Merc International Minerals Inc.

Merc International Minerals Inc.

August 08, 2008 15:45 ET

Merc Agrees to Acquire Golden Sierra and Appoint Dr. Michael Byron as CEO

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 8, 2008) - Merc International Minerals Inc. ("Merc") (TSX VENTURE:MRK) is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire all the outstanding shares of privately held Golden Sierra Resources Inc. ("Golden Sierra") and to appoint Dr. Michael Byron as Merc's President and CEO. Dr. Byron will also join Merc's Board of Directors.

Golden Sierra has three wholly-owned Quebec gold projects (see below), an extensive geological/geochemical/geophysical database, in Ecuador, South America, and approximately $250,000 in cash.

Dr. Byron is a seasoned exploration professional, with a Doctorate of Science degree (Geology) from Carleton University, and more than 22 years of domestic and international experience including research, field work, and senior management experience in gold, base-metal, magmatic nickel-copper-platinum group elements, rare earth elements, diamond, and gemstone exploration. His background in northern Ontario and proven record of building up gold resources though exploration is ideally suited to Merc's mandate of offering shareholders leverage to gold-silver by acquiring projects with historic resource estimates that have the geological potential to be enhanced through both modern day exploration and dramatically higher gold-silver prices. Dr. Byron is the President and CEO and Director of Ginguro Exploration Inc., a junior exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange that he helped co-found and was formerly Vice President of Exploration of Aurora Platinum Corp. and Lake Shore Gold Corp. He is the current President and CEO of Golden Sierra Resources Inc.

In Quebec, Golden Sierra holds the Launay, Disson and La Reine properties, all of which have good road access:

(a) The Launay project lies in Launay Township and hosts a series of
quartz carbonate veins. Two 1991 diamond drill holes returned 0.4%
copper and 3.8 grams gold per tonne over 1.2 metres and 1.7 grams
gold per tonne over 0.6 metre, respectively.

(b) The Disson property lies in Disson Township hosts a mineralized
structure that has been tested by three diamond drill holes. The
northern most hole assayed 1 gram gold and 8.9 grams silver per
tonne over 1.5 metres, while the western most hole returned 1 gram
gold and 3.1 grams silver per tonne over 2.2 metres and the eastern
most hole returned 0.7 gram gold per tonne over 1.3 metre.

(c) The La Reine property lies in La Reine Township and hosts two strong
electromagnetic geophysical conductors that occur just north-west of
the Santa Anna gold deposit.

Golden Sierra also staked six properties in Ecuador, however those properties were recently reclaimed by the state. Five of the Ecuadorean properties lie in northern Ecuador and host significant alluvial gold anomalies along trend with the southern Colombian gold belt. The sixth project is located east of the La Plata massive sulphide deposit and east of the Capital city of Quito. On April 18th, 2008, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Assembly cancelled 88% of all concessions, limited companies' holdings to a maximum of three concessions, and suspended mining activity for 180 days while the Government drafts new mining legislation. On June 9th, 2008, the government began transferring mining concessions to the state and in June 2008 Golden Sierra received notification that its properties have been transferred back to the state. There is a possibility that once the new legislation is in place the government will give those companies with cancelled concessions the first opportunity to re-stake them. While this cannot be confirmed at this time, Golden Sierra's local Ecuador infrastructure, relationships, project data base and management team will in any case be well positioned to harness opportunities in Ecuador if the political environment there stabilizes.

The transaction will give Merc a significant foothold in several prospective areas of Quebec while also providing an opportunity to capitalize on the current uncertainty in Ecuador by establishing a beachead in the geologically promising country.

Merc has agreed to pay $250,000 in cash and issue 750,000 common shares to acquire all the common shares of Golden Sierra. The transactions, as well as Dr. Byron's appointments, are subject to the approval of TSX Venture Exchange.

The foregoing disclosure is based on exploration data and geological reports supplied by Golden Sierra that have been reviewed and compiled by Dr. Michael Byron, P.Geo, who is a qualified person for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Byron is an independent qualified person as defined by NI 43-101 and has reviewed the contents of this press release.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on assumptions and judgments of management regarding future events or results. Such statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements.

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

Contact Information

  • Merc International Minerals Inc.
    Thomas Pladsen
    President and CEO
    (647) 287-3778
    (416) 628-5911 (FAX)