Southern Empire Resources Corp. (Southern Empire; TSX-V: SMP; Frankfurt: 5RE; OTCQB: SMPEF) announces that, for its Oro Cruz Project located in Imperial County, California, the United States Army’s Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) issued an Approved Jurisdictional Determination (“AJD”) on November 28, 2022.
The USACE determination process was conducted to identify the extent of USACE authority over the Oro Cruz Project site, i.e. whether the project area covers “Waters of the United States”. In the AJD, the USACE agreed that the Oro Cruz Project area does not cover any waters of the United States, nor are there any existing aquatic resources that would, subject to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, result in the Oro Cruz Project being a regulated activity. This AJD is valid for five years.
Southern Empire also announces that its Oro Cruz Project “Initial Study”, was presented at an Imperial County Environmental Evaluation Committee (“EEC”) public hearing on November 17, 2022, and proposed project exploration work was approved under a Mitigated Negative Declaration (“MND”) pursuant to California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (“SMARA”) and the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). An MND is assigned to a project when an Initial Study identifies potentially significant effects on the environment, but where proposed mitigation measures will reduce impacts on the environment to be less than significant. The EEC hearing was part of a collaborative permitting process between the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and Imperial County as a representative for the State of California.
A BLM news release on November 16, 2022, officially notified the public that the BLM is seeking input and commentary concerning Southern Empire’s proposed surface exploration plans as set forth in an Exploration Plan of Operations (the “Plan”) that proposes specific surface mineral exploration activities, disturbing only up to 8.3 hectares (20.5 acres) within an approximately 253-hectare (approximately 626 acres) portion of the Oro Cruz property. All proposed exploration activities are to be conducted so as to avoid unnecessary and undue degradation of public lands and resources.
Interested stakeholders are invited to review the draft Oro Cruz Exploration Project Environmental Assessment (“EA”) related to the Plan and to submit substantive commentary electronically, via the BLM National NEPA Register at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2017983/570, during a 30-day public comment period that runs from November 16 through December 16, 2022. Also, as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) permitting process, the BLM’s El Centro Field Office is conducting a virtual informational meeting to discuss the Oro Cruz Project on November 30th at 4:00 pm PST. Stakeholders may register for this at: https://stantec.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oL7ApimWRSqNfm9yw8e-mQ.
Qualified Person (QP)
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 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 minerals deposits in North America.
In northeastern Durango State, México, Southern Empire has an option to acquire a 100-per-cent beneficial interest in the 1,750-hectare Pedro Gold Project. At Pedro, in the spring of 2022, Southern Empire drilled gold mineralization approximately 800 metres from 2014 drilling by a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation. Gold mineralization, associated with highly anomalous arsenic (orpiment and realgar common), antimony, mercury and thallium, has been identified hosted in permeable basal conglomerates deposited during Oligocene extensional deformation, the latter forming widespread Basin and Range physiography along the easter part of Sierra Madre Occidental. Gold is present in 12 of the 17 holes drilled at Pedro to date. Please see Southern Empire’s news releases posted on SEDAR for further details.
In the Cargo Muchacho mountains of Imperial County, California, Southern Empire owns 100 percent of the historical gold-producing American Girl mine property 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”) 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., totaling 341,800 ounces gold based on 4,386,000 tonnes averaging 2.2 grams gold per tonne (g Au /t) at a cut-off grade of 0.68 g Au/t (4,835,000 tons at 0.07 ounce gold per ton; please refer to the Cautionary Notice Regarding the Oro Cruz Property 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 information or forward-looking statements that are based on assumptions as of the date of this news release. Such information or statements reflect management’s current estimates, beliefs, intentions, and expectations and 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 many 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 Oro Cruz Project Historical Resource Estimate
The Oro Cruz Project historical resource estimate is disclosed in a technical report dated April 29, 2011, prepared for Lincoln Mining Corp. by Tetra Tech, Inc. and filed on Canadian Securities Administrators’ System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”). It 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.
Cautionary Notice Regarding Exploration Work Programs
The timing and the ability to conduct Southern Empire’s exploration programs are, among other things, contingent on: governmental regulations allowing for the issuance of permits; affects of the COVID-19 pandemic; and the availability of exploration personnel, drill contractors, equipment, lodging, etc. Southern Empire will adhere to COVID-19 directives regarding safe working practices putting worker and community health and safety first and will proceed with exploration and development work programs only if potential COVID-19 risks can be effectively managed.
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