Underground resources have increased by 10% since the first NI 43-101 Resource Estimate completed in early 2012 (See Press Release March 27, 2012). More significantly, however, the open pit gold resources increased by 322%; and when the value of copper is included (as gold equivalent, "Au.Eq."), this increase is far more substantial, at 551%.
This increase arose from the discovery of the West Gold-Copper Zone during the year, a result of Alexandria's decision to step out further from the main mine area at Akasaba than previously drilled. The west Zone is a blind deposit, hidden under 5-15 meters of glacial overburden, and hosts a near-surface disseminated gold-copper deposit about 60 m wide, 400 m long along strike, and at least 300 m deep. The deposit remains open at depth. To the east, toward the Akasaba main mine area, company geologists are re-evaluating the copper contents of earlier drill holes drilled prior to the discovery of the West Zone.
In 2009, Alexandria completed its first NI 43-101 resource estimate at Sleepy, which consisted of 1.5 million tonnes grading 3.0 g/t Au, for 150,400 ounces of gold. The Current Resource is a disseminated pyrite-gold deposit in a gabbro sill about 5 km along strike with the past-producing Sigma 2 mine, which had a combined past production and resource of 2 million tonnes grading 2.4 g/t gold. The Current Resource extends for 300 meters along strike and 300 meters to depth.
In 2011, the Company deepened the deposit to 400 meters depth, with the following three drill hole results (all lengths in true widths):
-- DDH SAX-11-001: 3.87 g/t Au over 7.0m-- DDH SAX-11-005: 11.28 g/t Au over 2.4 m-- DDH SAX-11-009: 6.66 g/t Au over 15.85 m
As a result, the current drill program was planned to expand on the deeper levels of the deposit, both along strike and at depth. One drill rig is wrapping up this four hole program. Assays are pending from this effort.
Last year, Alexandria focused on step-out drilling in its efforts to expand the gold deposit at Akasaba, resulting in a significant increase in the resources there. For the coming 12 months, Alexandria intends to change tactics slightly, by increasing the proportion of shallow-level in-fill drilling, focused on the open pit deposits at Akasaba and, secondarily, at Orenada. The Company considers that these relatively easily accessible deposits are collectively of a size that warrants more detailed looks at future production, and the possible opportunities of 5 gold mills in the region, all operating well below capacity.
Within this framework, the Company intends to complete a metallurgical study on the West Zone, begin background environmental studies, and aim toward producing a Preliminary Economic Assessment of the shallow, open pit deposits on its projects. As such drilling will comprise continued step-out drilling with focus on the West Zone, in-fill drilling, and new target testing over the coming year.
In other matters, the Company's Board of directors has approved the issuance of 3,420,000 incentive stock options to directors, officers, employees and consultants. The options are exercisable at a price of $0.10 and expire on March 27, 2016.
All technical information included in this news release has been previously released, and approved by Eric Owens, P.Geo., and Peter Legein P.Geo., Qualified Persons, of Alexandria.
About Alexandria Minerals Corporation
Alexandria Minerals Corporation is a Toronto-based junior gold exploration and development company with one of the largest portfolio of properties along the prolific, gold-producing Cadillac Break in Val d'Or, Quebec. The Company is currently focused on advancing its Akasaba project. Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., with two producing gold mines in the region, owns roughly 10% of the Company.
WARNING: This News Release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding Exchange approval of the Agreement, payments and exploration expenditures due under the Agreement, the timing and content of up-coming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. Alexandria Minerals Corporation relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements.
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Alexandria Minerals Corporation
Alexandria Minerals Corporation