Antares Minerals Inc.
TSX VENTURE : ANM

Antares Minerals Inc.

September 01, 2009 07:30 ET

Antares Recommences Drilling at the Haquira Cu-Mo-Au Project

WATERDOWN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2009) - Antares Minerals Inc. ("Antares") (TSX VENTURE:ANM) is pleased to announce that the 2009 drilling campaign is underway at the Haquira Cu-Mo-Au Project in Southern Peru.

- The initial phase of the 2009 drilling program will utilize four drill rigs and will focus on exploration of four satellite targets in the immediate vicinity of the known Cu-Mo-Au mineralization at the Haquira East and Haquira West Zones. The drilling program also will test the Cristo de los Andes target, located 10 km to the south of the main Haquira Zones. These exploration targets have the potential to add significant tonnage to the already sizeable Haquira deposits.

- Two rigs are currently drilling in the immediate Haquira area and will drill a total of 5000 m to test the Haquira Far East (HFE), Haquira East SW Extension (HESWX), Potato Patch (PP) and Haquira West Primary (HWP) targets (see location map below).

- Two additional rigs have commenced drilling a minimum of 3,000 m at the Cristo de los Andes target where three shallow holes completed in 1994-96 cut 33 m @ 0.65% Cu (Hole 143-06), 33 m @ 0.77% Cu (Hole 143-08) and 15.4 m @ 0.48% Cu and 17.5 m with 0.44% Cu (Hole CA-2). The copper discovered here is near-surface secondary copper within sedimentary rocks along the margin of a multi-phase monzonite intrusive complex in a setting almost identical to that of the Haquira East deposit.

- These targets are described below. To view a location map for these targets, please visit http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Haquira%20Project%20Target%20Locations%20Sept%2020091.pdf. Additional information is available on the Antares website at www.antaresminerals.com.

- Results from the initial phase of drilling will begin to be available in October and will be integrated with results from previous and ongoing scoping and early prefeasibility studies to develop a second-phase drill plan which will likely continue until the end of the year. The objective of the second-phase drilling program will be to collect sufficient data to complete an integrated Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of the fully integrated Haquira Project, including both the near-surface secondary copper mineralization amenable to SX-EW processing and the more voluminous primary sulphide mineralization amenable to processing by conventional milling and flotation. The current PEA (see press release of May 14, 2008) only assesses the potential value of the near-surface secondary mineralization (i.e. only the SX-EW project) and, therefore, does not begin to reveal the full potential value of the Haquira Project.

Haquira Project Highlights

- Very large porphyry Cu-Mo-Au discovery (see 43-101 resource table below) that presents an opportunity for both an SX-EW leach operation and a large primary sulphide mine with conventional flotation/concentration.

- Cu-Mo-Au mineralization recognized to date occurs in two zones; the Haquira East (HE) and Haquira West (HW) zones. Currently defined, 43-101 compliant resources for the project are listed below in Table 1. Mineralization remains open in several directions and the current drilling campaign will focus on testing the significant upside exploration potential for additional zones of mineralization.



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Table 1. Mineral Resource Summary Haquira Project - 0.3% Cu cut-off
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Haquira East Primary Sulphide Mineral Resources (Tetra Tech Nov 2008)
- 0.3% Cu cut-off
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Resource
Classi- Tonnes Cu Eq(i) Cu Mo Au Ag lbs Cu lbs Cu Eq(i)
fication (millions) % % % g/t g/t (billions) (billions)
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Indicated 147.9 0.71 0.57 0.015 0.054 1.63 1.86 2.31
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Inferred 304.6 0.64 0.53 0.012 0.047 1.42 3.54 4.31
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Haquira East and West Secondary Cu Mineral Resources (CAM Oct 2007)
- 0.3% Cu cut-off
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Resource
Classi- Tonnes Cu Eq(i) Cu lbs Cu lbs Cu Eq(i)
fication (millions) % % (billions) (billions)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Indicated 133.7 0.53 0.53 1.55 1.55
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Inferred 43.6 0.44 0.44 0.43 0.43
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(i) CuEQ equals Copper Equivalent is calculated for intervals dominated by
primary mineralization using US$1.50/lb Cu, US$500/oz Au, US$10/oz Ag and
US$10.00/lb Mo and is not adjusted for metallurgical recoveries as these
remain uncertain. Metallurgical recoveries and net smelter returns are
assumed to be 100%. The formula used is as follows: CuEQ equals Cu% +
(Au g/t x 0.4862) + (Mo% x 10.00/1.50) + (Ag g/t x 0.0077). Copper
Equivalent contributions are only applied to primary sulphide
mineralization.


