VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 28, 2013) - Jack McClintock, President and CEO of Savant Explorations Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:SVT) ("Savant") provides the following outlook for 2013 and overview of the Company's main assets.
Early in 2012, Savant's Board recognized the downturn in the junior resource market that began in 2011 was likely to continue through 2012 and took significant steps to ensure Savant would survive a prolonged market correction. The Quebec optioned properties, which had high carrying costs, were returned to their owners. Overhead was reduced and project expenditures were trimmed to the essential holding costs. As a result of the Board's action, Savant entered 2013 with a good capital structure, working capital of about $800,000 (including $500,000 cash and an expected $297,000 tax refund from the Province of Quebec) and no debt.
Savant's current properties and assets are 100% owned with combined annual holding costs of approximately $30,000. Savant has a partner funding one of these properties, the wholly owned Yuby Gabriela copper property in Chile - the next option payment of US$500,000 is due to Savant at the end of April. To date the Company has received option payments totaling $530,000.
With a quarterly burn rate of only $65,000, Savant has the financial resources to continue through 2014 without need for additional financing if markets remain weak.
There are signs that global markets are recovering with renewed growth in China, a stronger housing market in the U.S. and some stability in the European Union. Base and Precious metal prices remain strong and input costs for major mining projects are beginning to decline; this sets the stage for a recovery in the junior resource markets.
Management believes the current market presents a rare opportunity for solid companies to acquire undervalued assets from distressed junior companies or build property positions in prospective "brownfield" districts. Savant is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity with a strong management, technical and business team, sufficient cash resources and a sound corporate and share structure.
Savant's management is currently undertaking a focused, but low cost effort, to identify, review and assess high quality exploration and resource assets in favourable jurisdictions that have the ability to add value to the company and provide a springboard for future growth. The main objective over the next few months will be to diligently work through the review process and identify a new flagship project that can be acquired and financed as markets recover.
In addition to the Yuby Gabriela property in Chile, the company has two other high-quality properties, Blue Moon and Yava, that management will be seeking to monetize over the coming year through value-added option-joint venture deals or other business arrangements that bring maximum value to Savant and its shareholders while retaining exposure to the future upside.
To achieve the Company's objectives, Savant strengthened its Board with the addition of Mr. Michael Casselman in May, 2012. Mr. Casselman has over 40 years of Canadian and international mineral industry experience, including 32 years with Cominco Ltd. and Teck Resources, and 9 years with Candente Copper Corp., where he is currently a technical advisor for Candente Copper Corp. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master's of Science from Carleton University. Late in 2012, Savant also retained Ken Leigh as an Advisor to assist in developing and marketing the strategic plan, screening asset opportunities and assisting with disposition efforts of Savant's current assets. Mr. Leigh has worked in the mining sector for more than 20 years including 13 years with Teck Resources and seven years as President & CEO of Commander Resources Ltd.
Savant has posted an updated corporate presentation entitled a "Proposal for Growth" on its website at www.savantexplorations.com. The presentation outlines the strategic plan and provides a brief summary of Savant's current asset base.
A brief summary of Savant's property portfolio is as follows:
Yuby Gabriela Property, Chile
The 3,500 hectare Gabriela porphyry copper property is located in Chile's prolific Paleocene porphyry copper district, well located along a major highway and power transmission lines and is approximately 60 kilometres north of BHP Billiton's Spence mine (annual production of 200,000 tonnes of copper) and 40 kilometres west of Codelco's Chuquicamata mine. The Gabriela project is one of the few junior plays in the world's premier copper district.
Minera Fuego, a private Chilean company, optioned the Yuby Gabriela Property in the first half of 2011. Under the terms of the option, Minera Fuego can earn a 100% interest in the property by making US$4.03 million in payments to Savant over a 48 month period. Savant will retain a 2.5% NSR of which, Minera Fuego can acquire 1.0% for US$5.0 million. To date, Savant has received US$530,000 in option payments. Since optioning the property, Minera Fuego has carried out geophysical, geological surveys and drilling. The next option payment of US$500,000 is due at the end of April 2013.
Blue Moon Property, California
The Blue Moon Property is located in the Mother Lode District of California and contains a NI 43-101 polymetallic massive sulphide resource. A copy of the technical report is filed on SEDAR and available on Savant's website.
The deposit is open both to depth and to the south. Of particular interest is an untested 800 foot long coincident gold, zinc and copper anomaly covering the favourable horizon south of the mineralized bodies. The anomaly is defined by values greater than 50 ppb gold, 256 ppm zinc and 100 ppm copper. This geochemical anomaly is also a coincident induced polarization chargeability anomaly as defined by greater than 15 milliseconds. The potential to expand the current resources is considered excellent.
The company is actively looking for a partner for this advanced staged polymetallic project. In addition to looking for a buyer or JV partner, Management is also considering other business arrangements such as advancing the property through a privately funded company prior to a subsequent public company spin out.
Yava Property, Nunavut
The Yava Property consists of 5,750 hectares of a mining lease and mineral claims covering approximately 25 kilometres of strike of the prospective Archean Hackett-Back River greenstone belt. The claims and lease stretch from 10 km south of Xstrata's Hackett River Deposit (Indicated resource of 20.3Mt grading 109gpt silver, 4.69% zinc, 1.0% copper, and 0.8% lead and an inferred resource of 41Mt grading 165gpt silver, 4.0% zinc, 0.49% copper and 0.64% lead) to 5 kilometres south of the Yava Main Zone massive sulphide occurrence. In the 1970s, Brascan drilled along 500 metres of strike length of the Yava Main Zone testing the mineralization to an 80 metre depth. Brascan estimated that the Yava Main Zone contained 1.3 million tons grading 3.42 opt silver, 4.96% zinc, 1.03% copper, 1.6% lead and 0.008 opt gold. The mineralization remains open on strike and at depth. This estimate predates NI 43-101 and constitutes a historical estimate under that policy. The assumptions and parameters used in the Brascan resource estimation have not been identified by Savant and Savant is not treating this historical estimate as current Mineral Resources under NI 43-101. Historical estimates should not be relied upon.
Savant holds a 100% interest in the Yava property subject to a 10% NPI that can be purchased at any time by Savant for $1.5 million. Management continues to look for a partner to undertake the full evaluation of the project.
John McClintock, P.Eng., President and CEO of Savant is the Qualified Person, as defined by National Instrument 43-101, responsible for the technical data in this news release.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon the reasonable beliefs of Savant and its management as of the date of this news release; however, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based upon factors that may change and assumptions that may prove, with the passage of time, to be incorrect as a result of exploration and other risk factors associated with mineral exploration and development that are beyond the control of Savant. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon such statements. If factors materially change or assumptions are materially incorrect, the actual results, performance or achievements of Savant may be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Savant does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Neither 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.