Apogee Minerals Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : APE

Apogee Minerals Ltd.

September 13, 2005 08:00 ET

Apex Silver and Apogee Minerals Agree to Joint Venture Pulacayo-Paca Project

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 13, 2005) -

Objective To Define Resources Around Additional Mineralization At Historic Mine Site

Apex Silver Mines Limited (AMEX:SIL) and Apogee Minerals Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:APE) have reached a Joint Venture agreement on the historic and prolific Pulacayo-Paca silver-zinc-lead project in Southwestern Bolivia. Discovered in 1883, the Pulacayo Silver Mine is the second largest silver mine in Bolivia after Cerro Rico de Potosi and one of the most important in Latin America. It has produced over 206 million ounces of silver over its lifetime. In 2002, Apex Silver completed a Phase 1 exploration program and discovered several additional zones of silver-zinc-lead mineralization within the vein system at the Pulacayo Mine that are both broad and high-grade. The Joint Venture plans for advanced exploration at Pulacayo-Paca with the objective of defining mineral resources.

The Pulacayo-Paca project is located 460 km south of La Paz in the historic Potosi Department of Southwestern Bolivia, near the city of Uyuni. It lies in the middle of the San Cristobal-Potosi Silver Belt, a wide, well-mineralized string of silver deposits that extends from the southwest to the northeast and includes the three largest silver deposits in Bolivian history (Potosi, San Cristobal, and Pulacayo). The property consists of sixteen (16) concessions totalling 33,978 hectares.

The History of Pulacayo and Paca

The Pulacayo Silver Mine was discovered in 1883 and has produced approximately 206 million ounces of silver, 180,000 tonnes of zinc, and 180,000 tonnes of lead from 1883 to 1959 (ref. Sergeomin - Bulletin No 30, 2002). It has been the second-largest silver mine in Bolivia after Cerro Rico de Potosi and one of the most important in Latin America. Production has been mainly from the non-outcropping Tajo vein system which was exploited to a depth of 1000 meters and averaged 30 ounces per tonne of silver over a strike length of 2500 meters. Revenue from the mine funded the first railway line to Bolivia, which connected the mine to the port of Antofagasta, Chile in 1888. Today the project is located 45 km by gravel road from the city of Uyuni which is connected by highway and railway to the sea port Antofagasta. The site contains all necessary services; power, water and an experienced labour force from the surrounding village of Pulacayo.

Recent Work Completed by Apex Silver

At Pulacayo, Apex Silver has completed 3,130 meters of diamond drilling and intercepted mineralization in the Tajo vein. The most significant assays reported by Apex in a Press Release dated October 23, 2002 are summarized in Table 1 and include:



- 20.0(i) meters of 16.68 ounces/t Silver, 4.17% Zinc, and 2.29% Lead
- 8.0(i) meters of 16.81 ounces/t Silver, 2.42% Zinc, and 2.24% Lead
- 10.5(i) meters of 1.75 ounces/t Silver, 5.02% Zinc, and 1.37% Lead
- 25.00(i) meters of 1.19 ounces/t Silver, 4.90% Zinc, and 1.01% Lead
- 2.0(i) meters of 37.90 ounces/t Silver, 3.61% Zinc, and 3.38% Lead
- 2.0(i) meters of 86.10 ounces/t Silver, 2.46% Zinc, and 5.91% Lead
(i) All intercepts reported as True Widths


The work by Apex Silver has outlined a significant zone of mineralization. This zone has been traced by drilling along strike for 900 metres and to a vertical depth of 840 metres. This structure varies in thickness from 10 to 50 metres. Further work is warranted to outline a significant mineral resource. Other work conducted by Apex Silver includes metallurgical testing on mineralized samples which demonstrated that flotation could produce zinc concentrates containing 3.30 kg/t silver and lead concentrates containing 10.9 kg/t Silver.

