VANCOUVER, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ - Exeter Resource Corporation (AMEX:XRA, TSX:XRC, Frankfurt: EXB - "Exeter" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on progress at the Caspiche gold-copper project in the Maricunga district, Chile.
On November 22, 2010 Exeter announced the appointment of Aker Solutions ("Aker") of Santiago, Chile to carry out two pre-feasibility studies for its Caspiche gold-copper project. The first study will consider a stand-alone "oxide gold" project to mine the upper part of the deposit and is scheduled to be available in early Q2-2011. The second study, to be run concurrently with the oxide study, will consider mining both the oxide and sulphide deposits. That study is scheduled to be available in Q3-2011.
Current activities relate to defining the mining and mineral processing options to be adopted by Aker in the pre-feasibility studies ("PFS"). Work in progress is a follows:
Heap Leach Testwork
- The oxide gold PFS is considering a heap leach gold mine to develop the upper portion of the Caspiche deposit. McClelland Laboratories, Nevada has now completed a 29 column leaching program on selected materials sourced from diamond drill cores. Detailed analyses of the column residues and reagent usage calculations are in progress.
- A metallurgical test program on drill core samples from the MacNeill zone started this week at McClelland Laboratories. This portion of the Caspiche deposit contains sulphides but is low in copper. The program will examine whether this type of mineralization is best suited to heap leaching or flotation recovery.
Sulphide Zone Testwork
- The sulphide zone flotation pilot plant program at SGS Lakefield laboratories in Canada was completed early in December. Approximately 10 metric tons of sulphide material broadly representative of the Caspiche Indicated Resource was treated to provide design information for the PFS and to provide large samples for further investigations into concentrate treatment and recovery optimisation testwork. A subsequent test program has started with a scheduled completion date set for the end of January 2011.
Mining, Infrastructure and Water Studies
- NCL Ingenieria ("NCL") of Santiago has completed detailed pit designs for the oxide heap leach gold PFS. In addition Aker have now completed trade-off studies to evaluate production rates and crush sizes. More detailed work will now start on the selected options. The study remains on track for completion in the second quarter of 2011.
- Work is well underway for the main oxide-sulphide PFS for Caspiche. NCL and geotechnical consultants AKL are close to finalising mine design and scheduling for a "Superpit" option, which assumes open-cut mining to a depth of approximately 1,000 metres ("m"). Aker have developed initial flowsheets and design criteria for a sustainable production rate of 150,000 tonnes/day (+50Mtpa). Production rates will be firmed up when final mining schedules are available.
- NCL and Aker are also advancing an "all underground" option which will look at developing a lower tonnage, higher grade case using modern block caving techniques. This scenario has potential to significantly reduce the quantity of mechanical mining equipment and the number of people working above 4,000m altitude.
- A specialist consultant for tailings storage and bulk earthworks design, Knight Piesold of Elko, Nevada, has carried out a site inspection to locate and rank suitable sites for overburden and tailings storage. Their report should allow Aker to finalise locations for the placement of major infrastructure for the PFS.
- Geophysical surveys over one of the Company's regional exploration properties located outside of the Copiapo Basin have indicated some potential for development of a high altitude water resource. The Company has applied for water exploration rights over this property. High altitude water has excellent potential to be sustainable through annual snow melt, and any water discovery at similar or higher altitudes than the Capsiche project has potential to reduce pumping costs.
- The Company is in-fill drilling higher grade material currently classified as Inferred Resources in the Caspiche resource model. The objective is to generate the data necessary to bring some of this material into the Indicated Resource category for inclusion in the PFS.
- On completion of the in-fill drilling within the main Caspiche deposit, a number of exploration targets will be drill tested to assess the potential for ancillary resources on the property.
Jerry Perkins, Exeter's VP Development and Operations said, "Exeter has commissioned a broadly based series of sub-studies to provide Aker with a realistic information platform for the pre-feasibility studies. Aker are fully involved in the coordination and specifications of all such studies to ensure the best study outcome. In addition to Exeter's study management team headed by John Wells, we continue to bring in experienced specialist consultants to review progress and contribute initiatives to the studies."
Jerry Perkins, Exeter's VP Development and Operations and a "qualified person" within the definition of that term in National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.
Exeter Resource Corporation, with a treasury of $90m, is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the exploration and development of the Caspiche project in Chile. The project is situated in the Maricunga gold district, between the Refugio mine (Kinross Gold Corp.) and the giant Cerro Casale gold deposit (Barrick Gold Corp. and Kinross Gold Corp.). The discovery represents one of the largest mineral discoveries made in Chile in recent years. Exeter has initiated pre-feasibility studies with the aim of demonstrating the commercial viability of this world class discovery.
You are invited to visit the Exeter web site at www.exeterresource.com.
EXETER RESOURCE CORPORATION
President and CEO
Safe Harbour Statement - This news release contains "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" (together, the "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable securities laws and the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Company's belief as to the extent and timing of its PFS, drilling programs, various studies including engineering, environmental, infrastructure and other studies, and exploration results, budgets for its exploration programs, the potential tonnage, grades and content of deposits, timing, establishment and extent of resources estimates, potential for financing its activities, potential production from and viability of its properties, permitting submission and timing and expected cash reserves. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the future circumstances, outcomes or results anticipated in or implied by such forward-looking statements will occur or that plans, intentions or expectations upon which the forward-looking statements are based will occur. While the Company has based these forward-looking statements on its expectations about future events as at the date that such statements were prepared, the statements are not a guarantee that such future events will occur and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors which could cause events or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors and assumptions include, among others, the effects of general economic conditions, the price of gold, silver and copper, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government authorities, uncertainties associated with legal proceedings and negotiations and misjudgements in the course of preparing forward-looking information. In addition, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Known risk factors include risks associated with the ability to obtain any necessary approvals, waivers, consents and other requirements necessary or desirable to permit or facilitate the proposed Arrangement, the risk that any applicable conditions of the proposed transaction may not be satisfied, risks associated with project development; the need for additional financing; operational risks associated with mining and mineral processing; fluctuations in metal prices; title matters; uncertainties and risks related to carrying on business in foreign countries; environmental liability claims and insurance; reliance on key personnel; the potential for conflicts of interest among certain officers, directors or promoters of the Company with certain other projects; the absence of dividends; currency fluctuations; competition; dilution; the volatility of the Company's common share price and volume; tax consequences to U.S. investors; and other risks and uncertainties, including those described in the Company's Annual Information Form for the financial year ended December 31, 2009, dated March 30, 2010 filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and available at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company is under no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statements except as required under applicable securities laws.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors - The information contained herein and incorporated by reference herein has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Canadian securities laws, which differ from the requirements of United States securities laws. In particular, the term "resource" does not equate to the term "reserve". The Securities Exchange Commission's (the "SEC") disclosure standards normally do not permit the inclusion of information concerning "measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources" or "inferred mineral resources" or other descriptions of the amount of mineralization in mineral deposits that do not constitute "reserves" by U.S., unless such information is required to be disclosed by the law of the Company's jurisdiction of incorporation or of a jurisdiction in which its securities are traded. U.S. investors should also understand that "inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. Disclosure of "contained ounces" is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute "reserves" by SEC standards as in place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures.
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SOURCE Exeter Resource Corporation