Company sounds like making a steady progress. Insiders are backing it up, crisis management is in place: cost control, focus on key properties with clear strategy - J/V partners to advance them without dilution in the company. Los Azules is still one of the major plays and company is pushing with its law suit and clearing adjacent property Escorpio IV for exploration. Robert Mc Ewen brought a lot of attention to that Argentinean story with investment in Minera Andes - operator on Los Azules. Alaska is ready for Farm Out with strong Gold prices and development of Pebble Deposit. Important will be to see new J/V picking up on El Salto and El Tapau. Company continues to talk about new opportunities and geopolitical diversification - it could be another positive turn.
Tuesday February 24, 2009, 1:13 pm EST
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2009) - TNR Gold Corp. ("TNR" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:TNR - News) is pleased to provide a summary and review of corporate milestones achieved during fiscal 2008 and early 2009, which have provided TNR with a healthy outlook moving forward.
The current worldwide economic crisis is a challenge for exploration stage companies such as TNR. Success depends on the ability to raise sufficient capital to successfully discover and advance projects that will become the next large mineral resources and mines of tomorrow. The cycle and spirit of exploration are seemingly lost amongst major gold companies due to mounting debts and risk-averse management's focus on earnings and shareholder perceptions as companies grow. Thus, with dwindling resources and a need to replenish them in the near future, majors should be seeking out resources being developed by junior companies. Juniors such as TNR have taken the risk out of identifying the resources of tomorrow and are well positioned as a provider to majors.
TNR understands that the odds of finding mines from blue sky potential early stage properties are not only small, but also an expensive and lengthy process. This is why, since 1987, the business model for the Company has been to use its global experiences and contacts to locate early stage projects, add value to the property through its exploration programs, then bring in joint venture partners to fund the development costs of the projects. It is this corporate strategy that has enabled TNR to weather previous economic down turns.
As a measure of the company's track record, TNR has successfully attracted joint venture partners on 11 of its 17 projects to-date and continues to generate new exploration prospects worldwide.
2008 Exploration Program Summary
In 2008 TNR focused on advancing their flagship properties, El Salto and El Tapau, with a combined budget of $3.5 million including approximately 8400 metres of drilling. We are pleased to announce that despite the market difficulties, TNR persevered and accomplished its goals to explore and add value to the properties which now allows them to be presented to potential joint venture partners.
Highlights from the 2008 Exploration Program
The company successfully completed a 12-hole drill program totaling 6446.45 metres. Seven drill holes in the northwestern portion of the property intersected significantly anomalous copper and molybdenum mineralization over relatively large widths including 55.35 metres of 0.205% copper and 0.012% molybdenum. These results suggest the existence of a large porphyry system with copper-molybdenum mineralization.
El Salto is workable year round due to its favorable elevation of 1,600 metres, proximity to the town of Calingastas, and has access to water source (nearby river) as well as power. TNR owns 100% of El Salto's 3,300 hectares in the province of San Juan, one of the most mining friendly areas in Argentina. The area is famous for the "Yellow Belt" porphyry copper molybdenum system.
A 1958.70 metre 7-hole drill program tested 3 distinct geological targets. The company is very encouraged by these results from its first reconnaissance drill program. It has extended the prospective copper-gold breccia zone to over a 4.5-kilometre strike length with the intersection of 82.25 metres of 0.49% copper located approximately 4.5km away from the past producing San Francisco mine. In addition all four holes targeted in the gold zone intersected precious-metal-bearing structures similar to those sampled on surface including an intersection of 0.75 metre of 9.15 gram/tonne Au.
Los Azules - Defined 43-101 Resource
On February 5th, 2009, Minera Andes ("MAI") announced a preliminary assessment for the Los Azules deposit, of which highlights include a NPV of $496 million, capital payback in 6.4 years, production cost of $0.85 copper, and a 23.6 year mine life. On September 25, 2008, MAI announced high percentile metallurgical testing results at Los Azules, recovering up to 96% copper. On September 8, 2008, MAI announced a mineral resource estimate of 922 million tonnes of 0.55% copper at Los Azules, resulting in approximately 11 billion pounds of copper. TNR retains a conditional 25% back-in option on Xstrata's portion of the Los Azules deposit that MAI optioned from Xstrata. TNR commenced action in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on June 30, 2008 and subsequently amended its action on August 8, 2008, against MIM Argentina Exploraciones S.A., a subsidiary of Xstrata PLC. TNR is seeking rectification of the Exploration and Option agreement to accord with the true intentions of the parties and to remove the 36 month time provision on TNR's back-in right. TNR is also seeking confirmation of ownership, without claim from Xstrata, of the strategically located Escorpio IV claim.
