Bravada Gold Corporation
TSX VENTURE : BVA
FRANKFURT : BRT

Bravada Gold Corporation

February 23, 2012 09:00 ET

Bravada Outlines 2012 Exploration and Development Plans

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2012) - Bravada Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:BVA)(FRANKFURT:BRT) ("Bravada") reported today its exploration and development plans for 2012. Bravada holds 21 gold and silver properties in Nevada and one gold property in Ontario.

Wind Mountain Gold/Silver Property
Wind Mountain, located in mining-friendly northwest Nevada, remains the major focus of the Company, and early in the second quarter Bravada Gold Corporation expects to attain another important milestone for its flagship property with receipt of an updated independent Resource estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA). Specific recommendations will be made in the PEA, which will be implemented starting in the second quarter of 2012. One of the possible scenarios to develop Wind Mountain is to initiate permitting for a Stage I mine plan that would exploit the portion of the resource currently drilled to Measured and Indicated categories. The Stage I permit would include sites for additional in-fill and delineation drilling to be conducted simultaneously with initial mining. The additional drilling would upgrade and expand Inferred resources into Measured and Indicated categories in order to include that mineralization in a Stage II mine plan, which would immediately follow Stage I mining.

In early 2010 Bravada commissioned an independent 43-101-compliant PEA of Wind Mountain based upon exploration and development work completed at the property to that time (see NR-05-10 dated April 13, 2010). The base-case scenario was positive using a gold price of $850 and a silver price of $14.50 (3-year trailing average prices at the time), and sensitivity analyses showed a strong positive economic response to moderate increases in gold and silver prices. Note that Canadian NI 43-101 guidelines define a PEA as follows: "A preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature and it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied that would enable them to be classified as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realized."

An important reason for doing a PEA early in the evaluation of a project is to determine what additional exploration and development work could significantly improve the economics of a deposit. Bravada identified five potentially significant improvements at Wind Mountain based on the 2010 PEA, which were the focus of our 2011 program. The results generated by the 2011 program were very encouraging, as summarized below, and led to the decision to commission an independent update to the resource and PEA that is currently underway.

  1. Additional shallow oxide resources are likely to be discovered - Drilling during 2011 identified several areas of shallow oxide gold/silver mineralization, which now include the North Hill target, the North Breeze Pit target, the South Wind Pit target and the South End target. Other significant exploration targets were identified, which remain to be tested by drilling.
  2. Higher grade "feeder" zones within the existing resource are probably more continuous than modelled in the 2007 resource due to limited drilling at that time - Drilling during 2011 intersected several extensions of higher-grade gold/silver mineralization along mapped and postulated "feeder" zones, demonstrating continuity of better grades along several of these zones.
  3. Historic "waste dumps" contain resource-level gold and silver grades - Drilling during 2011 and earlier confirms that most of those dumps contain grades of gold and silver above currently anticipated cut-off grades. Some of the dumps would have been moved as waste in the 2010 PEA; thus, processing the dumps would reduce the strip ratio while adding ounces to the resource.
  4. Historic heap-leach piles contain residual gold and silver, which may be economic to re-process - Unfortunately, we were not able to drill through the loose heap material with the drill rig we had available; however, large-size samples were collected with an excavator to a depth of about 5 meters. Metallurgical studies on that material indicate that past leaching recovered very little gold and silver from the larger size fractions, but further work is necessary to determine the residual grade of the heap material and if crushing and re-leaching would be economic.
  5. Crushing might improve economics relative to the previously used run-of-mine method of processing - Silver recovery was particularly poor during the mostly run-of-mine historic operation, and our metallurgical work indicates that higher recovery does occur with crushing. Metallurgical testing is nearly complete that will determine how much additional recovery is possible with various degrees of crushing so that a cost-benefit analysis can be made.

Of course the project also benefits from increased prices of gold and silver since the 2010 PEA was completed.

Geologic understanding of the Wind Mountain deposit also has advanced, with recent mapping and age dating at Wind Mountain demonstrating that it is very similar to Allied Nevada's Hycroft gold/silver deposit. Allied Nevada has greatly increased the size of the Hycroft deposit during the past few years, largely due to increases in sulphide mineralization. Hycroft's oxide mineralization is currently being mined and heap leached, and it is similar in grade to mineralization at Wind Mountain. Allied Nevada's recent news release stated their 2011 production figures as 104,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 0.490g/t and 479,440 ounces of silver at a grade of 8.7g/t, with a cash cost of $490 per ounce of gold after taking a credit for by-product silver (see Allied Nevada news release dated January 25, 2012).

In addition to Bravada's exploration and development programs, US Geothermal plans to drill five deep holes, each approximately 600m deep, to the west of Bravada's Wind Mountain resources. BVA will receive a split of the samples for study and assay as part of a data-sharing agreement with US Geothermal. Valuable stratigraphic and geochemical data will be obtained from these holes, which should assist with deep exploration targeting beneath Bravada's existing resources. The timing of this program is uncertain, but drilling is expected to begin during the late spring or summer of 2012.

Other Properties
In addition to our work at Wind Mountain during the past year, we have advanced several of Bravada's other 22 mineral properties. The past-producing Quito property now has a comprehensive computer database, and our 3D modelling has identified several exciting exploration targets; the most promising will be drill tested during the summer of 2012.

