Westcore Energy Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : WTR

March 30, 2011 14:54 ET

Westcore Announces Completion of 2011 Winter Exploration Program on Westcore and 49 North Coal Properties in Manitoba and Extension of Quantex Standstill Agreement

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 30, 2011) - Westcore Energy Ltd. ("Westcore") (TSX VENTURE:WTR) is pleased to report the results of the 2011 diamond drill program on its coal properties near The Pas, Manitoba and to update the status of negotiations with Quantex Energy Ltd. ("Quantex"). 

Since Westcore's last news release (dated March 2, 2011), three additional targets (Cylcops, Athena and Calypso) have been drilled for a total of 13 more holes (see Figure 1 with this news release for location of all targets drilled in 2011). A summary of highlights of the most recent phase of drilling is set forth below. All drilling widths reported in this news release are true widths.

Westcore is also pleased to announce that discussions with Quantex relating to the negotiation of an exclusive Saskatchewan and Manitoba license of the Quantex Coal-To-Liquids process are proceeding well. The bulk sample that was delivered to the Quantex laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia in late February is currently under analysis and results are pending. Accordingly, the parties have agreed to extend their previously announced standstill agreement to May 31, 2011.

Latest Drilling Highlights

  • Cyclops
    • 3 new holes were drilled at Cyclops in 2011. (2 holes drilled in 2010).
    • 2 holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 53.4m, 12.8m, (composite).
  • Athena Main
    • 6 new holes were drilled at Athena Main in 2011. (1 hole drilled in 2010).
    • 5  holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 75.2m, 65.4m, 43.4m, 22.1m, 17.9m (composite)
  • Athena Satellite
    • An isolated geophysical anomaly occurring approximately 700 metres northeast of Athena Main was tested with one hole.
    • A coal unit was intersected that measured 34.8 metres in thickness (continuous).
  • Calypso
    • 3 holes were drilled into this previously untested target.
    • 3 holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 67.7m, 41.5m, 24.1m (composite).

Details  (Refer to Figures 2, 3 & 4, and Tables 1, 2 & 3 with this news release)

Cyclops: This was the last target to be drilled during the 2011 program. Only 3 holes were drilled before camp and drilling equipment needed to be demobilized ahead of spring road restrictions being emplaced on Highway #10. Two holes (CY-11-02 & -03) were drilled due east of hole BD-10-02, and one hole (CY-11-01) was drilled to the southeast (Figure 2). Holes BD-10-01 & -02 were drilled in 2010. BD-10-02 intersected 42.0 metres of coal (composite thickness) and BD-10-01 did not intersect any coal units. Table 1 summarizes the coal intervals intersected in Holes CY-11-02 & -03.

CY-11-02 was located more into the centre of the geophysical anomaly than BD-10-02 and intersected coal units totalling 53.4 metres in thickness (composite). Hole CY-11-03 was located near the eastern edge of the anomaly and intersected coal units totalling 12.8 metres in thickness (continuous). Hole CY-11-01, located approximately 450 metres southeast of BD-10-02 in a weakly anomalous geophysical area, intersected 6.1 metres of black to brown carbonaceous units laying directly underneath glacial till.

Table 1: Cyclops Coal Intercepts    
                 
Hole   Description   From *   To*   Width
CY-11-02   Coal + minor silt   60.0   65.8   5.8
Coal + minor silt   66.7   102.2   35.5
Coal   104.4   105.7   1.3
Coal   107.4   113.4   6.0
Coal + minor silt   115.4   117.1   1.7
Coal + minor silt   120.4   123.5   3.1
Total (Composite)   53.4
CY-11-03   Coal + minor silt   51.6   64.4   12.8
Total (Composite)   12.8

* Depths determined by visual inspection of drill core and down-hole elog density of 1.6 g/cc or less

Athena Main: 6 holes were drilled at Athena to expand the known coal units first discovered by hole BD-10-04 drilled in 2010 (Figure 3). 5 holes were located within the geophysical anomaly (AT-11-01, -02, -03, -04 & -07) and intersected coal, the intervals of which are summarized in Table 2. The thickest coal intercept came from Hole AT-11-02, with a composite coal thickness of 75.2 metres. Both holes AT-11-03 & 04 were located near the eastern edge of the anomaly and intersected 43.4 and 65.4 metres of coal, respectively (composite thicknesses). One hole (AT-11-05) was deliberately located outside the boundaries of the anomaly with no intention to intercept coal. The sole intention of this hole was to determine the geologic nature of the outer-basin areas. No Mannville units were intersected in the hole.