At Paca, Apex completed 3,448 meters of diamond drilling and 896 meters of Reverse-Circulation (RC) drilling. Some of the more significant assays reported in a Press Release dated October 23, 2002 are listed in Table 2 and include:



- 30.0(i) meters of 10.04 ounces/t Silver, 0.46% Zinc, and 0.88% Lead
- 22.0(i) meters of 12.26 ounces/t Silver, 2.49% Zinc, and2.55% Lead
- 18.0(i) meters of 5.26 ounces/t Silver, 0.34% Zinc, and 1.07% Lead
- 16.0(i) meters of 5.82 ounces/t Silver, 0.57% Zinc, and 1.34% Lead
(i)All intercepts reported as True Widths


Apex Silver has identified two structures at Paca. A sub-vertical vein structure related to a dacite-andesite dome, similar to Pulacayo, and a second sub-horizontal structure hosted in the sedimentary rocks. Advanced exploration at Paca will be focused on determining whether the two structures are connected and/or related, and to establish a mineral resource for both.

Apogee President and CEO John Carlesso commented: "We are very pleased to be collaborating with Apex Silver, one of the most respected and successful zinc-silver development companies in the world. The Pulacayo-Paca project meets with all of the criteria in our model for project acquisitions in that it is an advanced project with a long history of previous production, and has had extensive drilling and database preparation with which to rapidly advance the property toward production. Pulacayo is located in an area very close to other high-quality projects we are operating and represents an excellent target with potential to host both open pit and underground deposits amenable to mechanized bulk-mining methods."

Apex Silver Vice President, Exploration Robert Blakestad stated: "Apogee's strong exploration and development capabilities make them an ideal partner to advance the Pulacayo-Paca project to feasibility and production."

The Geology of Pulacayo and Paca

The Pulacayo-Paca property lies in the middle of the San Cristobal-Potosi Silver Belt which is a wide, well mineralized string of silver deposits that extends from San Cristobal deposit in the southwest to Potosi, the world's largest silver deposit, in the northeast. Underlying the Pulacayo-Paca property is a series of Tertiary dacite-andesite dome complexes which intrude the Tertiary sedimentary rocks. The dome complexes consist of dacite to andesite porphyritic intrusive rocks and andesite flows. The sedimentary rocks consist of sandstones and conglomerates. The mineralization is related to a high level epithermal system hosted in an east-west vein structure which cuts all the major lithologic units.

The sheeted vein structure consists of high to intermediate level epithermal mineralization. This mineralization consists of silica, opal, barite, pyrite, ruby silver, argentite, galena and sphalerite. The structure consists of a number of veins, veinlets and stockwork. The structure has been traced along strike for 2500 metres and to a vertical depth of 1000 metres and remains open. The width of the structure varies from 0.50 metre to 50 metres. The mineralization is related to the emplacement of the domes.

Terms of the Agreement

Under the terms of the agreement Apogee has the right to earn from Apex a 60% interest in the property by completing a bankable feasibility study within three years and by spending US$ 1 million in exploration within three years of the Earn-In Period, including US$ 250,000 within the first six months of the Earn-In Period. Apogee will be the operator of all work programs on the property. In the event that the Feasibility Study evidences a critical mass of resources, Apex will have the option to increase its interest in the property to 60% by developing the property to production. Apex will also have the option to invest up to US$ 1 million in Apogee via private placement during the Earn-In Period subject to regulatory approval.

Mr. Robert Anderson Campbell, M.Sc., P.Geo., is the Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 responsible for the scientific and technical work on the exploration program and is responsible for reviewing the technical disclosure in this press release.

All analytical work has been completed by ALS Chemex of North Vancouver, BC, Canada. ALS Chemex is a respected international analytical service which is accredited with NATA and complies with standards of ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025:1999. They employ a variety of international standards for quality control purposes. The company has initiated a QC program consisting of utilizing standards, duplicate and blank samples and laboratory cross-checks.

Apogee Minerals Ltd. is a Canadian exploration and development company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "APE". The company has several advanced silver-zinc-lead exploration properties in the historic Potosi Department of southwestern Bolivia and recently received regulatory approval for the acquisition of the Silver-Zinc-Lead producing La Solucion mine in northwestern Bolivia.

Apex Silver is a mining exploration and development company. Since its inception in 1993 and with the discovery of San Cristobal, it has assumed an increasingly important profile within the silver sector. San Cristobal, Apex' flagship silver+zinc+lead development project, is located in the Potosi district of southwestern Bolivia. Its shares trade on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol "SIL".

Statements in this release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual developments or results may vary materially from those in these "forward-looking statements".

This press release is available on the company's official on-line investor relations site for investor commentary, feedback and questions. Investors are asked to visit http://www.agoracom.com/ir/apogee . Alternatively, investors are asked to email all questions and correspondence to APE@agoracom.com where they can also request addition to the Apogee Minerals investor email list to receive all future press releases and updates directly.



