Aurizon Reports Encouraging Rare Earth Drilling Results at Kipawa



    
    Shares Listed: Toronto Stock Exchange - Ticker Symbol - ARZ
    NYSE Alternext U.S. - Ticker Symbol - AZK
    U.S. Registration: (File 001-31893)
    

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - Aurizon Mines Ltd. (TSX: ARZ; NYSE Alternext
U.S.: AZK) is pleased to report results from its 2008 drilling program, at its
100 percent owned Kipawa Gold-Uranium-Rare Earth project, in north-western
Quebec, Canada.
    The Kipawa project is an early stage exploration project located
approximately 100 kilometres south of Rouyn-Noranda, in the Temiskaming
region. It was initially acquired by Aurizon for its gold potential on the
basis of a government regional stream sediment survey. Exploration programs
performed in 2007 and 2008 included regional till sampling, prospecting,
geophysics and soil geochemistry. These programs lead to the discovery of rare
earth elements (REE) mineralization.
    The first drilling program recently completed at Kipawa by Aurizon,
totalled 681 metres in four (4) drill holes with the objective of testing the
Snake rare earth elements target, located in the western part of the Kipawa
southern claim block. These holes intersected a broad rare earth mineralized
envelope within a minimum true thickness averaging 61 to 104 metres. Results
are currently pending for twenty-three (23) assays in Hole KW-08-03. Detailed
results are reported in the table attached to this news release.
    The best results are as follows:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Rare earth
                                                  elements
                   From       To     true width  + Yttrium(1)  HREE+Y/(REE+Y)
    Hole         (metres)  (metres)   (metres)       (%)            (%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    KW-08-01        4.5      108.9      104.4       0.063            23
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    KW-08-02        3.0       78.0         75        0.06          18.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    KW-08-03       70.5      108.6       38.1       0.074          18.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Results from hole KW-08-04 which had grades below 500 part per million
    are not included in the table.

    1.  Rare earth elements include lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium
        (Pr), neodymium (Nd), samarium (Sm), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd),
        terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy), holmium (Ho), erbium (Er), thulium
        (Tm), ytterbium (Yb) and lutetium (Lu). It is common practice
        reporting Yttrium (Y) also with the rare earth elements series.

    Geology
    -------
    
    Rare earth elements occurrences have been discovered by Aurizon on the
Kipawa property during field work in 2007 and 2008 along the contact of the
Kipawa alkaline intrusive. Mineralization occurred along the contact between a
syenite intrusive and altered hosted rocks.
    Drilling has roughly delineated the eastern limit of the mineralized
system following a continuous horizon dipping 45 degrees westward. As
indicated in the attached sketch, mineralization starts at the collar and the
holes did not intersect the western limit. Total REE concentrations from
individual samples of 1.5 metres vary between 167 ppm and 1,800 ppm REE inside
an envelope of 38 metres to 104 metres.
    The Snake showing mineralization has been delineated along a trend of 2.8
kilometres and is conformable with the bedding (see news release dated June
13, 2008). Drilling sections have tested the syenite footwall contact.

    
    Mineralization
    --------------
    
    Kipawa syenitic complex is typically enriched in heavy rare earth
elements (HREE), Zirconium, and, in places, other rare metals are found, such
as Niobium (only niobium and zirconium concentrations are noted in public
files). The percentages of HREE compared to the combined rare earths and
Yttrium (REE+Y) content encountered in Snake samples range from approximately
10% to 30% and is mostly dominated by Gadolinium, Erbium, and Ytterbium with
Yttrium.
    The Snake REE mineralization is essentially devoid of radioactive
elements. The highest Uranium value encountered is 15 ppm for an average of 2
ppm and the highest Thorium value is 56 ppm for an average of 7 ppm.
    Mineralization is associated with amphibole, oxides (hematite and
magnetite), phosphates and carbonate bearing rocks. The specific details of
the Snake REE mineralogy are presently unknown.

    
    About REE
    ---------
    
    Rare earth elements are divided into two (2) distinct categories: (1)
heavy rare earth elements (HREE), grouping elements from europium through
lutetium; and (2) light rare earth elements (LREE) grouping elements, such as
lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium and samarium. REE (used as metal or
oxides) are widely used in different technologies such as magnet and magnetic
devices, opto-electronic devices, lasers, glass and ceramics.

