Antares Minerals Inc.
TSX VENTURE : ANM

Antares Minerals Inc.

February 26, 2010 08:58 ET

Antares Reports a Significant Increase in Resources at the Haquira Cu-Mo-Au Project, Peru

Measured and Indicated Primary Copper Resource Tonnage Increases by 140% and Grade by 10%

Pounds of Copper in Measured and Indicated Primary Resource More Than Double, Expanding by 164%

WATERDOWN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2010) - Antares Minerals Inc. ("Antares")(TSX VENTURE:ANM) is very pleased to announce the completion of an updated independent National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 compliant resource estimate for its Haquira Cu-Mo-Au project in southern Peru. The new resource represents a substantial increase in both tonnes and grades from previous estimates.

The updated resource estimate was prepared by Tetra Tech, Inc. of Golden, Colorado ("Tetra Tech"). The estimate encompasses all the known mineralization at the Haquira East and Haquira West deposits as well as the immediately surrounding areas (Potato Patch zone), but does not reflect the mineralization recently discovered at the nearby Cristo de los Andes prospect. It includes both the near-surface secondary (leachable) copper mineralization as well as the underlying primary (mill/concentrate) mineralization.

This resource estimate utilizes all drilling completed to date at the Haquira project (through drill hole AHAD-174). Highlights from this interim resource estimate at a cut-off of 0.3% total Cu for primary mineralization and 0.2% total Cu for leachable secondary mineralization are as follows:

Table 1. Mineral Resource Summary Haquira Project - All Zones - February 2010
Resource Tonnes Cu Eq* Cu Mo Au Ag lbs Cu lbs Cu Eq*
Classification (millions) % % % g/t g/t (billions) (billions)
Primary Copper Mineral Resources (Mill/Concentrate) - 0.3% Cu cut-off
Measured 68.9 0.78 0.64 0.015 0.045 1.84 0.97 1.18
Indicated 285.7 0.75 0.63 0.014 0.044 1.78 3.93 4.74
Inferred 333.7 0.62 0.54 0.009 0.032 1.59 3.94 4.59
Secondary Copper Mineral Resources (leachable – SX/EW) - 0.2% Cu cut-off
Measured 59.4 0.52 0.52       0.68 0.68
Indicated 155.6 0.44 0.44       1.52 1.52
Inferred 72.2 0.41 0.41       0.65 0.65

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

"We are very pleased by the substantial increase in the size and grade of the Haquira resource. The total amount of in-situ copper at Haquira expanded by 38% from 8.5 billion lbs to 11.7 billion lbs and average grades increased for both primary and secondary mineralization. The total resource at Haquira has now surpassed a critical threshold of over 10 billion pounds of contained copper metal, making Haquira one of the largest undeveloped copper projects controlled by a junior exploration company. We are particularly pleased that the average grade of the measured and indicated primary mineralization now exceeds 0.6% Cu at a cut-off grade of 0.3% Cu. This higher grade will serve to distinguish Haquira from many other known large copper projects. The presence of near-surface secondary copper mineralization is another feature that distinguishes Haquira from other copper development opportunities. We are now in the process of evaluating the potential for a two-staged copper mining operation whereby the mine commences with a low-capital, low-cost SX-EW copper-leaching operation producing LME_grade copper cathode followed by a larger-scale, mill/concentrate operation producing copper and molybdenum concentrates with a significant gold byproduct. Our goal is to report the results of this preliminary economic assessment next quarter."

An updated NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Haquira project will be available within 45 days on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Mineral resources do not have any demonstrated economic viability and future in-fill drilling and scoping, pre-feasibility, and feasibility studies will determine what percentage of the inferred, indicated, and measured resources can be placed into the mineable category. Antares Minerals Inc is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other issues which may materially affect this estimate of mineral resources.

Tables 2-6 below provide for a more complete summary of the resource estimate as well as a comparison between the new (this release) and the previous (see press release of November 24, 2008) resource estimates for Haquira. Please refer to the Antares website at www.antaresminerals.com for additional geological information, including drill-hole location maps, geological cross-sections, resource model sections and other information about the Haquira Copper project.

