Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : PEX

Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd.

March 02, 2011 09:00 ET

Pacific Ridge Plans $3.0 Million Exploration Program on the Mariposa Property, White Gold District

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:PEX) (the "Company") reports that preparations are well underway for its 2011 exploration programs in the Yukon. The main focus for the Company will be advancement of the Mariposa Property, in the White Gold District. A Phase 1 budget of $3.0 million is allocated for 4000 metres of diamond drilling, geophysical surveys, deep auger soil sampling, trenching and geological mapping. Contractors have been engaged for both drilling and helicopter support, and the company's technical team has been expanded.

With only 20% of the 19,000 hectare property explored during 2010, the results of 3000 soil samples collected on the Mariposa soil grid successfully identified six gold and multi-element anomalies. The largest of these targets, the 3500m long x 650m wide 'Skookum Jim' anomaly, remains open for expansion. As previously reported, the presence of gold within this geochemical anomaly has been confirmed with grab samples of rock returning up to 8.1 g/t gold and composite rock samples from trenches returning up to 1.25 g/t gold over 30 metres. Based on both the extent and tenor of these results, the Skookum Jim anomaly is a first priority drill target. 

Integrated exploration activities will include both detailed follow-up of gold-in-soil anomalies, as well as initial exploration reconnaissance of the entire property area. Field work will begin in early May, with the expansion of existing camp facilities to accommodate up to 25 exploration personnel. A combination of airborne and ground geophysical surveys will be conducted over the 2010 Mariposa soil grid. Within the White Gold district, magnetic surveys have proven useful for identification of geological structures, as prospective settings for gold mineralization. 

Anomalous gold and multi-element results from auger soil sampling may provide direct evidence of the presence of gold, which in this unglaciated district, can be hosted in the underlying bedrock. Infill auger soil sampling is planned to more fully define the extent of the additional five geochemical anomalies within the Mariposa grid. Trenching with a heli-portable backhoe will be conducted where results warrant. As well, reconnaissance soil sampling, prospecting and geological mapping will be directed to the yet-to-be explored 15,000-hectare portion of the Mariposa property. 

Planning is also underway for exploration on Pacific Ridge's additional properties of the South Klondike-White Gold district. Airborne geophysical surveying is proposed for the Eureka Property, as well as follow-up of 2009-2010 geochemical results on the Gold Cap and Polar Stewart Properties.

With the price of copper now in the $ 4.00/lb range, the company also plans to re-evaluate its Fyre Lake Kona copper-gold massive sulphide deposit, located in the southeastern Yukon. A historical (non NI 43-101 compliant) preliminary economic assessment completed in 1997 was based on a copper price of $1.00/lb. 

The Fyre Lake Property is located in the Finlayson District, which also hosts the Kudz Ze Kayah (Teck) and Wolverine (Yukon Zinc) massive sulphide deposits. From the results of diamond drilling conducted by Pacific Ridge during 1996-1997, the Company outlined a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource (2006) for the Kona Deposit, which remains open to expansion. In addition to this resource, there is further exploration potential on the property, where coincident magnetic and electromagnetic geophysical anomalies remain untested. 

ESTIMATED NI 43-101 COMPLIANT MINERAL RESOURCES for the KONA DEPOSIT (at a 1% copper cutoff)*
CATEGORY TONNAGE   COPPER   COBALT   GOLD
  (million tonnes ) % (percent ) % (percent ) grams/tonne
INDICATED 3.57   1.57   0.10   0.61
INFERRED 5.36   1.48   0.08   0.53
* J.D. Blanchflower, P.Geo., of Minorex Consulting Ltd. prepared the mineral resource estimate for the Kona Deposit, and is the Qualified Person for this purpose. Technical report dated January 17, 2006, is available on SEDAR.

The Company currently has 52.9 million shares issued and outstanding, which includes the recent exercise of approximately 629,143 share purchase warrants priced at $0.15. As at February 28, 2011, working capital was $ 4.8 million. 

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

John S. Brock, President

Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd.

Forward-Looking Information

This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. ("Pacific Ridge") expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Although Pacific Ridge believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Pacific Ridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. This news release uses the terms "inferred resource", "indicated resource" and "mineral resource". Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. (the "Company") advises investors that although these terms are recognized and required by Canadian securities regulations (under National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects"), the US Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize these terms. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. In addition, "inferred resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, or economic studies except for a Preliminary Assessment as defined under NI 43-101. Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable. Pacific Ridge's disclosure of a technical or scientific nature in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Janice Fingler, P.Geo., Vice President Exploration of Pacific Ridge, who serves as a Qualified Person under the definition of National Instrument 43-101.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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