Imperial Metals Corporation
TSX : III

Imperial Metals Corporation

October 20, 2009 14:31 ET

Imperial Metals Corporation: Initial Results From 2009 Exploration at Red Chris

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2009) - Imperial Metals Corporation (TSX:III) reports initial results from the 2009 exploration program at the Red Chris copper/gold property in northwest British Columbia. In the program, eight 1,500 metre diamond drill holes were planned to test the deep mineralization discovered in 2007 in the East zone. To date, four of the five holes completed have achieved a final depth of over 1,300 metres. Results have been received from three holes, one of which was terminated early due to drilling difficulty. Long intercepts of copper/gold mineralization are reported for the two holes that reached target depth as Imperial continues to build the known extent of deep mineralization in East zone.

RC09-346 was an angle hole drilled from north to south (azimuth 156 degrees) located about 270 metres north of RC07-335 which as previously reported returned 1,024.1 metres grading 1.01% copper, 1.26 g/t gold and 3.92 g/t silver. The hole passed into the higher grade mineralization directly beneath the current open pit design. This hole intersected 513.6 metres grading 0.61% copper and 0.91 g/t gold starting at a depth of 530.0 metres, including higher grade intervals of 0.92% copper and 1.53 g/t gold over 191.1 metres at 615.0 metres, and 1.01 % copper and 1.80 g/t gold over 48.6 metres starting at 995.0 metres.

Vertical drill hole RC09-345 was located 110 metres north of the collar of RC07-335. RC09-345 intersected 526.5 metres grading 0.77% copper and 1.37 g/t gold starting at a depth of 426.1 metres. Selected intervals in that hole returned values with strong gold grades and gold to copper ratios, including 43.9 metres grading 2.22% copper and 3.22 g/t gold at 475.0 metres, and 116.2 metres grading 1.06% copper and 3.11 g/t gold starting at 833.8 metres. The significant intervals encountered in the two holes are shown below.

Drill Hole #

Zone
Total
Length
(m)
Interval
from
(m)
Interval
To
(m)
Interval
Length
(m)
Copper
%

Gold
g/t
Silver
g/t
RC09-345East1501.1426.1952.5526.50.771.371.68
   475.0518.943.92.223.223.35
   833.8950.0116.21.063.114.09
RC09-346East1503.9530.01043.6513.60.610.911.16
   615.0806.1191.10.921.531.20
   995.01043.648.61.011.803.61

Drill hole RC09-344 was terminated at 331.3 metres depth due to technical difficulties, after intercepting 329.7 metres of 0.37% copper and 0.40 g/t gold.

The drill program is continuing with the sixth and seventh holes in progress at the time of this release. The initial eight drill holes were located as step outs to drill hole RC07-335. Additional drilling will be based on results achieved in the ongoing program. Drilling is planned to continue through the winter and will include work to follow up on the 13 line Titan geophysical survey conducted over the Red Stock which hosts the mineralization at Red Chris. Several target areas have been identified for drilling.

Other exploration initiatives undertaken during the 2009 field season include property wide geologic mapping and the completion of 166 shallow drill holes to prospect bedrock on the till covered Todagin plateau that hosts the Red Chris deposit. The shallow drilling was conducted using a custom made drill rig with a diamond drill mounted on a rubber tracked skid steer body. The unit proved very versatile being able to access most areas on the plateau with minimal environmental impact and yet provided a high rate of drilling productivity. The core from this program is also being used for the "Footprints" research project being conducted with Mineral Deposit Research Unit and Geoscience BC.

In September the British Columbia Provincial Government and the Canadian Federal Government announced they had joined forces to build the Northwest Transmission Line along the Highway 37 to Bob Quinn Lake, located 120 kilometres south of Red Chris. Construction of the power line will set the stage for mine development at Red Chris subject to confirmation of the mine development authorization procedure under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The Canadian federal authorities issued a screening report in April 2006 that concluded the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and issued authorization for development of the mine. A hearing on this matter was held in the Supreme Court of Canada on October 16. At issue is whether federal responsible authorities have the discretion to define and redefine the scope of a project for the purposes of tracking an environmental assessment as a screening under section 18 of CEAA, or as a comprehensive review under section 21 of CEAA. The matter has previously been argued in the Federal Court of Appeal where the court noted in its decision that the conclusions of the scoping decision by the federal responsible authorities were not challenged, and that the appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal involved matters of statutory interpretation The British Columbia Government had issued a Mine Development Certificate for Red Chris in 2005 at the conclusion of a full environmental review by the provincial authorities. A decision by the Supreme Court is expected by early 2010.

Steve Robertson, PGeo. is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 for the exploration program at Red Chris. Samples for the diamond drilling reported at Red Chris were analyzed at Acme Analytical Laboratories in Vancouver. A full QA/QC program using blanks, standards and duplicates was maintained for all samples submitted to the labs. The deeper portion of the Red Chris porphyry mineralization is in the early stage of exploration and may be irregular in shape so true thicknesses have not been estimated. A drill plan and cross section will be available on the Company's website.

The Red Chris property in northern British Columbia is situated 18 kilometres southeast of the village of Iskut. Access to the property from pavement at Highway 37 is six kilometres along the Ealue Lake Road, and 17 kilometres along the newly constructed Red Chris access road.

Imperial is a mine development and operating company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Company's key properties are the Mount Polley open pit copper/gold producing mine in central British Columbia, the Huckleberry open pit copper/molybdenum producing mine in northern British Columbia, the development stage Red Chris copper/gold property in northwest British Columbia, and the exploration stage Sterling gold property in southwest Nevada.

Contact Information

  • Imperial Metals Corporation
    Brian Kynoch
    President
    604.669.8959
    604.687.4030 (FAX)
    or
    Imperial Metals Corporation
    Patrick McAndless
    Vice President Exploration
    604.488.2665
    or
    Imperial Metals Corporation
    Sabine Goetz
    Investor Relations
    604.488.2657
    info@imperialmetals.com
    www.imperialmetals.com