Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation
TSX VENTURE : ATM

Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation

July 16, 2012 07:45 ET

Atacama Pacific Intersects 414 Metres Grading 0.67 g/t Gold Including 92 Metres Grading 1.24 g/t Gold at Cerro Maricunga

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 16, 2012) - Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:ATM) ("Atacama Pacific") is pleased to report that all assay results have been received from the recently completed 45,995-metre Phase III drill program on its 100%-owned Cerro Maricunga oxide gold project and work is progressing on an updated resource estimate. The Cerro Maricunga project is located 140 kilometres by road northeast of Copiapo in Chile's prolific Maricunga Mineral Belt. Highlights from the final set of drill results, which are summarized in Table 1, include:

  • 124 metres ("m") grading 1.26 grams per tonne gold ("g/t Au") from the Crux Zone (CMR-188)
    • including 42 m at 2.52 g/t Au

  • 256 m grading 0.60 g/t Au and 98 m with 0.80 g/t Au from the Phoenix Zone (CMD-187)
    • including 46 m at 1.20 g/t Au

  • 414 m grading 0.67 g/t Au from the Lynx Zone (CMR-209)
    • including 92 m at 1.24 g/t Au

  • 376 m grading 0.44 g/t Au from the recently discovered Lower East Zone (CMR-155B)
    • including 22 m at 1.00 g/t Au

With the Phase III infill drilling program completed, the Crux, Phoenix and Lynx zones have been drilled on fifty metre sections further defining the continuity of the oxide mineralization throughout the three zones. As highlighted above, continuous intervals of gold mineralization, with higher grade cores, were returned from each of the three main oxide gold zones and from the recently discovered Lower East Zone.

Eleven drill holes have cut the Lower East Zone to date outlining a corridor of 0.3 to 0.5 g/t oxide gold mineralization, as highlight by the results from CMR-155B above, over a width of 200 metres and a strike length of 400 metres. CMR-155B, a 178-metre extension of CMR-155, finished at a depth of 428 metres. The Lower East Zone remains open to the northwest and may transition into the northern contact of the Crux Zone to the southeast. See attached drill plan.

"With all drill results in hand, an updated resource estimate for the Cerro Maricunga oxide gold deposit is on schedule for release during the current quarter," said Carl Hansen, President and CEO of Atacama Pacific. "It is anticipated that the new resource estimate will include mineralization from the Lower East Zone, which represents a high priority target for the upcoming Phase IV drill program slated for Q4. The updated resource model will form the basis of the preliminary economic assessment which is scheduled for a late 2012 release."

Water Exploration Update

Atacama Pacific has completed 134 kilometres of time domain electromagnetic ("TEM") geophysics within the boundaries of it AMX water property located 95 kilometres north of the Cerro Maricunga property. The TEM geophysical survey identified a number of potential aquifers which will be the focus on a water drilling campaign in the fourth quarter 2012.

Santa Rosa Property Acquired

Atacama Pacific recently staked the Santa Rosa property, located two kilometres to the south of its Cerro Maricunga property. The 1,800 hectare property encompasses a large volcanic complex in a geological setting similar to that which hosts the Cerro Maricunga deposit.

Share Capital Update

As at March 31, 2012, Atacama Pacific had unexercised warrants of 744,316 at a price of US$0.90 and 2,127,500 at a price of $1.25. All warrants were exercised by the expiry date of June 30, 2012 giving Atacama Pacific a total cash position of $28.5 million. Presently, Atacama Pacific's share capital comprises 50,937,411 outstanding shares and 4,772,000 options, at a weighted average exercise price of $4.63, for a fully diluted outstanding balance of 55,709,411 shares.

About Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation

Atacama Pacific's primary mineral property is the Cerro Maricunga oxide-associated, breccia-hosted gold project which hosts, as of August 2011, a resource, at a 0.3 g/t Au cut-off grade, of 1.62 million ounces of gold (92.8 million tonnes grading 0.54 g/t Au) in the indicated category with a further 1.95 million ounces (116.7 million tonnes grading 0.52 g/t Au) in the inferred category. Atacama Pacific's goal is to become a producer of gold through the exploration and development of the Cerro Maricunga Gold Project. Atacama Pacific also owns six other mineral properties within close proximity to the Cerro Maricunga Project and a fifth property in Chile's Region I.

