Merc International Minerals Inc.

Merc International Minerals Inc.

August 18, 2010 08:45 ET

Merc Operational Update

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2010) - Merc International Minerals Inc. ("Merc") (TSX VENTURE:MRK) is pleased to provide an overview of its recently completed 2010 Winter Drill Program at its Damoti Lake Gold Project, located 200 km north of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Results continue to outline broad zones of near-surface gold mineralization, with associated high-grade cores.

This second phase of drilling, which focused on stepping out along strike from historical work in the Horseshoe Zone and parallel iron formations, achieved remarkable success as 83% of the holes intersected gold mineralization. Between March 19, 2010 and June 5, 2010, Merc completed 42 drillholes for 7,985 meters. Drill results were reported in four news releases: May 18, 2010; June 15, 2010; July 6, 2010; Aug 4, 2010. Zones discovered at Red Mountain by Merc's 2009 drill program were extended, and new high-grade vertically stacked zones were traced over 200 meters north along strike of the host iron formation. For information on Merc's drill program and results, please visit Merc's website

Red Mountain Zone

Zones discovered at Red Mountain by Merc's 2009 drill program were extended, new high-grade vertically stacked mineralized zones were traced over 200 meters north along strike, and other new zones discovered at depth. Fifteen holes were collared within the eastern limb of the Red Mountain syncline, located 125 meters west of the Horseshoe Zone. This drilling has intersected the best widths and grades ever reported for Red Mountain, successfully establishing Red Mountain as a new priority target. For example, D10-416B returned a composite grade of 1.64 grams gold per tonne over 151.40 meters, demonstrating the continuity of extensive near-surface mineralization extends to depth. Hole D10-420B, collared 165 meters north of D10-416B, intersected several of its projected zones, including 20 meters of 5.60 grams gold per tonne, with a subinterval of 9.80 grams gold per tonne over 8.5 meters, starting from 20 meters below surface.

In addition, the latest drilling has identified a mineralized corridor linking the high-grade Horseshoe Zone (125 meters to the east of Red Mountain) and coincidental magnetic and induced polarization (IP) anomalies located 250 meters further east of Horseshoe. Merc is presently developing drill targets within this highly prospective and unexplored area.

Northern Extension of Horseshoe Zone

Drilling was successful in extending the near-surface Horseshoe Zone mineralization further to the north intersecting 5.03 grams gold per tonne over 3.5 meters, 14.95 grams gold per tonne over 0.5 meters; 1.0 meter of 14.66 grams gold per tonne, including 0.5 meters of 28.20 grams gold per tonne; and 2.5 meters of 6.56 grams gold per tonne, including 0.5 meters of 22.90 grams gold per tonne. These results demonstrate the ongoing potential of this promising mineralized zone. Additional holes are needed to further evaluate/extend the mineralization northward within the fold limb, an area that remains open.

Other Zones

Two holes were drilled 200 meters southwest of Red Mountain in the nose of a fold, referred to as the Runway Zone, and appear to have intersected the fringe of a mineralized zone (3.5 meters of 3.49 grams gold per tonne, including 12.5 grams gold per tonne over 0.5 meter). Based on these encouraging preliminary results, additional work is required in this new target area as it constitutes another "Horseshoe-like" mineralized fold opportunity.

Drilling also confirmed and expanded the high-grade mineralization previously reported for the BIF Island Zone, located 3.5 kilometers southwest along strike of the Horseshoe Zone. Nineteen holes were drilled in the folded iron formation, which is geological setting similar to the Horseshoe Zone. Holes primarily tested shallow targets to a maximum vertical depth of 150 meters in order to define the extent of the host iron formation and confirm a strong core of gold mineralization conforming to the general plunge of the fold. This has resulted in an enhanced geological model for gold mineralization outlining broad zones of mineralization containing high-grade cores. The limits and expansion opportunities of this mineralized zone will be further evaluated.

Future Exploration Work

Given the relatively shallow nature and good continuity of the gold mineralization at Damoti, Merc will conduct some preliminary evaluations on its potential for an open pit operation. Additional drilling and exploration work will be contingent upon the incorporation of the present drill results into an expanded geological model to assist in target generation and evaluation. Future work is being planned for, but not restricted to, the following areas:

  • The mineralized corridor that extends northwestward through the Horseshoe and Red Mountain Zones;
  • Northern extensions of the Red Mountain and Horseshoe Zones;
  • The Rangi target area that lies 150 meters east of the Horseshoe Zone and extends 2.5 km to the south. 

Work will also focus on exploring the mineralized Runway fold and the regional unconformity/fault contact between mafic volcanic rocks and sedimentary rocks that lies along the western portion of the Damoti claim group. This geological setting of iron formation and regional fault zone is similar to portions of Agnico-Eagle's Meliadine gold deposit, which reportedly contains more than 3 million ounces of gold.

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. Merc disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements.

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

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