Antares Minerals Inc.

Antares Minerals Inc.

March 17, 2005 08:30 ET

Antares Options Haquira Copper SX-EW Project In Peru From Minera Phelps Dodge del Peru


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: ANTARES MINERALS INC.

TSX VENTURE SYMBOL: ANM

MARCH 17, 2005 - 08:30 ET

Antares Options Haquira Copper SX-EW Project In Peru
From Minera Phelps Dodge del Peru

WATERDOWN, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 17, 2005) - Antares Minerals
Inc. ("Antares") (TSX VENTURE:ANM) and Minera Phelps Dodge del Peru
S.A.C. ("Phelps Dodge"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Phelps Dodge
Corporation (NYSE:PD), have executed an option agreement whereby Antares
can acquire a 100% interest in the Haquira SX-EW copper project in
Apurimac Department, south-central Peru. The Haquira project is
immediately adjacent to the Las Bambas copper-gold skarn project
recently acquired by Xstrata. Antares has retained Chlumsky, Armbrust,
and Meyer, LLC ("CAM") to prepare an independent NI 43-101 resource
estimate utilizing data from 84 drill holes (11,381m) completed by
Phelps Dodge. Based upon the information available and due-diligence
conducted to date with CAM, who have not verified assays or drill hole
intercepts to date, Antares believes that the Haquira project hosts two
exploration targets with a total of 115-140 million mt of near-surface
copper-oxide and secondary copper-sulphide mineralisation with a grade
of 0.47-0.60% total Cu. This estimate is conceptual in nature and awaits
confirmation upon completion of the 43-101 report that is currently
being prepared by CAM and that will be available within 90 days. The
exploration targets remain open in several directions, and additional
drill targets occur on the property. It is uncertain whether future
exploration will result in discovery of a mineral resource on the
property. The above estimate does not include the underlying primary
copper-sulphide mineralisation.

John Black, President of Antares Minerals Inc. commented as follows:

"We are excited to have the opportunity to acquire a 100% interest in an
advanced-stage copper project like Haquira and to have Phelps Dodge
Corporation, one of the premier copper mining companies in the world,
indirectly holding an interest in Antares. We believe that Haquira has
the potential to deliver one of Peru's next SX-EW copper operations,
particularly given its close proximity to the Las Bambas project of
Xstrata. We look forward to being able to communicate more about the
project upon completion of the 43-101 report. We plan to commence a
drill campaign in Q3 to delineate the extent of mineralisation."

Haquira Project

Haquira hosts a large porphyry copper deposit with well-developed
copper-oxide and secondary copper-sulphide mineralisation overlying
primary copper-sulphide mineralisation. The project (4,600 ha) is
located approximately 75 km to the southwest of Cuzco in the emerging
Andahuaylas-Yauri copper-gold porphyry/skarn belt which hosts the
Tintaya copper-gold skarn mine (BHP Billiton), the Las Chancas
copper-gold porphyry deposit (Southern Peru Copper Corp.), the Las
Bambas copper-gold skarn deposits (Xstrata), as well as numerous other
copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry and skarn occurrences. The Haquira
project is contiguous with, and immediately to the south of, the Las
Bambas District where Xstrata has committed to invest US$121 million.

Copper mineralisation at Haquira occurs within quartzites and siltstones
of the Cretaceous Soraya Formation and a Tertiary porphyry dike swarm.
Phelps Dodge drilled 84 holes (11,381m) with an approximate spacing of
200 m between drill holes. Phelps Dodge discovered two principal areas
of mineralisation; the western area (1500 by 1000 m) and the eastern
area (500 by 1000 m). Both areas remain open in several directions. The
mineralised zones are oxidized to depths varying from several tens of
metres to more than 200 metres deep. Secondary copper mineralisation
consists primarily of black and green copper-oxide minerals with lesser
amounts of secondary chalcocite near the base of oxidation. The
underlying primary mineralisation has not been well explored and
consists of stockwork quartz-chalcopyrite-pyrite-molybdenite veins and
disseminated sulphides. Sequential leach-copper analyses have been
completed by Phelps Dodge at the Cerro Verde analytical laboratory and
at the SGS laboratory in Lima, Peru for most of the mineralised
intervals to evaluate the leachability of copper-oxide and secondary
copper-sulphide mineralisation. These analytical results indicate the
mineralisation is amenable to conventional SX-EW processing.

Phelps Dodge completed an in-house mineralised material estimate for the
Haquira project that is not compliant with NI 43-101 specifications.
This estimate does not qualify as a historical estimate and therefore
cannot be hereby presented. Antares retained the professional services
of CAM to conduct due-diligence for the Haquira project acquisition and
to prepare a NI 43-101 compliant technical report that will include a
resource estimate. CAM has reviewed all data available and conducted
preliminary resource estimates for the project, but has not yet visited
the project. CAM has recommended, as per standard due-diligence
procedures, that a representative portion of the previous drill samples
be re-analyzed to verify previous results. Antares anticipates that a
43-101 technical report and resource estimate will be completed within
90 days.

Summary of Acquisition Terms

Antares can acquire a 100% interest in the Haquira project from Phelps
Dodge by completing option payments totaling US$15 million over a
five-year period. Antares paid US$750,000 upon execution of the
agreement. All remaining payments are at the option of Antares. The
option payments are due on each successive anniversary date of the
agreement, in the following amounts ($US): $1,250,000, $2,000,000,
$2,500,000, $3,500,000 and $5,000,000. Antares will acquire a 100%
interest in Haquira upon completion of all option payments. In addition,
if a feasibility study is completed on Haquira, Antares will be
obligated to make an additional payment to Phelps Dodge equal to US$0.01
for each pound of copper included as part of the mineral resource
calculation in excess of 2.2 billion pounds.

Antares has also issued 1.5 million warrants to Phelps Dodge as part of
this transaction. Each warrant is exercisable for one common share of
Antares. Half of the warrants are exercisable at CDN$1.25 for a period
of one year and the other half are exercisable a CDN$1.50 for a period
of two years.

The agreement also provides for Antares to pay to Phelps Dodge a portion
of the gain realized by Antares if Antares sells the Haquira project
within 18 months.

The acquisition is subject to all necessary regulatory approvals.

About Antares Minerals Inc.

Antares is a recently reorganized mineral exploration company with a
highly experienced management team. The Company is focused on gold and
copper exploration properties in Latin America that can be quickly and
cost-effectively advanced to the discovery and production stage.

About Phelps Dodge Corp.

Phelps Dodge Corp. is the world's second-largest producer of copper, a
world leader in the production of molybdenum, the largest producer of
molybdenum-based chemicals and continuous-cast copper rod, and among the
leading producers of magnet wire and carbon black. The company and its
two divisions, Phelps Dodge Mining Co. and Phelps Dodge Industries,
employ more than 14,000 people worldwide.

All of Antare's exploration programs and pertinent disclosure of a
technical or scientific nature are prepared by or prepared under the
direct supervision of John Black, Antare's President, who serves as the
qualified person (QP) under the definitions of National Instrument
43-101.

Certain disclosure in this release, including management's assessment of
Antare's plans and projects, constitutes forward-looking statements that
are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors relating
to Antare's operation as a mineral exploration company that may cause
future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Antares Minerals Inc.
    John Black
    President
    (303) 618-7797
    juannegro@comcast.net
    or
    Phelps Dodge Corp.
    Peter Faur
    (602) 366-7993
    pfaur@phelpsdodge.com
    The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept
    responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.