Table 2: Athena Coal Intercepts    
                 
Hole   Description   From *   To*   Width
AT-11-01   Coal   27.4   45.3   17.9
Total   17.9
AT-11-02   Coal + minor silt   59.7   83.8   24.1
Coal + minor silt   85.1   123.8   38.7
Silty Coal   124.6   126.0   1.4
Coal + minor silt   126.6   137.6   11.0
Total (Composite)   75.2
AT-11-03   Coal + minor silt   34.8   60.4   25.6
Coal + minor silt   64.5   82.3   17.8
Total (Composite)   43.4
AT-11-04   Coal + minor silt   47.0   90.8   43.8
Coal + minor silt   94.4   116.0   21.6
Total (Composite)   65.4
AT-11-07   Coal   18.3   40.4   22.1
Total   22.1
Athena Satellite Coal Intercepts    
                 
Hole   Description   From *   To*   Width
AT-11-06   Coal + minor silt   40.4   42.6   2.2
Coal   42.6   75.2   32.6
Total (Composite)   34.8
                 

 * Depths determined by visual inspection of drill core and down-hole elog density of 1.6 g/cc or less

Athena Satellite: One hole (AT-11-06) was drilled into the centre of the Athena Satellite, an isolated geophysical target located approximately 700 metres northeast of the Athena Main area (Figure 3). 34.8 metres of continuous coal was intersected (Table 2).

Calypso: 2011 was the first year the Calypso target was drill-tested. 3 holes were designed to test the northwest-southeast trending geophysical anomaly (Figure 4). All three holes intersected coal units, ranging in thickness from 24.1 to 64.7 metres (composite), as summarized in Table 3. 

Table 3: Calypso Coal Intercepts    
                 
Hole   Description   From *   To*   Width
CP-11-01   Coal   57.7   81.8   24.1
Total   24.1
CP-11-02   Coal + minor silt   95.3   158.9   63.6
Coal + minor silt   179.8   180.8   1.0
Coal + minor silt   182.6   185.7   3.1
Total (Composite)   67.7
CP-11-03   Coal   70.0   90.5   20.5
Coal + minor silt   91.3   109.2   17.9
Coal + minor silt   116.1   119.2   3.1
Total (Composite)   41.5

* Depths determined by visual inspection of drill core and down-hole elog density of 1.6 g/cc or less

Summary of the 2011 Winter Exploration Program

Altogether, 39 vertical diamond drill holes were drilled during the 2011 winter drilling program: 23 on Westcore's wholly owned Black Diamond Property and 16 on the FNR JV Coal Property, held jointly with 49 North Resources Inc.("49 North"). Figure 1 is a map showing all of the targets drilled this winter, of which four occur on the Black Diamond Property (Ambit, Cyclops, Athena and Calypso), and one occurs on the FNR JV Coal Property (Quasar). Drilling results of the Ambit target were reported in Westcore's news release dated February 10, 2011, and the Quasar results were reported in Westcore's news release dated March 2, 2011. The total amount of drilling conducted was 4,529 metres using HQ-sized core bits, and 516 coal core samples were sent to Birtley Labs of Calgary, Alberta, for Proximate Analysis.

