VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 25, 2011) -Stronghold Metals Inc. ("Stronghold" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:Z) is pleased to provide the following update to its previously announced 2011 exploration program at the Eagle Mountain Gold Project ("Eagle Mountain") in Guyana and to announce significant additions to its management and exploration teams.
Diamond drilling at Eagle Mountain commenced in mid-April 2011.
The current planned program is for a minimum of 120 exploratory and in-fill drill holes of which 11 have been completed to date representing 1,549 meters out of the planned minimum of 15,000 meters.
The Company has entered into negotiations to place a second diamond drilling rig on the property in order to accelerate the program. This part of the program will utilize a man-portable rig, to allow access to the proposed drill locations in higher ground terrain.
Stronghold Guyana Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, incorporated in Guyana has now opened an office in Georgetown which is fully operational.
Stronghold Guyana Inc. now has 20 employees, including 5 permanent positions.
Ms. Anne Casselman, has been named Stronghold's Exploration and Country Manager in Guyana. Ms. Casselman was formerly with both Newmont and IAMGOLD as a senior geologist and has been working on the Eagle Mountain property for over 5 years.
Mr. Christopher Geoffrey Hampson, a long-standing Director of Stronghold, has agreed to assist the management team of the Company in a business development role.
The Company is currently in negotiations, exploring a potential secondary U.S. listing.
Drilling at Eagle Mountain
The first diamond drill rig is presently on site with a planned program of a minimum of 120 holes for a total of 15,000 meters with 11 holes and 1,549 meters already completed. An additional rig and crew is planned to commence work on the site within the next month. Core samples are being sent for assay as they are prepared, but no analytical results have been received by the Company to date.
The 2011 drilling program at Eagle Mountain has been designed to both increase the size of the gold resource on the property and to move significant part of that geological resource from an inferred to an indicated category. Utilizing previous drilling results from IAMGOLD and Cambior, as well as auger and hand sampling data, the majority of the planned holes have been selected such that the Company has data on a 50 meter grid in most areas, to allow it to quantify the continuity of the zones picked up by previous results.
In addition, several holes are planned on the three open sides of the existing resource in order to determine the extent of mineralization there.
The second planned rig will be a "man portable" rig. The terrain at Eagle Mountain is mountainous and access to all of the planned drill sites is challenging. The man portable rig will allow Stronghold to access these areas with the minimum environmental impact.
"There has been a lot of historical alluvial and elluvial gold extraction by local miners in the Eagle Mountain area," states Mr. Yannis Tsitos, Stronghold President and CEO. "We strongly believe that our current exploration program will complement the 29,000 meters of existing drilling done by IAMGOLD, Cambior and Golden Star in the past. Ultimately, this will help us to define the actual extent, behaviour and overall quality of the gold deposit. We have a very capable and experienced team on the ground in Guyana as led by Anne Casselman, in whom we have the greatest confidence."
The present drilling program is expected to last through the summer and part of the coming fall.
Establishment in Guyana
Stronghold Metals has established a wholly owned subsidiary in Guyana, Stronghold Guyana Inc, which is now fully staffed for the current program. Offices have been established in the capital city of Georgetown, where logistics and administration is conducted.
The Eagle Mountain camp is fully functioning and drilling is underway. All of the equipment and staff were a part of the IAMGOLD purchase of the Eagle Mountain purchase option.
Stronghold now has 5 full time employees in Guyana and 15 contract employees.
Important Additions to Exploration & Management Teams
Stronghold is pleased to announce that Ms. Anne Casselman has been appointed Exploration Manager as well as Country Manager in Guyana and that Mr. Kevin Pickett M. Sc. has been appointed Senior Geologist in Guyana. Mr. C. Geoffrey Hampson, a long standing Director of the Company has agreed to join the management team as a consultant in a Business Development and Corporate Finance role.
