Bird River Mines Inc.

October 11, 2007 15:08 ET

Bird River Mines Inc. Options the Ore Fault Property to Marathon PGM Corporation

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2007) - Bird River Mines Inc. (CNQ:BRMI) has signed a binding letter of intent with Marathon PGM Corporation (TSX:MAR) ("Marathon") for a joint venture to actively explore and earn an interest in the Ore Fault Property. The 446-hectare Ore Fault Property, which includes the Lotus claims, is located in the Bird River Sill area of southeastern Manitoba, adjacent to Gossan Resources' Bird River Sill property, which is also under option to Marathon.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, subject to Bird River Mines shareholder approval and regulatory approvals, Marathon will have the option to earn a 70% interest in the Ore Fault Property by making cash payments of $250,000 to Bird River and carrying out, as operator, $600,000 in exploration expenditures on the Property by August 1, 2008.

Once Marathon's interest in the Property reaches 70%, Marathon may require Bird River Mines to sell to Marathon, Bird River Mines' remaining 30% interest in the Property; and Bird River Mines may require Marathon to purchase the remaining 30% interest in the Property for a purchase price of $1,450,000, payable in cash or common shares of Marathon, at Marathon's option, subject to regulatory approval. Bird River Mines shall retain a 1.0% net smelter return royalty (the "NSR") in all minerals and metals extracted from the properties. Marathon shall have a first right of refusal on any sale by Bird River Mines of the NSR.

Marathon will also make a firm commitment to $400,000 in exploration expenditures and to pay a cumulative aggregate of $200,000 in cash by May 1, 2008. The first cash payment of $20,000 is due on signing of the definitive joint venture and option agreement and $80,000 is to be paid upon obtaining shareholder approval. If all required approvals are not obtained by Bird River Mines on or before December 31, 2007, Bird River Mines shall issue 400,000 of its common shares to Marathon, subject to regulatory approval.

Phill Walford, Marathon's President and CEO, commented "Our initial exploration activities on the Bird River Sill have yielded encouraging results and this option agreement will allow us to work with Bird River Mines in developing additional resources east of Gossan's Page Zone. These claims cover prospective ground between the Gossan property to the west and Mustang Minerals property to the south and east. A drill program planned for the Gossan Bird River Sill in early January is being expanded to include the Ore Fault and Lotus claims".

The Ore Fault Property

The Ore Fault Zone (North Anomaly) occurs from surface to a minimum depth of 250 m, has a minimum strike length of 150m and was drilled in two prior exploration programs totalling 44 holes. The Ore Fault Zone does not have a NI 43-101 compliant resource at present. The best drill intersection was 11.1m of 2.0% nickel, 0.54% copper, 2.18% zinc and 151gpt silver. Platinum group metals are present in the Ore Fault Zone, but evaluation of the PGM mineralization is incomplete. The Ore Fault Zone coincides with strong magnetic and EM geophysical anomalies. A second similar geophysical response (South Anomaly) was outlined approximately 1 km to the south and is considered to be a priority target, as it has not yet been drilled.

A further area of interest has been identified by Mustang Minerals ("Mustang") on its ground close to the southeast property boundary of the Ore Fault Property. Two holes spaced 60 m apart drilled by Mustang hit 17.5 m of 0.81% copper and 30.7 m of 0.55% copper (see MUM release of 25-Sep-07). There is no record of any exploration activity on the eastern side of the Ore Fault Property.

(To see a map of the Bird River Property, please go to

Table 1: Significant Drill Hole Results(1), (2) and (3)
From To Thickness Cu Ni Zn Ag
Hole (m) (m) (m) (%) (%) (%) (g/t)
DDH4 18.9 40.0 18.5 0.89 0.46 1.06 23.3
DDH16 2.5 13.6 11.1 0.54 2.00 2.1 151.0
DDH21 143.3 179.6 36.3 0.29 0.63 n/d(3) n/d(3)

(1) Assay results from: NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Ore Fault
Property, Prepared for Bird River Mines Inc., by Horst W. Petak, Ph.D.,
P.Eng., P.Geo. (available on

(2) This work was completed prior to NI 43-101 being implemented.
Marathon has not yet verified the historical values, and is not treating
any of the values as part of a current mineral reserve/resource estimate
and should not be unduly relied upon.

(3) The "n/d" indicates not detected.

All exploration work is being performed under the guidance and supervision of Phillip C. Walford, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Marathon, a professional geologist and Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Walford has approved the contents of this press release.

About Marathon PGM Corporation

Marathon has a 100-per-cent interest in the Marathon PGM -- Cu project, located about 10 kilometers north of Marathon, Ont. The project is currently undergoing a definitive feasibility study and a 35,000 m drill campaign. As announced previously, Marathon has completed a revised preliminary economic assessment in compliance with the provisions of National Instrument 43-101, showing a measured resource of 39.2 million tonnes containing 1.6 million ounces of PGM and gold and 285 million pounds of copper, and an indicated resource of 28.9 million tonnes containing 1.1 million ounces of PGM and gold and 178 million pounds of copper. An additional low-grade resource was also identified in the report completed by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. and filed on SEDAR on April 5, 2007.

As part of its growth strategy, in April 2007, Marathon entered into an option agreement with Gossan Resources on the Bird River Sill PGM and Cu-Ni property, located in southeastern Manitoba. Prospecting and data compilation of the Bird River property is focused over several key areas, including the Coppermine, Page East, Page West and Galaxy Zones. Marathon can earn-in up to a total 70% interest by completing a bankable feasibility study and arranging project financing. In October 2007, Marathon entered into an agreement with Bird River Mines Inc on the Ore Fault and Lotus Properties, located on the eastern margin of Marathon's Bird River property. In August 2007, Marathon acquired the Steel Mountain PGM and Cu-Ni property in western Newfoundland and Labrador and has commenced the initial phase of exploration on this 227.5 km2 property. Marathon holds a 100% interest in the Steel Mountain property.

About Bird River Mines Inc.

Bird River Mines Inc. has scheduled an Annual General & Special Meeting of Shareholders for December 11, 2007 to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Shareholders Meeting will consider general annual matters as well as the proposed option and joint venture agreement with Marathon. In the summer of 2007, Bird River Mines was granted two exploration permits known as the Lakeshore Property, totalling 10,338 hectares, located on the eastern and western shores of Lake Winnipegosis about 360 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Lakeshore Property is prospective for zinc mineralization. During September 2007, the Company decided not to proceed with the previously announced Antler River transaction in order to remain focused on its core business of mineral exploration. The transaction was reversed and the Company was relieved of repayment of $30,000 advanced by a related party. Bird River Mines has 9.1 million common shares outstanding and trades on the CNQ Exchange under the symbol BRMI.

Contact Information