National Instrument 43-101 Compliance

The Cerro Maricunga resource estimate was prepared under Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum Definition Standards (2005). Michael Easdon is the independent qualified person, as defined by National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"), for the resource estimate. SRK Consulting (Chile) S.A. undertook to prepare and is responsible for the resource estimate. Joled Nur, Geostatistical Engineer for SRK Consulting (Chile) and a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, is the qualified person who prepared the resource estimate. For further details on the resource estimate as well as quality control and quality assurance procedures, please review Atacama Pacific's August 24, 2011 press release or review the NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report dated October 7, 2011 filed at www.sedar.com. Mr. Easdon, an independent qualified person as defined by NI 43-101, has reviewed and verified the contents of this press release.

Table 1 - Summary of Cerro Maricunga Drill Assay Results (Intervals greater than 10 metres)
Hole # Section From To Interval Grade Zone Notes
(metres) (metres) (metres) (g/t Au)
CMR-132 2450 130 142 12 0.48 Lynx
CMR-139 2550 96 120 24 0.30 Lynx at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
CMD-141 1300 236 352 116 0.48 Phoenix at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
including 254 328 74 0.62
CMR-142 2450 148 164 16 0.40 Lynx
192 222 30 0.73
278 290 12 0.42
310 346 36 0.55
CMD-144 1350 No significant assay results Phoenix
CMD-154 1150 274 320 46 0.49 Phoenix
CMR-155B 1000 28 404 376 0.44 L. East at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
including 116 170 54 0.63 178 m extension of CMR-155
and 236 258 22 1.00
CMR-162 1300 50 76 26 0.26 Phoenix at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
CMD-165 1100 14 38 24 0.37
156 208 52 0.54
CMD-167 1650 262 282 20 0.82 Phoenix lost at 282 m with 1.42 g/t Au
CMR-168 650 150 210 60 0.28 Crux
including 170 190 20 0.42
CMR-172 1200 264 280 16 0.42 Phoenix numerous intervals at 0.2 g/t cut off
CMR-177 1250 No significant assay results Phoenix
CMD-178 1450 0 46 46 0.42 Phoenix twin of CMD-184
82 102 20 0.67
CMD-182 2150 74 234 160 0.32 Lynx
including 76 90 14 0.35
and 212 234 22 0.50
CMD-184 1450 0 44 44 0.42 Phoenix twin of CMD-178
76 130 54 0.78
including 114 122 8 1.81
CMD-187 1450 0 256 256 0.60 Phoenix
including 30 54 24 1.03
and 230 252 22 1.12
336 434 98 0.80
including 346 392 46 1.20
CMR-188 350 0 124 124 1.26 Crux
16 58 42 2.52
CMD-191 2050 60 88 28 0.29 Lynx
CMD-198 2200 0 56 56 1.08 Lynx at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off; twin of CMR-89
including 30 50 20 2.24
68 80 12 0.55 ending in 0.30 g/t Au @ 80 m
CMR-199 1500 72 106 34 0.57 Phoenix
CMD-200 900 74 172 98 0.34 Crux at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
including 142 170 28 0.56
CMD-201 1150 No significant assay results Phoenix
CMR-203 550 174 190 16 0.44 Crux
250 270 20 0.45
CMR-204 1050 40 102 62 0.58 L. East
282 304 22 0.38
320 352 32 0.34
CMR-206 1000 48 130 82 0.43 L. East
CMR-208 1750 90 112 22 0.37 Phoenix
284 426 142 0.55
CMR-209 2300 36 450 414 0.67 Lynx at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off; ends in +0.3 g/t
mineralization
250 342 92 1.24
CMR-211 1850 120 136 16 0.41 Phoenix
344 378 34 0.25 at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
CMR-212 2250 70 152 82 0.70 Lynx at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
70 118 48 0.98
CMR-219 1000 72 208 136 0.35 L. East at a 0.2 g/t Au cut-off
including 88 176 88 0.40
CMR-220 950 78 120 42 0.46 L. East
NOTES: Unless otherwise noted, reported gold grades are composited at a 0.3 g/t Au cut-off. All intervals represent down-hole lengths and not true widths. Drill holes prefixed "CMD" are diamond drill holes; holes prefixed "CMR" are RC drill holes.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This release contains forward-looking statements, including predictions, projections and forecasts. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to completion of economic assessments, exploration results, the success of exploration activities generally, mine development prospects, and future gold production. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "planning", "expects" or "does not expect", "continues", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "potential", "anticipates", "does not anticipate", or "belief", or describes a "goal", or variation 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.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, prediction, projection, forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the results of due diligence activities, the interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, as well as those factors disclosed in Atacama Pacific's publicly filed documents. Although Atacama Pacific has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

To view the Cerro Maricunga Gold Project Drill Plan, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ATMF1.pdf.

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.

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