Lara Exploration Ltd., ("Lara" or the "Company") and a wholly owned subsidiary of Antofagasta plc ("Antofagasta"), are pleased to report that permitting has been completed for the first round drill program at the Sami Gold-Copper Project in southern Peru, with an initial 1,000 metre program now scheduled to commence shortly.
Authorization has been received from the General Mining Directory of the Ministry of Mines and Energy in accordance with the new regulations implemented in July 2012. The Company and Antofagasta have also secured a water use permit from the National Water Authority (Autoridad Nacional de Agua) and signed a one-year work agreement with the local Huancasancos community.
Andre Gauthier, President of the Company commented, "The permitting process took approximately five months from the start in mid July 2013 and Lara is very grateful for the support received from the people of the Huancasancos community, the government entities and the various professionals that have contributed to this complex but ultimately successful process."
The Sami Gold-Copper Project, located in the Ayacucho and Huancavelica departments of southern Peru, comprises approximately 50,000 hectares of mineral rights. Lara has completed exploration work outlining 20 gold-copper targets associated with high and low sulphidation epithermal style alteration assemblages, with quartz veining, siliceous bodies, hydrothermal breccias and oxidized vein stockworks, which are interpreted as being related to possible underlying porphyry systems that the Company and Antofagasta are now targeting with this program.
Under the Agreement with Lara, Antofagasta has the option to invest US$6 million in exploration over four years to earn an initial 55% interest in the project, of which the first year expenditures of US$500,000 are a firm commitment. Thereafter, Antofagasta can elect to earn an additional 5% interest over two years by completing a Preliminary Economic Assessment and a further 15% (for a total of 75%) by completing a Feasibility Study within nine years. Antofagasta is the project operator, with Lara providing continuity and support with community relations and permitting.
Andre Gauthier, Lara's President, a member of the Quebec Order of Engineers, is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and has verified, and approved the disclosure of, the technical information in this news release.
Lara is an exploration company following the Prospect Generator business model, which aims to minimize shareholder dilution and financial risk by generating prospects and then exploring them in joint ventures funded by partners. The Company currently holds a diverse portfolio of prospects and deposits in Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Chile, where it has signed agreements for eleven Joint Ventures and three Strategic Alliances. Lara's common shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "LRA".