Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. September 27th, 2011. Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V
) ("Columbus Gold
") is pleased to announce that it has entered into joint venture agreements with Sniper Resources Ltd. (TSXV: SIP) ("Sniper"), whereby Sniper can earn into two of Columbus Gold's Nevada gold projects: Weepah and Laura. Columbus Gold now has 13 of its 26 gold projects in Nevada JV'd or leased to third parties.
The Weepah gold project is located approximately 32 km (20 miles) west-southwest of Tonopah, Nevada, in Esmeralda County and the Laura Property is located approximately 5 km (3 miles) southwest of Barrick Gold's Cortez open pit gold mine and approximately 3 km (1.2 miles) west of Barrick Gold's multi-million ounce Cortez Hills discovery. Subject to third party net smelter returns royalties, Weepah and Laura are currently 100% controlled by Columbus.
Pursuant to the terms of the Weepah Option Agreement, Sniper can earn an initial 51% interest by: (i) incurring $3,000,000 in exploration expenditures over three years; (ii) paying approx. $30,000 on execution of the agreement; and (iii) issuing an aggregate of $60,000 worth of Sniper common shares over three years. In the event that Sniper earns its initial 51% interest in Weepah, it will have the option to earn an additional 19% interest therein, for a total 70% interest, by completing a bankable feasibility study.
Pursuant to the terms of the Laura Option Agreement, Sniper is in the process of earning an initial 70% interest in the underlying lease to the Laura property by: (i) having paid US$10,000 cash and issued 100,000 common shares of Sniper to Columbus; and (ii) by fulfilling the third party underlying lease and maintenance payment obligations of Columbus through August 7, 2012. Sniper will then have a 30 day period in which to earn a further 30% interest, for 100% in total, by paying Columbus US$200,000 in cash or shares and granting it a 1.5% net smelter returns royalty on the project.
Weepah has historical gold production from an open pit along a steep, northerly structure cutting Precambrian sedimentary rocks. The principal drill targets occur east of the historic open pit where gold occurs as replacements in sanded, or lightly silicified, Precambrian limestone, exposed in small outcrops through thin gravel cover on the north edge of an alluvial basin. Outcrop sampling by Columbus Gold of the altered limestone yielded values from anomalous up to 10.29 g/t (0.30 opt) gold over 3.6 m (12 ft), and 17.14 g/t (0.50 opt) gold over 1.8 m (6 ft). Historical drilling, reported by the previous owner, indicates a small resource of approximately 225,000-450,000 tonnes (250,000-500,000 tons) averaging 1.7-2.4 g/t (0.05-0.07 opt) gold*. Mapping, along with ground magnetics and CSAMT geophysical surveys carried-out by Columbus Gold, indicate that the favourable geology extends beyond the area of historical drilling to the south and east for 1,200-1,500 m (4,000-5,000 ft) under what appears to be very shallow gravel cover.
An initial drilling program was carried-out by Columbus Gold in early 2011 and returned the following significant intercepts:
- Drill hole WP-2 intersected 7.6 m (25 ft) of 2.29 g/t (0.067 opt) gold from 118.9-126.5 m (390-415 ft) depth, including two separate 1.5 m (5 ft) intervals of 4.31 g/t (0.126 opt) and 4.38 g/t (0.128 opt) gold;
- Drill hole WP-5 intersected 16.8 m (55 ft) of 1.30 g/t (0.038 opt) gold from 7.6-24.4 m (25-80 ft) depth, including 3.0 m (10 ft) of 4.54 g/t (0.132 opt) gold;
- Drill hole WP-7 intersected 27.4 m (90 ft) of 0.73 g/t (0.021 opt) gold from 16.8-44.2 m (55-145 ft) depth;
- Drill hole WP-12 intersected 4.6 m (15ft) of 3.47 g/t (0.101 opt) gold from 79.2-83.8 m (260-275 ft) depth, including 1.5 m (5ft) of 9.37 g/t (0.273 opt) gold from 80.8-82.3 m (265-270 ft) depth.
Drill holes WP-6, 7, and 8 were 91-152 m (300-500 ft) offsets of the gold mineralization encountered in drill hole WP-5. All three offset holes cut gold with the best intercept in WP-7 which was 120 m (400 ft) northeast of WP-5 and cut 0.73 g/t (0.021 opt) from 16.8-44.2 m (55-145 ft) depth. Gold mineralization remains completely open to the north and east, and possibly south of holes WP-5, 7, 8, and 9. Drill holes WP-9 through WP-15 were step-outs mainly to the south under gravel cover, which ranges from 8-29 m (25-95 ft) in thickness. The favourable Precambrian silt and limestone is present immediately under the gravel cover and altered with anomalous gold values. Hole WP-12 cut significant gold values, averaging 3.47 g/t (0.101 opt) gold from 79.2-83.8 m (260-275 ft), including 9.37 g/t (0.273 opt) gold from 80.8-82.3 m (265-270 ft) depth.
