High River Gold Mines Ltd.
TSX : HRG

High River Gold Mines Ltd.

November 10, 2005 16:06 ET

High River Gold Reports Significant Gold Mineralization On The Bissa Group Permits In Burkina Faso

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2005) - High River Gold Mines Ltd. (TSX:HRG) ("High River" or the "Company") reports today on the positive results of compilation work carried out by Mercator Geological Services Limited ("Mercator") and data review interpretation by A.C.A. Howe International Ltd. ("ACA Howe") on the 1,000 sq km Bissa group permits, which include the prospective Bissa-Gonglou corridor where High River is currently conducting an extensive drilling programme with the objective of defining a significant gold deposit. Results of this programme will be released over the next few months, with a new resource estimate by the end of the first quarter of 2006.

In addition to the prospective Bissa area located on the Sabce shear zone, the compilation work outlined five other major areas of gold mineralization in the Bissa group permits that are targeted as priority areas for further exploration work. Review, modeling and interpretation of the available data by ACA Howe concluded that these areas, including the 6.7 km Bissa-Gonglou corridor, offer potential for development of large gold mineralized systems.

The Bissa group permits are underlain by volcano-sedimentary rocks on the northeast edge of the Boromo greenstone belt, part of the prolific lower Proterozoic Birimian greenstone belts of the West African craton. The five additional target areas include Gonglou, Bouly, Liliga, Gougre and Rofo-Lessa, all located on major shear structures that are either parallel to the northeasterly trending Sabce shear zone or on northerly trending shear structures (refer to Figure 1 at end of press release; detailed maps of each area are shown on High River's website at www.hrg.ca on the home page under Qwik Access). The review and interpretation of all the available data on these gold occurrences by the Company and ACA Howe indicate the potential for the Bissa permits to host multi-million ounce deposits and develop into a significant gold mining district. A brief description of each prospective area follows.

The compilation work included all the available historical and recent exploration work that was completed on the Bissa group permits. It should be noted that most of the data was retrievable and verified either by review of reports or site visits. Most of the work was carried out by the Sanmatenga Joint Venture ("SJV"), which was initiated by Randgold Resources Ltd ("Randgold") in 1993 and included Newmont Overseas Exploration in 1994-95 ("Newmont"), North Ltd. ("North") from 1995 to 2000, and Delta Gold Ltd. ("Delta") in 2001. In 2004, Jilbey Gold Exploration Ltd. ("Jilbey") focused its exploration activities mainly on the previously outlined Bissa Hill gold deposit with further work continuing along the strike extension of the deposit (Bissa-Gonglou corridor). With High River having a 29% equity position in Jilbey, the companies merged in September 2005.

Gonglou Area

The Gonglou target is located five km southwest of the Bissa Hill deposit along the Sabce shear zone, near the intersection with the northerly trending Yilou shear zone. The Gonglou site has been mined by artisanal miners. Exploration work from 2000 to 2001 included regional and detailed soil sampling, rock chip sampling, trenching (ZGT1-3; 292 m) and two fences of RAB drilling (ZKR 1-90). The trenching returned anomalous gold values along the entire length of the trenches. The RAB drilling, which was carried out by Randgold and Delta on two fences spaced 1 km apart, intersected several encouraging gold values in two zones in one of the fence lines.

In 2004, Jilbey excavated a 340 m trench (5645.5E), which outlined two zones of low-grade gold mineralization ( less than 2 g/t), and completed 197 RAB holes (ZBB series; 8,119 m) and 8 RC holes totaling 698 m. The RAB and RC drilling outlined four significant sub-parallel zones of gold mineralization extending from 50 m to 1 km. The best zone returned high-grade gold intercepts of 7 m at 5.84 g/t (RC ZBR-063), 6 m at 9.93 g/t (RAB ZBB-536) and 8 m at 8.34 g/t (RAB ZBB-713), and possibly extends to the zone encountered in trench 5645.5E. The second zone, located 220 m south of the first returned 8 m at 5.86 g/t in RAB ZBB-581C; the third zone cut 210 m further to the south intersected 16 m at 1.54 g/t (RAB ZBB-588), 13 m at 1.45 g/t (RC ZBR-065), 12 m at 2.87 g/t (RC ZBR-067), and 15 m at 1.46 g/t (RC ZBR-069); and the fourth zone located 60 m further south yielded 4 m at 7.09 g/t in RAB ZBB-744.



