Ashburton Ventures Inc.
TSX VENTURE : ABR
FRANKFURT : ARB

Ashburton Ventures Inc.

January 18, 2011 08:00 ET

Ashburton Provides Update for the Deep Creek Gold Project, Nevada

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2011) - ASHBURTON VENTURES INC. (TSX VENTURE:ABR)(FRANKFURT:ARB) ("Ashburton" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update of activities for its Deep Creek Project located 112 kilometres north of Elko, Nevada. The Range Front, Upper Vein, and Waterfall Vein areas were the focus of exploration for 2010, with highlights over the past year that include the following:

  • Discovery of the Waterfall Vein, with 200 meters of strike length delineated to date and 20.5 g/t Au, and the Thirteen-Five Vein with 13.5 g/t Au assayed to date.

  • Discovery and delineation of the Upper Vein, with over 640 meters of strike length, assays up to 1,180 g/t Au, and vein widths up to 1.5 meters.

  • Completion of 716 meters of drilling on the Range Front Structure; the Company is planning to drill southward on the RFS based on new mapping that suggests zones of hydrothermal brecciation on surface that can be used to target mineralization at depth.

  • Recognition of hydrothermal breccia zones along the Range Front Structure, south of previous drilling, that will aid in the selection of future drilling targets.

  • Quadrupling of initial Deep Creek land position to over 970 hectares (2,400 acres), to include two areas of historic rock and soil anomalies that have seen little prior exploration.

Further mapping, sampling, and reviewing of historic data is continuing, and geophysics will be implemented to identify targets for drilling in Q2 of 2011. Details of the Company's past activity for each of the three areas are provided below.

Waterfall Vein Area

The Waterfall Vein system is the latest discovery in the Deep Creek Project, and is located 700 meters south of the Upper Vein. The Waterfall Vein strikes north-northwest with an approximate length of 200 meters, with quartz vein material assaying at 20.5 grams per tonne gold. The 'Thirteen-Five' vein is located 60 meters west of the Waterfall Vein with an assay of 13.5 g/t gold. Samples of mixed vein and country rock from each vein assayed at 0.28 g/t Au. Vein widths are roughly 0.5 meters, widening to over 1.5 meters in highly silicified carbonate rocks of the Proterozoic McCoy group. Assays to date for samples collected in the Waterfall canyon area are summarized in the table below.

Highlights of rock chip samples collected to date from the Waterfall Vein Area
Vein Name Au, g/t Ag, g/t Weight, kg   Description
Waterfall 20.5 15 2.98   0.5 meters wide, N25W strike with roughly 200 meters of strike length
Waterfall 0.28 <0.7 3.19   1.5 meters wide, 90 meters south of the above sample, includes silicified carbonate country rock
Thirteen-Five 13.5 Not determined 2.35   0.5 meters wide, 60 meters west of the Waterfall vein, roughly north-south strike for 70 meters
Thirteen-Five 0.28 <0.7 2.63   3.0 meters wide, 50 meters south of the above sample, includes silicified carbonate country rock
NOTE: Samples were chiseled from country rock as channel samples roughly 15 cm in width to achieve a sample weight of 1.5 kg or greater.

Assays for additional samples collected from the Waterfall Vein area prior to snowfall are anticipated in the coming weeks.

Upper Vein Area

The Upper Vein Area was identified in Q3 2010 and is located 300 meters east of the Range Front Structure. The Upper Vein has a strike length of over 640 meters, with samples assaying as high as 1,180 g/t Au, and some over a meter in width as high as 47.9 g/t Au. Additional undiscovered gold-bearing veins are also indicated by a vein float sample collected upslope of the Upper Vein that assayed at 28.90 g/t gold. Elevated silver has also been noted in the system, and highlights for both metals are summarized in the table below.

