VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 3, 2012) - Avrupa Minerals Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:AVU) is pleased to announce that it has entered into the Alvalade Joint Venture agreement with Antofagasta Minerals S.A. ("Antofagasta Minerals" or "AMSA"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Antofagasta plc, to explore for copper-rich massive sulfide deposits in three contiguous exploration licenses covering approximately 1000 square kilometers located in Iberian Pyrite Belt District of southern Portugal. The three licenses held by Avrupa through its 90%-owned subsidiary MAEPA, Lda. are Canal Caveira, Alvalade, and Ferreira do Alentejo. There are several historic mining districts located within the joint venture area, most notably the Lousal District and the Canal Caveira Mine. The JV area covers three sub-parallel, potentially mineralized trends, one of which hosts the Neves Corvo Mine, operated by Lundin Mining, located approximately 40 km southeast of the JV, and another which hosts the Aljustrel Mine, operated by Portuguese company Martifer, located approximately 10 km southeast of the JV. Numerous entities have explored the Neves Corvo and Aljustrel trends in piecemeal fashion, but there is little evidence of systematic exploration over the entire joint venture area.
To view a map of the area, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/avu103i.jpg.
Paul W. Kuhn, CEO and President of Avrupa asserted that this is the second joint venture to be signed, covering Avrupa projects, further solidifying the Company's prospect generator business model and goal to be the leading prospect generator, primarily for base and precious metals, in Europe. He further stated, "We are looking forward to working with Antofagasta Minerals on the Alvalade Project and expect to systematically explore the JV area with the goal of discovering significant, mineable, massive sulfide mineralization within the project boundaries."
For the past six months, Avrupa and AMSA have been upgrading and compiling historic data, acquired from the Portuguese Geological Survey, from past exploration programs. This work has led to the identification of three initial target areas at Aldeia dos Elvas, Azinheira dos Barros, and Monte de Bela Vista. As the program continues during 2012, we expect to identify more areas within the joint venture for further exploration and drill targeting. Following is a brief review of the two first-pass target areas.
Aldeia dos Elvas
Detailed geological mapping assisted with identification of several panels of Devonian stratigraphy, separated and repeated by thrust faulting, that have potential to host massive sulfide mineralization. Rock chip sampling produced both anomalous copper and gold results, with visible copper mineralization noted in several locations. Review and re-logging of past core drilling indicated the sub-surface presence and continuity of proper target stratigraphy, along trends of regional gravity anomalies. Follow-up, detailed ground gravity measurements along traverses crossing the regional gravity anomalies support the drill targeting process. Further gravity readings along new traverses that extend the regional anomalism are currently underway. Results from this work will assist in planning of a drilling program that is scheduled to commence at the beginning of Q2 of 2012, after seasonal rains let up and allow for reasonable access to the target areas.
Azinheira dos Barros
At Azinheira, the window of the exposed target Devonian rock package that hosts massive sulfide mineralization throughout the Pyrite Belt lies on/adjacent to a subtle regional gravity anomaly. Reconnaissance-style geological mapping aided in the discovery of several old workings located near the original Azinheira quarry location where there is outcropping stockwork Fe-sulfide mineralization. As at Aldeia, there are multiple panels of the tectonically-modified target rock units present, and these are spatially associated with anomalous, historic copper and zinc soil geochemistry. Follow-up ground gravity measurements will be collected before the end of the year, with results expected early in 2012. With the completion of further, more-detailed geological mapping and sampling, we expect to plan for core drilling during Q2 of 2012.
Monte de Bela Vista
The Monte de Bela Vista target area was previously delineated by anomalous copper and zinc soil geochemistry performed by a number of companies in the 1980's. A single drill hole in the target area did not adequately test the 1800-meter long gravity anomaly at Monte de Bela Vista. Open-ended, 1100-meter long anomalous copper and zinc soil geochemistry lies on the flank of the gravity anomaly. Reconnaissance-style geological mapping is underway, and ground gravity traverses are planned for the first week of 2012. Interestingly, potential massive sulfide mineralization may occur at a lower stratigraphic level than is common throughout the rest of the Pyrite Belt. Further exploration work is planned in the new year, which will lead to drill targeting at Monte de Bela Vista.
The joint venture plans for an exploration budget, including up to 5000 meters of drilling at the three target areas listed above, and others, as delineated, in excess of US$ 2 million for 2012. Avrupa and AMSA technical people will develop a list of anomalous areas for further exploration follow-up work, with the anticipation of delineating more drill targets within the Alvalade JV boundaries.
As discussed in the AVU news release of June 6, 2011, concerning a Memorandum of Understanding with AMSA, the basic parts of the Alvalade Joint Venture are, as follows:
- The agreement will cover three Avrupa licenses (the "Property"): Alvalade, Canal Caveira, and Ferreira do Alentejo. Formerly operating Lousal and Caveira mines are located within the 1,000 square kilometer Property.
- AMSA committed US$ 300,000 over a 6-month period to complete an initial study of the Property, which included acquisition of all remaining historic data, re-logging of selected drill holes, systematic sampling, and integrated geological and geophysical interpretation of the targeted areas. This work has been essentially completed, and the results are described in the earlier paragraphs.
- Upon completion of the initial study and positive due diligence, Avrupa will grant to AMSA the option to acquire an undivided 51% of the Property, which can be exercised by AMSA funding or incurring expenditures of an additional US$ 4 million over three years.
- After exercise of the first option, AMSA will be granted a further option to acquire an additional 24% interest in the Property, for an aggregate 75% undivided interest, by completing and delivering a Feasibility Study on the Property to Avrupa within five years.
- Avrupa will operate the joint venture through the first option period.
Antofagasta plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE-100 Index, with interests also in transport and water distribution. Currently, Antofagasta plc activities are primarily concentrated in Chile where it owns and operates four copper mines: Los Pelambres, Esperanza, El Tesoro and Michilla. Total production in 2011 is expected to be 620,000-640,000 tonnes of copper, 10,600 tonnes of molybdenum and 200,000-215,000 ounces of gold. Antofagasta plc also has exploration, evaluation and/or feasibility programs in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.
Avrupa Minerals Ltd. is a growth-oriented junior exploration and development company focused on aggressive exploration, using a prospect generator model, for valuable mineral deposits in politically stable and prospective regions of Europe, including Portugal and Kosovo.
Avrupa has an exciting portfolio of exploration projects consisting of:
- Copper and Zinc in Portugal at Marateca and in the Alvalade JV project area located in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, where Europe's richest active copper mine is located;
- Tungsten and Gold in Portugal at the Covas JV project area;
- Precious metal and REE potential in the new Aljezur project area, south Portugal;
- Silver, Lead and Zinc in Kosovo at the Glavej, Kamenica, Selac, and Bajgora properties in the Trepça Mineral Belt of the Vardar Zone, historically, Europe's most productive district for lead and zinc;
For additional information visit our website at www.avrupaminerals.com.
On behalf of the Board,
Paul W. Kuhn, President & Director
This news release was prepared by Company management, who take full responsibility for its content. Paul W. Kuhn, President and CEO of Avrupa Minerals, a Licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Washington, USA, and a Registered Member of the Society of Mining Engineers, is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators. He has reviewed the technical disclosure in this release.
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.