VANCOUVER, April 27 /CNW/ - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX-V: FCV.V) is pleased to announce that it has agreed to option its 100%-owned Minas Chanca silver property to Peruvian miner, Compania de Minas Buenaventura (NYSE: BVN). Buenaventura is Peru's largest publicly-traded precious metals company and operates seven mines in Peru. It also owns a 43.65% stake in the Yanacocha deposit, Latin America's largest gold mine.
Focus' claims total 1,200 hectares and cover the historic Minas Chanca silver mine located in the central Peru mineral belt, some 20km north-west of Buenaventura's Uchucchacua Mine, which produced 10.5M oz of silver in 2009. The property was acquired by Focus by staking in 2009 as part of its aggressive on-going project acquisition strategy targeting former producing mines with untested exploration potential. Additional information on the Minas Chanca project can be found on the Focus website: www.focusventuresltd.com.
Under the terms of a Letter of Intent, Buenaventura can earn up to a 75% interest in the claims by spending US$3 million in exploration and development over a period of three and a half years from the issuance of the necessary permits. During the first phase, Buenaventura has committed to earning a 50% interest in the property by spending no less than US$1 million in exploration within 18 months, which will include a total of 3,000m of drilling. To earn an additional 25% interest (total 75%), Buenaventura has the option to complete US$3 million in exploration and development expenditures within 3.5 years. Buenaventura's work program will comprise access to site, geological mapping, sampling, trenching and drilling, including rehabilitation and sampling of underground adits and tunneling.
Buenaventura will also have the option to acquire the remaining 25% participating interest of Focus. The purchase price will be defined based on resources outlined in a NI-43-101 compliant technical report made after Buenaventura invests the US$3 million. A formula for the calculation of sale price and for any resources defined during any future production will be negotiated and detailed in a definitive agreement.
Simon Ridgway, Chairman and C.E.O. of Focus Ventures, comments: "The agreement demonstrates the capability of the Focus team in the selection and acquisition of past-producing precious metal properties of the caliber to attract major mining companies such as Buenaventura. Buenaventura has mining operations and advanced projects near Minas Chanca, and the deal will offer Focus a foothold in any future production scenario in a historic, rich, yet unexplored silver mining district."
More About Minas Chanca
References to mining at Minas Chanca date back to the 17th century and the district has yielded at least 40 million ounces of silver from a swarm of epithermal veins. The district was known for its spectacular bonanza silver grades within rich pockets or "boyas" of ruby silver, with reported grades of 50 - 70 oz/t Ag. The mine has remained unexplored since its closure in the 1980s and has never been drilled. Potential exists to find additional resources along strike and underneath known mined veins and within new structures.
The mine is located midway between the provinces of Oyon and Cajatambo, some 160km north of the Peruvian capital, Lima, at altitudes of 4,400 - 4,900 m a.s.l. References to mining at Minas Chanca date back to 1712 during Colonial times. Initially ore was produced by open pit along the Discubriadora vein, which was known for its richness in silver. However the most important vein was the Candelaria vein, which during early production reportedly yielded grades of 50 to 75 oz Ag/t.
Production was from at least 20 veins and splits of various orientations that cross-cut Lower Calipuy andesites and volcanic breccias. The majority of ore came from 3 principal veins, Candelaria, Tarazca and Santo Toribio, which trend N050E. Other veins included the Prescilda, Shirley and Yanacelli veins which have a dominant N70-85W trend. The highest grades of silver were reported to occur mainly on the intersections of these structures. Mine levels span approximately 300 vertical meters, and past production occurred via a system of galleries, cross-cuts and drives. Vein mineralogy is dominated by argentiferous galena, proustite and pyrargyrite within a gangue of quartz, pyrite, calcite and rhodochrosite. Although the underground workings are inaccessible, assays from grab samples taken by Focus from the old mine dumps confirmed the high silver content of the mineralization.
FOCUS Ag Au Cu Pb Zn
SAMPLE oz/t ppm ppm % %
17322 14.98 0.33 2530 2.18 1.73
17323 13.73 0.16 492 4.06 1
17324 10.83 0.25 524 3.92 0.8
17325 91.31 0.69 2040 14.75 2.47
More recently a Peruvian mining company worked the mine during the 1970s and 1980s until its closure in 1985. The last available resource calculation was by INGEMMET in 1980, who reported a resource of 503,300 t grading 13.42 oz/t Ag, 2.26% Pb ("high grade") and 112,588 t grading 3.86 oz/t Ag, 0.92% Pb ("low grade"). The reader is cautioned that this resource estimate is historic in nature and is mentioned for information purposes only. The mine is believed to have continued production for several years after this resource estimation and Focus has not completed sufficient work to verify whether this resource exists or was mined or partially mined out. The resource was completed prior to NI 43-101 and as such it cannot be relied upon.
Buenaventura operates seven mines in Peru; Orcopampa, Uchucchacua, Antapite, Julcani, Recuperada, Shila - Paula and Poracota. In 2009 the company produced 423,000 oz Au and 13MOz Ag from these operations. The company owns 43.65% in the Yanacocha gold deposit, one of the world's largest and most profitable gold mines, and a 19.26% interest in the Cerro Verde copper mine.
Qualified Person and Analytical QAQC
The scientific and technical information in this release was prepared under the supervision of Mr. David Cass, Focus's President, who is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and a "Qualified Person" in accordance with NI 43-101.
Samples were analyzed by ALS Chemex laboratories in Lima. Gold was assayed by Atomic Adsorption Spectrometry with fire assay gravimetric finish. Silver was determined by multi-acid digestion and ICP-AES, with fire assay gravimetric finish. ALS Chemex's quality control system complies with International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025:2005. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples.
About Focus Ventures
Focus Ventures is acquiring advanced, drill-ready projects in Peru. Backed by an experienced technical team of geologists and consultants, Focus's strategy is to identify and acquire former producing mines or un-tested gold properties that show potential to become new mines.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
David Cass, President
Contact: Erin Ostrom / Ralph Rushton
Shares Issued: 29.1-million
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE Focus Ventures Ltd.
For further information: For further information: please call (604) 688-5288 or visit our web site www.focusventuresltd.com