VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 -- South American Silver Corp. (TSX: SAC)(OTCQX: SOHAF) (the "Company") is pleased to advise that drilling operations at the Escalones copper-gold project in Chile have restarted after the recent stoppage. The access road, which was cut in fourteen places by a severe storm that passed through the Maipo Valley on Friday 8th February (see News Release 13-03 dated 13th February 2013) has been repaired to allow the safe passage of vehicles to the Escalones site. One drill rig restarted work on 25th February and all three rigs are now back in operation.
Phillip Brodie-Hall, President and CEO of the Company, said, "We are very pleased with the efforts of the work teams in Chile, which brought the road back into service sooner than expected. The early restart improves our chances of completing the full 10,500 metre program before the drilling season ends in April. The current program is focused on the western side of the Meseta, much of which is not in the current resource block model. If we continue to get the good results we have been getting this season (see News Releases NR-02 dated 21st January 2013 and NR-04 dated 27th February 2013) we expect to significantly increase the currently reported inferred resource of 4.5 billion lbs. of copper equivalent grading 0.49% (see News Release 19th December 2011). We are planning to produce an updated resource estimate by mid-year."
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 News Release 19th December 2011). 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.
Copper equivalent calculations reflect gross metal content using approximate 3 year average metals prices as of December 2011 of $3.00/lb copper, $1200/oz gold, $22/oz silver, and $16/lb molybdenum and have not been adjusted for metallurgical recoveries. An economic cut-off grade of 0.2% copper equivalent represents a metal price of approximately $2.50/lb copper.
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. 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.
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