VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan 21, 2013) - South American Silver Corp. (SAC.TO)(SOHAF) (the "Company") is pleased to announce an update on drilling progress at the Escalones copper-gold porphyry project in Chile. The Company now has 3 diamond drills on the site and the first two holes have been completed. Results have been received for part of the first hole of this program. Hole 36 was drilled in the western part of the Meseta into porphyry style mineralization (see map: http://www.soamsilver.com/january-2013-news-release-escalones-image.asp). Below the glacial moraine the hole continued in partially leached bedrock with enhanced gold values. This is underlain by a mixed zone including both primary and secondary copper sulphides and copper oxides. The best 2 metres average 3.04% copper with 0.13 g/t gold. The better secondary enrichment averaged as follows:
0.99% copper with 0.15 g/t gold and 2 g/t silver over 27 metres
2.23% copper with 0.14 g/t gold and 1.4 g/t silver over 6 metres
This intercept continues for a total of 124 metres and averages 0.51% copper with 0.13 g/t gold and 1.1 g/t of silver which equates to a copper equivalent (CuEq*) of 0.62%. The entire mineralized interval to 358 metres averages 0.5% CuEq*. The remainder of the hole will be reported once assays are received.
Ralph Fitch, Executive Chairman of the Company stated, "The significance of this intercept is that it represents the development of excellent grade mixed primary and secondary copper enrichment mineralization which previously we thought had mostly been eroded by the glacier that covered this area. If we can continue to expand this style of mineralization in other parts of the Meseta it will greatly enhance our previously reported 0.41% copper resource of 3.8 billion pounds (see December 19, 2011 News Release). It is also important that drill hole ES-36 was drilled into similar porphyry style mineralization from which the excellent 25% to 34% copper concentrates were produced in our previously reported laboratory tests (see December 10, 2012 News Release). The overlying partially leached rock also contains interesting gold values of 0.26 g/t gold with 1.5 g/t silver, a grade that could be sufficient to pay for stripping a potentially important economic benefit for the project."
|The following table lists the results received to date for diamond drill hole ES 36:|
|*copper equivalent - see end of PR|
Escalones Drill Program:
Three diamond drills are now on-site as part of a substantial exploration program for the 2013 season, with the expectation that 10,000 metres will be drilled prior to the southern winter. At least six holes will be drilled in the Meseta area with a view to expanding the resource around ES 36 and the majority of the remainder will be drilled on the east side of the Meseta into the skarn mineralization with a view to expanding the resource to the East.
The Escalones copper-gold project is approximately 100 km southeast of Santiago, Chile and 35 km east of El Teniente, the world''s largest underground copper mine. Escalones, as previously announced and supported by a NI 43-101 technical report, contains a defined Inferred Resource of 420 million tonnes of mineralized material containing 3.8 billion lbs of copper, 56.9 million lbs of molybdenum, 610,000 ozs of gold and 16.8 million ozs of silver at a grade of 0.41% copper, 0.05 g/t gold, 1.24 g/t silver and 61 ppm molybdenum using a 0.2% copper equivalent cut-off grade. (see December 19, 2011 News Release). The detailed NI 43-101 Technical Report is available on SEDAR under the Company''s profile and on the Company''s website at www.soamsilver.com.
Metallurgical testwork on Escalones material completed at SGS Laboratories in Ontario has shown positive results. The standard sulphuric acid leach test achieved average copper extraction of 77% from mixed copper oxide/sulphide mineralization. Copper flotation is also proving successful and rougher/cleaner flotation testing of the porphyry material achieved 25-34% copper concentrate grades at high recovery. Further metallurgical testing is underway.
Malku Khota Project, Bolivia - Update on Arbitration:
The Company''s wholly-owned subsidiary South American Silver Limited continues to reiterate to the Bolivian Government its willingness to initiate negotiations to settle the dispute that arose as a result of acts and omissions of the Government of Bolivia, including the issuance of Supreme Decree No.1308 on August 1, 2012, revoking all of the mining concessions held by Compañia Minera Malku Khota S.A. (CMMK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of South American Silver Limited (the Malku Khota project). The six-month negotiation period in which the Government is expected to have discussions with the Company ends on April 23rd 2013, after which if no settlement can be reached, South American Silver Limited will formally file a Notice of Arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) claiming full compensation based on fair market value of the Malku Khota project.
