Minera Andes initiates exploration on 100%-owned targets in Argentina



    
    TSX: MAI
    NASD-OTCBB: MNEAF
    

    SPOKANE, WA, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - Minera Andes Inc. (the "Corporation" or
"Minera Andes") (TSX: MAI and US OTC: MNEAF) is pleased to announce
exploration plans for two principal areas in Argentina. 1) Santa Cruz province
where the Corporation's San José mine is located and 2) San Juan province,
site of the Corporation's recent Los Azules copper discovery. The target in
Santa Cruz province is high-grade epithermal gold-silver mineralization. In
San Juan province porphyry-style copper mineralization is the primary target.

    Exploration Program

    Minera Andes plans to systematically evaluate its portfolio of properties
in Santa Cruz and San Juan province. It is anticipated that in the next
eighteen months all the properties currently held will be evaluated using
satellite image analysis, soil and rock sampling and geologic mapping. We
expect to conduct further work, including various geophysical surveys, on 8 to
10 properties in total. Our work plan calls for reconnaissance core drilling
on up to five targets (2,500 meters per target).

    Santa Cruz Province -Big Potential - Many New discoveries

    Since beginning exploration in Argentina in the 1990's, Minera Andes has
one of the most successful exploration teams in Argentina with two discoveries
to its credit: the now-producing San José mine (a joint venture between the
Corporation and Hochschild Mining plc in which the Corporation has a 49%
interest) in Santa Cruz province and the Los Azules porphyry copper project in
the San Juan province. Santa Cruz is home to several significant precious
metal mines and new discoveries. It was not until the 1990's that the area
began to be explored. Now that our mine is built and we have money in the
bank, we will be aggressively looking at the discovery potential of our
extensive land holdings.
    The producing mines in the Deseado massif are: AngloGold Ashanti's Cerro
Vanguardia mine (reserves of 3.5 million ounces (m oz) of gold and a
production rate 220,000 oz per year); Pan American Silver's Manantial Espejo
mine (reserves of 75 m oz silver and a production rate of 4 m oz silver and
60,000 oz gold per year); Coeur's Mina Marta (a reserve of 50 m oz silver and
a production rate of 2.7 m oz per year); and Minera Andes' discovery, the San
José mine (reserves of 27.3 m oz silver and 412,000 oz gold, measured and
indicated resources of 39 m oz silver and 570,000 oz gold with a production of
6 m oz silver and 60,000 oz gold per year).
    Exploration continues to yield positive results in Santa Cruz. Notable
recent exploration successes include Andean Resources' Cerro Negro property,
close to San José, where a resource of 2.4 m oz of gold has been discovered at
the Eureka vein and Exeter Resources' Cerro Moro property which so far has a
resource of more that 600,000 oz gold equivalent. These new discoveries attest
to the continued exploration potential of the Deseado Massif.
    Minera Andes currently controls 35 properties in Santa Cruz province
covering approximately 66,000 hectares. The exploration target is gold and
silver mineralization in low- to intermediate-sulfidation epithermal systems.
Largely acquired on the basis of satellite imagery, geologic setting and
proximity to known mineralized trends, these properties run the full gamut
from grassroots properties, with little or no work done to date, all the way
to targets ready to drill (Martes 13). Several properties have already been
the focus of preliminary drill campaigns and will be re-evaluated as part of
the planned campaign.

    San Juan Province

    The Andean cordillera of Chile and Argentina hosts 18% of the world's
copper resources. Alone, the Miocene copper belt of Chile contains 605 billion
pounds of copper. Minera Andes has already made a significant copper discovery
at Los Azules where 11 billion pounds of copper have been delineated at
potentially mineable grades (in an inferred resource of 922 million tonnes of
0.55% copper). Los Azules is subject to an option earn-in agreement with
Xstrata Copper
    In addition to Los Azules, Minera Andes holds three other porphyry copper
targets in San Juan province. One of them, Los Chonchones, has been
extensively sampled in a grassroots sense and displays characteristics
(alteration etc) typical of productive porphyry copper systems and,
consequently, is a strong candidate for further work.

    Initial results from the Celestina project, Santa Cruz province

    As a precursor to the proposed program, drilling was completed at the
Celestina property in early June. A total of 10 core holes were drilled to
depths between 140 meters and 240 meters, for a total of 1,731 meters, to test
for gold/silver mineralization. Drilling confirmed the presence of a
low-sulfidation epithermal mineralized system. Nine of the ten holes cut
significant widths of mineralized structures. Mineralized intercepts included
strongly altered faults and breccias zones with some zones of gray to
crystalline quartz. Identified minerals included abundant pyrite and
occasional lead and zinc minerals. Assays revealed only weakly anomalous gold
(up to 1.2 g/t over 1.2 meters and 0.40 g/t over 0.3 meters in hole CL09-10)
and silver values (up to 106 g/t over 2.4 meters in hole CL09-04). A thorough
study of the geologic significance of the drill program will be made before
any decision is made regarding further work.

    Qualified Person

    Assay results were reviewed by Brian Gavin, Minera Andes' vice president,
exploration, who is an appropriately qualified person as defined by National
Instrument 43-101. All samples were collected in accordance with industry
standards. Splits from the drill core samples were submitted to Acme
Analytical Argentina, S.A., in Mendoza, Argentina, for fire assay and ICP
analysis. Accuracy of results is tested through the systematic inclusion of
standards, blanks and check assays.

    About Minera Andes

    Minera Andes is a gold, silver and copper exploration company focused in
Argentina. The Corporation holds or has an interest in approximately 304,000
acres of mineral exploration land in Argentina, including the properties
comprising the San José silver/gold mine (a joint venture between the
Corporation and Hochschild Mining plc in which the Corporation has a 49%
interest), which covers 50,941 hectares and is not included in the acres noted
above.
    Minera Andes is also exploring the Los Azules copper project in San Juan
province, Argentina in respect of which a preliminary assessment has been
completed and a technical report filed. Other exploration properties,
primarily silver and gold, in southern Argentina, are being evaluated. The
Corporation presently has 261,393,851 shares issued and outstanding.

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements:

    This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking
information within the meaning of applicable US and Canadian securities laws.
Such forward-looking statements or information include expected mineralization
at the Corporation's Celestina and Martes 13 exploration projects. In making
the forward-looking statements and providing the forward-looking information,
we have made numerous assumptions. Although our management believes that the
assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or
information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking
statements will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and
information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors
that may cause our actual results to be materially different from that
expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such risks,
uncertainties and other factors include among other things, the speculative
nature of mineral exploration.
    Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or
information. We undertake no obligation to reissue or update forward-looking
statements or information as a result of new information or events after the
date hereof except as may be required by law. See our annual information form
for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating
to the forward-looking statements and information. All forward-looking
statements and information made in this news release are qualified by this
cautionary statement.





For further information:

For further information: Art Johnson at the Spokane office, or Krister
A. Kottmeier, investor relations - Canada, at the Vancouver office; Visit our
web site: www.minandes.com; Spokane Office, 111 East Magnesium Road, Ste. A,
Spokane, WA, 99208, USA, Phone: (509) 921-7322, E-mail: info@minandes.com;
Vancouver Office, 911-470 Granville Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6C 1V5, Phone:
(604) 689-7017, (877) 689-7018, E-mail: ircanada@minandes.com

Organization Profile

MINERA ANDES INC.

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