North Atlantic Resources is pleased to announce that it has acquired an option on the 185 square kilometer Kourouba gold exploration permit in southern Mali. The Kourouba project is located in the Koulikoro Region, 150 kilometers southeast of the capital, Bamako. The property covers a strike length of 14 kilometers of prospective stratigraphy in the Birimian Yanfolila greenstone belt.
Under the terms of an option agreement, the Company can acquire the Kourouba exploration permit by paying an initial payment of US$60,000, US$100,000 on the first anniversary, US$140,000 on the second anniversary, and US$200,000 on the third anniversary, for a total of US$500,000. The property is subject to a 2.5% Net Smelter Returns Royalty which can be purchased any time by the Company for US$5.5 million.
In the central part of the property, a previously-completed soil sampling program, at a density of 500 meters by 200 meters, defined a north-trending, continuous, gold in soil anomaly, with samples containing at least 100 parts per billion gold over a nominal strike length of 2,500 meters and a peak value of 1,420 parts per billion (1.42 grams per tonne gold). Follow-up soil sampling, completed by the vendor of the property, confirmed the presence of gold in termite mound samples, indicating that the gold in soil anomaly is probably coincident with gold in saprolite and bedrock below the anomaly.
The Company initially plans to complete 2,000 to 3,000 meters of air core drilling to determine the location, nature, and trend of gold concentrations in saprolite and bedrock over a strike length of 2,500 meters. Contingent upon the results of the air core drilling, the Company will complete an induced polarization survey and additional drilling.
With the addition of the Kourouba project, the Company has 8 gold projects comprising 1,676 square kilometers of mineral rights in Mali. Since 2002, the Company has made gold discoveries at the Kantela project (2004), FT project (2005), and Massala project (2006).
At the FT deposit, which is currently estimated to contain 218,800 ounces of gold in the inferred category and 160,700 ounces of gold in the indicated category, the Company is currently reviewing the results of the latest phase of drilling and assaying completed in 2006. The purpose of the review is to make recommendations for further work on the deposit and on exploration targets elsewhere on the property. It is anticipated that an induced polarization survey will be completed over the deposit and its extensions in February, 2007, before the next phase of drilling is completed. The Company anticipates that future drilling would be greatly optimized by the ongoing review of the geology and grade distribution of the deposit.
At the Kantela project, the Company is completing a review of the drilling at Zone 2 in order to complete a preliminary model of the gold zone, and to complete additional drilling, if warranted.
At the Massala project, the Company is planning to complete an induced polarization survey in the area where a reverse circulation drill hole intersected 12 meters grading 3.26 grams per tonne gold in 2006. Contingent upon the results of the geophysical survey, the Company will complete additional drilling in order to trace the extensions of the gold zone.
In addition to the aforementioned gold projects, the Company continues to review data from several promising gold exploration prospects in Mali and anticipates that additional projects will be acquired in 2007.
In the neighboring Republic of Niger, the Company acquired the Abelajouad uranium exploration permit in 2006 and has 4 pending uranium exploration permit applications in Niger. The Company anticipates that it will begin exploration work on its uranium exploration projects in Niger in the first quarter of 2007. In addition, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Selier Energy Ltd., has applied for an oil and gas exploration permit in central Mali and, contingent upon successfully acquiring the permit, will prepare an appropriate plan for the financing and exploration of the project.
The technical information contained in this release was compiled by Jon North, Ph.D., P. Geo., who is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
North Atlantic has 19,142,308 common shares issued and outstanding (21,246,058 shares on a fully diluted basis).
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This press release has been prepared by North Atlantic Resources Ltd. and no regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.