TSX-V: PEB, FRANKFURT: BHB
VANCOUVER and NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 29 /CNW/ - Pebble Creek Mining Ltd.
("Pebble Creek" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the state
government of Rajasthan, India has accepted the Company's applications for
Reconnaissance Permits in the Nagaur-Ganganagar Basin on July 25, 2008. The
state government advises that the applications will be vetted in a timely
manner. Potash applications do not require secondary approval by the central
The basin is located in the desert of northwestern Rajasthan and occupies
100,000 square kilometers. Within the basin are nine smaller evaporite
sub-basins. Evaporites are mineral salts that precipitated in brine pools as
the seawater evaporated.
The Geological Survey of India ("GSI") conducted geophysical studies and
drilled 72 holes totalling 61,700 metres in the sub-basins from 1974 to 1991,
and reported the results in Special Publication No. 62. The Company has
reviewed GSI's descriptive work, which is summarized below.
The basin contains clastic and carbonate formations dating from late
Proterozoic through Cambrian ages, then Carboniferous through Jurassic, and
finally Tertiary and Quaternary. In the middle of the stratigraphic sequence
the Hanseran Evaporite Group has an aggregate thickness of 100 to 656 metres.
The Hanseran contains seven cycles of halite (sodium chloride) formations at
depths of 300 to 1,200 metres below the surface. It is considered "Eocambrian"
age, or approximately 940 to 600 million years old.
The various halite cycles in the Nagaur-Ganganagar Basin range in
thickness from several metres to 272 metres, generally thicker in the centres
of the sub-basins. A cycle generally has a thick halite bed, with potash beds
at or near the top. The cycles are numbered 1 to 7 upward from the base, and
the highest grade potash is generally found near the tops of cycles 2, 3 and
Potash is a general name for salts containing potassium. The most common
in this series are polyhalite, sylvinite, sylvite, langbeinite and carnallite.
At the Nagaur-Ganganagar Basin, polyhalite beds range from 5 cm to 27 metres
in thickness and contain from 0.1 to 10.2% potassium. Sylvite beds range in
thickness from 10 cm to 4.3 metres and contain from 0.2 to 22.75% potassium.
The Company's Reconnaissance Permit applications are in three
non-contiguous tracts of 2,000 square kilometers each, covering seven of the
nine sub-basins (the Satipura, Bharusari, Lakhasar, Arjunsar, Jaitpura,
Malkisar and Hanseran sub-basins). The Satipura, Bharusari and Lakhasar
sub-basins were reported by GSI as having the highest grades and thickest
deposits, with potash beds found mainly between depths of 505 and 750 metres.
The sub-basins range in diameter from about 1,000 to 3,000 metres.
During the course of its research GSI estimated an historic mineral
resource. Details can be found in GSI Special Publication No. 62, 2005,
Kolkata, 700016, India. GSI provided a historic estimate of "probable" potash
of 404 million tonnes containing 4.60% potassium, half of which is in Satipura
and the remainder in Bharusari and Lakhasar. The historic estimate was based
on a minimum bed thickness of 1.5 metres and a cutoff grade of 3% elemental
potassium. GSI also provided a "possible" estimate of potash in all three
aforementioned basins of 2,070 million tonnes containing 4.60% potassium. No
mention was made of prospective mining methods or loss of material left behind
The historic estimates were prepared prior to National Instrument 43-101
(NI 43-101) and were based on 72 drill holes covering an area of approximately
50,000 square kilometers in an uneven pattern, with some holes located 1 or 2
km apart and others scattered at greater distances. In addition GSI reported
that some of the more soluble potash salts dissolved in the drilling fluids
and the resultant grade estimates could be biased.
A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the
historical estimates as current mineral resources. The Company is not treating
the historical estimates as current mineral resources within the meaning of NI
43-101 and therefore, the historical estimates should not be relied upon.
Although Pebble Creek does not endorse the historical estimates, the
studies conducted by GSI suggest that further exploration in the areas is
About India. India presently produces no potash. For several decades
India was a socialist country that had little profit-oriented mineral
exploration and mine development. Pebble Creek believes that India is the
least explored of any country occupying a mineral-rich Precambrian shield.
India is purchasing potash under yearly contracts from other countries,
including Canada, the world's leading producer. A recent annual contract
increased the price to the equivalent of US$530 per tonne FOB Vancouver.
India's annual growth rate has been 9% in recent years and its potash
imports are keeping pace. The Company believes the time is right to explore
the Nagaur-Ganganagar Basin for commercially viable potash.
India has three levels of mineral tenure: Reconnaissance Permit ("RP"),
Prospecting Licence ("PL") and Mining Lease ("ML"). An RP is valid for three
years and after two years it must be reduced to the lesser of 50% of the
subject area or 1,000 square kilometers. The RP holder can drill up to 10
holes per 100 square kilometers of area.
The holder of an RP has preferential rights under existing law to obtain
a PL on part of that area. A PL is generally limited to 25 square kilometers
unless the applicant can substantiate that more area is needed for workmanlike
exploration. The term of a PL with extensions is five years. Unlimited
drilling and testing can be performed.
The holder of a PL has preferential rights to obtain an ML, which has a
term of 20 or 30 years and can be extended in 20 increments. An ML is
generally limited to 10 square kilometers unless, as above, the applicant can
substantiate the need for a larger area.
India has been working towards a New Mining Policy for three years, which
has now been cleared by the cabinet and is awaiting implementation by
Parliament. Once the policy becomes law, the right to convert an RP or PL to
the next higher level will become absolute instead of preferential, size
limits of tenures will increase under certain conditions and other reforms in
favor of the mining industry will take effect.
As reported widely in the world press, on July 22, 2008 the Congress
Party's coalition government won a no-confidence vote in Parliament and
emerged in a stronger position to pursue its reform agenda. This bodes well
for the mineral industry in India which many have considered to be
Andrew Nevin, P.Eng., President and Chief Executive Officer of the
Company, is the qualified person under NI 43-101 who reviewed but has not
verified the historic data contained in this news release. He did verify
locations of ten drill holes in five of the sub-basins by finding the steel
collar pipes cemented in the holes. Dr. Nevin has approved of this news
About Pebble Creek. The Company has been exploring in India since 1995
and has built up a technical and business infrastructure. The Company's main
project is the Askot massive sulphide deposit in Uttarakhand state; however it
maintains an active pipeline of other projects in the exploration stages.
On behalf of the Board,
Gyan C. Singhai, P.Eng.
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
or accuracy of this release
For further information:
For further information: Gyan Singhai, Executive Chairman, Telephone:
(604) 696-6101; Mike Romanik, Investor Relations, Verenex Capital Corp.,
Telephone: (204) 724-0613