Almaden Minerals Ltd.
TSX : AMM
NYSE Amex : AAU

Almaden Minerals Ltd.

March 31, 2011 17:11 ET

Further Almaden Step-Out Drilling Expands Ixtaca Gold-Silver Zone and Intersects More High-Grade Intervals

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2011) - Almaden Minerals Ltd. ("Almaden" or "the Company") (TSX:AMM)(NYSE Amex:AAU) is pleased to announce that it has received results from holes TU-11-18 through 20 drilled on the Ixtaca zone of its 100% owned Tuligtic property. Holes TU-11-18 and TU-11-20 were drilled on a step-out section located 50 meters northeast from the last drilled section. Hole TU- 11-19 was drilled on the section with previously announced drill holes TU-11-11, TU-11-13 and TU-11-16. All three holes intersected broad zones of mineralisation comprised of numerous veins and veinlets as well as altered and veined dykes. All three holes also intersected high grade mineralisation within the broad zone of mineralisation. Holes TU-11-16 and TU-11-19 both intersected a strongly clay altered ash unit from surface from which there was poor core recovery. Limited sampling at the base of this unit returned anomalous gold and silver values and further sampling is necessary. In these two holes veining begins in the underlying limestone units although hole TU-11-19 is interpreted to have only intersected a portion of the Ixtaca vein zone.

Highlights from the current group of assays include the following intercepts:

Hole TU-11-18:

179.87 meters @ 0.40 g/t gold and 32.6 g/t silver (1.1 g/t gold equivalent)

including 80.16 meters @ 0.62 g/t gold and 44.4 g/t silver (1.5 g/t gold equivalent)
and 6.90 meters @ 2.11 g/t gold and 135.8 g/t silver (4.8 g/t gold equivalent)
and 0.97 meters @ 6.65 g/t gold and 348.5 g/t silver (13.6 g/t gold equivalent)

Hole TU-11-19:

125.50 meters @ 0.48 g/t gold and 39.9 g/t silver (1.3 g/t gold equivalent)

including 43.31 meters @ 0.91 g/t gold and 74.4 g/t silver (2.4 g/t gold equivalent)
and 0.70 meters @ 2.38 g/t gold and 642.2 g/t silver (15.2 g/t gold equivalent)
and 8.55 meters @ 3.04 g/t gold and 184.7 g/t silver (6.7 g/t gold equivalent)
and 4.79 meters @ 4.64 g/t gold and 273.1 g/t silver (10.1 g/t gold equivalent)
and 2.92 meters @ 3.45 g/t gold and 418.9 g/t silver (11.8 g/t gold equivalent)

Hole TU-11-20:

179.2 meters @ 0.55 g/t gold and 35.9 g/t silver (1.3 g/t gold equivalent)

including 78.46 meters @ 0.83 g/t gold and 55.3 g/t silver (1.9 g/t gold equivalent)
and 2.10 meters @ 3.20 g/t gold and 302.8 g/t silver (9.3 g/t gold equivalent)
and 2.89 meters @ 2.99 g/t gold and 276.7 g/t silver (8.5 g/t gold equivalent)

Below is a plan map, relevant sections and table of significant intervals which have also been posted to the Company's website (www.almadenminerals.com) along with complete tables of assays.

J.D. Poliquin, Chairman of Almaden commented, "Drilling to date on the Ixtaca zone shows good continuity of mineralisation in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. We are very pleased with these new results which further expand the known strike and vertical extent of the Ixtaca zone of veining. We now have three drills on site two of which will remain drilling the Ixtaca zone. The third drill will be used to test several additional targets located outside of the Ixtaca zone and thought to have the potential to host separate zones of veining." The Company anticipates drilling operations will continue throughout 2011.

Hole # From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Gold (g/t) Silver (g/t) Gold Eq (g/t) Silver Eq (g/t)
TU-11-18 85.00 264.87 179.87 0.40 32.6 1.1 53
includes 112.00 192.16 80.16 0.62 44.4 1.5 75
and 116.93 127.70 10.77 1.65 114.6 3.9 197
and 120.80 127.70 6.90 2.11 135.8 4.8 241
and 120.80 122.40 1.60 4.19 336.4 10.9 546
and 173.63 189.30 15.67 1.09 66.1 2.4 120
and 181.65 182.62 0.97 6.65 348.5 13.6 681
TU-11-19 203.40 328.90 125.50 0.48 39.9 1.3 64
includes 234.45 235.15 0.70 2.38 642.2 15.2 761
and 285.59 328.90 43.31 0.91 74.4 2.4 120
and 285.59 294.14 8.55 3.04 184.7 6.7 337
and 287.24 292.03 4.79 4.64 273.1 10.1 505
and 305.92 308.36 2.44 1.59 161.2 4.8 241
and 369.20 372.12 2.92 3.45 418.9 11.8 591
TU-11-20 119.43 298.63 179.20 0.55 35.9 1.3 63
includes 136.90 215.70 78.80 0.83 55.3 1.9 97
and 140.00 142.10 2.10 3.20 302.8 9.3 463
and 173.15 215.36 42.21 1.05 62.5 2.3 115
and 178.93 181.82 2.89 2.99 276.7 8.5 426
and 188.00 199.06 11.06 1.38 83.6 3.0 152
and 211.00 215.36 4.36 1.63 103.9 3.7 186
and 239.05 239.98 0.93 1.53 421.8 10.0 499