Gonglou Highlights

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Hole No. From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Gold (g/t)
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RAB ZKR20 4 8 4 4.74
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RAB ZKR26 0 10 10 1.66
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RAB ZKR29 0 8 8 2.25
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RAB ZKR61 26 34 8 2.25
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RAB ZKR68 23 34 11 2.26
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RAB ZBB-536 24 30 6 9.93
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RAB ZBB-581C 38 46 8 5.86
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RAB ZBB-588 6 22 16 1.54
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RAB ZBB-713 36 44 8 8.34
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RAB ZBB-716 20 34 14 1.97
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RAB ZBB-720 4 18 14 1.00
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26 38 12 2.74
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RAB ZBB-726 4 18 14 0.96
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26 38 12 1.82
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RAB ZBB-744 36 40 4 7.09
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RC ZBR-063 21 28 7 5.84
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Including 24 28 4 10.07
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RC ZBR-065 36 49 13 1.45
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RC ZBR-067 33 45 12 2.87
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RC ZBR-068 35 75 40 0.87
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RC ZBR-069 1 16 15 1.46
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Bouly Area

The Bouly target is located approximately 10 km southeast of Bissa Hill adjacent to the Liliga shear zone on a north-northeast trending structure. Previous work by Randgold and North between 1995 and 1997 included 152 RAB holes (LIR series; 10,964 m), four trenches and three diamond drill holes (304 m). The RAB drilling outlined an extensive northeast-trending copper anomaly (greater than 500 ppm), coinciding with a strong gold in soil anomaly (greater than 500 ppb), covering an area of 800 m by 200 m. The subsequent three core holes drilled perpendicular to the strike of the anomaly at 100 meter intervals intersected wide zones of low-grade gold mineralization (0.4 to 0.5 g/t) over their entire lengths, but unfortunately were not analyzed for copper. The RAB fences drilled above these diamond drill holes had returned similar gold values. From 1997 to 2004, no further work was conducted on this promising target.

In 2004, Jilbey drilled diamond drill hole NT04-01 to confirm the intersection of 63 m at 1.68 g/t gold and 18 m at 0.23% copper in RAB hole LIR-857 (72 m). NT04-01 returned 30.6 m averaging 2.5 g/t gold from 39.4 m and 41 m averaging 0.21% copper from 56 m in a hydrothermal breccia composed of altered, porphyritic mafic volcanic rocks. The hole is located approximately 50 m southwest of BODH2, which had returned 250 m at 0.4 g/t Au (not assayed for copper). The two 10 m trenches (TRA-B) excavated by Jilbey, approximately 900 m northeast of NT04-01, returned anomalous gold values from quartz veins.

The interpretation of the data compiled to date indicates the potential for porphyry-type gold-copper mineralization at Bouly. Widespread gold mineralization associated with significant copper values (where analyzed for copper) in association with a hydrothermal breccia may be indicative of a large mineralized system controlled by a buried intrusive body. The airborne geophysical data indicate a lobate anomalous magnetic response which seems to support this interpretation. No intrusive rocks have been encountered to date within the mineralized area, indicating a potentially significant volume for mineralization in the direction of the likely gold-copper source.