Exploration work was completed on several other projects, with emphasis on the Company's Granite Mountain, NSR, and Colorback gold properties within the prolific Cortez district. Recently the continued high level of exploration success in the Cortez district has been demonstrated by Barrick Gold, which announced on February 16, 2012 a doubling of its resource to 1.3 million ounces of Indicated and 5.7 million of Inferred at its Red Hill and Gold Rush deposits compared to its September 6, 2011 resource.

We have also had success in bringing in partners for those properties where we currently are not concentrating our exploration efforts, including the Zebra, Shoshone Pediment, and Signal properties. There is renewed interest in Nevada exploration properties by both majors and juniors at this time, and we expect to be able to announce additional partnerships early in 2012 to continue exploration and development work on these properties.

Terra Rossa, a British Columbia private company, is earning an interest in Bravada's Signal property (see NR-11-11 dated July 28, 2011), which is located in the northwest portion of the Eureka Mining district. Terra Rossa has added to the land position, which now totals 129 lode claims, and has identified attractive exploration targets by detailed geologic mapping, a ground magnetics survey, and rock-chip and soil sampling. Terra Rossa is in the process of permitting a 6 to 8 core-hole program (2,500m total) to test targets to depths of 500m below surface. Drilling is expected to begin during April, 2012.

Baker Hughes optioned barite rights for Bravada's Shoshone Pediment property (see NR-08-09 dated April 16, 2009), located along the Battle Mountain-Eureka Gold trend. During 2012 Baker Hughes plans to conduct delineation drilling of the barite deposit that is exposed at surface on the property. Bravada will receive a split of the drill samples for study and assay. Bravada retains the rights to all other metals, and anomalous gold and pathfinder geochemistry is widespread in generally unfavourable Upper Plate rocks exposed at surface. Assays obtained from sample splits of an Upper Plate carbonate horizon that directly underlies the barite deposit may provide a vector to structures that may host mineralization in more favourable Lower Plate rocks at depth. Specific timing for the delineation drilling is uncertain at this time.

Gunpoint Exploration (formerly Christopher James) and Bravada are jointly exploring the Zebra property (see NR-07-09), which is located in the Northern Nevada Rift Gold trend. The property is located west of Newmont's Midas mine and north and east of two active exploration projects held by others; Clover and Jake's Creek, respectively. A minimum exploration program is planned at Zebra, since both companies have higher priorities in 2012.

About Bravada Gold Corporation
Bravada Gold Corporation is a member of the Manex Resource Group of companies with an exploration office in Reno, Nevada from which it is exploring its extensive Carlin-type and low-sulfidation-type gold holdings, which are strategically located within the numerous productive gold trends in Nevada. Bravada is self funding its Wind Mountain property towards near-term production, and is advancing its other properties with a combination of self funding and partner funding. Bravada also holds the Drayton Archean gold property in Ontario. Currently three of Bravada's 21 Nevada properties are being funded by partners. Bravo Gold Corp. (BVG.V) owns 9.76% of Bravada's 114,264,282 outstanding common shares.

About Wind Mountain
The past-producing Wind Mountain gold/silver project is located approximately 160km northeast of Reno in a sparsely populated region with excellent logistics, including county-maintained road access and a power line to the property. AMAX Gold/Kinross Gold recovered nearly 300,000 ounces of gold and over 1,700,000 ounces of silver between 1989 and 1999 from two small open pits and a heap-leach operation (data based on Kinross Gold files). Rio Fortuna Exploration (U.S.) Inc., a wholly owned US subsidiary of Bravada Gold Corporation, acquired 100% of the property via an earn-in agreement with Agnico-Eagle (USA) Limited, a subsidiary of Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, which retains a 2% NSR royalty interest, of which 1% can be purchased for $1,000,000 at any time prior to production. In early 2010, Rio Fortuna received a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (1) based on a gold price of US$850 per ounce with a credit for silver at a price of $14.50 per ounce (See News Release NR-05-10, dated April 13, 2010).

During 2011, Bravada completed 50 drill holes at Wind Mountain with the primary goal of expanding near-surface oxide gold/silver mineralization. This program successfully discovered extensions of known mineralization and new areas of shallow oxide mineralization, as well as further defining higher-grade areas within the 2007 resource. Prompted by this success, an update to the Wind Mountain resource and Preliminary Economic Assessment is currently underway, with completion anticipated during the first quarter of 2012. In addition, metallurgical studies were conducted and are near completion. Biological and archaeological studies that will be necessary for mine permitting were also completed during 2011.

(1)Note that Canadian NI 43-101 guidelines define a PEA as follows: "A preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature and it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied that would enable them to be classified as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realized."

Deborah H. Schneider, AIPG Certified Professional Geologist #11098, is the Qualified Person responsible for reviewing the technical results in this release.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bravada Gold Corporation

Joseph A. Kizis Jr., President and Director, Bravada Gold Corporation

This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. These statements are based on a number of assumptions, including, but not limited to, assumptions regarding general economic conditions, interest rates, commodity markets, regulatory and governmental approvals for Bravada's projects, and the availability of financing for Bravada's development projects on reasonable terms. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, the timing and receipt of government and regulatory approvals, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. Bravada does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.

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.

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