MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. ("MacDonald Mines" or the "Company") announces that it is initiating a bulk sampling program of the oxide sands at its Wawa-Holdsworth Project. The Company also announces that, following consultations with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Northern Development and Mines ("MNDM"), neither aggregate licencing nor bulk sampling permissions will be required for the potential extraction of the oxide sands on the Wawa-Holdsworth Project.
The Wawa-Holdsworth property is comprised of fee simple absolute patents carrying both mineral and surface rights which make them exempt from MNDM exploration plan and permit requirements. The property is also located in an area which is currently not subject to designated licensing requirements under the Aggregate Resources Act. This will help to expedite preparation for potential extraction as the Company now drafts a closure plan.
About the Oxide Sands
The Holdsworth Pyrite prospect is a gold and silver bearing, black colored, "oxidized cap" ("oxide sands") that overlies a massive pyrite zone. The five confirmed zones (the 'East', 'East Extension', 'East Offset', 'West' and 'West Offset') have a combined strike length in excess of 2,200 metres (Algoma Steel Corp. and the Grasseli Chemical Co.). The actual width of the underlying pyrite zone has a range of 2 to 10 metres. In several test locations, the oxide sands were reported to reach a depth of over 8 metres.
The oxide sands are one of the main gold targets on the property. MacDonald Mines' current trenching program is mapping and confirming the oxide sands' strike length and thickness. The Company is also conducting a systematic sampling of the oxide sands over its total strike length. During the 1988 exploration program, sampling from the red, yellow and grey soil above the oxide sands was found to contain elevated gold values, ranging from trace to 0.206 oz/ton, gold. This surface material will also assist in delineating the extent of the oxide sands.
Potential Extraction of the Oxide Sands
The soft and relatively unconsolidated oxide sands material can be easily excavated with a backhoe and appears to be amenable to being extracted like an aggregate. The area's shallow overburden, the proximity to labour and equipment and the easy access to the site should result in very inexpensive mining costs should the Company delineate a large enough deposit. A sampling program of the oxide sands conducted in 2002 produced an average grade of 4.03 g/t gold and 30.89 g/t silver. Preliminary mill testing by normal vat leach processing without crushing or other processing resulted in a 94 % gold recovery (Seymour M. Sears, P. Geo., 2002).
Quentin Yarie, P Geo. is the qualified person responsible for preparing, supervising and approving the scientific and technical content of this news release.