Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. (PEX:TSXV) as operator and project partner Kaminak Gold Corporation (KAM:TSXV) have now received final drilling results from the 2006 diamond drilling program at the Baker Basin Uranium Project, located in the Kivalliq Region of the Nunavut Territory.
A total of fourteen drill holes were completed in 2006 to test the depth extent of the previously known KZ and 694 Zones and also to drill test the newly discovered Lucky-7 Zone. The first four drill holes were completed at the KZ Zone, where intercepts of 0.31% U3O8 over 11.5 metres and 0.27% U3O8 over 5.8 metres were reported by Pacific Ridge on October 18th. New results from the remaining ten drill holes, at the Lucky-7, KZ and 694 Zones, are presented below.
The Baker Basin is an emerging uranium district immediately adjacent to the Thelon Basin. The Baker and Thelon Basins are geologically similar to the Athabasca Basin, 350 kilometres to the south, where approximately one-third of the world's uranium production is generated.
Lucky-7 is a new prospecting discovery made during the summer of 2006. The surface exposure of the Lucky-7 Zone was chip sampled across its width and yielded an assay of 0.27% U3O8 over 3.9 metres, a saw cut channel several metres away yielded 0.19% U3O8 over 3.1 metres. The average grade of 23 mineralized frost-heaved boulders assayed to 0.32% U3O8 (see Pacific Ridge news release dated October 2, 2006). Three angled drill holes were completed from a single set-up along section 8200N. The first two holes returned intercepts of 0.14% U3O8 over 1.6 metres and 0.32% over 3.4 metres. The third hole was the deepest hole at Lucky-7, however, worsening drill conditions at depth forced this hole to be shut down before the target was reached. No significant uranium assays were obtained despite strong alteration at the bottom of the hole.
Drill hole assays from Lucky-7 Zone
|(m)||(m)**||(% U 3O 8)||(lbs U 3O 8/t)|
|L7-06-01||8200 N||51.4 -- 53.0||1.6||0.14||2.8|
|L7-06-02||8200 N||74.1 -- 77.5||3.4||0.32||6.4|
|Includes||74.5 -- 76.0||1.5||0.68||13.6|
|L7-06-03||8200 N||No significant values|
** True widths are estimated at between 50% and 70% of total drill intervals. Uranium mineralization at Lucky-7 occurs in altered and bleached Kazan sandstone associated with a northerly trending structure. A ground radiometric survey was completed over an area measuring approximately 2 kilometres by 2 kilometres that defined a northerly trending radiometric target measuring 500 metres in length and 100 to 200 metres in width contoured with values of 200 cps. Initial exploration results are very encouraging and further drilling in 2007 will continue to evaluate this target.
The KZ Zone has been defined by a radiometric survey to be over 1 kilometre in length. Historic drilling of vertical holes along approximately 350 metres of the 1 kilometre target zone saw several holes with uranium values of 0.84% U3O8 over 5.4 metres at depths less than 100 metres from surface. The 2006 drilling program is the first attempt to test mineralized extensions to depth. The first four holes all intersected significant uranium mineralization (see Pacific Ridge news release dated October 18, 2006). Hole 5 returned 0.14% U3O8 over 0.8 metres extending known mineralization approximately 55 metres along strike. Hole 6 was a deep step-out hole designed to test the unconformity region for uranium mineralization. Although poor drilling conditions stopped the drill short of the unconformity, several intervals of 0.10% U3O8 to 0.20% U3O8 over 1 to 3 metres were encountered between 88 and 317 metre depths.
Drill hole assays from KZ Zone
|(m)||(m)**||(% U 3O 8)||(lbs U 3O 8/t)|
|* KZ 06-01||9065 N||36.0 -- 41.8||5.8||0.27||5.4|
|* KZ 06-02||9065 N||79.5 -- 91.0||11.5||0.31||6.2|
|Includes||85.5 -- 91.0||5.5||0.56||11.2|
|95.5 -- 97.5||2.0||0.23||4.6|
|* KZ 06-03||2750 E||No significant intersections, drilled away from target|
|* KZ 06-04||9065 N||123.0 -- 128.2||5.2||0.40||8.0|
|Includes||123.0 -- 125.0||2.0||0.90||18.0|
|KZ 06-05||9120 N||125.5 -- 126.3||0.8||0.14||2.8|
|KZ 06-06||9065 N||89.1 -- 89.8||0.7||0.12||2.4|
|And||131.0 -- 133.5||2.5||0.11||2.2|
|And||303.0 -- 304.0||1.0||0.16||3.2|
* Previously reported in a Pacific Ridge news release dated October 18, 2006.
** True widths are estimated at between 50% and 70% of total drill intervals, with the exception of holes 06-05 and 06-06 which were drilled at a steeper angle.