- The 43-101 compliant resources contain a total of 8.0 billion lbs Cu or 9.2 billion lbs Cu EQ utilizing a cut-off grade of 0.2% Cu for leachable resources and 0.3% Cu for primary sulphide resources.

- The current resource estimates utilize only the drilling up to drill hole AHAD-120. Additional drill holes that have been released after the completion of the current resources estimations include drill hole AHAD-159 which intersected 937 m of 1.14% Cu, 0.034% Mo and 0.1 g/t Au - the best hole completed and Haquira to date (February 11. 2009).

- Antares announced a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the near-surface SX-EW amenable portion of the Haquira project (see press release dated May 14, 2008). This study estimated that the known tonnage and grades of leachable copper mineralization are sufficient to support a 50,000 t/d SX-EW heap-leach operation that would produce an average of 109 million lbs of copper cathode for 11 years of mine life. The capital cost to construct the operation is estimated at US$301 million with a projected after tax IRR of 26.9% and an NPV (8% discount rate) of US$224 million utilizing a copper price of US$2.00. This PEA does not take into consideration any of the underlying primary sulphide mineralization.

- Antares can obtain a 100% interest in the principal Haquira portion of the project with one final payment of US$5 million to Minera Phelps Dodge del Peru by March 4th, 2010 (the Cristo de los Andes project is not subject to this agreement). Funds to make the payment have been reserved for this purpose.

- The Haquira project is located immediately adjacent to XSTRATA's Las Bambas project with ample opportunity for shared infrastructure.

- Antares has recently entered into a strategic relationship with the IFC, the member of the World Bank Group focused on private sector investments in developing countries (see press release dated May 13th, 2009).

- Antares is financially sound with current cash on hand of $16.5 million and no debt.

John Black, President and CEO of Antares Minerals Inc. commented as follows:

"The past year has been challenging due to the collapse of the financial markets and as a result we chose to cautiously shepherd shareholder resources and await the opportune time to commence more aggressive work at Haquira. We now feel it is time to get back to work to reveal the full value of the Haquira discovery and we are very pleased to have multiple rigs turning again at the Haquira project. Copper prices have improved dramatically and copper assets like Haquira will likely be highly sought after in the near future. We are commencing with exploration work that will test for the existence of additional satellite bodies to the already sizable zones of mineralization defined at Haquira to date. This will allow us to better visualize the true size potential of the project. Subsequent work will focus on advancing the project towards a fully integrated PEA to understand better the full potential value of the project."

Cristo de los Andes Target: The Cristo de los Andes Project is to the south of and contiguous with the Haquira Project. The principal area of known mineralization is located approximately 10 km from the Haquira East and Haquira West discoveries. The project is owned by Minera del Suroeste S.A.C. (MISOSA), now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hochschild Mining PLC. Antares has an option to earn up to a 60% interest in the project (see press release dated April 28, 2008). The best exposed mineralization at Cristo de los Andes occurs as a 100 m by 400 m zone with abundant copper oxides and secondary copper sulphides hosted in siltstones, sandstones and quartzites of the Jurassic Chuquibambilla and Soraya Formations. This area of mineralization is associated with the margins of a multi-phase monzonite intrusive complex in a setting almost identical to that of the Haquira East deposit. Limited previous drilling was completed by other parties at the project in the mid 1990's and consisted of eight, widely-spaced, shallow drill holes testing for the existence of a large high-grade primary porphyry body. Three of the eight holes encountered ore-grade intervals of near-surface secondary copper mineralization (Hole 143-06 with 33 m @ 0.65% Cu, Hole 143-08 with 33 m @ 0.77% Cu and Hole CA-2 with 15.4 m @ 0.48% Cu and 17.5 m with 0.44% Cu). The current drilling program will confirm the previously identified mineralization and begin to delimit the approximate size potential of the mineralized zone. Antares will also apply knowledge gained from the Haquira East discovery to look for higher grade primary sulphide mineralization beneath the zone of secondary copper mineralization.

