ST. ANDREWS, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire -03/12/12)- Portage Minerals Inc. (CNSX: RKX) ("Portage") today announced that as part of its strategy its wholly-owned subsidiary Rockport Mining Corp. has entered into an agreement with Wolfden Resources Inc. ("Wolfden") to sell its 30% interest in the Clarence Stream Gold Project in New Brunswick for approximately $3.1 million in cash and securities.
According to Ken Hight, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Portage, "By realizing the value from our non-core assets, we will be able to advance our priority gold properties without accessing the current equity markets and diluting our shareholders."
Portage also announced that the Company's focus will be wholly-owned or majority controlled advanced exploration New Brunswick gold properties. New Brunswick was recently named the best mining jurisdiction in the word by the Fraser Institute last February 2012.
Highlights of the strategy:
-- Concentrate on the Company's two advanced stage gold properties, Golden
Ridge (60% owned) and Golden Pike/Annindale (100%-owned);
-- Progress these advanced properties to the pre-feasibility stage;
-- Realize cash from non-core assets, such as its 30% interest in the
Clarence Stream Project, to invest into the core, advanced staged gold
-- With Portage's large project base in New Brunswick, other non-core
assets, such as the Bald Hill Antimony Property, have been identified
for disposition or joint venture. The Company is in advanced
negotiations for such a deal.
Mr. Hight went on to say "We want to keep it simple. Focus our resources on our core properties, which have consistently returned exciting drill results from our resource expansion drill programs. These properties are wholly-owned or we have a majority position. We intend to advance the Golden Ridge and Golden Pike properties as priority projects by redeploying cash from our non-core assets."
A summary of Portage's two advanced gold projects are provided below.
The Golden Ridge Project
Portage completed 45 drill holes in 2010 and 24 drill holes in 2011 on the project. Recently announced drill results from 2011 drilling include: 2.37 g/t gold over 22.70m, 0.70 g/t gold over 167.40m including 1.37 g/t gold over 30.05m and 0.76 g/t gold over 154.10m including 1.12 g/t gold over 46.50m and 1.20 g/t gold over 24.97m. The mineralized system (1 km x 0.4 km) remains open for resource expansion. The 8 km by 3 km property covers a highly prospective gold target which remains virtually unexplored outside the drilled resource area.The mineral resource estimate of April 26, 2011, contains an Inferred Mineral Resource of 11,640,000 tonnes at a grade of 0.96 g/t gold yielding 359,300 ounces of gold. It is important to note that this resource estimate does not include the 24 drill holes completed in 2011 and Management expects the 2011 program to significantly expand the mineral resource for the Golden Ridge Property.
The Golden Ridge Property, comprising 3,386 hectares, is located 80 km west of the City of Fredericton in York County, New Brunswick. Portage (through its amalgamation with Rockport Mining Corp.) owns a 60% interest in the Golden Ridge Property, with Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc. (f/k/a Freewest Resources Canada Inc.) ("Cliffs"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF - News)(Paris: CLF - News), owning 40%. Ongoing Joint Venture exploration and development costs are being shared on a 60:40% basis, with a non-contributing party being subject to pro rata dilution.
Full disclosure of Portage's 2011 drill programs and the Golden Ridge resource estimate are available within the Portage news releases dated March 2, 2011; April 26, 2011; June 8, 2011; October 24, 2011; January 31, 2012 and March 1, 2012. An NI 43-101 compliant technical report on the Golden Ridge Property describing in detail, among other things, the resource estimate, QA/QC, database validation and geologic model, was filed on SEDAR on June 9, 2011.
The Golden Pike Property
In 2011 Portage completed 17 holes plus the extension of 4 existing holes for a total of approximately 2,700m drilled. The program focused on delineating and expanding the high grade gold zones on the South Trend deposit where previous drilling returned gold intersections such as 43.07 g/t gold over 13.00m, 32.26 g/t gold over 10.06m and 8.08 g/t gold over 7.72m. Recently announced drill results from 2011 drilling include: 6.93 g/t gold over 10.62m, 9.09 g/t gold over 3.35m, 19.47 g/t gold over 2.20m, 9.42 g/t gold over 3.80m and 33.30 g/t gold over 1.41m.
The South Trend mineral resource estimate as of August 19, 2011 contains an Inferred Mineral Resource of 214,800 tonnes at a grade of 9.60 g/t gold (capped) yielding 66,300 ounces of gold (for comparison purposes, the uncapped grade is 13.48 g/t gold yielding 93,100 ounces gold). The resource estimate does not include the results from drill holes completed in 2011 and Management expects the 2011 program to expand the mineral resource estimate for the Golden Pike Property.
The Golden Pike Property comprising 1,600 hectares is located 60 km southeast of the City of Fredericton in Kings County, New Brunswick. The Golden Pike Property is owned 100% by Portage and is subject to a 2.0% net smelter return ("NSR"). Portage can purchase half of the NSR (1%) for $500,000 per 0.5% NSR increment.
Full disclosure of Portage's previous drill programs and the Golden Pike Property resource estimate are available within the Portage news releases dated November 12, 2010; August 24, 2011; December 21, 2011 and February 13, 2012. An NI 43-101 compliant technical report on the Golden Pike Property describing in detail among other things, the resource estimate, QA/QC, database validation and geologic model, was filed on SEDAR on September 8, 2011.
Portage has agreed to sell to Wolfden its 30% in the Clarence Stream Gold Project in exchange for $3,075,000 in cash and equity. Wolfden has paid $75,000 as a non-refundable deposit and will pay upon the close of the transaction $2.5 million in cash and $500,000 in the equity of Wolfden. The number of shares that Portage will receive will depend on the issue price of Wolfden's public offering. Portage will no longer have an interest in Clarence Stream. The closing of the transaction is conditional on Wolfden completing its public offering by April 30, 2012; receipt of all applicable regulatory and stock exchange approvals; and other customary closing considerations.
Roger Dahn, P. Geo. (New Brunswick), Vice President-Exploration of Portage, is designated as the Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release.
Portage Minerals Inc. is a mineral exploration corporation exploring for gold in Eastern Canada. Further information about Portage can be accessed on the Company's website at www.portagemineralsinc.com and on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com. The common shares of Portage trade on the Canadian National Stock Exchange ("CNSX") as a mining issuer under the trading symbol "RKX".
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Except for historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and Portage undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.
The CNSX has not approved and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
- New Brunswick