Bouly Highlights

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Hole No. From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Gold (g/t) Cu (%)
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RAB LIR-315 39 45 6 5.66
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RAB LIR-851 66 75 9 1.78
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RAB LIR-857 9 72 63 1.68 -
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Including 48 69 21 3.95 -
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Including 54 72 18 0.23
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DDH BODH1 0 329 329 0.54 Not assayed
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Including 200 239 39 1.03
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DDH BODH2 0 250 250 0.40 Not assayed
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Including 137 148 11 1.15
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DDH BODH3 0 290 290 0.45 Not assayed
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DDH NT04-01 39.4 70 30.6 2.50
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56 97 41 0.21
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Liliga Area

The Liliga target is located approximately 10 km south-southeast of the Bissa Hill gold deposit on the Liliga deformation corridor, at the northwest edge of a strong northeasterly trending magnetic anomaly. Liliga was one of the first targets investigated by the SJV. From 1994 to 1996, work carried out included soil sampling (200 m x 100 m grid; 50 m x 50 m grid), a ground magnetic survey, trenching, and RAB, RC and diamond drilling. Eight trenches (LIT1-8; 2,040 m) were excavated with the best zone in trench LIT1/2 yielding 55 m at 2.7 g/t gold. Randgold and North drilled 10 diamond drill holes (3,058 m) on five sections at 100 m to 160 m intervals along the shear zone. The best drill intersection yielded 36 m grading 4.27 g/t gold in core hole LDH-2. The RAB drilling (127 holes) that followed was carried out initially on a 400 m by 400 m grid with additional infill to 50 m defining two northeast-trending mineralized zones. Encouraged by these results, follow-up work by Jilbey in 2004 included one trench (818N; 235 m) positioned to reproduce the results of trench LIT1/2. Two significant gold mineralized sections of 31.8 m averaging 4.06 g/t (East Zone) and 11.5m averaging 13.04 g/t (West Zone) were intersected, these being associated with silicified metavolcanics and quartz veinlets. Two RC holes tested the two main mineralized zones encountered in the trench, with hole BLR-001 returning 12 m at 1.43 g/t gold and 10 m at 2.02 gold from the East Zone, and hole BLR-002 intersecting 2 m at 1.04 g/t gold and 1 m at 2.06 g/t gold from the West Zone. Jilbey also carried out an Induced Polarization (IP) test survey over a 1 sq km area of the prospect. Results show that the East Zone appears to coincide with a north-northeast trending chargeable structure, but more drilling will be required to confirm this interpretation.

Gold mineralization associated with altered felsic volcanic rocks occurs at numerous locations along several km of the northeast trending Liliga deformation corridor. In both the trenches and RC holes referred to above, the best assay results were associated with pervasive pyrite mineralization in broad zones of silicified felsic and mafic volcanics. If the geophysical interpretation is confirmed, the gold potential of the Liliga trend is considered excellent, as the regional soil anomaly extends for over a 10 km strike length.

High River plans to complete geological mapping and prospecting at a scale of 1:5,000, soil sampling on a 100 m by 100 m grid and an IP survey over the Liliga-Bouly area (8 km x 5 km) before the end of the year in order to orient a drilling programme for early 2006.



Liliga Highlights

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Hole No. From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Gold (g/t)
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Trench LIT1/2 106 161 55 2.7
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Trench LIT4 216 231 15 2.9
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Trench 818N 28.2 60 31.8 4.06
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144 155.5 11.5 13.04
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DDH LDH2 8 44 36 4.27 (uncut);
2.84 (cut at 34g)
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Including 23 37 14 9.6 (uncut);
6.0 (cut at 34g)
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97 115 18 1.03
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141 146 5 6.83
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DDH LDH3 62 68 6 1.7
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DDH LDH6 39 46 7 1.8
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DDH LDH7 47 49 2 3.05
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211 238 27 1.17
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DDH LDH8 117 125 8 1.2
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DDH LDH9 131.7 171.5 39.8 1.32
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RC BLR-001 6 18 12 1.43
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22 32 10 2.02
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69 74 5 2.05
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81 91 10 1.38
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Gougre Area

The Gougre prospect is located 12 kilometres southwest of the Bissa Hill deposit, along the north-northeast Yilou shear zone, which splays off the Sabce shear zone. The gold occurrence is exposed in several areas around a low v-shaped hill facing east. To the north, the outcropping area exposes strongly foliated mafic volcanics, trending east-northeast, with abundant parallel deformed quartz veins and laminated silica alteration zones. The southern part is characterized by brecciated volcanics with intense quartz vein stockwork, trending predominantly west-northwest.