Table 2. Haquira Primary Mineral Resources - All Zones - Variable Cut Offs
Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources
Cut-off tonnes Cu Eq* % Cu% Mo% Au g/t Ag g/t Cu lbs Cu Eq* lbs
Cu % (thousands)           (billions) (billions)
0.7 110,410 1.163 0.969 0.020 0.076 2.804 2.36 2.83
0.6 151,284 1.061 0.883 0.019 0.068 2.549 2.94 3.54
0.5 211,057 0.947 0.788 0.017 0.059 2.257 3.67 4.40
0.4 277,322 0.851 0.706 0.016 0.051 2.000 4.32 5.20
0.3 354,639 0.757 0.628 0.014 0.044 1.790 4.91 5.92
0.25 413,046 0.698 0.578 0.013 0.040 1.688 5.26 6.36
0.2 488,740 0.633 0.523 0.012 0.036 1.583 5.63 6.82
Inferred Mineral Resources
Cut-off tonnes Cu Eq* % Cu% Mo% Au g/t Ag g/t Cu lbs Cu Eq* lbs
Cu % (thousands)           (billions) (billions)
0.7 47,891 1.235 1.073 0.013 0.093 3.481 1.13 1.30
0.6 84,621 1.024 0.886 0.012 0.071 2.813 1.65 1.91
0.5 133,669 0.876 0.758 0.011 0.056 2.346 2.23 2.58
0.4 220,754 0.734 0.634 0.010 0.042 1.843 3.09 3.57
0.3 333,673 0.623 0.535 0.009 0.032 1.491 3.94 4.59
0.25 448,805 0.547 0.468 0.008 0.027 1.295 4.64 5.41
0.2 611,707 0.472 0.403 0.007 0.023 1.137 5.43 6.37

(*) CuEQ = 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 = 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.

Table 3. Haquira Secondary Mineral Resources – All Zones - Variable Cut Offs
Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources
Cut-off tonnes Cu Eq* % Cu% Mo% Au g/t Ag g/t Cu lbs Cu Eq* lbs
Cu % (thousands)           (billions) (billions)
0.7 33,068 1.035 1.035       0.75 0.75
0.6 46,380 0.924 0.924       0.94 0.94
0.5 66,105 0.812 0.812       1.18 1.18
0.4 93,637 0.705 0.705       1.45 1.45
0.3 135,897 0.593 0.593       1.78 1.78
0.25 171,700 0.526 0.526       1.99 1.99
0.2 214,968 0.466 0.466       2.21 2.21
Inferred Mineral Resources
Cut-off tonnes Cu Eq* % Cu% Mo% Au g/t Ag g/t Cu lbs Cu Eq* lbs
Cu % (thousands)           (billions) (billions)
0.7 5,631 0.977 0.977       0.12 0.12
0.6 12,382 0.799 0.799       0.22 0.22
0.5 19,790 0.711 0.711       0.31 0.31
0.4 26,419 0.644 0.644       0.38 0.38
0.3 40,536 0.540 0.540       0.48 0.48
0.25 52,934 0.478 0.478       0.56 0.56
0.2 72,162 0.410 0.410       0.65 0.65

Tables 1 and 2 above summarized all resources for the Haquira project. Tables 4 and 5 below show the proportional distribution of the mineral resources between the Haquira East and Haquira West deposits.

Table 4. Mineral Resource Summary Haquira East - February 2010
Resource tonnes Cu Eq* Cu Mo Au Ag lbs Cu lbs Cu Eq*
Classification (millions) % % % g/t g/t (billions) (billions)
Primary Copper Sulphide Mineral Resources  - 0.3% Cu cut-off
Meas + Ind 299.9 0.78 0.6413 0.0152 0.0484 1.7835 4.24 5.16
Inferred 265.6 0.66 0.5589 0.0102 0.0376 1.6121 3.27 3.85
Secondary Copper (leachable)  Mineral Resources - 0.2% Cu cut-off
Meas + Ind 84.5 0.5074 0.5074       0.95 0.95
Inferred 36.5 0.4877 0.4877       0.39 0.39
Table 5. Mineral Resource Summary Haquira West - February 2010
Resource tonnes Cu Eq* Cu Mo Au Ag lbs Cu lbs Cu Eq*
Classification (millions) % % % g/t g/t (billions) (billions)
Primary Copper Sulphide Mineral Resources  - 0.3% Cu cut-off
Meas + Ind 54.7 0.64 0.553 0.009 0.021 1.826 0.67 0.77
Inferred 68.1 0.49 0.442 0.005 0.012 1.021 0.66 0.73
Secondary Copper (leachable)  Mineral Resources - 0.2% Cu cut-off
Meas + Ind 130.4 0.438 0.438       1.26 1.26
Inferred 35.6 0.331 0.331       0.26 0.26

Table 6 shows a comparison between the new updated resource estimate presented in this news release and the previous resource estimate for the Haquira project (see news release of November 24, 2008).

