VANCOUVER, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ - Western Pacific Resources Corp. (WRP - TSXV) is pleased to announce that historical data on the Company's Mineral Gulch project, Idaho includes metallurgical tests performed by Kappes Cassiday and Associates (KCA) in 1988 which show direct oxidation with chlorine recovered 88% of the contained gold in the carbonaceous rock. Roasting of the material at a very modest temperature of 540°C returned 82% of the assayed gold.
About Mineral Gulch
Mineral Gulch is located in Cassia County, Idaho, along the southeast edge of the Black Pine Mountains, approximately 128km southeast of Burley and 28 km northwest of Utah. Western Pacific Resources Corp. owns 100% of the project which it acquired through staking.
The project encompasses the historic Black Pine Mining District and surrounding exploration ground. Western Pacific Resources Corp. recently 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 mining effort between 1992 and 1998. The Black Pine 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 have generally focused on the near-surface, oxidized ore bodies.
Noranda conducted limited drilling into the carbonaceous rock in the 1980s before any resource calculations and mining configurations were completed. The drilling was to delineate potentially economic gold grades in both the oxide and carbonaceous rock. When Pegasus Gold Inc. took over as operator of the mine, they focused on drilling the leachable oxide material and not the carbonaceous rock.
Western Pacific plans to drill 10,000 meters this year for a total of 33 holes. This program will test both the oxide and carbonaceous rocks in eight target areas.
A review of KCA's historic metallurgical data indicates that potentially economic gold recoveries are feasible from the partially drilled carbonaceous material below the "B" Anomaly (and eventual oxide pit) using techniques that were standard in the late 1980s.
The results were released in a report dated May 9, 1988, "The Black Pine Carbonaceous Lab Testwork Final Report". Western Pacific has not completed independent work to verify KCA's testwork. However, KCA are a recognized metallurgical and engineering consultancy, and as such the work is believed by Western to be of a high technical quality. This work is historic in nature and should not be relied upon.
A carbonaceous resource below the B Anomaly was estimated to be 54,300 ounces of gold with grades at 3.5 g/t Au. Although this portion of the deposit had very little drill testing, the grades and recoveries are well within the range of past and modern economic carbonaceous processing. At the time of the original report by Noranda named Black Pine "Deposit B" Geological Reserves and Tallman Pit Reserves June 17th, 1987, this material was categorized as reserves. Currently, the figures do not conform to the category of reserves as defined in National Instrument 43-101 standards because all of the infrastructure and processing plant have been removed, and they are being treated as historical resources. While Western Pacific believes that the exploration work, quality assurance-quality control and production reconciliation carried out by Noranda was of high quality, a Qualified Person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.
"We find this process and recovery data very encouraging. The oxide ores responded very well to conventional heap leaching for Pegasus in the 1990s and it is reassuring that a realistic process exists for the carbonaceous material. Processing of carbonaceous ores has advanced a great deal in the 23 years since the tests were performed," Eric Saderholm, President.
Western Pacific plans to undertake a bulk sample of the carbonaceous rock in order to conduct an updated roasting test. Results of the test will be released via press release once they are received.
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.
Curt Everson, M.Sc., P.Geo., is Western Pacific's Qualified Person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has prepared or supervised the preparation of the disclosure of any 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.