VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct 23, 2013) - Kincora Copper Limited (the "Company", "Kincora") (TSX VENTURE:KCC) is pleased to provide an update on recent operational and corporate activities:
- Large scale, high priority copper porphyry targets advanced and refined following recently completed Induced Polarisation ("IP") survey, covering 48.96km2, and other field season activities at flagship Bronze Fox license
- Independent consultant review of the Bronze Fox's regional setting, encountered hydrothermal copper activity and exploration targets ongoing following recent site visit with positive initial findings
- Mongolian Parliament approves new Investment Law aimed at encouraging foreign direct investment and private sector activities
- Uncertainty concerning Golden Grouse licenses, Tourmaline Hills and North Fox, continues and is being closely monitored
- Director on-market acquisition of shares continues
- Further overhead/administrative cost savings realised, additional steps taken and other measures planned
Commenting on today's announcement, Sam Spring, President and CEO of Kincora, said:
"Preliminary results of the recently completed IP (geophysical) programme coupled with internal and independent interpretation of geology provides a number of exciting and high priority follow up targets, particularly nearer surface, which we expect warrant drilling. Further analysis and integration of various activities completed in the current and previous field seasons are ongoing but initial findings have confirmed Bronze Fox's strategic location in a proven but underexplored productive porphyry copper belt and enhanced our understanding of its favourable regional setting, extensive copper-gold system(s), and advanced both nearer surface and potentially higher grade target areas. Construction of the Tsagaan Suvarga project, and associated infrastructure, continues within 40km of Bronze Fox and initial production from Oyu Tolgoi, 140km away along strike, is ramping up with discussions for financing of the underground development ongoing.
The aim of our field season was to responsibly add value at the asset level while remaining comfortably funded into 2014 by both refining exploration data and specifying target generation of large scale, potentially world-class size, porphyry copper-gold targets. This has been accomplished as Kincora completed one of the most active copper exploration programmes in Mongolia during 2013, on one of the most advanced and prospective projects with the benefit of having one of the youngest exploration licenses. I would like to thank our employees and contractors for their recent hard work and look forward to providing a further update once final results are to hand."
The recently completed Induced Polarisation ("IP") programme utilized the Search Exploration system with preliminary analysis both confirming previous, and generating new, large scale high priority copper porphyry targets on the Company's flagship Bronze Fox license (15000X). The programme not only penetrated to a greater target depth than previously experienced but also covered a number of untested areas. In total 35 blocks, 238 transmitting and 476 receiving line kilometers respectively were completed covering a 48.96km2 area along the central prospects of the Bronze Fox license with no accidents or injuries - refer Figure 1.
The success of similar IP programmes at Oyu Tolgoi and the technical successes experience by Kincora in late 2012 with drilling results at two undercover new targets (with no supporting existing geology) reconciling to the geophysics targets, adds significant substance to the IP analysis. Bronze Fox continues to be one of the more advanced copper exploration projects in the highly prospective South Gobi region, offering large scale potential supported by known widespread lower grade copper mineralisation, and localized higher grades, with one of the youngest aged exploration licenses. Previous geochemical, geological mapping and alteration studies coupled with ground magnetics, shallower IP programmes and drilling results, including intersected mineralised copper porphyry and porphyry dykes, defined the scope of the recently completed programmes.
Other field season activities have included geological and alteration mapping, and Infra-Red ("IR") spectrum analysis, the latter completed with TerraSpec by consultant Plus Mineral, across various selected target areas - refer Figure 5. Additional petrographic and lithogeochemcial analysis is ongoing following a recent site visit from Professor Tony Crawford. Initial findings regarding Bronze Fox's regional setting, encountered hydrothermal copper activity and exploration targets have been positive.