About the Ixtaca Property

The Ixtaca zone is a blind discovery made by the Company in 2010. The zone of veining is thought to have a north-easterly trend. Holes to date suggest that the zone is sub vertical with local variations. This interpretation suggests that true widths are approximately 60% of intersected widths. The drilling completed to date has traced mineralisation over more than 300 meters along this northeast trend. Based upon observations at surface and of core as drilling progresses, there seems to be a variety of veinlet orientations within the vein zone.

Registered professional geologist Jim Lunbeck, a qualified person ("QP") under the meaning of NI 43-101, is the QP and project manager of Almaden's 2011 Ixtaca program and reviewed the technical information in this news release. The analyses reported were carried out at ALS Chemex Laboratories of North Vancouver using industry standard analytical techniques. For gold, samples are first analysed by fire assay and atomic absorption spectroscopy ("AAS"). Samples that return values greater than 10 g/t gold using this technique are then re analysed by fire assay but with a gravimetric finish. Silver is first analysed by Inductively Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectroscopy ("ICP-AES"). Samples that return values greater than 100 g/t silver by ICP-AES are then re analysed by HF-HNO3-HCLO4 digestion with HCL leach and ICP-AES finish. Of these samples those that return silver values greater than 1,500 g/t are further analysed by fire assay with a gravimetric finish. Blanks, field duplicates and certified standards were inserted into the sample stream as part of Almaden's quality assurance and control program which complies with National Instrument 43-101 requirements. Gold equivalent ("AuEq" or "Gold Eq.") and silver equivalent ("AgEq" or "Silver Eq.") values were calculated using silver to gold ratios of 50 to 1. The ratio of 50 to 1 was used to be consistent with past news releases. Intervals that returned assays below detection were assigned zero values. Metallurgical recoveries and net smelter returns are assumed to be 100% for these calculations.

About Almaden

Almaden is a well-financed (no debt, approximately $C25 MM in working capital) mineral exploration company working in North America. The company has assembled mineral exploration projects, including Tuligtic, through its grass roots exploration efforts. While the properties are largely at early stages of development they represent exciting opportunities for the discovery of significant gold, silver and copper deposits as evidenced at Ixtaca. Currently six projects (Caldera, Caballo Blanco, Tropico, Nicoamen River, Matehuapil and Merit), are optioned to separate third parties who each have the right to acquire an interest in the respective project from Almaden through making certain payments and exploration expenditures. Four further projects are held in joint ventures. Almaden also holds a 2% NSR interest in 11 projects. Almaden's business model is to find and acquire mineral properties and develop them by seeking option agreements with others who can acquire an interest in a project by making payments and exploration expenditures. Through this means the company has been able to expose its shareholders to discovery and capital gain without the funding and consequent share dilution that would be required if the company were to have developed these projects without a partner. The company intends to expand this business model, described by some as prospect generation, by more aggressively exploring several of its projects including the Ixtaca Zone.

To view the maps associated with this press release, please click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/a331m.pdf

On Behalf of the Board of Directors

Morgan J. Poliquin, Ph.D., P.Eng., President, CEO and Director

Almaden Minerals Ltd.

Statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements as that term is defined in the private securities litigation reform act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from estimated results. Such risks and uncertainties are detailed in the Company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, certain information presented constitutes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Canadian securities laws. Such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, those with respect to potential expansion of mineralization, potential size of mineralized zone, and size and timing of exploration and development programs, estimated project capital and other project costs and the timing of submission and receipt and availability of regulatory approvals involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of Almaden to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to international operations and joint ventures, the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral resources, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, environmental risks and hazards, increased infrastructure and/or operating costs, labour and employment matters, and government regulation and permitting requirements as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Almaden's Annual Information form and Almaden's latest Form 40-F on file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Although Almaden has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Almaden disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required pursuant to applicable securities laws. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statement.

The Toronto Stock Exchange and NYSE AMEX have not reviewed nor accepted responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this news release which has been prepared by management.

Contact Information

  • Almaden Minerals Ltd.
    Morgan J. Poliquin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
    President, CEO and Director
    604.689.7644
    604.689.7645 (FAX)
    www.almadenminerals.com