LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwired) -- 06/04/13 -- Highland Copper Company Inc. (TSX VENTURE: HI) ("Highland" or the "Company") is pleased to announce results for all 35 diamond drill holes completed at the G-2 chalcocite prospect at the Keweenaw Copper Project in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, U.S.A. Some of the higher grade intersections at a 0.75% Cu cut-off include the following:
-- MH106: 7.7 meters of 3.14% Cu and 2.9 g/t Ag-- MH116: 7.4 meters of 3.08% Cu and 10.0 g/t Ag-- MH109: 6.4 meters of 4.73% Cu and 12.7 g/t Ag-- MH105: 4.6 meters of 4.61% Cu and 1.7 g/t Ag-- MH107: 4.2 meters of 5.58% Cu and 3.7 g/t Ag
The G-2 prospect consists of at least three, near-vertical zones of chalcocite mineralization hosted by basalt lava flows of the Portage Lake lava series. The Company has completed 35 holes totaling 6,800 meters. See drill hole locations on Figure 1, results for composite assay intersections on Table 1 and cross section of the G-2 area on Figure 2. (Table and figures available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/hi-0604.pdf) In April, diamond drilling was suspended when melting snow made access to drill sites difficult. Additional drill targets have been identified and will be tested in due course.
The G-2 prospect is located about 18 km east of the 543S prospect where the Company has drilled 171 diamond drill holes totaling 26,972 meters since July 16, 2012. The Company has delivered the 543S database to independent consultants and a resource estimate in compliance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") is in progress.
"We are very encouraged with the G-2 results," noted Ross R. Grunwald, PhD, Vice president of Exploration for Highland. "Drilling has confirmed the presence of high grade copper mineralization over widths that justify further evaluation as an underground resource. At least three different zones have been intersected and these remain open laterally and at depth. Additional IP and soil geochemical anomalies in the area also remain to be tested. "
Lens-like zones of mineralization, largely in brecciated tops of scoriaceous amygdaloidal Precambrian basalt lava flows, consist mostly of primary chalcocite accompanied by small amounts of native copper and native silver. Traces of other sulfide minerals are also present. Mineralization comes to the surface, but supergene oxidation is weak and is restricted to depths of 1-2 meters. The G-2 prospect is in the eastern portion of a 20-mile long belt of chalcocite prospects that extends east from an area of large native copper mines, centered near the town of Calumet, Michigan, that were mined for about 130 years before closing in 1968 due to low copper prices.
The 2013 drill holes at G-2 are within an area of 33 historic diamond drill holes that was explored from 1973-1977 by a joint venture between Homestake Mining Co. and International Nickel Co. Drilling conducted in the 1970s indicated potential for chalcocite mineralization geologically similar to that found in the 543S deposit. The G-2 prospect contains a non-compliant historic resource estimate of 985,000 short tons averaging 2.8% Cu at a 1.0% Cu cut-off grade as described in a Technical Report by Behre Dolbear & Company, Ltd. titled "Centennial and Kingston Native Copper, 543S, and Other Copper Sulfide Properties, Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, Michigan, USA'' dated September 29, 2011. The Company has not completed the work necessary to classify the historical estimate mentioned above as compliant mineral resources as defined in NI 43-101. Therefore, the Company is not treating the historical estimate as a mineral resource and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.
Drilling, sampling, assaying, and QA/QC
Most of the 35 holes are drilled on an azimuth of 174 degrees (S6 degrees E) and are inclined at 45-60 degrees from the horizontal. All holes reported on Table 1 are inclined to the south along section lines shown on Figure 1. The cut-off for reporting results is 3 meters averaging at least 0.75% Cu. Down-hole surveys are made for all holes. Winter drill progress was made difficult by an aggregate snow fall exceeding 300 inches.
All technical information for the exploration program is collected under a formal quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program that has been reviewed by two independent qualified persons as defined in NI 43-101. Samples are taken under the direction of qualified geologists and stored in sealed bags. Sampling of visually-identified high grade copper intersections is on approximate 0.5 meter intervals adjusted for the geology. Samples are then placed in sealed containers and delivered via courier or common carrier to Accurassay Labs and ActLabs, both certified analytical facilities in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada for analysis. Copper and silver contents are determined at both labs using a four acid digestion procedure.
The technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Ross R. Grunwald, PhD., Vice president - Exploration for the Company. Dr. Grunwald is a qualified person as defined in NI 43-101.
Amendments to the Keweenaw Venture Agreement
The Company also reports that it has recently entered into an amended and restated Mining Venture Agreement with BRP LLC with respect to the Keweenaw Copper Project. The main purpose of the amendment was to remove from the Venture Agreement the southwest portion of the Project where previous deep underground mines are located. This amendment allows the Company to continue its current strategy and focus on exploring the Central and Eastern part of the project where the 543S, G-2 and other chalcocite target areas are located. The Keweenaw Copper Project now covers a total area of 9,186 acres. The amendment also clarifies the process and terms for the acquisition of new properties within the joint venture area of interest.
Under the Mining Venture Agreement, Highland is entitled to acquire a 65% interest in the Keweenaw Copper Project located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for consideration of US $750,000 in cash (US $500,000 paid to date), 200,000 (post consolidation) common shares of the Company (133,333 shares issued to date), US $11,500,000 in exploration and development expenditure on the project (approximately US $9.5 million spent as at March 31, 2013) and completion of a feasibility study by October 26, 2015. For properties that BRP has contributed to the joint venture, it will be entitled to a sliding scale net smelter return royalty (NSR) based on the price per pound of copper with a minimum of 2% up to a maximum of 5%. For other properties acquired within a certain area of interest, BRP will be entitled to a 1% NSR.
More information about the project is available on the Company's website at www.highlandcopper.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward looking information under the provisions of Canadian securities laws. Such statements include without limitation: the Company's plans and objectives to complete a mineral resource estimate and resource modeling; the geological interpretation of the results and the continuity of the copper system, and other statements and information regarding anticipated results regarding the Company's operations and exploration. Such statements reflect the Company's views as at the date of this press release and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Actual results may be materially different from those currently anticipated. Many factors, known and unknown, could cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to: the volatility of copper price; the uncertainty of exploration results, capital expenditure requirements and other costs; the uncertainties related to the Company's ability to acquire a 65% interest in the Keweenaw project; currency fluctuations; the availability of financing for additional capital requirements, cost of exploration and development programs; mining risks; risks associated with governmental and environmental regulation and obtaining all the necessary permits for the development of the project; and risks associated with global economic growth. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements and information, except as required by law. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a mineral resource, if confirmed, will ever be converted into mineral reserves. Mineral resources have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and as to their economic and legal feasibility.
Highland Copper Company Inc. is a Canadian exploration company focused on exploring and developing copper projects on the Keweenaw Peninsula within the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, U.S.A. through its 100%-held subsidiary, Keweenaw Copper Co. The Company is well capitalized with approximately $7.8 million in cash at March 31, 2013. The common shares of Highland trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol 'HI'. Additional information about the Company is available on the Company's website and on SEDAR.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
James Crombie, Interim President and CEO
Ross R. Grunwald, Vice president - Exploration