The area was initially targeted from regional soil sampling conducted by Randgold and North in 1996-97. From 2000 to 2002, additional soil sampling, rock chip sampling, ground magnetics surveying (63.5 line km), and RC (19 holes; 980 m) and diamond drilling (3 holes; 512.4 m) were carried out on the property. The extensive rock chip sampling (greater than 425 samples conducted over regular grid patterns) defined a 100 m by 100 m high-grade gold mineralized zone associated with highly silicified brecciated volcanics containing millimetric to centrimetric quartz-pyrite veinlets. Follow-up RC drilling intersected significant results in four holes, under the anomalous rock chip results, over a strike length of 200 m. Three diamond drill holes followed (ZKD1-3; 512.45 m), with the first two at a spacing of 70 m testing the possible depth extension of the high-grade mineralization encountered on surface, and the third hole testing a magnetic anomaly at depth. Hole ZKD2 returned 6 m grading 3.68 g/t gold from surface in saprolite. The other gold mineralized zones encountered in the core holes were thin and carried values of less than 3 g/t.

In 2004, Jilbey drilled one diamond drill hole GG04-01 (72 m) to duplicate the earlier gold intersection of 15 m grading 4.64 g/t in RC hole ZKC6 and intersected 16.35 m grading 4.13 g/t from 14.65 m. Jilbey also excavated three 60 m trenches: TR-A and TR-B, located 100 m southeast of GG04-01 and excavated at right angles to each other, intersected 11.8 m at 3.42 g/t gold and 5.1 m at 1.93 g/t gold, respectively, and TR-C, located above Jilbey's diamond drill hole, encountered 2 m at 1.48 g/t gold.

The geological interpretation of the Gougre occurrence is that it represents a large northwest-trending dilational zone bounded by northeast-trending, right lateral faults. This interpretation may explain why the previous drilling failed to encounter the high-grade mineralization exposed in outcrops. Only a small portion of the dilational zone was tested and the prospect warrants additional drilling.



Gougre Highlights

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Hole No. From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Gold (g/t)
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RC ZKC6 7 22 15 4.64
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RC ZKC8 41 49 8 4.62
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RC ZKC9 0 19 19 5.64
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RC ZKC10 0 14 14 2.48
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23 28 5 2.30
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DDH ZKD2 0 6 6 3.68
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Trench TR-A 0.4 20 19.6 2.17
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Including 0.4 12.2 11.8 3.42
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Trench TR-B 8.3 13.4 5.1 1.93
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DDH GG04-01 14.65 31 16.35 4.13
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Rofo-Lessa Area

The Rofo-Lessa target is located 10 km east-southeast of the Bissa Hill deposit. From 1995 to 1997, Randgold and North conducted airborne and ground magnetic surveys, soil sampling (200 m x 100 m grid), rock chip sampling, trenching, and RAB and diamond drilling. Two zones of gold mineralization were identified, Rofo to the north and Lessa to the south, along a 3.5 km trend.

Three phases of RAB drilling were completed over the Rofo-Lessa area for a total of 159 holes. The first phase (73 vertical holes) at a 400 m by 400 m spacing returned anomalous gold values. The second phase (51 vertical holes) carried out over a north-south trend on a 200 m by 100 m grid returned mixed gold results. The third phase (35 inclined RAB holes) was completed on short N310 degrees fences testing a significant anomalous area obtained from the second phase drilling. The RAB drilling and soil geochemical surveys defined several sub-parallel north-south trending mineralized structures.

At Lessa, gold grades up to 19.4 g/t were returned from rock chip samples taken east-northeast of the village of Lessa. The northeast-southwest rock chip gold anomaly defined is constrained to metasediments and volcaniclastics in an area that is wedged between an intrusive and volcanics. Gold intersections of 17 m at 0.6 g/t and 32 m at 0.46 g/t (including 7 m at 1.03 g/t) were returned from trench LET8 positioned on the gold occurrence. Gold intersections from RAB drilling cover an area 500 m by 500 m and coincide with the best rock chip sampling results.

