Ventura Gold Corp.

Ventura Gold Corp.

March 04, 2005 13:35 ET

Ventura Options Cottonwood Peak Gold-Silver Property in Nevada from Zappa Resources


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: VENTURA GOLD CORP.

NEX BOARD SYMBOL: VGO.H

MARCH 4, 2005 - 13:35 ET

Ventura Options Cottonwood Peak Gold-Silver Property
in Nevada from Zappa Resources

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA--(CCNMatthews - March 4, 2005) - Ventura Gold
Corporation ("Ventura") (NEX BOARD:VGO.H) has signed a Letter Agreement
for Ventura to option Zappa Resources Ltd's ("Zappa") 100%-held
Cottonwood Peak gold-silver project in northern Nevada, approximately 45
miles northwest of Elko. The project area comprises 78 mineral claims
totaling approximately 2.5 square miles (650 hectares), which are held
by Zappa pursuant to underlying option/lease agreements with the
existing owners. The Letter Agreement remains subject to regulatory and
respective Board approvals.

The Cottonwood Peak property hosts an extensive low-sulfidation
volcanic-hosted epithermal system containing precious metal values
ranging from trace amounts up to 10.2 g/t gold and 525 g/t silver from
surface rock grab samples, typically quartz veins. The style of
mineralization is broadly similar to the Tuscarora gold-silver deposit
located five miles to the south, which has historical production
reported by the Nevada Bureau of Mines of approximately 250,000 ounces
gold and 7.5 million ounces silver since 1867.

The property contains an extensive area of clay (argillic) alteration
with local zones of silicification and reports anomalous levels from
soil and rock samples of typical high-level epithermal pathfinder
elements such as arsenic, antimony and mercury.

Limited, shallow, rotary-type drilling in 1980 (300 meters ("m") in 4
drill holes) and in 1984 (375m in 5 drill holes) reported anomalous gold
values only, with a best intercept of 3m at 1.0 g/t gold about 50m below
surface. From 1987-1989 BHP held the property but carried out only
surface sampling. Ventura and Zappa management believe that these
previous exploration programs did not sufficiently test, at depth,
critical regional structures (faults) that may control precious metal
mineralization nor did they test for possible basement Paleozoic rocks,
which are known to host significant precious metal "Carlin-type"
mineralization in this area of Nevada. In addition, from an area of
quartz veining over an area of some 150m by 50m (and which has not yet
been drilled) Zappa recently reported surface grab sample values ranging
from approximately 60g/t to 525 g/t silver.

Ventura's initial exploration program will involve a combination of rock
and soil sampling, geophysics and approximately 1,500m of drilling over
a 6-to-9 month period with an estimated initial budget of approximately
US$0.5 million. Current weather conditions in the area (snow) prevent
effective fieldwork from commencing until mid to late April.

Terms of Letter Agreement

Ventura has an option to acquire from Zappa an initial 60% interest in
the Cottonwood Peak property (the "Property") by spending US$500,000 in
exploration and related expenditures over a 3 year period from the date
of regulatory approval for the Letter Agreement (the "Effective Date"),
with minimum expenditures of US$100,000 in the first year and US$200,000
in each of the second and third years.

In addition, Ventura must issue a total of 350,000 of its common shares
to Zappa. 50,000 shares will be issued to Zappa upon receipt of
regulatory approval, and 100,000 and 200,000 shares will be issued on
the first and second year anniversaries, respectively, of the Effective
Date (subject to the Letter Agreement remaining in effect).

Ventura will have an additional option to acquire a further 10% interest
in the Property (for an aggregate 70% interest) by funding and
completing a bankable feasibility study within a six-year period from
the date of the Letter Agreement. However, if Ventura does not complete
a bankable feasibility study within six years (the "Ventura Option
Period"), then Ventura will retain its 60% earned interest and Zappa
shall have the right, but not the obligation, to complete, at its sole
cost, a bankable feasibility study within a three-year period from the
expiry of the Ventura Option Period. At the completion of the Zappa
feasibility study, Zappa shall earn an additional 10% interest, for a
total aggregate participating interest of 50%. If Zappa does not
complete a bankable feasibility study within the designated three-year
period, then its interest shall remain as a 40% participating interest.

Following completion of a bankable feasibility study, both parties will
be responsible for their respective pro-rata share of costs and of any
corporate guarantees required for financing the development and
construction of the project. Both parties will jointly cooperate in
discussions with financing institutions. If, however, only one party is
successful in arranging all of the required financing and corporate
guarantees (the "Financing Party"), then in the case of Ventura being
the Financing Party, it will earn a further 5% interest. In the case of
Zappa being the Financing Party, Zappa will recoup a 5% interest in the
Property.

Ventura will assume responsibility for the maintenance costs of the
Property and for the cash payments related to the two underlying
agreements between Zappa and the Property owners following the
completion of a maximum 45-day due diligence period. Total cash holding
costs related to the maintenance of the Property are estimated by
Ventura at $35,000-$40,000 per year, including annual claim renewal
costs to the State of Nevada. All Property maintenance costs paid by
Ventura will be credited against Ventura's work expenditure requirements.

Both underlying Property agreements contain a provision for the payment
of a net smelter return ("NSR") royalty upon commencement of commercial
production from the Property. The underlying option agreement contains a
4% NSR royalty, 3% (or 75%) of which can be purchased at any time for
US$1.0 million per percentage point. The underlying lease agreement
contains a 5% NSR royalty provision, which currently has no purchase
provision.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Stephen J. Kay, President/CFO


-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Ventura Gold Corporation
    Terri Kasten
    (480) 483-9932
    (480) 483-9926 (FAX)
    skay@globalcrossing.net
    The TSX Venture Exchange neither approves nor disapproves the
    information contained in this News Release.