Significant Vein Sample Assays from the Upper Vein Area, Deep Creek Project
Au, g/t Ag, g/t Sample Wt. kg Approx. Vein Width, meters   Description
1180 828 1.78 <1   vein splays 12 m off of Upper Vein
355 249 1.04 0.2   vein with visible gold noted
94.3 123.5 2.37 0.2   vein with visible gold noted
56.3 38.4 3.19 0.15   vein with visible gold noted
47.9 18.8 3.04 1   vein with visible gold noted
42.5 13.2 2.34 1.2   vein, no visible gold noted, in contact with phyllitic rocks
40.1 38.3 2.10 0.6   vein with visible gold noted
16.8 30.2 0.97 0.2   representative material chiseled from outcrop
9.79 7.6 2.47 0.4   representative material chiseled from outcrop
7.03 5.5 3.01 0.4   representative material chiseled from outcrop
2.91 6.4 2.35 0.4   representative material chiseled from outcrop
0.94 1.7 6.34 0.9   stockwork qtz vein
NOTE: Where possible, vein material was chiseled from vein exposures to their contact with country rock, and along strike to obtain a sample weight exceeding 1.5 kg.

The Upper Vein system is hosted in sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks of the Paleozoic Schoonover Formation and Proterozoic McCoy Group. Country rock samples collected along the southward extension of the Upper Vein also exhibit elevated gold contents, including a composite sample in highly variable lithologies of the Schoonover Formation that are capped by Tertiary volcanics. The composite channel sample returned a 0.1 g/t Au result, suggesting that enhanced gold values may extend beneath the volcanics. Highlights of the country rock assays are provided in the table below.

Significant Country Rock Assays from the Upper Vein Area, Deep Creek Project
Au, g/t Ag, g/t Sample Wt. kg   Distance from Upper Vein, meters   Rock Type
10.80 10.0 2.54   0.50   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
9.79 7.60 2.47   6.00   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
7.03 5.50 3.01   3.00   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
2.91 6.40 2.35   4.00   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
2.30 3.80 1.59   200   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
2.10 4.00 7.10   1.80   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
2.03 1.80 6.52   0.90   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
1.59 na 6.15   0.90   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
1.44 na 1.45   3.60   partially silicified calcareous shale, McCoy Group
1.31 na 1.93   <1   iron oxide stained quartzite, Prospect Mtn. Quartzite
0.97 na 4.39   2.70   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
0.89 na 4.74   0.90   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
0.67 na 4.63   3.60   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
0.56 na 1.36   150   partially silicified calcareous shale, McCoy Group
0.35 na 5.40   0.90   phyllitic limestone, McCoy Group
0.10 na 1.53   150   mixed lithologies, Schoonover Formation
NOTE: Samples were chiseled from country rock as channel samples roughly 15 cm in width to achieve a sample weight of 1.5 kg or greater. na = not analyzed.

Range Front Structure

Drilling on the Range Front Structure in the mid-1980's by Franco-Nevada produced an estimated reserve of 477,000 ounces of gold in 7.5 million tons and resource of 70,000 ounces of gold in 1.1 million tons. Both the reserve and resource estimates are historical and a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify either the historical reserve or the historical resource estimate as current mineral resources, therefore these historical reserves should not be relied on and do not have currently demonstrated economic viability.

In summer 2010, the Company launched a drill program on the Range Front Structure and collared each hole at an orientation to reproduce nearby historic drill hole assays. The holes were drilled at roughly 45 degrees inclination such that drill intercepts would be roughly perpendicular to the Range Front fault, which is the primary host for gold mineralization. Five inclined drill holes were completed for a total of 716 meters, and three intercepted elevated gold at similar depths to that encountered historically, but not over similar depth intervals. All of the HQ core was half-split and assayed over roughly 1.2 meter (~4 ft) intervals from the intersection of basement to the end of the hole, and the best assays from the 2010 drilling program are summarized below.

