Southern Empire Resources Corp. (Southern Empire; TSX-V: SMP; Frankfurt: 5RE) announces that it has received a second “Notice Level” acceptance from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding its Oro Cruz Gold Project in southeastern California. This new acceptance, for road construction, pad preparation and sonic drilling of the American Girl historical heap leach pads, is in addition to the previous BLM acceptance allowing for sonic drilling of the Padre y Madre historical heap leach pad area; see Southern Empire’s news releases dated August 5, 2020 for details.
Dale Wallster, Southern Empire’s CEO stated: “Kudos to our team as they continue to achieve our California permitting goals in a timely manner. We are on track to start our sonic drilling in mid-September and we’re very excited about the potential for the historical heap leach pads to host a significant amount of gold.”
- Second BLM “Notice Level” acceptance of planned exploration program received in a timely manner
- BLM acceptance allows for sonic drilling of the American Girl historical heap leach pad
- A minimum of 518 metres (1700 feet) of sonic drilling is planned for the American Girl and Padre y Madre historical heap leach pads, which cover approximately 61 and 22 acres, respectively
- Sonic drill program anticipated to begin in mid-September
- Selected surface grab samples taken from both pads ranged from 0.128 to 2.078 grams gold/tonne
- Sonic drill contract calls for tender issued
- Permit bonding lodged with the BLM
- BLM acceptance valid for two years expiring in 2022, extendible to 2024
Historical mining of the American Girl, Padre y Madre, Queen and Cross gold deposits by the American Girl Mining Joint Venture (AGMJV; MK Gold Company and Hecla Mining Company) occurred between 1987 and 1996. At that time, processing was either by heap leaching of lower-grade or milling of higher-grade, gold-mineralized oxide materials. AGMJV operations ceased in late 1996, due to declining gold prices, leaving both the American Girl and Padre y Madre historical heap leach pads, covering approximately 61 and 22 acres, respectively.
Southern Empire believes that the gold-bearing oxide material in these two historical heap leach pads may contain significant residual gold. As a first phase of assessment, 26 surface grab samples were collected: 12 from the Padre y Madre and 14 from the American Girl historical heap leach pads. Southern Empire previously released gold assay results for these samples that ranged from 0.128 to 2.078 grams gold/tonne (g Au/t; 0.004 to 0.061 oz gold/ton); all gold assay results are presented in Southern Empire’s news release of July 7, 2020.
Sonic drilling of these heap leach pads is necessary in order to establish an industry compliant mineral resource and provide samples for future extractive metallurgical test work.
Southern Empire is well-financed to start its Oro Cruz exploration programs, having recently completed two oversubscribed, non-brokered private placement financings (see Southern Empire’s news releases dated March 18 and June 12, 2020 for details).
Work programs during the COVID-19 pandemic
Although BLM, state and county offices are currently closed, their staff have established measures to provide services remotely. Timing of Southern Empire’s exploration programs will be contingent on governmental regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and also the availability of exploration-related personnel, drill contractors, equipment, lodging, et cetera. Southern Empire will adhere to COVID-19 directives regarding safe working practices putting worker, community and national safety first and will proceed with exploration and development work programs only if potential COVID-19 risks can be effectively managed.
About Southern Empire Resources Corp.
Southern Empire is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold deposits in North America.
In the Cargo Muchacho mountains of Imperial County, southeast California, Southern Empire holds options to acquire a 100% interest in the 2,160 hectares (5,338 acre) Oro Cruz Property located approximately 22.5 kilometres (km; 14 miles) southeast of the operating Mesquite gold mine of Equinox Gold Corp.
The history of Oro Cruz includes large-scale open pit and underground mining by the American Girl Mining Joint Venture (53 per cent owned by MK Gold Company, then a subsidiary of Morrison Knudsen Corporation, and 47 per cent owned by Hecla Mining Company), operations which ceased during the gold market downturn in 1996. The Oro Cruz Gold Project covers the decommissioned Padre y Madre and American Girl historical heap leach pads, and has many exploration targets including the high-grade oxide Cross underground gold zone that, based on the historical mine operation records, is amenable to conventional heap leach extractive methods.
Southern Empire also owns an 85% interest in 101 unpatented BLM lode mining claims covering the 817 hectares (2,020 acres) Eastgate Gold Project, located in Churchill County, Nevada approximately 81 km (50 miles) southeast of the city of Fallon and 42 km (26 miles) from the Bell Mountain gold project currently undergoing final mine permitting by Eros Resources Corp. Southern Empire has recently completed six HQ-size core drill holes at Eastgate, that targeted high-grade gold/silver epithermal vein systems that were previously drilled by reverse circulation methods. Selective core samples have been submitted to ALS USA Inc.’s laboratories in Reno, Nevada and assay results will be released after they become available. Permitting for the next phase of drilling has been initiated.
Pursuant to a definitive arrangement agreement dated August 18, 2020, Southern Empire is in the process of acquiring all of the issued and outstanding shares of MAS Gold Corp. (TMX-V: MAS), an exploration company having road-accessible projects located in the La Ronge Gold Belt of Saskatchewan, Canada. Please refer to Southern Empire’s news release dated July 13, 2020 and August 18, 2020 available on SEDAR.
MAS Gold’s Greywacke North gold deposit, one of several known stratabound, high-grade gold-bearing zones on the Greywacke Lake Property, has an estimated Indicated Mineral Resource of 255,500 tonnes at a grade of 9.92 g Au/t, plus an Inferred Mineral Resource of 59,130 t at 7.42 g Au/t, at a cut-off grade of 5 g Au/t; see MAS Gold’s NI 43-101 Technical Report of June 1, 2016 available on SEDAR.
The North Lake gold deposit, located on the Preview-North property, 33 kilometres southwest of Greywacke North, has an Inferred Mineral Resource estimated at 417,000 ounces of gold contained in 14,110,000 t grading 0.92 g Au/t; see MAS Gold’s News Release dated March 25, 2020 and their NI 43-101 Technical Report dated April 10, 2020.
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been prepared, reviewed, verified and approved by David Tupper, P.Geo. (British Columbia), Southern Empire’s VP Exploration and a Qualified Person (QP) within the context of Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Instrument 43-101; Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Southern Empire Resources Corp.,
Dale Wallster, CEO and Director
Cautionary Notice on Forward-Looking Information
Information set forth in this news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on assumptions as of the date of this news release. These statements reflect management’s current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations. They are not guarantees of future performance. Southern Empire and cautions that all forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond their respective control. Such factors include, among other things: risks and uncertainties relating to Southern Empire’s limited operating history, ability to complete the proposed MAS Gold transaction (including obtaining all necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals), the need to comply with environmental and governmental regulations, results of exploration programs on their projects and those risks and uncertainties identified in each of their annual and interim financial statements and management discussion and analysis. Accordingly, actual and future events, conditions and results may differ materially from the estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, Southern Empire undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking information.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.