Southern Empire Resources Corp. (Southern Empire; TSX-V: SMP; OTCQB: SMPEF; Frankfurt: 5RE) announces that a preliminary investigation to determine the availability and source characteristics of groundwater needed to support future exploration and development of its Oro Cruz Project in southeastern California demonstrates:
- A groundwater production well (or wells) installed in the alluvial fans on the west side of the Cargo Muchacho Mountains is likely to provide abundant groundwater to meet anticipated demands. Continued field exploration and groundwater test wells will be needed to confirm the volumes and flow rates of available groundwater.
- Groundwater isotope characterization records completed previously and interpreted as part of Southern Empire’s investigation, demonstrate that alluvial groundwater recharge in the vicinity of the Oro Cruz Project is from meteoric water and is not sourced from Colorado River waters, implying that there should be no concerns of future Oro Cruz Project groundwater wells impacting local Colorado River surface water accounting.
Dale Wallster, CEO of Southern Empire, commented, “With water resources being of the utmost significance in the southwestern U.S.A. today, this initial, independent assurance of groundwater availability for our Oro Cruz Project, coupled with scientific findings that indicate no adverse impact to the regionally critical Colorado River sourced waters, are extremely positive.”
Del Fortner, Southern Empire’s environmental and permitting coordinator, commented, “The key to a sustainable exploration and development plan is the availability of groundwater sufficient for both exploration drilling and potential future mine operations. This water assessment report points to a meteoric source for groundwater ensuring that the use of Colorado River waters will not be an issue.”
The findings from the groundwater availability and characterization investigation support Southern Empire’s exploration plans for the Oro Cruz Project and follow on the heels of the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) publication of both a “Notice of Intent” in the U.S. Federal Register and a press release related to permitting of proposed surface exploration activities at Southern Empire’s Oro Cruz Project. For more information, please see the BLM’s news release of March 4, 2022.
Southern Empire contracted WestLand Resources, Inc. (WestLand) of Tucson, Arizona to complete the independent, groundwater assessment technical report. WestLand is an engineering and environmental consulting firm having a highly experienced staff of scientists, engineers, water resource experts, regulatory specialists, archaeologists, GIS analysists and administrative staff focused on helping their clients successfully achieve land use permitting and design needs.
The preliminary investigation consisted of a review of publicly available records and reports relating to groundwater in the vicinity of the Oro Cruz Project. Records reviewed included public agency reports, water well records, academic publications, and regulatory documentation submitted in support of other local development projects.
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been prepared, reviewed 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 (NI 43-101).
About Southern Empire Resources Corp.
Southern Empire is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of metals and mineral deposits in North America.
In northeastern Durango State, México, Southern Empire has an option to acquire a 100 percent beneficial interest in the 1,750-hectare (4,324-acre) Pedro Gold Project where recent core drilling has intersected orpiment and realgar mineralization within a silicified, brecciated limestone conglomerate unit that typifies the gold-bearing HP Breccia Zone.
In the Cargo Muchacho mountains of Imperial County, California, Southern Empire owns 100 percent of the historical gold-producing American Girl mine patented claims and holds options to acquire a 100 percent interest in the adjacent 2,160-hectare (5,338-acre) Oro Cruz property located approximately 22.5 kilometres (14 miles) southeast of the operating Mesquite gold mine of Equinox Gold Corp.
At Oro Cruz, extensive historical drilling and large-scale open-pit and underground mining of the American Girl, Padre y Madre, Queen and Cross oxide gold deposits by the American Girl Mining Joint Venture (AGMJV; ultimately owned by MK Gold Company and Hecla Mining Company) occurred between 1987 and 1996. During that time, gold was recovered by either heap leaching of lower-grade, or milling of higher-grade ores until AGMJV operations ceased in late 1996 because of declining gold prices leaving the Oro Cruz property with many gold exploration targets in addition to a historical inferred resource estimate, reported In 2011 by Lincoln Mining Corp., totalling 341,800 ounces gold based on 4,386,000 tonnes averaging 2.2 grams gold per tonne at a cut-off grade of 0.68 g/t Au (4,835,000 tons at 0.07 ounce gold per ton). Please refer to the Cautionary Notice Regarding the Oro Cruz Project Historical Resource Estimate below.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Southern Empire Resources Corp.,
Dale Wallster, CEO and Director
Cautionary Notice on Forward-Looking Information
Information provided in this news release may contain 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 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 its respective control. Such factors include, among other things: risks and uncertainties relating to Southern Empire’s limited operating history, the need to comply with environmental and governmental regulations, results of exploration programs on its projects and those risks and uncertainties identified in its 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.
Cautionary Notice Regarding the Oro Cruz Project Historical Resource Estimate
The historical resource estimate for the Oro Cruz Project is disclosed in a technical report dated April 29, 2011, prepared for Lincoln Mining Corp. by Tetra Tech, Inc. and filed on SEDAR and is termed an inferred mineral resource, which is a category set out in NI 43-101. It was based on historical reverse circulation and core drill hole sample, underground channel sample, and blasthole sample assay results and calculated using ordinary kriging to estimate gold grades in 10-foot-by-10-foot-by-five-foot blocks. Accordingly, Southern Empire considers this historical estimate reliable as well as relevant as it represents key targets for future exploration work. However, a QP has not done sufficient work to verify or classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource and Southern Empire is not treating this historical estimate as current mineral resources.
Work Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Timing of Southern Empire’s exploration programs are contingent on governmental regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and 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.
Neither the 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.