Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG)(NYSE MKT:EGI)(NYSE Amex:EGI)(FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") has completed soil and rock geochemical sampling and geological mapping on its Ann Mason Project, Nevada ("Ann Mason" or the "Project"). This program extends previous surface work done in close proximity to the Ann Mason and Blue Hill deposits and tightens the spacing between historical sample locations.
More importantly, additional copper targets for possible future drill testing have been identified. Several oxide copper targets to the northwest of Blue Hill and one identified midway between Blue Hill and Ann Mason could provide feed for a potential early heap leach and solvent extraction/electrowinning ("SX/EW") operation while the Ann Mason sulphide deposit is undergoing pre-stripping.
Greg Crowe, President and CEO commented, "Our work to date at Ann Mason and Blue Hill has greatly enhanced these two large copper-bearing sulphide and oxide systems. In the immediate area of Ann Mason, mineralization remains open in several directions and to depth. In particular, drilling to the north, west and southwest could result in a significant increase in mineralized material. This could have the added benefits of potentially decreasing the strip, increasing the mine life and improving the already robust, PEA defined economics of the deposit. Additionally, the property covers over eight thousand hectares and there are several excellent untested exploration targets. The results of both drilling proximal to the Ann Mason deposit and property-wide exploration may impact site layout and infrastructure and provide a positive boost to the economics as we advance Ann Mason to pre-feasibility."
The recent work by Entrée includes soil and rock geochemical sampling and geological mapping over areas to the north of Blue Hill and to the south of Ann Mason, covering approximately 750 hectares. The soil geochemistry (619 samples) extends and in-fills sampling done by previous operators between 2006 and 2010. A total of 186 selected rock samples were collected to characterize alteration and mineralization. The work resulted in the definition of three areas for future exploration: Ann Mason South, Blackjack Oxide, and the area between the Ann Mason and Blue Hill deposits.
The Ann Mason South targets are located to the south and southwest of the Ann Mason deposit. Soil sampling results outline four >200 parts per million ("ppm") copper anomalies in an area that is 1.2 kilometres by 2.3 kilometres. Of the 74 rock samples collected here, 35 returned assays greater than 1% copper. Copper in these samples occurs as both oxide and sulphide mineralization in quartz veins, fractures and faults that cut quartz monzonite porphyry ("QMP") dykes and adjacent granodiorite, which is a geological environment similar to the Ann Mason deposit. Wide-spaced and mainly shallow drilling by previous operators has not adequately tested any of the soil anomalies.
The soil sampling also identified a north-trending, 300- by 900-metre copper anomaly that is in part coincident with a low conductivity, induced polarization ("IP") feature underlying the western portion of the Ann Mason deposit. The combination of the two features defines a north-trending, 300-metre-wide zone that hosts copper mineralization encountered in drill holes EG-AM-12-015, 020, 021, 026, 027, 029 and 030. The conductive zone extends approximately 500 metres north of drill hole EG-AM-12-029 and represents a possible northward extension of part of the Ann Mason deposit that has not been tested by drilling.
Sampling at the Blackjack Oxide Area, 2 to 3 kilometres north of the Blue Hill deposit, returned a number of copper soil anomalies. These correspond with areas of historic mine workings, pits and trenches over several areas of copper-oxide mineralization and alteration within Jurassic quartz monzonite, the main host for mineralization at both Ann Mason and Blue Hill. Mineralization on surface consists of copper oxides, sulphates and silicates in veins, breccias, and altered quartz monzonite, at the eastern end of the untested, 1.2 by 3 kilometre Blackjack induced polarization IP chargeability anomaly. Entrée collected 112 grab samples and 39 of these returned copper values in excess of 1% copper. The Blackjack IP anomaly and the areas of surface oxide mineralization require further surface evaluation and drill testing.
The third exploration target is located between Ann Mason and Blue Hill. This area is underlain by a moderate to strong, northwest-trending IP response and has seen only wide-spaced, mostly shallow drilling by previous operators. Mineralization at the Ann Mason and Blue Hill deposits occurs in distinct fault blocks separated by the low angle Blue Hill Fault. Hole EG-BH-11-031 is the only deep hole located in this area - it averaged 0.28% oxide copper over 13.8 metres, starting at 22.2 metres depth. A deeper sulphide zone (406 to 448 metres) returned 0.31% copper within a broader zone (406 to 566 metres) averaging 0.16% copper (refer to the Material Change Report dated November 2, 2012).
The target areas are rated as a high priority for drilling to determine if additional near-surface oxide and/or sulphide mineralization is present. Adding to the Ann Mason mineral resource could reduce the current strip ratio in the Ann Mason Preliminary Economic Assessment mine design (news release October 24, 2012) and help to enhance project economics. Positive evaluation of the oxide copper targets might provide additional material for a potential heap leach and SX/EW operation at Blue Hill.
Rock samples were submitted to Skyline Assayers & Laboratories ("Skyline"), Sparks, Nevada for 24 element, multi-acid digestion, TE-4 ICP/OES multi-element analysis. Samples returning greater than 10,000 ppm copper were rerun using ICP/OES copper assay.
Entrée soil samples were also submitted to Skyline for 49 element, Aqua Regia digestion, TE-3 ICP/MS analysis.
James R. Foster, P. Geo., Senior Geologist with Entrée, a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, approved this news release.