The controls of gold mineralization at Weepah are not as yet well understood, however the results to date clearly warrant additional drilling.
The Laura property has potential for both epithermal volcanic-hosted, and Carlin-type sediment-hosted gold. Laura is underlain by Oligocene Caetano volcanic rocks and lies just to the south of the volcanic/Paleozoic-Upper Plate fault contact. Gold mineralization, both in surface sampling and at depth in drill holes, is hosted in what has been described as a heterolithic "jasperoid breccia", a horizon with clasts of chert-like rock, vein quartz and various altered volcanic lithologies. This unit zone is approximately 40 m (130 ft) thick, strikes north-northeast and dips in ±20° to the east. The breccia horizon is sandwiched between ash-flow tuff and, locally, intrusive felsite. The best drill intercept [9.1 m (30 ft) @ 0.69 g/t (0.020 opt) gold]* has been interpreted to be near a felsite intrusive body.
*The historical figures presented herein are not NI 43-101 compliant. They should not be relied upon and Columbus Gold does not treat them as current.
Quality Assurance/Quality Control
Assays reported for the Weepah Project herein were performed by American Assay Laboratories, Inc. in Sparks, Nevada. Standards and blanks were inserted along with the drill cuttings and reported in the assay results. Two separate splits of each 1.5 m (5 ft) of drill cuttings were obtained at the drill rig and the second split submitted for check assaying for the mineralized intervals. In addition, check assaying for select intervals, was completed for splits from the bulk reject and from the assay pulp obtained from the drill rig split. A total of 1,417 drill samples were originally analyzed and 333 check assays performed, including on nearly all mineralized intervals with original assays greater than 100 parts per billion (ppb) gold. No significant variations in results have been detected in the check assaying.
Andy Wallace is a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG) with the American Institute of Professional Geologists and is the Qualified Person under NI 43-101 who has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release. Mr. Wallace is the President of Columbus Gold and the principal of Cordilleran Exploration Company ("Cordex"), which is conducting exploration and project generation activities for Columbus Gold on an exclusive basis.
ABOUT COLUMBUS GOLD
Columbus Gold is a gold exploration and development company operating in French Guiana and Nevada. In French Guiana, Columbus Gold recently acquired an option to earn a 100% interest in the Paul Isnard gold project, which has a 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce inferred gold resource and substantial expansion potential. In Nevada, Columbus is a prolific project generator focused on advancing projects either through joint-venture with industry partners or on its own where exploration risk is minimized and potential is particularly promising. Exploration activities are managed by Cordex which is owned and operated by Andy Wallace who has a long and successful history of gold discovery and mine development. Columbus Gold currently has 13 of its 26 strategically located gold projects in Nevada joint-ventured to major and junior mining companies, including Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited.
ABOUT SNIPER RESOURCES
Sniper Resources Ltd. is engaged in the identification, acquisition and exploration of gold properties in the State of Nevada, USA. Sniper owns a 100% interest in the ReHot Project and is currently earning a controlling interest in four strategically located Nevada gold projects, namely, Guild, Overland Pass, Weepah and Laura. The Founder and President of Sniper is Mr. Scott D. Baxter, who was also the Founder, President and CEO of Tone Resources Ltd., which was acquired by Robert McEwen's US Gold Corp.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD,
Robert F. Giustra
Chairman & CEO
Neither the 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.
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This release contains forward-looking information and statements, as defined by law including without limitation Canadian securities laws and the "safe harbor" provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("forward-looking statements"), respecting Sniper's obligations under its agreements with Columbus Gold, including without limitation its requirements to earn into the respective properties, and general exploration plans respecting the Weepah and Laura properties. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including without limitation Sniper's willingness or ability to complete the earn-in terms under the applicable option agreements; that the TSX Venture Exchange will approve the Weepah option agreement; the ability to acquire necessary permits and other authorizations; ability to obtain funding sufficient for bond placement, if required; environmental compliance; cost increases; availability of qualified workers and drill equipment; competition for mining properties; risks associated with exploration projects, mineral reserve and resource estimates (including the risk of assumption and methodology errors); dependence on third parties for services; non-performance by contractual counterparties; title risks; and general business and economic conditions. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including without limitation assumptions about: that Sniper will be willing and able to earn an interest under the applicable option agreements; that the TSX Venture Exchange will approve the Weepah option agreement; that the underlying agreements to the applicable properties will remain in good standing; general business and economic conditions; the timing and receipt of required approvals; availability of financing; power prices; ability to procure equipment and supplies including without limitation drill rigs; and ongoing relations with employees, partners and joint venturers. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and Columbus Gold undertakes no obligation to update any of the foregoing except as required by law.