VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/11/13 -- West Kirkland Mining Inc. (TSX VENTURE: WKM) (the "Company") has commenced its 2013 drilling and exploration program on key targets in the Long Canyon Trend of Nevada and Utah. This year, the Company plans to drill approximately 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) on high-priority gold targets identified at the Lewis Spring, Bandito and 12 Mile prospects. Drilling is currently underway at Lewis Spring. In addition, up to five square miles of gravity surveying will also be conducted along with the expansion of soil sampling grids to further define additional gold targets.
Michael G. Allen, Vice President of Exploration for West Kirkland Mining said, "The Company is using the deposit models of the nearby Long Canyon and TUG deposits to systematically guide our drilling and exploration target generation within our large, approximately 1,000 square kilometer land package in the Long Canyon Trend. Meanwhile we will be completing the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of the nearby TUG gold deposit by mid-year."
At Lewis Spring, West Kirkland is drill testing near surface gold mineralization associated with mapped geologic structures and jasperoid zones identified by the Company. Previous work by other operators working in Lewis Spring identified a 53 square kilometer gold-in-stream sediments anomaly. This work was followed up by West Kirkland's 2012 soil sampling program which revealed elevated gold-in-soils including one gram per tonne gold (g/t Au) at surface.
The Bandito project is located on a section of privately held mineral rights on the Nevada side of the Nevada/Utah border, 17 kilometers west of the TUG deposit in Utah. Mapping and sampling has revealed a structural corridor containing elevated gold-in-soil values within an area of approximately 450 meters by 80 meters. Within this corridor, mapping identified a potential host horizon for mineralization where rock chip sampling returned strongly anomalous gold geochemistry including one surface grab sample returning 10 g/t Au.
In 2012 West Kirkland drilled seven holes into the 12 Mile prospect. These holes returned gold grades similar to the Company's nearby TUG deposit, including 6.10 meters of 0.72 g/t Au starting at a depth of 12.2 meters (see news release dated September 26, 2012). In 2013, West Kirkland will be working further north along strike from the 2012 drilling. The target at 12 Mile is within the same stratigraphic contact that hosts mineralization at the Company's TUG deposit located 10 kilometers to the east. The potential short trucking distance to the proposed production infrastructure being studied in the TUG Preliminary Economic Assessment places an exploration priority at the 12 Mile Prospect.
TUG Project Update
West Kirkland has recently completed six drill holes within the TUG deposit for metallurgical testing purposes. The drill cores from these holes will also be used for contributing technical information for the pit slope designs as well as assaying and gold recovery work. The metallurgical test work will consider a crushing, heap leach and a standard Merrill Crowe system for the recovery of gold and silver. West Kirkland continues to generate inputs for the Preliminary Economic Assessment which is being spearheaded by Sandy McVey, P. Eng., the Company's Chief Operating Officer and independent engineering firm Roscoe Postle Associates. Deposit modeling is underway for an optimized open pit design. Surface layouts and multiple water and power options are also being assessed.
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