Table 6. Haquira Project Primary Mineralization - All Zones
Measured + Indicated FEB 2010 NOV 2008 % change
tonnes (millions) 354.6 147.9 +140
Cu EQ% 0.757 0.710 +7
Cu % 0.628 0.570 +10
Mo % 0.014 0.015 -7
Au g/t 0.044 0.054 -19
Ag g/t 1.790 1.630 +10
lbs Cu (billions) 4.91 1.86 +164
lbs Cu EQ (billions) 5.92 2.31 +156
       
Inferred FEB 2010 NOV 2008 % change
tonnes (thousands) 333.7 349.9 -5
Cu EQ% 0.623    
Cu % 0.535 0.522 +2
Mo % 0.009    
Au g/t 0.032    
Ag g/t 1.491    
lbs Cu (billions) 3.94 4.03 -2
lbs Cu EQ (billions) 4.59    
 
Haquira Project Secondary Mineralization - All Zones
Measured + Indicated FEB 2010 NOV 2008 % change
tonnes (millions) 215 212.3 +1
Cu % 0.466 0.423 +10
lbs Cu (billions) 2.21 1.98 +12
       
Inferred FEB 2010 NOV 2008 % change
tonnes (thousands) 72.2 77.2 -6
Cu % 0.410 0.358 +15
lbs Cu (billions) 0.65 0.61 +7

Preparation of the Updated NI 43-101 Resource Estimate

This updated Haquira resource estimate is based on a total of 299 drill holes (75,812 m) and includes all drilling at the project through to the end of 2009. Most of the holes have been drilled on a grid with approximately 100-150-m spacing between holes and with the majority of the holes drilled to the NE (055 degrees) at an inclination of -80 degrees (please refer to Antares website for additional information about drill hole locations and results).

The resource estimate was prepared by the mineral resource and mining division of Tetra Tech Inc, an industry leading international engineering firm, utilizing standard industry software (GEMCOM) and resource estimation methodology (whole block kriging). The mineral resource estimates for the Haquira project at a range of copper cut-off vales are presented in Table 2 for primary (mill/concentrate) mineralization and Table 3 for secondary (leachable) mineralization.

Previous Haquira project resource estimates include a study prepared by Chlumsky, Armbrust, and Meyer L.L.C., ("CAM") of Denver, Colorado (see press releases of October 9, 2007) which focused on the near-surface, leachable secondary copper mineralization of both the Haquira East and Haquira West zones. CAM also reported a small amount of underlying primary resource based on a limited amount of shallow drilling. The first interim resource estimation for the newly discovered Haquira East primary deposit was completed by Tetra Tech (see press release of November 24, 2008) and included drill holes up to AHAD-120.

Qualified Persons

Antares Minerals Inc. has retained Tetra Tech of Golden, Colorado and Aker Kaverner of Tucson, Arizona as the co-lead contractors to complete preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and pre-feasibility (PFS) studies for the Haquira Cu-Mo-Au project. The mineral resource estimate presented here was completed by or under the direction of John Rozelle, PG, Tetra Tech's Mineral Resource Division Principal Geologist and an independent Qualified Person as set forth by NI 43-101.

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 and CEO, who serves as the qualified person (QP) under the definitions of National Instrument 43-101. Antares' security, chain of custody and quality control procedures are described on their website under the section on best practices – sampling methodologies.

About the Haquira Copper Project, Peru

The Haquira project is located in southern Peru and offers excellent potential for an initial low-strip, low-cost SX-EW copper operation with a subsequent transition to a 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 Hochschild 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 (see Antares press release dated April 28, 2008).

Antares has announced an updated resource estimate (October 9, 2007) and Preliminary Economic Assessment (May 14, 2008) for the near-surface, SX-EW amenable portion of the Haquira project. Mineralization at Haquira occurs within two deposits (Haquira East and Haquira West) with a combined indicated resource of 133.7 million tonnes at 0.53% total Cu with an additional inferred resource of 43.6 million tonnes at 0.44% total Cu (0.3% total Cu cut-off, leachable secondary copper sulphide and oxide mineralization only). This resource is projected to support a 50,000 t/d SX/EW heap leach operation that will 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 IRR of 26.9% and an NPV of US$224 million utilizing a copper price of US$2.00/lb and a discount rate of 8%.

Antares has also recently announced the first interim resource estimate for the underlying primary Cu-Mo-Au mineralization at the Haquira East zone based upon drill holes up to AHAD-120 (November 24, 2008). The Haquira East primary mineralization includes an indicated resource of 147.9 million tonnes at 0.57% Cu and 0.015% Mo, an inferred resource to a depth of 700m of 205.2 million tonnes at 0.56% Cu and 0.014% Mo and an additional inferred resource below 700 m depth of 99.4 million tonnes at 0.46% Cu and 0.008% Mo. Mineralization remains open to depth and several directions laterally. Additional drill holes that have been released after the completion of the interim resource calculation include hole AHAD-159 which intersected 937 m of 1.14% Cu, 0.034% Mo and 0.1 g/t Au – the best hole completed at Haquira to date.

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.

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

(*) CuEQ = 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 = 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.

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 under the section on best practices – sampling methodologies.

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.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this Press Release.

Contact Information

  • Antares Minerals Inc.
    John Black
    President and CEO
    (720) 514-9036 or Cellular: (303) 618-7797
    john.black@antaresminerals.com
    or
    Antares Minerals Inc.
    Mark Wayne
    CFO
    (403) 705-4968