The 694 Zone, partially explored by previous operators with a program of pitting and 6 short drill holes, consists of structurally-controlled uranium mineralization within basement gneissic rocks just below the eroded basin sediments. Field work in 2006 confirmed the presence of several north-south trending structures that host structurally-controlled uranium mineralization within basement gneissic rocks. Six individual mineralized structures have been mapped within a 250 metre-wide zone over a strike length of 200 metres. Grab samples of frost-heaved mineralization graded to 16.4% U3O8.
Drilling determined that the 694 structures controlling the uranium mineralization were moderately dipping to the west and the historic drilling program hit the zones at a sharp angle thus exaggerating the length of the mineralized intervals. The angled drilling program confirmed the depth continuity of the uranium-bearing structures but narrow widths and variable grades obtained during the 2006 drilling program has reduced the priority of this target. Five angled holes were completed at the 694 Zone and results are summarized below:
Drill hole assays from 694 Zone
|(m)||(m)**||(% U 3O 8)||(lbs U 3O 8/t)|
|694-06-01||88.4 -- 88.8||0.4||0.18||3.6|
|694-06-02||No significant values|
|694-06-03||13.3 -- 13.7||0.4||0.16||3.2|
|694-06-04||25.2 -- 25.7||0.5||0.16||3.2|
|694-06-05||16.8 -- 17.3||0.5||0.23||4.6|
|And||43.9 -- 44.9||1.0||0.62||12.4|
** True widths are estimated at between 50% and 70% of total drill intervals, with the exception of hole 06-04 which was drilled at a steeper angle.
Pacific Ridge spent over $1.6 million in 2006 exploring the 2060-square-kilometre Baker Basin Uranium Project. The project area is host to at least 20 known uranium prospects that occur along 75 kilometres of the Archean-Proterozoic unconformity. The sampling of outcrop and frost-heaved boulders, in combination with large, grid-controlled radiometric surveys, defined five targets. Three of these targets, the Lucky-7, KZ and 694 Zones, saw initial drill programs in 2006. Encouraging drill results from the KZ Zone and the new Lucky-7 Zone, as well as the new "7-one" Zone surface discovery (see Pacific Ridge news release dated October 18. 2006), will demand follow-up drill programs in 2007. Assays of eight large angular boulders from the "7-one" Zone range from 0.81% U3O8 to 1.83% U3O8 and average 1.29% U3O8.
Pacific Ridge and Kaminak
Under the terms of the option agreement, Pacific Ridge has the right to earn an initial 51% interest by December 31, 2008 by making exploration expenditures totaling $2.0 million and staged payments totaling 400,000 Units, with each Unit consisting of one common share and one 12-month share purchase warrant with an exercise price set in accordance with market at the time of issuance of the Unit. Pacific Ridge will have the right to increase its interest to 60% by spending an additional $1.0 million prior to December 31, 2010. Thereafter, Pacific Ridge and Kaminak will form a joint venture in accordance with their interests then held. Underlying interests are held by Hunter Exploration Group as to a 2% Net Smelter Return interest, and by Shear Minerals Ltd./Stornoway Diamond Corporation who collectively hold an 8.5% Net Profits Interest. The option agreement with Pacific Ridge pertains to all commodities other than diamonds.
Significant Exploration and Development in the Baker Lake Region
The Baker Basin Uranium Project, located within the Baker Lake Basin, is immediately adjacent to the Thelon Basin where Areva Resources Canada Ltd. ("Areva") owns the Kiggavik-Sissons Schultz uranium deposits, located approximately 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake. Areva, in a November 2005 project presentation, reported that three of the Kiggavik uranium deposits contained a combined geological resource of 50,630 tonnes uranium (representing a non-43-101 compliant historic resource of 131 million pounds U3O8). It is of interest that Areva recently opened a community relations office in the town of Baker Lake.
Baker Lake, with summer access to ocean shipping and year-round airport facilities, brings important logistical support to mineral exploration and development underway in the Baker Lake region.
Located 70 kilometres north of Baker Lake is Cumberland Resource's 2,890,000 ounce Meadowbank gold deposit. Cumberland has received a positive development recommendation from Nunavut Impact Review Board and depending on receipt of permits and licences, operation from three shallow open pits could commence in late 2008 or early 2009.
All samples collected at the Baker Basin Uranium Project are sealed in sample bags at site and forwarded in secure containers to Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, Ontario for uranium analysis. All samples are initially analyzed by a DNC technique utilizing a reactor. All high values in excess of 0.5% U3O8 are then re-analyzed by XRF and titration methods. Pacific Ridge employs a QC/QA program that includes random insertion of internal duplicates and blanks into the sample stream as well as check assays by an external laboratory.
Pacific Ridge's disclosure of a technical or scientific nature has been reviewed by George Norman, P.Geo, a Qualified Person under the definition of National Instrument 43-101 and project geologist for the Baker Basin Uranium Project.
"John S. Brock"
John S. Brock
For further information, contact:
Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd.
John S. Brock
Tel: (604) 604.641.2759
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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.