TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 15, 2014) - Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:ATM) ("Atacama Pacific") is pleased to provide an update on the Cerro Maricunga oxide-associated gold project prefeasibility study and the disposal of its surplus water interests in the area of Cerro Maricunga.
The Cerro Maricunga prefeasibility study remains on schedule for completion during the second quarter of 2014. The key mining and processing segments of the report are progressing well and quotes for equipment and key infrastructural items, such as the water pipeline, are pending.
A further set of six column tests have recently been completed with final results anticipated in June 2014. Excluding the pending results, Atacama Pacific has completed 29 column tests and over 200 bottle rolls tests, from various depths throughout the pit-confined resource, confirming that the Cerro Maricunga deposit is amenable to heap leach processing.
Cerro Maricunga hosts a pit-confined, oxide-associated gold resource of 3.470 million ounces of gold in 248.8 million tonnes grading 0.43 grams per tonne gold ("g/t Au") in the measured and indicated category with a further 43,000 ounces of gold in 3.1 million tonnes grading 0.43 g/t Au in the inferred category. The estimate was confined within a Whittle pit shell modelled at a gold price of US$1,200 per ounce with a cut-off grade of 0.18 g/t Au.
As announced on July 10, 2013, Atacama Pacific purchased 80 litres per second ('l/s") of water from a Chilean water utility in Copiapo, Chile, Aguas Chañar S.A. ("Aguas Chanar"), for the development of Cerro Maricunga, along with the right of first refusal for additional water if and when available.
With a secure and sustainable source of water acquired for Cerro Maricunga, Atacama Pacific has been disposing of its water exploration interests in the region.
As reported on November 19, 2013, Atacama Pacific entered into an agreement to sell its water-related rights to a Chilean subsidiary of Gold Fields Ltd. ("Gold Fields"). Atacama Pacific recently received a second payment from Gold Fields of US$300,000 and with that payment, Gold Fields is committed to making a further payment of US$500,000 on December 31, 2014. Upon receipt of approval from the Dirección General de Aguas, the Chilean water authority, for all or a portion of the 42 l/s of water discovered previously by Atacama Pacific within the concessions, Atacama Pacific will receive a payment of US$62,000 per l/s approved. If Gold Fields receives approval for the 42 l/s of water discovered, the final payment to Atacama Pacific would be US$2,604,000.
On May 15, 2014, Atacama Pacific entered into an agreement with Hydro Exploraciones SpA under which it will issue 350,000 common shares at a price of $1.15 per share to settle all obligations under two water exploration agreements. These agreements were related to water concessions located 70 kilometres to the east of Cerro Maricunga. The share payment agreement is subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.
Dr. Albrecht Schneider, the Executive Chairman, a director and 9.9% shareholder of Atacama Pacific, owns a controlling interest in Hydro Exploraciones SpA.
National Instrument 43-101
As defined by Section 1.5 of National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the Qualified Person for the Cerro Maricunga Property is Sergio Diaz, a resident of Santiago, Chile and a registered member of the "Comisión Calificadora de Competencias en Recursos y Reservas Mineras" (Chilean Mining Commission, registry n° 051), an accepted foreign association as defined by NI 43-101 (Appendix A). Mr. Diaz has reviewed and verified the contents of this press release.
The Cerro Maricunga resource estimate was prepared under CIM Definition Standards (2005). Dr. Eduardo Magri, a mining engineer (University of Witwatersrand) and a Fellow of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy with over 30 years of industry experience, is the Independent Qualified Person for the resource estimate.
About Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation
Atacama's business is the acquisition, exploration and development of precious metals resource properties in Chile. Atacama's goal is to become a producer of gold through the exploration and development of its Cerro Maricunga project, located in Region III, 117 kilometres northeast of the city of Copiapo. Atacama also has interests in four other mineral properties within close proximity of Cerro Maricunga and a fifth property in Chile's Region I.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including predictions, projections and forecasts. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the timing of the prefeasibility study, statements regarding the expectation to increase mineral resources, statements regarding expectations for receipt of permits and environmental approvals, exploration results (including with respect to water resources), the success of exploration activities generally, mine development prospects, and potential 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, changes in economic parameters and assumptions, the interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; the results of regulatory and permitting processes; 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; the results of further economic and technical studies, 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.
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.