TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 18, 2016) - Arena Minerals Inc., (TSX VENTURE:AN) ("Arena" or the "Company") provides updates on activities and developments from its ongoing joint venture exploration programs. Drill campaigns on the Paciencia North and Solitario prospects have concluded and the joint venture is currently in the process of reviewing incoming results in light of the mandatory property reduction on July 26th, 2016. The Company, through work completed through its joint venture agreements and on land not under joint venture agreements, has met its minimum work commitments for the underlying option agreement with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (please refer to press release dated August 1, 2013). In addition, Arena is in a good position to make the upcoming payments for the underlying option agreement with significant cash on hand and approximately $2.3 million in funds to be received by July 26, 2016 (please refer to press release dated July 12, 2016). The Company will provide news on joint venture activity and option agreement land reductions as information is received.
Drilling permits for the Pampa Union drill program that forms part of the US$17.5 million Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation ("JOGMEC") joint venture have been evaluated by the relevant authorities. The exploration program has been designed to complete a 1.5 kilometer grid spacing drill pattern over Pampa Union as well as follow up on previous successes. Drill hole PU-RC-39, drilled in the north western portion of the Pampa Union block, intersected a lithocap, alteration and pyrite shell characteristic of a porphyry system down to a total depth of 441 metres below surface. The follow-up 241 platform drill program was deemed to meet all necessary environmental, health and safety, fresh water resource management, archeological, communal, fauna and flora standards and was officially recommended for approval as described in the resultant Informe Consolidado de Evaluacion ("ICE") issued by the Regional Environmental Assessment Service. On the July 15th, 2016 the Environmental Assessment Commission for the Antofagasta Region voted against the project deciding that the drillings could cause impact to historical heritage located at significant distance from any of the proposed drill platforms. As the permit was denied at the regional level the Company will file a claim ("Recurso de Reclamación") before the National Environmental Assessment Service in Santiago for final approval.
"We are pleased the Solitario and Paciencia drill programs have been completed on time. We now wait on these results to determine the development of these properties," commented William Randall, President and CEO of Arena. "Given the favourable recommendations in the ICE, we are confident the permitting process will have a favourable result for our JOGMEC joint venture. We expect the permits to be received within a two to six month timeframe. These results will allow the joint venture to complete the remaining 1.5 kilometre grid drilling as well as follow up on the two porphyry systems discovered in previous drill campaigns."
Pursuant to the Environmental Law the project owner is entitled to file a Recurso de Reclamación, if the final decision of the Environmental Assessment Commission rejects the Declaracion de Impacto Ambiental ("DIA") or imposes conditions or additional requirements that may be consider arbitrary or illegal. The above mentioned administrative complaint has to be filed within a term of 30 business days, counted from the public announcement of the issuance of the RCA which occurred on July 15, 2016.
For the Pampa Unión project, the complaint must be filed before the National Environmental Assessment Service in Santiago. Based on precedents, we forecast that the final decision may be issued between two to six months.
Once the resolution of the National Environmental Assessment Service is issued, such resolution can be challenged before the Second Environmental Court, located in Santiago.
About Arena Minerals
Arena Minerals is a prospect generator that has two properties under option covering approximately 95,400 hectares within the Antofagasta region of Chile. The properties are at low altitudes, within producing mining camps in infrastructure rich areas. The Company's flagship asset is the Atacama Copper Property, consisting of 92,000 hectares, following a contractual land reduction on July 27, 2015, of essentially undrilled ground in the heart of Chile's premier copper mining district. Currently, approximately 85% of the Atacama Copper Property is under option to third parties. Pursuant to option agreements entered into between Arena, Japan Oil, Gas and Minerals National Corporation and Teck Resources Chile Limitada, each have the right to earn into 60% of the respective land holdings within the property, by collectively spending over $40 million in exploration expenditures, amongst certain other commitments. In addition the Company has the Pampas El Peñon project, comprising a total of 3,400 hectares which is less than 1 km from Yamana's Agusta Victoria project which forms part of the El Peñon mine complex. The Pampas El Peñon and Atacama Copper properties comprise Arena Minerals highly prospective copper and gold properties within an active mining region.
The technical and scientific aspects of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Mr. Vernon Arseneau, P.Geo, who is a qualified person pursuant to NI 43-101. As the Vice President of Exploration of the Company, Mr. Arseneau is not considered independent.
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On behalf of the Board of Directors of
Arena Minerals Inc.
William Randall, President, and CEO
Cautionary Note Regarding Accuracy and Forward-Looking Information:
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements, projections and estimates relating to the future development of any of the Company's properties, the progress of drill programs, the prospectivity of, and planned work programs on, such properties, the ability to enter into any additional joint venture partnership agreements as proposed, or at all, the ability of any potential partner to accelerate drill programs, increase the development of any of the projects or prospects of the Company, the results of the exploration program, future financial or operating performance of the Company, its subsidiaries and its projects, the development of and the anticipated timing with respect to the Atacama project and the El Peñon project. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". The statements made herein are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors discussed in the management discussion and analysis section of the Company's interim and most recent annual financial statement or other reports and filings with the TSX Venture Exchange and applicable Canadian securities regulations. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, geopolitical and social uncertainties; the actual results of current exploration activities; other risks of the mining industry and the risks described in the annual information form of the Company. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking information. Arena Minerals does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
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.