Not for distribution to United States wire services or dissemination in the United States
TORONTO, April 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Polar Star Mining Corporation ("Polar Star" or the "Company") (TSX:PSR) accomplished the following corporate objectives during the first quarter of 2012:
- Identified 5 new targets at Montezuma
- Continued commissioning of the Chépica Mine
- Continued Joint Venturing non-core properties
Recognizing the need for additional technical expertise and an independent view of how best to advance exploration at Montezuma, the Company engaged the services of outside consultants. Recommended was a program to extract maximum value from existing data: drill core re-examination, surface geologic mapping, replotting surface samples, reinterpretation of IP geophysics; coupled with acquisition and interpretation of detailed airborne magnetics.
This new approach has been vital in making progress at Montezuma and has led to defining the following pattern of faulting:
|1)||The main north-south trend of the West Fault has been deflected to the west of the central Montezuma area around the Limon Verde uplift, although prominent north-south trending strands of the West Fault persist through the central zones;|
|2)||The north-south trending Limon Verde Paleozoic block butressed this displacement, resulting in a series of northeast and northwest trending cross-faults that may have provided openings for porphyry emplacement;|
|3)||Two phases of thrust faulting have been identified: younger, thin-skinned east-vergent thrusts; and higher-angle north-south trending thrusts; and|
|4)||Thin-skinned thrusting appears to have placed unaltered blocks of rock over porphyry-style mineralization, effectively hiding the full extent and mineralized potential;|
Re-analysis of the 2010 drill campaign suggests that drilling and IP were focused on the altered edge of a thrust window that exposed the periphery of what may be a mineralized porphyry center to the west. The probable center of this porphyry, called the "Western Thrust Zone" ("WTZ") has not yet been drill tested.
Photographs and a new map of Montezuma can be found on the Company's website at: http://www.polarstarmining.com/NewsCentre/maps-and-charts/Montezuma/default.aspx
Western Thrust Zone ("WTZ")
Geologic mapping of the Western Thrust Zone target has identified a 1.5 km x 1.5 km area of altered and mineralized rock exposed in an erosional window that cuts through overlying and unaltered upper plate rocks. Rocks in the lower plate appear to be thoroughly leached and exhibit scattered "live" limonite. Although the IP lines to date were terminated before entering the WTZ, re-analysis of this data, currently in progress, may aid in the definition of this target. The new magnetic data indicates an area of magnetic confusion in this zone, perhaps indicative of magnetic rocks in the unaltered overlying thrust plates capping altered, and thus non-magnetic, rocks in the underlying plate - more detailed analysis is in progress. Polar Star's 2010 drilling did not test the WTZ, however chip piles left behind from historic reverse-circulation drilling on the edges of the zone indicate abundant pyrite and strong alteration is present. The 2.25 km2 thrust window delineated to date does not suggest that the potential target is limited to that size - this is only the extent that erosion allows a view beneath the unaltered rock plates. It is likely that porphyry alteration in the lower plate is much more extensive than what is exposed in the window.
Utilizing the same techniques and concepts that aided in the discovery of the WTZ, a combination of structural interpretation and ground follow-up has led to the identification of four new anomalies elsewhere at Montezuma.
This first new anomaly is situated in the extreme north of the Montezuma property within strands of the West Fault zone. Between these splits, NE-SW tension faults define the limits of the anomaly. The presence of copper oxides combined with hematite and limonite stockworking indicates that the zone is prospective for mineralization at depth. The area covers a minimum of 1 km2. A coincident magnetic low is possibly indicative of alteration. No IP has been done across the Ignacia anomaly.
The Melisa anomaly covers an area of 2 km x 2 km (4 km2), associated with a major NE-SW fault. The main part of this second new anomaly has intensive stockworking and brecciation including hematite, tourmaline, and copper and manganese oxides. There are a number of significant artisanal copper workings across the target. Extensive trenches, adits and pits where local miners have exposed copper oxides are located in the stockworks and within a 1 x 1 km zone on its northern flank. This area is currently being mapped and sampled.
The Melisa area has been previously covered by Polar Star's IP program. The IP indicates that there is a conductivity anomaly at depth perhaps indicative of a sulphide system. Combining the extensive artisanal workings with the stockworking and IP suggests this area is highly prospective for a large copper porphyry. Interpretation of airborne magnetics over this prospect is in progress.
