GIBRALTAR, GIBRALTAR--(Marketwired - Jan 8, 2014) - Wishbone Gold (WISHY) ('Wishbone' or 'the Company'), an exploration company focussed on precious metals, is pleased to set out an overview of the Company and detail its growth strategy and objectives for 2014.
Wishbone Gold was established by Richard Poulden, a successful resources entrepreneur, to acquire and develop quality gold projects. It listed in 2012 with two exploration properties and has now doubled this to four covering 34,700 hectares in a proven gold producing region of north east Queensland, Australia. It has identified new gold and polymetallic mineralisation on both of the initial licences. Most recently, the Company has secured a share exchange agreement with Global Resources Investment Trust plc (or 'GRIT'), a new company founded by a group of highly successful fund managers to focus exclusively on investing in the junior mining sector. GRIT plans to list on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. This milestone agreement provides Wishbone with an injection of working capital and an important new strategic investor which will support its investment policy to acquire and develop precious metal assets.
The driving force behind Wishbone's strategy is the firm belief in the significant medium to long term upside potential of the precious metals market, particularly gold. The retrace in the gold price over the past 12 months has created an ideal opportunity for Wishbone to identify and acquire quality assets which are currently in distress, due to insufficient capital for development or similar symptoms of the current investor fatigue prevalent across much of the resources market. Wishbone is targeting a significant gold portfolio through which to gain exposure to the sector recovery which the Board believe is inevitable.
Wishbone's high conviction in the upside potential of gold is based on two main factors. Firstly, it is impossible to inject as much liquidity into the world financial system as has been done under the various Quantitative Easing programmes without inflation following. Secondly, the rapid increase in the quantity of gold purchased by China. Since September 2011 the country is thought to have purchased more than 2,116 tonnes of gold1, equating to approximately 80% of the entire annual mined world gold output.2
The Wishbone board brings with it a pedigree in the acquisition and growth company sectors. Chairman Richard Poulden has had a long and industrious career in building companies through acquisition; with Sirius Minerals and Alliance Medical being just two of his best known success stories. Poulden has surrounded himself with a similarly experienced team, ensuring that he has access to the most attractive opportunities and the ability to execute them efficiently.
The Board's confidence in the long term value accretion potential within the resources sector is one shared by the GRIT team. This common belief in the fundamentals of the natural resource market, and the opportunities inherent in downturns of the commodities cycle, puts the Wishbone team in good company. Wishbone will benefit from the share exchange as it provides the Company with access to capital through the sale of its shares in GRIT to fund both the development of its current portfolio and the evaluation of additional opportunities in the gold space. This is an innovative financing mechanism for a listed company, in a climate where ready access to capital is at the forefront of many investors' minds. In addition, GRIT also has the added dimension of providing Wishbone with an active partner within the resource investment arena.
The Wishbone team is continually assessing the suitability of new gold properties and measuring them against the investment criteria set by the Board to maximise the potential for value accretion. The stipulations for the successful investment profile are centred on de-risking development, and are focused on attractive geology and metallurgy where exploration data already exists. With this in mind, the Board supports the "closeology" argument. To paraphrase, "the best place to find any natural resource is where someone else has already found it". Fitting this principle perfectly are Wishbone's four Queensland properties. Results from Wishbone's first exploration field season at its Queensland assets, known as Wishbone II, Wishbone III, Wishbone IV and White Mountains, have supported this strategy, demonstrating some exciting gold and polymetallic mineralisation.
The latest results for Wishbone II, published in October, reconfirmed the Board's conclusion that the Hanging Valley target represents a priority prospect that contains multiple polymetallic veins located perpendicular to a major geological trend known as the Alex Hill Shear Zone. The latest work has defined extensions to the previously identified polymetallic DAB vein system as well as a parallel vein with grades of 1.25% copper, 0.12g/t gold, 476ppm molybdenum and 262ppm arsenic. High gold grades, including samples of up to 25.2 g/t gold, were also returned from rock chip samples on the previously discovered Haughton Bluff Creek West vein system and regional stream sediment sampling returned strongly anomalous results up to 27.7ppb gold in the area.
In addition to Hanging Valley, the Oaky Mill prospect is another highly prospective target where significant areas of copper and gold mineralisation have been discovered by soil sampling. Samples from 17 outcrops returned grades greater than 1% copper and a further eight returned grades greater than 0.5%m. A standout sample demonstrated high grade anomalies of 4.83% copper and 0.23 g/t gold. In addition, stream sediment samples defined elevated gold levels up to 11.7ppb gold. The Company is now planning to continue the delineation of surface gold anomalies and define drill targets at both Hanging Valley and Oaky Mill.
At the White Mountains licence, the Company has identified elevated gold-antimony arsenic bearing siliceous breccias. Recent exploration results have produced rock chips sampling 0.18g/t gold and 0.16g/t gold with strongly anomalous antimony and arsenic geochemistry. This zone appears to extend a further 1-2km to the north of the Edwards historical antimony mineral occurrence which returned a follow up rock chip sample of 14% antimony with 0.66 g/t gold and elevated arsenic. The Company is planning additional exploration programmes to evaluate the wider resource potential of this prospective property.
By applying modern exploration practices, coupled with the extensive historical data available across the Wishbone II, III, IV and White Mountains tenements, the Company has demonstrated the value upside of these gold properties. When considering both the potential of its current portfolio and the Board's desire to gain further exposure to the precious metals sector, 2014 is set to be a busy year for the Wishbone team, one in which much progress is expected to be made in delivering on the Company's objective to be a consolidator of quality gold assets.