Pacific Bay Minerals Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : PBM

Pacific Bay Minerals Ltd.

December 01, 2008 09:00 ET

Pacific Bay Minerals Ltd.: Efforts to Negotiate with the Hualapai Tribe Thwarted by Uranium Mining Ban

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2008) - Mr. David H. Brett, President and CEO, Pacific Bay Minerals Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:PBM) (the "Company" or "Pacific Bay") has learned that, in a reversal of previous indications, the Hualapai Tribal Council has voted to ban uranium mining on its Tribal lands which are located near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Through its partnership with Denver based Golden Eagle Minerals Ltd, the Company had been negotiating with the Hualapai to acquire rights to explore and develop uranium on Hualapai lands, which are underexplored and highly prospective for uranium rich breccia pipe mineralization. The decision of the Hualapai comes despite a detailed presentation by Golden Eagle to the Tribal Council outlining the remote heath risks and low environmental impacts associated with breccia pipe mining methods.

"The decision to ban uranium mining has come as a result of recent pressure from their attorney who also works for the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation banned uranium mining due to issues associated with abandoned mines/mills, groundwater contamination and claims of cancer associated with Navajo workers in prior mining operations. The Hualapai development scenario would be environmentally protective with off-site milling, worker safety and no chance for groundwater contamination since the deposits are quite different than those on Navajo lands," responded Sean Muller of Golden Eagle in a Tribal council meeting. Sean Muller was previously the Principal Geologist for the Council of Energy Resource Tribes. In 1982, Mr. Muller successfully negotiated a uranium lease on the Hualapai reservation with Energy Fuels that expired when the market price of uranium dramatically dropped later in the mid-'80s.

Golden Eagle was invited back to continue discussions since in Indian country perspectives and attitudes can change with time and need for economic development. However, Pacific Bay and Golden Eagle believe that a reversal of the decision in unlikely without significant further dialogue and education regarding the minimal health risks associated with the type of uranium mining proposed.

"We are very disappointed at this decision and believe a major economic opportunity for the Hualapai has been passed over," said Company CEO David Brett. "Golden Eagle's expert team of geoscientists, environmental specialists and social impact consultants presented what I believe is a water tight case for positive economic benefits with negligible environmental and health risks associated with underground mining of breccia pipe style uranium deposits. The team did their best to dispel common myths and misinformation about uranium mining. I am hopeful that the Hualapai will remain open to the safe and environmentally sound economic benefits that could accrue to them."

Pacific Bay and Golden Eagle continue to work together to in an effort to develop working relationships with tribal groups to establish sustainable, environmentally sound and economically beneficial exploration and mining activities.

About Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle (www.goldeneagleminerals.com) is comprised of ex-employees of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes and the Environmental Protection Agency who recognize that mining and sustainable development are possible through innovative economic planning and development of tribal expertise/knowledge in environmental management. Currently they are working on such a program in Central America and are negotiating with several uranium and mineral-rich reservations elsewhere in North America. They would like to see Pacific Bay be a part of this concept that would benefit indigenous people with prudent development of their demonstrated mineral deposits.

Pacific Bay Minerals Ltd.

David H. Brett, MBA, President & CEO

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

Contact Information

  • Pacific Bay Minerals Ltd.
    Investor Relations
    (604) 682-2421 or Toll Free: 1-800-670-6570 (Canada)
    Toll Free: 1-800-665-5101 (USA)
    (604) 682-7576 (FAX)
    Website: www.pacificbayminerals.com