Arena Minerals Inc., ("Arena" or the "Company") is pleased to report that the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation ("JOGMEC") and Arena joint venture has approved a revised exploration program that is to commence immediately. An initial phase will consist of a ground magnetic and vector induced polarization downhole surveys in the area surrounding PU-RC-39 where the periphery of a porphyry system was intersected (please refer to press release dated December 16, 2015). The geophysical programs shall allow for more targeted drilling.
"Given the favourable results of our initial drill campaigns, coupled with the introduction of downhole vector IP and magnetic surveys, which have worked very successfully in the region, we are excited to get back on the ground working. We are pleased to have negotiated a successful extension to our property reduction schedule, as this will allow us to explore the land package more thoroughly," commented William Randall, President and CEO of Arena.
The Company is also pleased to report that it has successfully negotiated an extension of the mandatory land reduction schedule with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile ("SQM"), the underlying owner of the properties in question to which Arena has the option to acquire 80% ownership by means of an option agreement signed on July 27, 2012 (the "Underlying Option Agreement" and for further details please refer to press release dated August 1, 2013). According to the Underlying Option Agreement, Arena was required to reduce the total holdings in the Atacama Copper project to a maximum of 50,000 hectares, which in turn required the JOGMEC joint venture to reduce its land holding to 10,000 hectares. Under the revised terms, the JOGMEC joint venture shall continue to carry approximately 27,000 hectares through to July 27, 2017, upon which date it shall have to reduce the property holdings to 10,000 hectares. This means Arena will retain approximately 67,000 hectares as part of the Atacama Copper project through to July 27, 2017 at which point the total land holding shall be reduced to a maximum of 50,000 hectares. At present the balance of the 67,000 hectares is held by Arena or optioned to Teck Chile Limitada (please refer to press releases dated October 23, 2015).
Pursuant to the revised agreement with SQM, Arena shall reduce to a total of 50,000 hectares of holdings in the Atacama Copper property by July 27, 2017, and keep a total of approximately 67,000 hectares until such date. In addition, JOGMEC shall make an additional payment of USD100,000 and incur an additional exploration expenditure of USD150,000 by December 31, 2016.