Targets in the immediate vicinity of the Haquira East and Haquira West Zones: The Haquira Far East (HFE), Haquira East SW Extension (HESWX), Potato Patch (PP) and Haquira West Primary (HWP) targets are all located in the immediate vicinity of the Haquira East and Haquira West discoveries. The definition of these targets has been based largely on the improved understanding of the nature and expression of the Haquira East and Haquira West zones as well as the controls on their emplacement and formation. The HFE and PP targets are located approximately 1 km to the east and west of the HE zone and are characterized by recessive weathering hollows surrounded by fractured quartzites with anomalous geochemical signatures. This geological setting is identical to that of the HE zone. In addition, a small number of shallow drill holes in the areas has provided encouragement that these zones could host mineralized intrusive bodies. The HESWX target has been identified as a result of detailed characterization of the Haquira East deposit. Antares geologists have noted a distinct asymmetry to the Haquira East orebody (the abundance of certain vein types and the ratios of Au/Cu and bornite/chalcopyrite all increase to the south and southwest). This suggests there may be an additional mineralized center to the south-southwest of the known Haquira East zone. This concept is also supported by geophysical data (IP/resistivity) and previous holes (mostly shallow) that intersected secondary copper in the area. The target at HWP is primary Cu sulphide mineralization beneath the extensive area of secondary copper mineralization at the Haquira West zone.

About the Haquira Copper Project, Peru

The Haquira project offers potential for a low-strip, low-cost SX-EW copper operation in southern Peru as well as a good opportunity for an underlying higher grade primary porphyry copper-molybdenum mill/concentrator operation. The project is located contiguous to, and immediately south of, Xstrata Copper's Las Bambas Cu-Au project and consists of two blocks of property optioned under separate agreements as well as additional concessions acquired by Antares for a total of 20,635 hectares of area. Antares has an option agreement with Minera Phelps Dodge del Peru S.A.C. to acquire a 100% interest in the original Haquira project by completing optional payments totalling US$15 million over a five-year period (see Antares press release dated March 17, 2005). A total of US$10 million has been paid to date with the remaining US$5.0 million due on or before March 4, 2010. Antares also has an option agreement with Minera del Suroeste S.A.C. (MISOSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hochschiild Mining PLC, whereby Antares can acquire up to a 60% interest in the Cristo de los Andes project, located contiguous to, and immediately south of the Haquira project (April 28, 2008). Antares can acquire an initial 51% interest in the Cristo de los Andes project by completing 12,000 m of drilling, making US$1,050,000 in payments and granting MISOSA a production royalty of US$0.005/lb of Antares' share of copper production exceeding 500,000,000 lbs from the Cristo de los Andes Property. Antares also has the option to acquire an additional 9% interest in the project for a total of 60% by electing to complete a bankable feasibility study within five years.

About Antares

Antares is a successful mineral exploration company with highly experienced technical and management teams. The Company is focused on precious- and base-metal exploration properties in Latin America that can be quickly and cost-effectively advanced to the discovery and production stage. In addition to the Haquira Project in Peru, Antares is also currently exploring the Rio Grande (Cu-Au porphyry) project in Salta Province of NW Argentina in a 50/50 option/joint-venture basis with Pachamama Resources Ltd., a spin-off from Mansfield Minerals Inc.

For further information: please visit our website at www.antaresminerals.com.

All of Antares' exploration programs and pertinent disclosure of a technical or scientific nature are prepared by, or prepared under the direct supervision of John Black, Antares' President, who serves as the qualified person (QP) under the definitions of National Instrument 43-101.

Antares' security, chain of custody and quality control is described on their website and can be reviewed at:
http://www.antaresminerals.com/bestpractices/samplingmethodologies

Mineral resources do not have demonstrated economic viability and future in-fill drilling and scoping, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies will determine what percentage of the inferred resource can be placed into the mineable category. Antares is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other issue which may materially affect this estimate of mineral resources.

Certain disclosure in this release, including management's assessment of Antares' plans and projects, constitutes forward-looking statements that are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to Antares' operation as a mineral exploration company that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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