LAKEWOOD, CO, March 19 /CNW/ - NewWest Gold Corporation (TSX:NWG)
(NewWest) today announced the results for the completion of Phases One and Two
of its 2006 Northumberland project drilling program, carried out by its joint
venture partner, Newmont USA Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining
Corporation (NYSE: NEM) ("Newmont"). These Phase Two results complement the
Phase One results released November 21, 2006, which revealed holes with
high-grade mineralization. Located in Nye County, Nevada, Northumberland is
NewWest's flagship and most advanced property.
At a total cost of US$3.033 million, the 2006 program drilled numerous
targets within Newmont's conceptual open pit as well as underground targets
within the Southwest Zanzibar target area. In addition, early-stage targets
were drill-tested outside of the resource area, on the eastern and western
range front within the Northumberland Project area.
The two phase exploration program included 54 drill holes with total
footage of 55,357 feet. Phase Two consisted of 13 reverse-circulation rotary
(RC) and core holes with a total footage of 21,242 feet, and Phase One
consisted of 41 RC and core holes with a total footage of 34,115 feet.
Some Phase Two drill holes encountered gold mineralization approaching
underground-mineable grades. Hole NUN-82C encountered 30 feet of
0.246 oz Au/ton between 1,725 and 1,755 feet; hole NUN-83C encountered 10 feet
of 0.448 oz Au/ton between 1,650 and 1,660 feet; and NN-85 encountered 20 feet
of 0.287 oz Au/ton between 1,455 and 1,475 feet. Phase One holes NN-63C and
NN-64C were drilled to explore for the deeper high-grade mineralization
previously discovered in NN-5. Hole NN-63C encountered 25 feet of
0.437 oz Au/ton at a depth of 1,015 feet, and Hole NN64C encountered 30 feet
of 0.306 oz Au/ton at a depth of 830 feet. Phase One 2006 hole NN-56 reported
a 290-foot continuously mineralized zone grading 0.118 oz Au/ton that appears
to be associated with both the Zanzibar Deposit and the lower zone discovered
in hole NN-5.
"NewWest has achieved significant progress at Northumberland since the
Company's inception," said Steve Alfers, President and Chief Executive
Officer. "The 2006 drilling encountered impressive grade and thickness in
step-outs from mineralization in a feeder system previously discovered in Hole
NN-5. Although the feasibility has not yet been assessed, this suggests this
portion of the Zanzibar deposit may be exploitable by either open-pit or
underground mining methods. Drill results from other areas of the deposit
complex confirm, and in some cases enhance, the NewWest resource model, and
indicate potential for continued progress in 2007."
Underground Zanzibar Targets, Phase 2
Phase Two included 11 RC and pre-collar core holes with total footage of
18,602 feet that concentrated on testing higher grade underground targets in
the Southwest Zanzibar Deposit outside of Newmont's conceptual pit indicated
by previously drilled high-grade holes NW-1103 and NW1086A.
All 11 holes encountered significant mineralization. Three of the holes
had intercepts that approach underground-mineable grades: NUN-82C with 30 feet
of 0.246 oz Au/ton between 1,725 and 1,755 feet; NUN-83C with 10 feet of
0.448 oz Au/ton between 1,650 and 1,660 feet; and NN-85 with 20 feet of
0.287 oz Au/ton between 1,455 and 1,475 feet.
Follow-up to Previously Reported NN-5 and NN-56, Phase 1
Hole NN-5 was Newmont's 2004 drill hole that encountered two zones of
mineralization including 105 feet of 0.142 oz Au/ton within the Zanzibar
Deposit, and 65 feet of 0.267 oz Au/ton just below the Zanzibar Deposit. Phase
One 2006 hole NN-56 reported a 290-foot continuously mineralized zone grading
0.118 oz Au/ton that appears to be associated with both the Zanzibar Deposit
and the lower zone discovered in hole NN-5.
Phase One holes NN-63 and NN-64 were drilled to explore for, and better
define, the deeper zone of mineralization encountered in both NN-5 and NN-56.
NN-64 encountered 80 feet of mineralization in the Zanzibar Deposit with a
grade of 0.215 oz Au/ton between 785 and 865 feet, which includes 30 feet of
0.306 oz Au/ton between 800 and 830 feet. Hole NN-63 also encountered
well-mineralized Zanzibar Deposit (100 feet of 0.226 oz Au/ton between 720 and
820 feet) and also encountered 25 feet of 0.437 oz Au/ton between 990 and
1,015 feet. This deeper high-grade zone in NN-63 extends the mineralization in
NN-56 60 feet to the south where it remains open-ended.
Orocopter Exploration Drilling, Phase 2
The Orocopter anomaly is a gold geochemical anomaly located on the
eastern side of the Toquima Range approximately four miles east of the
Northumberland Mine. Two wide-spaced exploration RC holes NUO-1 and NUO-2,
with total footage of 2,640 feet, were drilled as stratigraphic holes to
initially test the anomaly at depth. The holes encountered locally anomalous
mineralization. The anomaly will require further evaluation.
Metallurgical Characterization, Phase 1
As disclosed on November 21, 2006, seven core holes were drilled as part
of Phase One to obtain samples for metallurgical testing and waste-rock
characterization. Final results for this work are pending.
Complete drill and assay results, as well as a map of the drill-hole
locations, are available on the News page of NewWest's website,
www.newwestgold.com. Reported "thickness" for averaged grade intervals does
not imply "true thickness," however, most reported thicknesses are only
slightly greater than true thickness. Reported grade averages are in ounces
per ton and based on a cutoff grade of 0.050 oz Au/ton for sulfide, and
0.010 oz Au/ton for oxide materials.
NewWest's wholly owned subsidiary, Nevada Western Gold LLC ("Nevada
Western"), entered into a joint venture with Newmont on the Northumberland
project. Under the joint venture agreement terms, Newmont may earn a 60%
interest in the joint venture by completing $25 million in expenditures on the
Northumberland project by December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2006, Newmont
has spent approximately US$6 million at Northumberland from the inception of
the joint venture. The joint venture agreement permits Newmont to withdraw
from the venture and cease funding exploration and development of the project
for any reason. Additionally, if Newmont fails to meet the cumulative
expenditure requirement at the end of any calendar year, the joint venture
will terminate and Nevada Western retains 100% of the project. NewWest retains
a 3% net smelter return royalty (NSR) on 100% of future gold production.
Michael Gustin, Ph.D., of Mine Development Associates, Reno, Nevada, is
NewWest's qualified person as defined by NI43-101 and has reviewed and
approved the technical data in this news release.
This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements" within
the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements involve
risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results,
performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those
expressed in such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information in
this news release includes but is not limited to, economic performance,
statements regarding potential mineralization and reserve exploration,
expansion of the conceptual pit, and future plans and objectives of NewWest
Gold Corporation including future exploration and development. Any number of
important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from these
forward-looking statements, including those set out in the Company's
prospectus dated August 18, 2006, as well as future results. Although the
Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the
forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed
on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and
no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed
timeframes or at all. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to
update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
NewWest is one of the largest holders of precious metals mineral rights
in Nevada's gold trends, spanning approximately 623,000 acres. NewWest holds
19 exploration projects, including advanced staged projects with measured and
indicated resources. NewWest's goal is to advance its projects along the
pipeline into production.
For further information:
For further information: NewWest Gold Corporation, Stephen Alfers,
President and Chief Executive Officer, Tel: (303) 425-7042, Fax: (303)