Bellhaven Copper & Gold Inc. ("Bellhaven" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on its 6-month work plan and key objectives for 2013 regarding the La Mina Project (Figure 1). The Company has an aggressive plan to drill its top-tier targets at La Garrucha and Cristalina. After increasing the inferred mineral resources at La Mina by 60% in 2012, the Company intends to continue the growth by returning to the La Garrucha discovery (See Company news release dated February 29, 2012) and thereafter drilling the first holes at the Cristalina target (Figures 2 and 3).
The La Garrucha porphyry gold-copper target is approximately 700m east of Bellhaven's 100% controlled La Cantera deposit (~1M oz of gold in inferred resources - see resource details below). The next phase of drilling at La Garrucha includes 6 holes totaling approximately 2,000 metres, to commence during the first quarter of 2013. The Company has already secured surface access and drilling permits for the initial 2013 drill program at La Garrucha.
The untested Cristalina gold-copper target is approximately 600m south of La Cantera. Although data are still being compiled, the Company plans approximately 2,800m of drilling during the first half of the year. Access to the Cristalina anomaly is excellent and Bellhaven also has the necessary permits in to drill in this area.
For maps showing the location of these target areas, plus relevant geophysical, geological, and soil geochemical information, please use the following link: http://file.marketwire.com/release/BHV_847356_Figures.pdf.
Patrick Highsmith, Bellhaven's CEO, commented on the plan for 2013:
"Bellhaven intends to grow the La Mina resources to more than 3.0 million ounces of gold. The new discoveries at La Cantera and Middle Zone yielded discovery costs of less than $5.00 per ounce, so our focus in early 2013 is on the new discovery at La Garrucha and an exciting new target at Cristalina. The last round of drilling at La Garrucha ended with +1.0 g/t gold in the bottom of hole LME-1047, so the drill is moving there this month to follow up that result. Garrucha is a known porphyry gold-copper system that appears to be the heart of the La Mina district as we currently understand it. We look forward to realizing the potential of the entire La Mina Project; and our steady work and strong focus will be conducive to regular news flow in 2013."
Expected News Flow
Bellhaven has plans for an active quarter, including: drilling, interpretation of geochemical and geophysical data, negotiations on new mineral concessions and surface properties, environmental studies, and metallurgical test work. The following is a summary of the news flow expected from the Company during the next few months:
- Results from current 2,000+ metre drill program at La Garrucha (throughout Q1 2013)
- ZTEM airborne survey results (February and March 2013)
- Results from pending 2,800 metre drill program at Cristalina (Q2 2013)
- Acquisitions of additional surface and mineral rights at La Mina (expected in Q1 2013)
- Update regarding Bellhaven's projects in Panama (Q1 2013)
- Environmental scoping study report on La Mina (February 2013)
- Update on metallurgical test work on La Mina (March 2013)
Discussion of Drill Plan for First Half of 2013
As reported in 2012, the La Cantera and Middle Zone deposits remain open at depth, but the near-term goal is to add near-surface resources from the porphyry cluster that occupies the eastern third of the La Mina concession. The porphyry at La Garrucha is one of the strongest magnetic anomalies in the district, and last year's drilling showed the system to be rich in gold, with relatively high silver and molybdenum as compared with the La Cantera and Middle Zone deposits. In February 2012, Bellhaven announced the results from 6 drill holes totaling 2,374 metres from the northwest end of the system. The best intercept reported in 2012 was 64m averaging 0.8 g/t gold equivalent, but that hole bottomed in 25m of 0.95 g/t gold equivalent. In fact, gold, copper, and silver were all increasing towards the bottom of that hole. Two other holes in that program also yielded significant intercepts that extended to the bottom of the holes (Figure 4).
The core of the La Garrucha magnetic anomaly is more than 800m long by 400m wide, extending well beyond current magnetic survey coverage. The anomaly is elongate in a NW-SE direction and extends beyond the La Mina concession to the southeast. The 2013 drilling will offset the previous drilling to the south, stepping southward on nominal 50m spacing between holes (Figure 5). Recent mapping and sampling have identified a series of faults that appear to tie the La Garrucha porphyry to the other known porphyries at La Cantera and Middle Zone. The Company is encouraged by the new interpretation of the airborne magnetic survey indicating a possible connection between La Cantera and La Garrucha at depth, with the overall intensity of the magnetics feature strengthening to the east. These larger systems also appear to align on a major east-west trend that the Company is prospecting as it cuts across the district for at least 5 kilometres.
Cristalina is another high-priority target. It is comprised of a magnetic high flanked by one of the strongest geochemical base-metal anomalies in the district. The magnetic anomaly alone was a secondary target, but coupling the geophysical and geochemical indicators yields a much higher potential prospect. Company geologists believe that the anomaly may represent a buried porphyry deposit covered by volcanic rocks. Since intrusive rocks are not known to outcrop in the area, the geochemical anomaly is particularly impressive in scale. The zinc-arsenic-lead-antimony anomaly is at least 700m long by 300m wide, larger than any other multi-element soil anomaly yet discovered on the project (Figure 6). While the ultimate drill program will be contingent on results, the first drill holes at Cristalina will test both the geochemical and geophysical components of the target on drill fences spaced approximately 100m apart. The anomaly is robust right up to the edge of the current sampling grid in the northeast, suggesting that the anomaly extends further toward the La Garrucha porphyry. Gold, and to a lesser extent, copper, are likely suppressed in soil geochemistry because the porphyry does not come to surface. The recently completed ZTEM survey (see Company news release dated December 13, 2012) is expected to help refine the target for drilling.
The Company will begin receiving data and interpretations from the ZTEM survey during January. These data will provide a useful layer for targeting additional drilling, particularly in areas where gold and copper mineralization does not outcrop.
Laboratory Methodology and Quality Assurance
All soil and rock samples summarized in this news release and shown in the related figures were collected by Bellhaven personnel under the supervision of senior staff and a qualified person, as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Bellhaven employees or contractors transported these samples to the sample preparation laboratory in Medellin, ALS Colombia Ltda. The lab prepares sample pulps for analysis according to industry standard methodologies and ships the pulps to ALS Laboratories in Lima, Peru and La Serena, Chile. The multi-element analyses are performed by either an aqua regia or four-acid digestion and ICP-AES finish at the ALS Lima lab. The gold is determined by fire assay of a 30-gram sample with an atomic-absorption finish in Lima or La Serena, depending on laboratory workflow.
The ALS Minerals laboratory in Lima, Peru is registered to ISO 9001:2008 and has received ISO 17025:2005 accreditation for certain specific methods, such as fire assay/AA gold. In addition to the internal QA-QC program used by these accredited laboratories, Bellhaven also maintains an independent QA-QC program that includes the use of certified standard reference materials, blanks, as well as field and pulp duplicates. The quality control data associated with these results falls within acceptable ranges for all relevant parameters.
This news release has been prepared under the supervision of Mr. Thomas J. Drown, P.Geo. Mr. Drown has more than 25 years relevant experience and is a British Columbia Professional Geoscientist. He is a senior project geologist with the Company at the La Mina Project and serves as the qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.