Analysis and integration of various activities completed in the current field season and previous work are ongoing, particularly given the ability to reconcile both recent and historical geophysical analysis against existing drilling data and recent advancements in internal and independent understanding and interpretation of geology. Key focus areas of continuing analysis include the Sophie North prospect (discussed further below highlighted in Figures 2 and 3), a large conductive zone around the Happy Geo prospect with a discrete high chargeability anomaly to the south of Happy Geo and further geophysical interpretation of anomalies relative to previous drilling and alteration zone mineralogy at the West Kasulu and Leca Pass prospects which have also identified further targets with are not yet drill tested - refer Figures 2 and 3.
Additional geological and IP results are expected in approximately one month's time which will assist advancing the current working model of the extensive hydrothermal copper activity encountered at Bronze Fox and prioritize follow up drill targets. The ongoing inversion modeling indicates potential world-class size porphyry copper-gold target(s), often supported by positive known geology, which are expected to be drill tested in the 2014 field season.
It is worth noting that the historic drilling illustrated in the 2013 preliminary analysis of IP survey results in Figure 2 has not penetrated to the target depth of the geophysical anomalies. Most holes have been drilled to ~300m depth (maximum hole depth is <500m), relative to most targets from the 2013 programme commencing at 400-500m.
Of particular note are initial inversions that have defined a classical circular chargeability high, with a resistivity low almost in the core of the latter, just offset to the west at the Sophie North prospect, which extends into Buchanan Heights. The geophysical profile supports previous drilling results which returned anomalous copper and gold mineralisation near the IP target zone which coupled with an potential outcropping tonalite porphyry with unidirectional solidification textures (USTs) just further south, supports that the upper mineralized parts of the porphyry intrusions may have been preserved in a relatively unexplored area directly to the north of the West Kasulu prospect in shallower trending region. Following positive preliminary analyses of anomalies identified at Sophie North and Buchanan Heights as part of the 2013 programme an additional four blocks to the north were completed and preliminary analysis is not yet available. Recent geophysical and geological developments support this target being a drill ready, large-scale, high priority copper-gold porphyry target.
The preliminary data processing and inversion for the whole survey may is expected to take a few weeks with detailed processing (3D model) and interpretations expected in approximately one month's time.
New Mongolia Investment law
On October 3rd, 2013, 83% of Mongolia's Parliament members voted to approve a new law on investment ("Investment Law"), that is intended to introduce a stable tax and legislative environment, and will not distinguish between foreign or domestic investors. While full details of the new law are not yet available it is proposed to come into effect on November 1st, and is expected to repeal the Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law ("SEFIL"), which was enacted in May 2012 and restricted investments in strategic sectors, including mining, by requiring government, or even parliamentary, approval for certain transactions.
The Investment Law is the first of a number of proposed legislative initiatives driven by the recent decline of Foreign Direct Investment ("FDI") and private sector activity in Mongolia. One of the key goals of the new law is to provide a stable and favourable investment environment through two mechanisms. Firstly, four key taxes (corporate income tax, customs duty, VAT and mining royalties) will be stabilized for a defined period of time, 5 to 15 years, depending on the value and location of the investment with a certificate to be issued to both domestic and international investors. Secondly, to safeguard the key principles of the new Investment Law a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of Parliament is required for any amendments to be made in the future. The Investment Law retains an approval process for certain state-owned foreign entity transactions.
Director on-market acquisition of shares continues with further cash cost reduction realised
The Company continues to look to take measures to reduce cash outflows and provide flexibility regarding future commitments. A comprehensive review of executive and non-executive remuneration has recently been completed using comparables of both similar size TSXV and companies with Mongolian asset class exposure. Kincora is well below average on General & Administrative cash costs ("G&A") within our peer group with one of the more favourable Exploration and Development ratios to G&A.
As previously announced on May 10th, 2013, Kincora adopted a remuneration policy for director's fees such that there is a commitment for the on-market acquisition of shares, which remains in place with all directors participating in the programme. Refer to SEDI for further details (www.sedi.ca). Additional measures are expected to be taken to further promote the alignment of interests between management, directors and shareholders to reflect current market conditions.