This third new target area lies on IP line 42.5, but in the far west of the property at the intersection of a part of the West Fault and the same NE-SW structure seen at Melisa. The area shows alteration, limonite and hematite with silcification and sericite. Mapping and sampling are continuing.
Karina is the fourth new anomaly recently identified and is located on the southern border of the property abutting Antofagasta plc's producing Esperanza - El Tesoro Mine property. Our geophysical re-interpretation program confirms that there is an IP anomaly present. The limits of the Karina anomaly have not been fully defined, however, an area with a surface gossan (typical of leached-out copper deposits) straddles the border with Antofagasta plc and extends for 1 km onto the Montezuma property. This area is highly prospective: field observations and sampling were made in March and are continuing.
Commissioning continues to advance at Chépica. Installation and testing of the Falcon concentrator occurred in February and performed as expected during March. The filter press has been successfully operating since the middle of March. In late March, the ball mill's original Chinese feed was replaced with a locally redesigned and manufactured unit which immediately increased the mill throughput to 160 tonnes per day ("tpd") and allowed the mill to achieve a new production level of 177 tpd on March 29th and 30th. A trommel was added to the exit of the mill to automatically remove oversized material and rejected ball fragments. New liners were installed for the Weir pump and the speed of the impellers in the mill's scavenger cells were increased which had the effect of decreasing the tailings grade.
On March 25th, 2012, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded 27 km to the north-northwest of Talca. Neither the Chépica mine nor the mill operations suffered any damage. The electrical service was cut for approximately 24 hours and operations resumed shortly thereafter.
Construction of a new Central Portal to access higher grade ore in the Chépica No. 1 vein at the 75 metre level was commenced in March 2012. To date the Company has sold 500 dry metric tonnes of concentrate grading an average of 60.75 g/t gold and 5.08% copper. The mill has processed an average of approximately 117 tonnes per day since start-up and as noted above, exited March having achieved a 177 tpd throughput on March 29th and 30th. Cash receipts received to date total approximately USD $2.0 million.
Joint Venturing Non-Core Properties
We are continuing work to complete the previously announced joint venture agreements. Interest remains strong in our portfolio of other properties. We continue to discuss with potential partners what funding is available on commercially attractive terms to advance exploration on them.
Outlook for Second Quarter 2012
In the second quarter, work will continue at Montezuma to develop new discrete drill targets based on multi-faceted observations, including but not limited to, geochemical assays, re-interpreted geophysics, mapping and ground truthing. The first of the outside consultants to direct the new program at Montezuma leading to the new insights and targets is geologist Dr. Linus Keating, CPG of Tucson, Arizona. Accordingly, the Board of Polar Star have recognized his technical expertise and contributions to the new program by granting him 50,000 stock options with an exercise price of $0.50. The options expire on March 13, 2017 and vest 50% on December 31, 2012 and the balance on June 30, 2013.
The focus at Chépica will continue on increasing sales from greater operating efficiencies, continuing with development of the new Central Portal and shipping product from the Falcon concentrator.
The qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 is Dr. Linus Keating, CPG who has reviewed the contents of this news release relating to the Montezuma property.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on assumptions, uncertainties and management's best estimates of future events. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations and projections. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. When used herein, words such as "anticipate", "will", "intend" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, refer to Polar Star's filings with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or the Company's website at www.polarstarmining.com.
About Polar Star
Polar Star is an emerging exploration company with a focus on building value in Chile through discovery and development. Its flagship property, Montezuma, covers 40 kilometres of the West Fault and the cross-cutting Esperanza Fault system and is located between Codelco's Radomiro Tomic - Chuquicamata - Ministro Hales (formerly known as Mansa Mina) group of copper-molybdenum porphyry deposits, and Antofagasta PLC's El Tesoro - Esperanza - Polo Sur group of copper-gold porphyry deposits. The head offices of Polar Star are located in Toronto.
Shares outstanding: 94,956,001 as at April 3, 2012.
For further information:
Adam Rochacewich, CFO
Tel: (416) 368-3496
Email: [email protected]