study by September 2011. Eagle Plains currently holds a 100% option (subject to a 2% NSR) in the Copper Canyon property through an arms-length agreement with B. Kreft, as announced May 27th, 2002.

The Copper Canyon property has seen intermittent exploration work from the mid 1950s to 1991 which indicates the presence of widespread gold, silver and copper mineralization similar to the Galore Creek deposit. Eagle Plains and NovaGold/ SpectrumGold management believe that the consolidation of the Galore Creek, Copper Canyon and other adjacent properties may provide significant economic synergies for the development of the area.

To date, mineralization has been identified in three separate areas on the Copper Canyon property and remains open to expansion. Limited drilling was completed following its discovery in 1956 and during later work conducted in 1990.

Highlights from 1990 drilling are summarized below.

  • DDH90-01: 22.0m (72.2’) grading 4.1 g/t Au, 13.0 g/t Ag, 0.7 % Cu
  • DDH90-02: 270.8m (888.5’) grading 1.9 g/t Au, 22.3 g/t Ag, 1.1 % Cu
  • Including: 117.0m (383.9’) grading 2.5 g/t Au, 38.4 g/t Ag, 1.8 % Cu
  • DDH90-04 13.0m (42.7’) grading 4.0 g/t Au, 33.3 g/t Ag, 1.5 % Cu
  • DDH90-05 32.0m (105.0’) grading 2.4 g/t Au, 17.5 g/t Ag, 0.8 % Cu

The commencement of drilling at Copper Canyon marks a total of 4 programs currently underway on EPL’s 100% owned properties in British Columbia and Yukon. At present, exploration work is ongoing at the Kalum, Dragon Lake and Titan projects.

Eagle Plains Resources continues to conduct research, acquisition and exploration projects in western Canada. The Company controls over 30 gold and base-metal projects, many of which are currently optioned to or joint-ventured with third parties including SpectrumGold Inc., Kobex Resources Ltd., Northern Continental Resources Inc., Shoshone Silver Mining Co., and Golden Cariboo Resources Inc. These agreements expose Eagle Plains to over $18 million in exploration expenditures over the next five years. In recent years, Eagle Plains has completed option agreements with Billiton Metals, Rio Algom Exploration, Kennecott Exploration, NovaGold Resources Inc., Viceroy Resource Corp. and numerous other junior exploration companies, resulting in nearly 13,000 m (43,000 ft) of drilling and over $5,000,000 in exploration spending on its projects since 1998.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Signed

“Tim J. Termuende”
President and CEO

For further information on EPL, please contact Mike Labach at 1 866 HUNT ORE (486 8673)
Email: mgl@eagleplains.com or visit our website at http://www.eagleplains.com

 

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.