TABLE 1: PULACAYO SIGNIFICANT DRILL RESULTS

---------------------------------------------------------------------
HOLE FROM TO True
No. INTERCEPT Thickness Ag Ag Pb Zn
(m) (m) g/t ounces/t % %
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PUD 04 284.80 285.70 0.90 0.64 712.8 22.9 1.0 1.7
PUD 05 96.15 114.00 17.85 8.00 521.2 16.8 2.2 2.4
PUD 06 105.55 108.00 2.45 2.00 2676.8 86.1 5.9 2.5
PUD 07 60.00 63.45 3.45 2.00 1178.3 37.9 3.4 3.6
PUD 07 70.00 96.80 26.80 20.00 517.2 16.6 2.3 4.2
PUD 10 364.40 375.35 11.35 6.50 181.9 5.8 - -
PUD 11 110.00 121.00 11.00 5.50 191.6 6.2 - -
PUD 13 36.55 58.00 21.45 10.50 54.2 1.7 1.4 5.0
PUD 13 104.40 106.50 2.10 1.50 653.9 21.0 9.6 9.8
PUD 15 159.10 160.85 1.75 1.20 101.7 3.3 2.1 4.3
PUD 15 172.75 174.00 1.25 1.00 162.8 5.2 4.3 6.7
PUD 18 105.50 109.60 4.10 4.00 132.0 4.2 1.0 2.9
PUD 19 85.00 87.00 2.00 2.00 143.0 4.6 2.3 5.5
(ii)PUD
19 83.50 94.00 10.50 10.00 85.2 2.7 1.1 4.4
PUD 20 141.80 142.50 0.70 0.50 144.0 4.6 4.0 5.8
PUD 21 131.55 178.40 46.85 25.00 37.0 1.2 1.0 4.9
PUD 21 160.80 163.50 2.25 2.00 250.4 8.1 0.5 7.5
PUD 22 62.00 63.30 1.30 1.00 103.0 3.3 2.1 5.8
PUD 22 128.55 130.00 1.45 1.20 131.0 4.2 2.5 2.6
PUD 22 138.40 140.45 2.05 1.50 229.0 7.4 3.5 2.7
PUD 22 148.00 148.56 0.56 0.50 354.0 11.4 6.1 5.9
PUD 24 97.00 100.35 3.35 2.50 295.0 9.5 5.7 5.4
PUD 24 99.65 100.35 0.70 0.50 1120.0 36.0 20.3 17.8
PUD 24 110.40 111.60 1.20 1.00 602.0 19.4 15.4 6.3
PUD 24 149.00 151.00 2.00 1.00 412.0 13.2 0.1 0.3
PUD 24 189.40 190.70 1.30 1.00 181.0 5.8 2.1 1.7
PUD 24 212.40 216.30 3.90 3.00 379.4 12.2 1.3 3.9
PUD 25 89.60 91.70 2.10 2.00 186.0 6.0 3.5 5.7
---------------------------------------------------------------------
(ii) NOTE: 2,4 m stope (open space) within


TABLE 2: PACA SIGNIFICANT DRILL RESULTS

---------------------------------------------------------------------
HOLE FROM TO True
No. INTERCEPT Thickness Ag Ag Pb Zn
(m) (m) g/t ounces/t % %
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PnD006 43.00 54.00 11.00 9.00 114.5 3.7 1.1 1.9
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PnD007 25.30 50.00 24.70 18.00 163.3 5.3 1.1 0.3
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PnD007 76.00 96.00 20.00 16.00 180.5 5.8 1.3 0.6
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PnD007 117.00 123.00 6.00 5.00 178.0 5.7 1.3 1.3
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PnD008 18.00 63.00 45.00 30.00 311.1 10.0 0.9 0.5
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PnD008 84.00 127.00 43.00 22.00 380.0 12.2 2.6 2.5
---------------------------------------------------------------------
PnD029 12.00 16.00 4.00 3.50 1029.0 33.1 0.1 0.2
---------------------------------------------------------------------


NOTE: A figure is available on CCNMatthews' website at: http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/ape0912.pdf

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

Contact Information

  • Apogee Minerals Ltd.
    John Carlesso
    President and C.E.O.
    (416) 861-5881