At Rofo, two sub-parallel north-south trending mineralized zones have been defined by RAB drilling and trenching. From the three sub-parallel trenches (455 m) excavated, trench RT1 and RT2 returned the best intercepts with 43 m averaging 6.9 g/t gold and 37 m averaging 1.44 g/t gold, respectively. Trench RT1 was positioned at the center of the Rofo soil anomaly and intersected a 50 m shear zone. The shear zones intersected in trenches RT2 and RT3 were not as strong. One of two diamond drill holes intersected a high-grade, sub-horizontal quartz vein assaying 2 m at 40 g/t gold. The Rofo area is characterized by folded (flexured) northeast-southwest trending stratigraphy truncated by a major north-south structure.



Rofo-Lessa Highlights

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Hole No. From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Gold (g/t)
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Lessa
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RAB LER6 3 15 12 1.05
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RAB LER7 9 15 6 1.10
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RAB LER15 33 42 9 2.21
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RAB LER26 9 12 3 5.50
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RAB LER28 3 9 6 1.33
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RAB LIR627 0 12 12 1.32
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RAB LIR635 0 2 2 8.75
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Trench LET8 258 265 7 1.03
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Rofo
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RAB LIR277 3 33 30 2.14
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RAB LIR657 63 67 4 9.28
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RAB LIR666 54 57 3 12.06
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DDH RDH2 0 25 25 3.64
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Including 1 2 1 32.8
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Including 2 3 1 48.02
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Trench RT1 22 65 43 6.90
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Trench RT2 57 94 37 1.44
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Mr. Michael Cullen, P.Geo., Senior Geologist with Mercator Geological Services Limited, is the Qualified Person, as defined under National Instrument 43-101, responsible for the technical disclosure in this press release. Mr. James Hogg, P.Geo, Project Geologist at A.C.A. Howe International has reviewed the contents of this press release.

For the exploration work conducted by Jilbey, all samples were analyzed by Abilab West Africa S.A.R.L. in Bakamo, Mali, an internationally recognized laboratory.

Current Exploration at Bissa

High River has already started a US $2.4 million drilling programme at the Bissa project. A combination of core, reverse circulation (RC) and rotary air blast (RAB) drilling for a total of approximately 34,000 meters will be testing the southwest extension of the Bissa Hill deposit, extension of the Bissa Southwest zone and other targets within the Bissa-Gonglou corridor along the Sabce shear zone. The objective of this drilling programme is to provide the information required to calculate a new resource estimate for the Bissa property by early 2006 and build enough resources to support a mining operation.

About High River

High River is currently constructing two open pit gold mines which are scheduled to commence production next year, the Taparko-Bouroum Project in Burkina Faso and the Berezitovy Project in Russia. Annual gold production from Taparko-Bouroum is planned at 100,000 ounces in year one increasing to over 140,000 ounces in the third year of operation, with annual production from Berezitovy of 100,000 ounces. Combined with gold production from High River's 84%-owned Russian subsidiary, OJSC Buryatzoloto, High River's attributable annual gold production is planned to exceed 300,000 ounces by 2007, establishing the Company as a mid-tier gold producer.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations. These forward-looking statements entail various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected. Risk and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Management's Discussion and Analysis published in the Company's Annual Report and in the Annual Information Form.

NOTE: A Locataion map of the five property targets areas identified from the compilation work can be found on CCNMatthews' website at: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/bissahill.pdf


Contact Information

  • High River Gold Mines Ltd.
    Don Whalen
    Executive Chairman
    (416) 947 1440
    (416) 360 0010 (FAX)
    or
    High River Gold Mines Ltd.
    Laurie Gaborit
    VP Investor Relations & Corporate Secretary
    (416) 947 1440
    (416) 360 0010 (FAX)
    info@hrg.ca
    www.hrg.ca