The Company's cash balance as at the end of September, 2013 was approximately $1.39m supporting activities comfortably into 2014 with the management continuing to focus on further reducing G&A cash outflows as evidenced by recent significant reductions in both Vancouver and Mongolian office costs. Discussions with potential strategic investors regarding technical and financial synergies remain ongoing.
Golden Grouse license update
Uncertainty concerning the Company's wholly owned Tourmaline Hills (15075X) and North Fox (15076X) licenses due to criminal legal proceedings against former Government officials, impacting a total of 106 mineral licenses, continues to be closely monitored. Kincora acquired these licenses as part of the Golden Grouse transaction in April 2012 and are lower priority exploration targets relative to the Company's flagship Bronze Fox license (15000X). There is no suggestion that these licenses were originally issued as a result of any criminal wrongdoing.
Kincora paid $5m in script for the two licenses, incurred approximately $71,000 in legal costs relating to the acquisition and have spent approximately $1.85m in exploration costs since. The acquisition of the licenses followed full detailed due diligence, with the licenses confirmed to be in good standing by the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM), with exploration costs incurred following approval of the proposed exploration programs which have been subsequently accepted, annual license fees incurred and licenses extended by MRAM.
A recent series of criminal court cases relating to a number of ex-MRAM high-ranking officials (D.Batkhuyag, the former head of the MRAM and L.Davaatsogt, the former head of Geology, mining and cadastre department) has brought into question the legal rights and interests for the owners of 106 exploration licenses. MRAM is the appropriate implementing Government agency for the mining and mineral industry.
It is estimated 11 foreign and 67 local groups are the owners of the 106 licenses. At present, 24 companies holding 31 licenses of the above suspended 106 licenses are actively seeking direct dialog and discussions with appropriate government authorities. These 31 special licenses were issued before approval of the President's decree to ban issuance of new licenses for Mineral Resources dated April 20th, 2010.
It is estimated that for only 31 of the 106 licenses, that about US$19m has been invested and a further US$36m investment planned (from only 17 of the 24 companies). The 106 licenses cover a landmass approximately six times larger in surface area than active Mining Licenses in Mongolia. The recent previous peak number of employees and contractors employed by groups impacted by the license issue was 743 and these groups have only employed a peak number of 333 this year.
Consultations with key third neighbor governments have been ongoing and continue as the affected license holder's work with the Government of Mongolia on resolving this situation. The Mongolian National Mining Association ("MNMA") is also assisting where possible.
There is no definitive timeline available for final resolution relating to the 106 mineral licenses, which would be a ruling outside of the criminal courts jurisdiction in an administrative matter, and would support liability for damages caused by government officials under the Civil Code of Mongolia if the rights of existing licenses holders were negatively impacted. Kincora continues to actively seeking direct dialogue and discussions with appropriate government authorities, and will continue to inform the market of any material developments.
The scientific and technical information in this news release was prepared in accordance with the standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and was reviewed, verified and compiled by Kincora's geological staff under the supervision of John Rickus, Chairman and Director of Kincora Copper, who is the Qualified Person for the purpose of NI 43-101.
About Kincora Copper Limited
Kincora Copper Limited is a junior resource company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties with a focus on copper/gold projects in Mongolia.
Kincora's ambition is to be the leading listed independent copper exploration and development company in the highly prospective and proven Oyu Tolgoi South Gobi porphyry copper belt in southeast Mongolia. The Company is currently exploring its wholly owned Bronze Fox, Tourmaline Hills and North Fox projects which host an extremely large and strategically located mineralised footprint covering over 40km2.
The projects are situated only 250km from the Chinese border and within 140km of two large scale greenfield copper construction projects: Oyu Tolgoi, invested capital to date approximately US$6.6 billion and target production of up to 160,000t/ day; and, Tsagaan Suvarga, estimated capex US$1b and target production of 40,000t/ day. Other significant mines and associated infrastructure are being developed in this immediate region.
The Company is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, was formed in mid 2011, with its head office located in Vancouver, Canada, and a regional office in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Figures are available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/906179f.pdf
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