Sample Analysis and Copper Equivalent Grade: (CuEq*)
Samples were analyzed by Andes Analytical Assay Laboratory located in Santiago, Chile. Gold was analyzed using fire assay and the AA (Atomic Absorption) method while silver, copper, gallium, indium, molybdenum and 38 additional elements were analyzed by ICP AES HF43 method with a four-acid digestion. The copper equivalent has been calculated using the following prices: copper $3.50 /lb, gold $1,600/troy oz, silver $30.00/troy oz, molybdenum $11.00/lb, lead $0.90/lb and Zinc $0.90/lb. Values have not been adjusted for metallurgical recoveries.
The qualified person for this press release is Felipe Malbran, Executive VP of Exploration, South American Silver Corp., and he has reviewed and approved the content of this press release.
About South American Silver Corp.
South American Silver Corp. is a growth focused mineral exploration company creating value through the exploration and development of the large scale Escalones copper-gold project in Chile, the pursuit of new opportunities, and the realization of value from the Malku Khota project in Bolivia. South American Silver Limited is a company incorporated in the Bermuda Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, which through its wholly owned Bahaman subsidiaries: Malku Khota Ltd, G.M. Campana Ltd. and Productora Ltd., owns one hundred per cent of the outstanding shares of Compañía Minera Malku Khota S.A., a Bolivian company, holder of the Malku-Khota mining concessions until their nationalization by the Bolivian Government. The Company''s approach to business combines the team''s track record of discovery and advancement of large projects, key operational and process expertise, and a focus on community relations and sustainable development. Management has extensive experience in the global exploration and mining industry. The Company''s shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "SAC" and on the OTCQX as "SOHAF". Information related to South American Silver Corp. is available at www.soamsilver.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Forward-looking statements look into the future and provide an opinion as to the effect of certain events and trends on the business. Forward-looking statements may include words such as "continue", "could", "will", "expectation", "expand", "enhance", "further", "initiate", "pursuit", "creating", "realization" and similar expressions. This release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and various estimates, factors and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. In addition,information concerning mineral resource estimates and the interpretation of exploration programs and drill results may also be considered as a forward-looking statement as such information constitutes a prediction of what mineralization might be found to be present and economically mineable if and when a project is actually developed.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as the Company''s actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors affect the Company''s business, or if the Company''s estimates or assumptions prove inaccurate. Therefore, the Company cannot provide any assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize. Factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, market conditions; the performance of the Common Shares or the Issuer; results of the Issuer''s exploration and development programs on its material properties; risks of the mineral exploration industry which may affect the Issuer and risks of the mineral exploration industry which may affect the advancement of the Escalones project, in each case, including possible variations in mineral resources or grade, metal prices, timely receipt of required permits, availability of equipment and qualified personnel, failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; the political and economic climate in Bolivia including the attitudes and actions of the Bolivian government related to foreign investment in Bolivia; the pursuit by the Bolivian government of stated courses of action; the international arbitration process; and other risks more fully described in the Company''s Annual Information Form filed and publicly available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The assumptions made in developing the forward-looking statements include: the accuracy of current inferred resources and the interpretation of drill and other exploration results for Escalones; the timely receipt of required permits for Escalones; the availability of equipment and qualified personnel to advance the Escalones project and execution of the Company''s existing plans and further exploration and development programs for Escalones, which may change due to changes in the views of the Company or if new information arises which makes it prudent to change such plans or programs; the ability of the Company to realize value from its investments in Bolivia and that statements made by Bolivian government officials reflect the government''s intentions. Subject to applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Unless otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements in this release describe the Company''s expectations as of January 21, 2013.
Cautionary note regarding reserve and resource estimates
The information in this press release has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all resource and reserve estimates included in this press release have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Classification System. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, differ significantly from the requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and resource and reserve information contained herein may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the term "resource" does not equate to the term "reserves". Investors should also understand that "inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category. The estimation of quantities of resources and reserves is complex, based on significant subjective assumptions and forward-looking information, including assumptions that arise from the evaluation of geological, geophysical, engineering and economic data for a given ore body. This data could change over time as a result of numerous factors, including new information gained from development activities, evolving production history and a reassessment of the viability of production under different economic conditions. Changes in data and/or assumptions could cause reserve estimates to substantially change from period to period. No assurance can be given that the indicated level of mineral will be produced. Actual production could differ from expected production and an adverse change in mineral prices could make a reserve uneconomic to mine. Variations could also occur in actual ore grades and recovery rates from estimates.