Pacific Ridge plans to drill its 100% owned Fyre Lake copper, cobalt and gold massive sulphide property in the Yukon and is pleased to report that Newmont Canada Limited ("Newmont"), a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE & ASX:NEM; TSX:NMC), plans drilling on the Pacific Ridge-Kaminak Gold Corporation's Matrix Gold Project in Nunavut.
Fyre Lake Property
The Kona massive sulphide deposit forms part of Pacific Ridge's Fyre Lake property located in the Finlayson Lake area of southeast Yukon. With renewed exploration interest in the Yukon, increased metals prices and improved infrastructure in the Finlayson Lake area, the partially defined Kona deposit, warrants continued drilling.
Since Pacific Ridge last worked on the Fyre Lake Project in 1996 and 1997, metal prices have seen significant increases in particular; copper from $0.80/pound to $2.00/ pound and gold from $288/ounce to an18-year high of over $500/ounce.
The Kona copper-cobalt-gold massive sulphide deposit, defined by Pacific Ridge's $6 million drilling program of 115 holes, consists of open-ended zones of massive sulphide mineralization, with mineralized thicknesses varying from 8 to 40 metres over a length of 1,500 metres and a width of 250 metres. Based on a NI 43-101 compliant report prepared by Minorex Consulting Ltd. in August 2002, the Kona deposit is calculated to contain 15.4 million tonnes within which 8.2 million tonnes grades 2.1% copper (378 million pounds), 0.11% cobalt (20 million pounds), and 0.73 grams per tonne gold (175,000 ounces), utilizing a 1.0% copper cut-off. Metallurgical studies indicate metal recoveries of 90% for copper and 70% for gold and cobalt.
The ultimate dimensions and tonnage of the Kona Deposit, which remains "open" to depth, will be determined with additional drilling. Copper and gold grades appear to be improving with depth, where drill hole 97-100 intersected 5.7 metres of 3.23% copper, 2.3 g/t gold and 0.14% cobalt.
Over and above drilling to determine the ultimate size of the Kona, significant exploration potential remains with adjacent geophysical anomalies, suggesting potential for additional massive sulphide mineralization, also being the subject of drill testing during the summer of 2006.
In addition to increases of the Kona deposit's gross metals value, the infrastructure within the Finlayson Lake camp has improved with a winter road network and airstrip located approximately 5 kilometres north of the Fyre Lake Property. Within 30 kilometers of Fyre Lake, Yukon Zinc spent $18 million during 2005 with the objective of producing a feasibility study in early 2006.
Pacific Ridge has been advised by Newmont that their 2005 exploration program at the Matrix Gold Project in Nunavut was successful in exploration of gold-bearing conglomerate zones to the extent that an expanded 2006 exploration program, to include diamond drilling, is planned.
As previously reported by Pacific Ridge, the gold-bearing conglomerate horizons found within the Matrix Project have geological analogies to the billion-ounce Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa.
Newmont has the option to earn an initial 60% interest in mineral properties comprising the Matrix Project by spending a total of C$4.0 million in staged exploration expenditures and making cash payments totaling C$400,000 to Pacific Ridge and Kaminak Gold Corporation prior to December 31, 2007. Upon earning its initial interest, Newmont may elect to form a joint venture, with Newmont owning 60%, and Pacific Ridge and Kaminak each holding 20%. Newmont may also elect to increase its interest to 70% by spending an additional C$10 million on the project, after which a joint venture would be formed with Newmont holding 70%, and Pacific Ridge and Kaminak each holding 15%.
On November 28, 2005 Pacific Ridge relinquished an option to earn an interest in the Whistler West Property in Nevada, the results of a six hole drilling program not having met expectations.
John S. Brock
For further information, contact:
Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd.
John S. Brock
Tel: (604) 604.641.2759
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This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. ("Pacific Ridge") expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Although Pacific Ridge believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Pacific Ridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.