VANCOUVER, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Western Pacific Resources Corp. (TSXV: WRP) is pleased to announce the initiation of an economic evaluation of the historic heap leach pad at its Mineral Gulch Project, located in Cassia County, Idaho.
"The historic gold recovery from using heap leach at the Black Pine Mine was approximately 63% but Pegasus Mining was using 'run-of-mine' and as a consequence did not crush the ore. Noranda performed grind-test recoveries on the Property in the late 80's which returned a recovery rate of 88% using the conventional heap leach process. Western Pacific intends to evaluate if the existing leach pad could be reprocessed to recover gold that was not obtained during the previous work. Doing so would fast track Mineral Gulch to production," stated CEO Warwick Smith. The above information was obtained from historic data and is not NI 43-101 compliant. Although Western Pacific has not verified this data, management believes it is from a credible source.
Information from Pegasus Mining's 1997 annual report indicates that they produced approximately 522,000 ounces of gold from 1992 to 1997 from uncrushed, run-of-mine ores at a 63% recovery rate. Based on production records from the historic mine and known head grades and metallurgical recoveries, management believes that the existing heaps represent a conceptual, leachable target of between 14 million tons at 0.5g/t to 16 million tons at 0.4g/t for a potential of between 190,000 and 200,000 contained ounces - assuming that metallurgical recovery work indicates economic viability. The fact that the heap has been inactive for 15 years should aid in the oxidation and liberation of gold. The start-up capital for Pegasus to achieve commercial production in 1991 was $20 million. Western Pacific will be employing an independent mining engineering company to further refine these numbers and to assist with the project feasibility.
Readers are cautioned that more work needs to be completed by Western Pacific to verify the tonnage and grade potential in the heap - estimates of tonnage and grade were based on historic production records provided by Pegasus's 1997 annual report.
The reprocessing of existing tailings and heaps is currently being done in Nevada by Gryphon Gold Corporation at the Borealis mine in Western Nevada. The previous Borealis pads were hauled to a new heap leach pad, and pregnant and barren ponds and new haul roads were constructed. (Gryphon Gold News Release June 9, 2011).
If drilling and engineering studies are positive an initial program entailing sampling of the heap and auger drilling could be implemented fairly quickly. This would be followed by crush and recovery tests. A drilling program is in the planning stage and permitting has started. Money exists to complete the above work and it is contemplated to start in early 2013.
Mineral Gulch is located in Cassia County, Idaho, along the southeast edge of the Black Pine Mountains, approximately 128 km southeast of Burley, Idaho. Western Pacific Resources Corp. controls 100% of the Project.
The Project encompasses the historic Black Pine Mining District and surrounding exploration ground. Western Pacific previously acquired the historical proprietary data for the property from Newmont Mining Corporation.
Sporadic small-scale gold and base-metal mining occurred in the area as early as 1915. Noranda conducted exploration programs at Black Pine between 1984 and 1990. Pegasus Mining entered into a joint venture with Noranda in 1990 and became the majority owner and operator of the Project between 1992 and 1998. The Black Pine Property produced over 500,000 ounces of gold at an average head grade of 1.5 grams from several small open pits. Historic exploration and mining efforts were generally focused on near-surface, oxidized ore bodies.
About Western Pacific
Western Pacific is a gold explorer focused on acquiring advanced-stage projects in the Western United States, and has the right combination of exploration and financial professionals to succeed in making a world class gold discovery. For more information, please visit our website at www.westernpacificresources.com.
Clancy Wendt, M.Sc., a registered geologist in Arizona and British Columbia and a member of SME, SEG FAusIMM(CP) and PDAC, is Western Pacific's Qualified Person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Wendt has prepared or supervised the preparation of the disclosure of the scientific and technical information contained in this news release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Warwick Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
This news release contains forward-looking information, which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectation. Important factors - including the availability of funds, the results of financing and exploration activities, the interpretation of drilling results and other geological data, risks associated with the estimation of mineral resources and the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits, project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses -- that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are disclosed in the Company's documents filed from time to time on SEDAR (see www.sedar.com). Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Western Pacific Resources Corp.