“I am pleased to announce that we are in a position to fully re-engage exploration activities on our flagship West Lombok property,” said John Proust, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Arc. “This permit enables Southern Arc to conduct both surface and drilling exploration for the standard renewable two-year period. We are committed to advancing this property and will immediately mobilize rigs, staff and resources.
“As challenging as I know the wait for the permit has been for our shareholders,” continued Mr. Proust, “I would stress that this conservative approach has placed us in a much stronger position to both protect and promote the Company’s interest in West Lombok.”
Southern Arc has continued to work closely with SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (“SRK”), an internationally renowned, independent consulting service to major, intermediate and junior mining and exploration companies. SRK has worked with the Company to prepare a detailed drill program for epithermal gold targets within the Pelangan and Mencanggah prospects. The next phase of exploration will focus on infill drilling in areas where the Company has identified high-grade shoots and wide mineralized intercepts (Figure 1). The Company’s objective for this drilling program is to develop a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource estimate for three targets within the 13 km by 7 km corridor of mineralization in the West Lombok property. These targets – Bising, Tebu Serai and Raja – comprise the three most developed epithermal targets within the property. Several other epithermal targets have returned encouraging surface results and the Company expects to explore these more thoroughly with future drill programs.
“With issuance of the West Lombok Pinjam Pakai forestry permit we can resume exploration and pursue evaluation of the gold potential of this property,” said Dr. Mike Andrews, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Arc. “We appreciate the patience of shareholders and are committed to advancing the project to a resource status for the benefit of both Southern Arc shareholders and our community partners. From the commencement of drilling, we anticipate that this program will take approximately five months to complete, allowing Southern Arc to publish an NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for the property by mid-2013.”
The Bising target in the Mencanggah prospect is the Company’s first priority for drilling. The Company is mobilizing six drill rigs to the Bising target and field personnel are already preparing access roads and drill pads so that the Company can resume drilling within one month. Southern Arc plans to drill up to 18 holes at Bising in two phases (Phase A and Phase B, Figure 2) to infill and expand the zone of mineralization adjacent to the wide intercepts identified with MCG028 (51.3 m 1.5 g/t gold), MCG030 (39.0 m 1.8 g/t gold) and MCG032 (37.8 m 1.0 g/t gold). This two-phase program will enable the Company to review assay results from Phase A exploration and refocus Phase B exploration as appropriate.
Surface channel sampling along the extensive strike length at Bising has returned high-grade intervals as well as very wide intervals of lower-grade gold mineralization. The Company completed eight holes at Bising in 2011 for a total of 2,285.7 metres. Drill holes were located at 100 metre drill spacing to test the main Bising epithermal structural body, its extensions, and intersections with several crossing structures, identifying a 500-metre-long zone of mineralization. The extensive width of the main Bising epithermal body is inferred to result from the intersection of geological structures: a major west-northwest trending structure and several north-northwest trending structures, the latter of which form the dominant gold mineralized trend in the district.
At the Tibu Serai target in the Mencanggah prospect, Southern Arc plans to test down-dip from elevated rock-chip gold geochemistry in multiple veins that exhibit low silver-to-gold ratios (Figure 3). Low silver-to-gold ratios are a proven vector to higher gold grades in epithermal mineralization throughout the property. Seven Phase A drill holes are planned, with eight Phase B follow-up holes to test the strike extensions if results are encouraging.
At Raja in the Pelangan prospect, the drill program will test for continuity of high-grade mineralization around the previous drill intercepts of PLD007 (17.4 m 19.4 g/t gold and 28.3 g/t silver) and PLD008 (11.55 m 9.8 g/t gold and 31.1 g/t silver) while examining the potential for extending and upgrading high-grade shoots identified with previous drilling (Figure 4). Southern Arc has planned eight Phase A holes, with five Phase B follow-up holes dependent on results.
Mohammed Al-Shahwani is Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Mining Company, which is wholly owned by the State of Qatar. Qatar Mining Company is the sole shareholder of Tadeen Cyprus Holdings which, in turn, holds a 9.8% interest in Southern Arc. Mr. Al-Shahwani joined Southern Arc’s Board of Directors in September 2011. Asked for his reaction to news of the West Lombok forestry permit, Mr. Al-Shahwani replied, “I supported the decision to take a patient and prudent approach over the past ten months and congratulate the executive team for this successful outcome, an achievement due in part to Southern Arc’s commitment to building strong relationships at all levels in a culturally nuanced environment. I look forward to the outcome of the West Lombok NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate with great interest and trust that the work programs planned for the area will add value to the exploration assets.”
On behalf of the Board of Southern Arc Minerals Inc.
John Proust, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
About Southern Arc
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to expected or anticipated future events and operations, timing of projects and anticipated results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, competitive and general economic factors and conditions, the uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, the occurrence of unexpected events, and the company’s capability to execute and implement future plans. Actual results achieved may vary from the information provided herein as a result of numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors. There is no representation by the company that actual results achieved during the forecast period will be the same in whole or in part as that forecast.
The technical information in this document has been reviewed by Southern Arc’s Executive Vice President, Andrew Rowe, B. App. Sc. Geology, MAusIMM. Mr. Rowe has over 18 years of international mineral exploration experience throughout Southeast and Central Asia and Australia. During this time he has held such positions as Principal Geologist – Feasibility Studies, Senior Geologist and Consulting Geologist. The technical information in this document has also been reviewed by Southern Arc’s President & Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Mike Andrews, PhD, FAusIMM, who has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralization under consideration and qualifies as a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
The drill program and sampling protocol is managed by Southern Arc under the supervision of Andrew Rowe. The diamond drill holes are drilled at PQ, HQ and NQ sizes depending on hole depth and core recovery to date has averaged 97.5%. Half core is cut by rock saw and is generally sampled according to geological contacts ranging between 0.2 to 2.5 metres in length. Three quality control samples (one blank and two standards) are inserted into each batch of 40 samples. The half core samples are securely transported from the project site to the Intertek Testing Services (“ITS”) sample preparation laboratory in Sumbawa Besar via private truck hired by Southern Arc. Sample pulps are then sent to the ITS Jakarta laboratory by ITS. Gold is analyzed by fire assay with AAS finish and a four-acid digestion with ICP-MS finish is used to analyze a full suite of elements including silver and base metals. ITS is one of the world’s largest product and commodity testing, inspection and certification organizations. The Jakarta laboratory is ISO 17025 accredited and employs a Laboratory Information Management System for sample tracking, quality control and reporting.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as such term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.