Significant Drill Intersections from the Range Front Structure 2010 Drilling Program
 
Drill Hole from, m to, m Interval, meters Au (g/t)
         
DC-10-C-1 26.2 29.3 3.0 0.90
  including 27.7 29.3 1.5 1.53
DC-10-C-2* 69.8 72.2 2.4 1.03
DC-10-C-4 67.1 76.2 9.1 0.88
  including 67.1 68.6 1.5 3.92
  including 75.0 76.2 1.2 2.01
DC-10-C-4 102.7 103.9 1.2 1.46
Note: Ashburton implemented quality control (QA/QC) during the drilling program that included the use of standards and blanks. Samples of split HQ core were transported by Company personnel to ALS Chemex Laboratories in Reno, Nevada for sample preparation. The remaining half is stored at a secure facility in Utah. The core samples are analyzed using 30-gram or 50-gram standard fire assay methods. Repeat assays testing for coarse gold performed on selected samples did not produce significant differences. *Visible gold was also observed in DC-10-C-2 at 77 meters.

In Q3 2010, Ashburton also launched a mapping exercise that incorporates structural mapping similar to that implemented in open pit mining operations. During the course of mapping, it was determined that the Range Front fault has an undulating surface that experienced lateral as well as normal movement during mineralization. Movement on the undulating fault surface caused hydrothermal fault breccias to form, which are similar to features described in the historic drill logs where greater gold contents were noted. These widened areas of hydrothermal mineralization are identified on the surface by the abundance of quartz and quartz-breccia float, which will aid in targeting future drilling along the Range Front Structure in Q2 2011.

It was noted during core logging that the 45 degree drilling inclination paralleled the apparent bedding in altered sedimentary and igneous rocks adjacent to the range front structure, meaning that all rock types were not completely sampled. As the sedimentary and igneous rocks on the Range Front Structure have assayed up to 1.44 g/t Au, future drilling will also test the country rock adjacent to the Range Front Structure for potential low grade mineralization.

The 2011 Program at Deep Creek

The 2011 exploration program at Deep Creek will continue to focus on the Range Front Structure, Upper Vein, and Waterfall Vein areas. Concurrent structural mapping and outcrop sampling will continue in all three areas to identify the mineralizing structures for gold. Airborne magnetic/EM surveys are planned for the entire property to better define lithologic contacts and identify potential target areas of alteration and mineralization, with high resolution ground surveys to help prioritize drilling locations. Two drilling programs are planned, one to test the southward extent of gold mineralization along the Range Front Structure, and a second program to test the extent of vein mineralization in the Upper Vein and Waterfall Vein areas. Drilling on the Range Front structure may start as early as February, depending on snow cover at lower elevations. However, nearly all historic exploration has been in these three areas, which represent less than 25% of the total land position at Deep Creek. The Company recently increased its land position to encompass two new areas of historical rock and soil gold anomalies that are similar in surface area to those in which the Range Front Structure, Upper Vein and Waterfall Vein areas are located. Ashburton now has over 971 contiguous hectares (2,400 acres) under claim, and will carry out detailed sampling and mapping over these areas in 2011.

The technical contents of this release were approved by Dr. Tom McCandless, P.Geo., Vice President, Exploration for Ashburton and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

The Company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Tom McCandless to the position of Vice President, Exploration. Dr. McCandless brings many years of experience in the exploration and assessment of mineral properties throughout the world, and has served as a Director for Ashburton since its incorporation in 2008. Dr. McCandless has more than 30 years of experience in the exploration industry, and was part of the Senior Management of Ashton Mining of Canada, who discovered the Renard kimberlites in Quebec that are slated to become Quebec's first diamond mine. From 2008 to the present, Dr. McCandless has been a consultant to the industry through MCC Geoscience, Inc., for diamond and metals projects in North America, South America, Africa, and Scandinavia. Dr. McCandless also holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona and the University of Alberta, and has published extensively on the geochemistry of ore deposits.

Ashburton Ventures is a junior exploration company actively seeking mineral opportunities for the benefit of all its stakeholders. For more information visit the Company's website located at www.ashburtonventures.com.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Michael England, President

Forward-Looking Statement:

Some statements in this news release contain forward-looking information that involves inherent risk and uncertainty affecting the business of Ashburton Ventures Inc. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.

Neither the 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.

Contact Information

  • Ashburton Ventures Inc.
    Michael England
    President
    (604) 683-3995