Ms. Casselman has extensive work experience throughout Guyana with various companies including IAMGOLD on the Omai Mine (past producer), Eagle Mountain and Fish Creek. She has worked in Canada for Zemex, Mineral Research Canada and the Ministry of Northern Development and mines and internationally as project manager & senior exploration geologist for Golden Star in Gabon and Mali as well as in South America (Surinam and French Guiana). She has worked on the Tabakota/Segnala mine, currently a mine for Avion, the Rosebel Mine, a recently opened 2 million oz gold property developed from exploration to final feasibility, as well as the Dorlin and Paul Isnard projects. Ms. Casselman was a consulting geologist with Newmont Gold on the Nassau project in Surinam during its mining permitting stage and she conducted gold exploration work in Canada in the Flin Flon and Kenora areas. Ms. Casselman has an honours Bachelor of Science Geology degree from Brock University and has over 30 years experience as a successful and well-respected geologist.
Mr. Pickett M. Sc. was previously the Senior Geologist at IAMGOLD, working on three drilling programs and the geological mapping at Eagle Mountain. He also ran the grass roots exploration at Fish Creek gold project in NW Guyana. He has also worked for ETK Inc on the Toroparu project in Guyana (Sandspring Resources Ltd.), running the grass roots exploration for gold outside of the main pit area. Mr. Pickett has also worked for over 2 years with Guyana Geology and Mines Commission conducting work on projects ranging from regional geochemical surveys to detailed geological investigations on several commodities from gold to iron. As a result, he maintains good relations with important contacts within the Guyanese Mines Commission. He has significant experience in the exploration of the saprolitic environment through his management of an exploration program in Sierra Leone for a British junior exploration company. Mr. Pickett obtained an M.Sc. Mining Geology from the Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall (UK), which included a Masters Thesis on the Makapa Gold deposit in Guyana. He has also obtained a Bachelors of Science Geology (Honours) from University of Liverpool (UK).
C. Geoffrey Hampson has been a Director of the Company since 2006. He is an experienced businessman who has founded and run more than 8 companies in his 35 year career. He was formerly the founder and CEO of Novocon International Inc., Peer 1 Network Inc., and Fibrox Technology Ltd. He was also the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Live Current Media Inc., Managing Director of Synthetic Industries Inc, Chairman of the Board of Pacific Rodera Energy Inc. and has sat on many public and private Company Boards of Directors. Mr. Hampson will assist and advise Mr. Tsitos, Stronghold's President and CEO as the Company focuses on the development of the mineral resource at Eagle Mountain.
Yannis Tsitos, Stronghold Metals CEO and President stated: "Stronghold has been fortunate to be able to attract the top people we have on our team, as is vitally important as we transition the Company to the next stage of development."
Potential Secondary US Listing
The Company has entered into negotiation with a US based, mid-sized broker–dealer to assist Stronghold in listing the Company's shares for trading on the OTCQX. This is a US trading facility for foreign companies where the listed companies are exempt from Sarbanes Oxley compliance while providing exposure of the Company to a greater US audience of investors.
The OTCQX market place is the premium tier of the US OTC market.
Investor focused companies use the quality controlled OTCQX platform to offer investors transparent trading, superior information and easy access through their regulated US broker-dealers.
The OTCQX marketplace serves both large cap foreign companies and US domestic growth companies through its service offerings. Stronghold qualifies under the OTCQX International designation which offers international companies a visible cross listing in the US on the premier tier of the OTC market, without the duplicative regulatory burdens of a traditional US exchange listing.
In 2009, 78 OTCQX securities traded a dollar volume of $10.2 Billion while 3,390 securities traded on FINRA's BB traded a dollar volume of $16.5 Billion. Investors are drawn to the transparency, disclosure and quality control which OTCQX provides.
The exploration program in Guyana is supervised by Stronghold's local Guyanese geological team, which is headed by Ms. Anne Casselman, Country Manager, and Mr. Paul McGuigan, a Director of the Company. Mr. Paul McGuigan, P. Geo., a Qualified Person under NI 43-101, has reviewed and verified the data disclosed in this news release.
On behalf of The Board of Directors of Stronghold Metals Inc.
Ioannis (Yannis) Tsitos, President, CEO & Director
This document contains certain forward looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, delays, and uncertainties not under the corporations control which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the corporation's to be materially different from the results, performance or expectation implied by these 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.