Joint venture partner and primary operator, Latin American Minerals Inc. ("LAT") has continued to show confidence in the La Carolina property located in the San Luis province of west-central Argentina. LAT successfully earned its 75% interest in the property during 2008 and attracted a new joint venture partner to the property who will be required to incur an additional US$3,000,000 in exploration expenditures over the next 4 years. This is yet another example of TNR's business model of identifying early stage projects, adding value to the project, and attracting qualified joint venture partners.
Located on the El Indio trend in proximity to the deposits of Valadero and Pascua Lama, La Ortiguita features previously delineated drill targets with favorable metallogenic features with anomalous gold and silver values. These targets were drill tested and explored with a $1.3 million program in 2008 by joint venture partner, La Mancha Resources Inc. ("La Mancha"). Synthesis of the results is pending from La Mancha.
During the 2008 exploration season the company conducted a regional exploration program to determine the probability of discovering similar deposits in the area, on the Eureka property. Access to the historical underground workings was also obtained and readied for sampling. Due to a government moratorium on the issuance of new work permits, our follow up sampling and drilling program was delayed. TNR is attempting to renegotiate the underlying option agreement to reflect the current economic conditions. If successful, TNR will proceed to obtain the necessary permits to continue its exploration program originally contemplated for the 2008 exploration season now that the moratorium was recently lifted.
Following our tradition of identifying early projects, TNR is pleased to announce that on September 17, 2008 BHP Billiton transferred its ownership in the Iliamna project to TNR. Iliamna is an early stage property that is situated less than 100 kilometers from Northern Dynasty and Anglo-Gold's Pebble deposit. A $75,000 geochemical sampling program has been completed and all data has been received with results from the program to be released shortly.
During 2008 TNR incorporated Bristol Exploration Co. Inc. ("Bristol") in the State of Alaska to hold 100% of its Alaskan properties. This restructuring will give TNR more flexibility in advancing these assets.
John Harrop, P.Geo., Qualified Person for TNR, has prepared and approved the technical information contained in this news release.
Moving Forward in 2009
Concerted efforts from all fronts have been made to minimize overhead costs, consolidate exploration staff that are not engaged in key projects, and negotiate favorable debt settlements with suppliers and vendors.
Argentina and South America continue to be a favorable area for operations. The recent Argentina default risk has come and gone and proves Argentina to be a resilient country where TNR has substantial experience in over the last 10 years. TNR is well positioned in 2009 and will continue to seek out new ventures in order to diversify our portfolio for new opportunities and lower geopolitical risk.
With the financial crisis storming through North America, more people are seeking shelter in gold as evident with the cross of $1,000 per ounce last week - TNR believes this bodes well for junior exploration companies who are actively involved in precious and base metals.
Positive results from these efforts, along with a successful debenture financing and experience from previous market downturns, will allow the company to explore new opportunities created by the recent economical crisis and also advance its current portfolio of properties.
TNR is a base and precious metals exploration company focused on actively identifying new prospective projects and fostering work on its large portfolio of 15 properties in Argentina, as well as overseeing the exploration and development of the Iliamna and Shotgun projects in Alaska through its new wholly owned US subsidiary, Bristol Exploration Co. Inc.
On behalf of the board,
Gary Schellenberg, President
Statements in this press release other than purely historical information, historical estimates should not be relied upon, including statements relating to the Company's future plans and objectives or expected results, are forward-looking statements. News release contains certain "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company's business, including risks inherent in resource exploration and development. As a result, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to sell any securities in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act") or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available.
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The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
TNR Gold Corp.
(604) 687-7551 or 1-800-667-4470
(604) 687-4670 (FAX)