Highlights

  • Five separate geophysical targets were drilled and all five targets contained significant coal thicknesses (Ambit, Cyclops, Athena, Calypso and Quasar).
  • Three Satellite targets were drilled with one hole each and all three targets returned substantial coal thicknesses (Ambit, Athena and Quasar).
  • A bulk sample of coal was collected and shipped to the Quantex lab in West Virginia for coal liquefaction analysis. Results are pending.
  • Ambit Main and Ambit Satellite:
    • 9 new holes drilled at Ambit Main this year.
    • 6 holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 87.6m, 82.6m, 49.7m, 48.9m, 35.2m, 29.4m (composite).
    • Preliminary understanding of basin morphology established. 
    • Detailed drilling of this one target will aid in further exploration of all targets. 
    • The Ambit Satellite returned 35.3 metres of coal thickness (composite) in one hole from a geophysical anomaly whose areal extent is similar to Ambit Main.
  • Quasar Main and Quasar Satellite:
    • 15 holes drilled into the main target area.
    • 15 holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 99.0m, 87.2m, 48.8m, 45.1m, 42.5m, 34.6m, 33.4m, 26.9m, 26.6m, 25.3m, 22.7m, 20.9m, 20.7m, 2.1m, 1.9m (composite).
    • Coal layers are flat-lying and continuous across the entire geophysical anomaly.
    • Two deep 'basins-within-basins' were discovered with coal intercepts 87.2 and 99.0 metres in thickness (composite). 
    • Quasar's areal extent is triangular in shape and measures at least 500 metres in one direction and 650 metres in another direction and is open in three directions. 
    • The Quasar Satellite returned 48.6 metres of coal thickness (composite) in one hole from a geophysical anomaly similar in size to the Ambit Main target.
  1. Athena Main and Athena Satellite: 
    • 6 holes drilled at Athena Main this year.
    • 5 holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 75.2m, 65.4m, 43.4m, 22.1m, 17.9m (composite).
    • Very thick coal intercepts (greater than 40 metres, composite) intersected along the eastern edge of the geophysical anomaly suggest the deposit continues beyond the anomaly to the east. 
    • The Athena Satellite returned 34.8 metres of coal thickness (composite) from a geophysical anomaly approximately half the size of Athena Main.
  1. Cyclops:
    • 3 holes drilled at Cyclops this year.
    • 2 holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 53.4m, 12.8m, (composite).
    • Cyclops target is an irregularly shaped anomaly requiring many more drill holes to adequately define basin morphology in all directions. 
  1. Calypso:
    • 3 holes drilled this year into a previously untested target.
    • 3 holes intersected coal units with thicknesses of: 67.7m, 41.5m, 24.1m (composite).
    • The anomaly extends out in several different directions from the area drilled.

In addition to the foregoing, Westcore also confirms that it has entered into the previously announced formal joint venture agreement with Goldsource Mines Inc. ("Goldsource"), which formalizes the terms of the joint venture, as initially announced by Westcore via press release dated December 11, 2009. As noted in that news release, the joint venture agreement provides Goldsource with a 25% working interest in all Westcore lands as of that time, with an option to opt in on after acquired lands. It should be noted that Goldsource did not elect to participate on the FNR JV Coal Property and therefore holds no interest in that property. Once Westcore has expended $3 million on its properties that are subject to this joint venture, Goldsource will be obliged to contribute its 25% of costs in order to maintain its proportionate interest.

Paul Conroy, President and CEO, states; "We are very pleased with our latest results and of our winter exploration program as a whole. Each deposit, without exception, has surpassed our expectations in terms of both size and thickness. In almost every case, the coal units extended beyond the geophysical signatures, making it clear that defining the edges of the basins will require further drilling. In addition to this, results from the three satellite targets have helped us to identify new targets worthy of exploration in the near future. We look forward to continued work in the area by conducting airborne geophysics and investigating the geology of these unique coal basins in the months to come. We would like to thank all of the subcontractors who worked professionally and diligently to make this winter program a great success. We are also very pleased to report positive progress in our discussions and negotiations with Quantex. The extension of the standstill agreement with Quantex is a further indication of the good faith discussions that are ongoing and both parties' enthusiasm regarding the development of our properties and the opportunity that this represents for the Quantex CTL process. We expect that once the bulk sample results are finalized, we will be in a position to finalize our negotiations with Quantex and will have further updates at that time."

Ellen MacNeill, Professional Geoscientist in the Province of Saskatchewan and Qualified Person for this news release, has reviewed and approved its contents.

Forward Looking Statements

Except for statements of historical fact relating to Westcore, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable securities requirements, Westcore undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

To view two maps associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/westcoremaps.pdf

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 the release.

Contact Information

  • Westcore Energy Ltd.
    Paul Conroy
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (403) 237-6122
    (403) 237-6144 (FAX)