Ventura Gold Corp.
TSX VENTURE : VGO

Ventura Gold Corp.

January 11, 2006 14:04 ET

Ventura Acquires Copper-Gold Property in Arizona

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 11, 2006) - Ventura Gold Corporation ("Ventura") (TSX VENTURE:VGO) has signed a Letter Agreement with a partnership of private Arizona companies (the "Partnership") for Ventura to lease 100% of the Gold Gulch copper-gold exploration property ("the Property") located approximately two miles southwest of Phelps Dodge's Morenci open-pit copper mine in Greenlee County, Arizona. The Property comprises two state prospecting permits (1,130 acres), which are held by the Partnership with the State of Arizona. The Letter Agreement remains subject to regulatory and Ventura Board approval.

- Based on intermittent exploration activities by Phelps Dodge and Kennecott since the 1960's, the Gold Gulch property shows excellent potential for multiple copper-gold targets, including skarns, sheeted quartz-veins and stockworks, breccia pipes, and deep porphyry-style mineralization.

- Ventura management considers the geologic setting and characteristics of the Property to be similar to Echo Bay's McCoy mine in Nevada (with historical production of approximately 880,000 ounces of gold and 2.3 million ounces of silver) and to the copper-rich magnetite skarns at the nearby Phelps Dodge Morenci copper mine.

- Complete details of historical drilling activities on the property are not available, but Ventura management estimates that a minimum of 4,850m of core and reverse circulation drilling was carried out by Phelps Dodge and Kennecott in four drill campaigns between 1960 and 2002. Their principal target was porphyry copper style mineralization and gold analyses were generally only carried out in the sulfide zone when copper values were reported in excess of 10,000 ppm (1.0%). As a result, a large proportion of the drill samples remain untested for gold, but are still available for re-sampling and assaying.

- Significant drill-hole intercepts in mineralized skarn were reported by Phelps Dodge, including: drill-hole SW-10 with an intercept of 6.1m at a grade of 9.6 g/t gold (including 3.0m at 17.8 g/t gold); SW-9 with 9.1m at 2.6 g/t gold; and SW-4 with 42.7m at 0.4 g/t gold and 0.3% copper.

- Forty-four (44) widely-scattered surface rock grab samples taken on the property by the Partnership range from 0.01 g/t to 4.6 g/t gold, 63 ppm to 3.5% copper and less than 0.1 ppm to 540 ppm molybdenum. The Phelps Dodge and Kennecott geochemical data remain to be examined by Ventura during its due diligence period, as does the detailed geophysical data (magnetic and Induced Polarization or "IP").

- Phelps Dodge and Kennecott's summary geophysical data show a strong magnetic anomaly, identified by an airborne survey, which may correspond to a change in rock types (from intrusive to sediments) at a depth of 450m - 600m, indicating a possible drill target in the sediments. IP anomalies appear to correlate well with the argillic (clay) alteration zones within the intrusive and may assist in delineating additional drill targets.

Ventura's initial exploration program is expected to involve a thorough review of all of the available technical data combined with detailed geological mapping and a rock and/or soil sampling program. Additional geophysical surveys may also be carried out on the Property. Ventura management believes that a drilling program could be expected to commence in Q3 or Q4 2006, dependent upon exploration results and subject to additional financing by Ventura.

Basic Terms of Letter Agreement

Ventura has signed a Letter Agreement, subject to Board and regulatory approval and due diligence, for a long-term (minimum 30 years) mineral lease for a 100% interest in the Gold Gulch property (the "Property"). In order to maintain the lease in good standing Ventura must:

- Spend US$1.2 million in exploration and related expenditures over a four year period from the date of regulatory approval for the Letter Agreement (the "Effective Date"). Minimum expenditures are US$100,000 in the first year and $200,000, $350,000, and $550,000 respectively for each of the subsequent three years.

- Issue a total of 1,125,000 Ventura shares to the Partnership over a period of five years. 100,000 shares are to be issued on the Effective Date and 125,000, 150,000, 200,000, 250,000 and 300,000 shares respectively over the five year period, with share installments to be issued on the corresponding anniversaries of the Effective Date.

- Make cash payments to the Partnership as follows: US$20,000 on the Effective Date and US$25,000, US$35,000, US$45,000, US$55,000 respectively over a four year period on the corresponding anniversaries of the Effective Date. On the fifth year anniversary of the Effective Date, and thereafter, the required cash payment will be US$65,000 or a specified Net Smelter Return ("NSR") royalty, whichever is greater. See below for details of the NSR royalty.

- Pay up to a 2.0% NSR royalty upon commencement of commercial production from the Property, of which up to three-quarters (or 1.5%) can be purchased by Ventura for a combination of cash and/or shares (maximum US$1.5 million in cash and 250,000 shares), dependent upon the level of the gross royalty payable to the State of Arizona (the "State Royalty"). The State Royalty is based on a formal independent appraisal of the Property at the time that "indicated resources" have been calculated for the Property and therefore the State Royalty cannot be assessed by Ventura at this time.

- Upon any cash sale of the Property by Ventura, the Partnership will be paid 25% of the proceeds received by Ventura from such sale after deduction of (a) sale transaction costs (b) three times Ventura's exploration expenditures to that time, and (c) an amount equivalent to all cash and share issuances paid to the Partnership up to the time of closing of such sale.

Ventura will be the Operator of the Property and will charge a 10% administration fee (the "Operator Fee") on all work expenditures carried out on the Property, excluding the Operator Fee. In addition, Ventura will assume responsibility for the maintenance costs of the Property after the completion of a maximum 45-day due diligence period following the date of signing of the Letter Agreement. All Property maintenance costs paid by Ventura and the Operator Fee will be credited against Ventura's work expenditure requirements. Ventura has the right to terminate the Letter Agreement at any time during the due diligence period or with 30 days notice following the due diligence period, in which case all payments and expenditure obligations will cease.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Stephen J. Kay, President/CFO


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