    Outlook

    As a result of the recent encouraging REE results, Aurizon is considering
a follow up exploration drilling program at Kipawa, testing the recently
targeted Eagle REE showing, located 43 kilometres south east of the Snake
showing along the same prospective trend. In order to evaluate the recovery
potential of the mineralization, a preliminary mineralogical study will be
initiated during the year.
    In 2009, Aurizon intends to continue its focus of exploration on the main
gold targets previously identified by gold dispersion in till in 2008. The
limited drill program performed on gold targets in 2008 did not produce any
significant results. An exhaustive compilation of historical data,
interpretation of geophysical surveys and study of gold grains (size, shape)
obtained from glacial till sampling will be performed to better define drill
targets.
    "Considering the favourable project location, deposit target size and
markets considerations, we are encouraged about the potential for an economic
deposit at Kipawa," said Martin Demers, Exploration Manager. "Aurizon intends
to continue its ongoing close collaboration with the Eagle Village and Wolf
Lake First Nation communities," he added.

    Quality Control

    Core assays are performed on core sawed in half, with lithium metaborate
fusion followed by standard ion couple plasma mass spectrometry assays.
Exploration primary assaying was performed at ALS Chemex of Val d'Or. ALS
Chemex is a fully accredited laboratory under ISO 9001-2000 standards.
    Drill hole planning, implementation and the quality control program are
supervised by Martin Demers P.Geo., Exploration Manager, a qualified person as
defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Demers is also responsible for the
scientific and technical information in this news release.

    Additional Information

    One sketch is attached locating the Snake showing and section view.
Detailed results from the drill holes are reported in a separate table. All
other information previously released on the Kipawa Project is also available
on the Aurizon website. Click here to view the sketch and the Drilling Results
table: http://files.newswire.ca/734/sketch_and_table_Aurizon.pdf

    About Aurizon

    Aurizon is a gold producer with a growth strategy focused on developing
its existing projects in the Abitibi region of north-western Quebec, one of
the world's most favourable mining jurisdictions and prolific gold and base
metal regions, and by increasing its asset base through accretive
transactions. Aurizon shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the
symbol "ARZ" and on the NYSE Alternext (formerly the American Stock Exchange)
under the symbol "AZK". Additional information on Aurizon and its properties
is available on Aurizon's website at http://www.aurizon.com.

    FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

    This News Release contains "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of securities legislation. These forward-looking statements include,
but are not limited to, statements regarding the anticipated effect of the
completed drill results on the Kipawa project. This news release provides
assay results for specific drill holes of the recently completed drill
program, and there can be no assurance that assay results to be reported from
other holes that have been drilled will provide similar results.
Forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this News Release, the
Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations, or beliefs
as to future events or results and, except as required under applicable
securities legislation, the Company does not intend, and does not assume any
obligation, to update these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking
statements are based on certain assumptions and involve risks and
uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove
to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ
materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause
results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or
implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to
conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans
continue to be refined; future prices of gold and rare earth elements;
accidents, and other risks of the mining industry; and other risks more fully
described in Aurizon's Annual Information Form filed with the Securities
Commissions of the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario
and Quebec, and in Aurizon's Annual Report on Form 40-F filed with the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission. These documents are available on
Sedar at www.sedar.com and on Edgar at www.sec.gov/.





For further information:

For further information: AURIZON MINES LTD.: David Hall, President and
C.E.O., Telephone: (604) 687-6600, Toll Free: 1-888-411-GOLD, Fax: (604)
687-3932; Michel Gilbert, Vice President, Telephone: (819) 874-4511, Fax:
(819) 874-3391; Web Site: www.aurizon.com; Email: info@aurizon.com; or Renmark
Financial Communications Inc., 2080 Rene-Levesque Blvd. West, Montreal, QC,
H3H 1R6; Barry Mire: bmire@renmarkfinancial.com; Jen Power:
jpower@renmarkfinancial.com; Media: Vanessa Napoli:
vnapoli@renmarkfinancial.com; Tel: (514) 939-3989, Fax: (514) 939-3717

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AURIZON MINES LTD.

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