Pediment Exploration Ltd.

Pediment Exploration Ltd.

December 04, 2006 15:21 ET

Pediment and Inmet Mining to Explore for Copper-Gold Porphyries at Caborca

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 4, 2006) - Pediment Exploration Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:PEZ)(FWB:P5E) is pleased to announce it has signed an agreement with Inmet Mining that will allow Inmet to explore for copper gold porphyry deposits on Pediment's Caborca project. The agreement allows Pediment to continue to focus on project acquisition and development of its extensive gold and silver holdings while Inmet funds work towards the discovery of porphyry mineralization at Caborca. The Lista Blanca ridge area that Pediment recently completed an initial drill program on is excluded from the agreement. Pediment will be the initial operator of the project.

Project Background

During initial exploration of the Lista Blanca ridge and the surrounding area several indicators for nearby buried porphyries were noted by Pediment's VP Exploration, Mel Herdrick. Specifically, an area of linear hydrothermal breccia was discovered near the Lista Blanca zone which hosts copper mineralization in its matrix as well as nearby granodiorite porphyry dykes. Recon mapping revealed N60E oriented shears filled with tourmaline quartz veins, some with copper mineralization, located across the valley south of Pitiquito. These veins are within the granodiorite batholith of the region and are probably late phase. The orientation is consistent with the orientation of veins and dikes in much of the porphyry belt in Arizona. Pediment added the 14,000 ha "Pitalla 3" concession to cover areas to the east and south of Lista Blanca. On recording this concession, the Company discovered that BHP Minerals had recently staked approximately 650,000 ha from Caborca to the US border, presumably for porphyry exploration.

This summer, Pediment carried out a program of reconnaissance Induced Polarization surveys over the new concession. The surveys indicate two large chargeability anomalies under the valley floor to the east and south east of Lista Blanca ridge. Significantly, a local rancher with grazing land over the eastern anomaly reported that a well drilled in this area was unusable because the water was acidic and soured by copper. More recently, Pediment carried out first phase drilling at List Blanca ridge. Intrusive at Lista Blanca are a granodiorite series and the information obtained from the core drill holes shows that late dikes of granodiorite porphyry are intimately associated with all mineralized areas. Age of the intrusives at Ajo is about 65 million years; a similar age is assumed for the dikes found in drilling at Lista Blanca. A large breccia feature was identified, by drilling, to be a hydrothermal breccia having a direct association with the porphyry dikes within the breccia. Pediment feels these indications taken together have greatly upgraded the valley IP targets as potential copper porphyries.

The Caborca area is part of a known northwest trending porphyry belt stretching from the Fortuna de Cobre deposit south of Caborca to the Ajo deposit in southern Arizona. Ajo, 120 km northwest of Caborca, is the largest deposit in the belt at one billion tonnes grading 0.7% copper and 0.2 g/t gold. Local exposures of intrusive rock have been dated to the same Eocene period as the Cananea deposit and are analogous to those hosting the "Ajo" porphyry deposit.

The Agreement

Pediment has granted Inmet an option to earn up to 70% of the Caborca copper project in return for payments of $250,000 and exploration expenditures of $5,000,000 over four years. Inmet will complete due diligence within 60 days and, on notice, pay $50,000 and commit to $100,000 in exploration expenditures within six months. Pediment will be the initial operator for the project. Upon earning its 70% interest, a Joint Venture between Pediment and Inmet will be formed, with each party paying their pro rata share of ongoing expenses. Pediment may elect not to contribute and have its interest ultimately reduce to sliding scale copper and gold Net Smelter Return royalties. At current copper and gold prices the copper royalty would be 3% and the gold royalty 2%. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval.

Pediment and Inmet have agreed that the next stage of exploration at Caborca will be a pole-dipole IP survey that will be used to better define the reconnaissance IP targets and estimate depths of mineralization. A deposit like Ajo would have low total sulfide content with bornite and chalcopyrite as the principle copper sulfides and a surrounding pyrite zone. IP was designed to detect this type of mineralization. A moderate to strong anomaly would be expected for porphyry copper sulfide mineralization and its surrounding pyritic halo. The survey will be carried out by Durango Geophysical Operations once they have completed the IP survey now underway on Pediment's Baja Sur project. It is expected the survey will take place in January and will be followed by a drill program of approximately $250,000 to test the refined targets, if warranted, in year one.

Gary Freeman, Pediment's President and CEO, comments: "We're thrilled to be working with the experienced base metal development team at Inmet. This partnership allows us to accelerate work at Caborca while maintaining a high level of activity at our gold silver projects. We consider this agreement to be an endorsement of our early stage targeting by a group that is very well acquainted with this deposit class. Hopefully, the outcome will be a discovery that greatly benefits the shareholders of both companies."

About Pediment and Inmet

Inmet Mining Corp. (TSX:IMN) is a Canadian-based global mining company that produces copper, zinc and gold. Inmet owns and operates mining operations in Turkey, Finland and Canada and has interests in a mining operation in Papua New Guinea, a major development project in Spain and a pre-development project in Panama. Inmet will produce 80,000 tonnes of copper, 74,000 tonnes of zinc and over 200,000 ounces of gold in 2006.

Pediment Exploration is a well financed, aggressive exploration company with approximately $4 million of working capital, and a main focus on precious metals exploration in western Mexico. It currently has 10 fully owned projects. Pediment recently greatly expanded its pool of technical staff and consultants and is accelerating exploration on a number of projects. Results are expected shortly from drilling at the Caborca project and large scale geochemical surveys and geophysical surveys at the Baja Sur and trenching at the Daniel project.

On Behalf of the board

Gary Freeman, President and CEO


Contact Information

  • Pediment Exploration Ltd.
    Gary Freeman
    (604) 682-4418
    (604) 683-6557 (FAX)
    Skyline Investor Relations
    (604) 733-3356 or 1-866-433-3356