|Solitario Initiates the Most Aggressive Drilling Campaign in its History
Six Projects Totaling 25,000 Meters of Drilling Slated for 2007
Mexican Exploration Office Established
June 12, 2007
|Denver, Colorado: Solitario Resources Corporation (AMEX:XPL;TSX:SLR) announced that drilling has commenced on three of its exploration properties as part of the most aggressive drilling campaign in its corporate history. A total of 25,000 meters of drilling is currently anticipated on six separate projects located in Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Over 80% of this drilling will be 100% funded by three of Solitario's joint venture partners. The other 20% will be funded by Solitario on 100%-owned projects. Drills are currently operating on the Pachuca Real silver-gold project in Mexico, the Pedra Branca platinum-palladium (PGM) project in Brazil and the Triunfo poly-metallic project in Bolivia.
Chris Herald, President and CEO of Solitario, stated, "This is truly an exciting time for our Company and shareholders with so much activity occurring simultaneously over a diverse set of projects within a limited time frame. This is the first modern-day exploration program on the Pachuca Real project, that we believe has exceptional potential to host high-grade silver-gold mineralization. At our advanced Pedra Branca platinum-palladium project, our objective is to discover new deposits on high-quality and previously untested PGM prospects. We hope to take our high-grade Bongará zinc project in Peru to the next level of development through Votorantim Metais' comprehensive drilling program that will begin shortly. Additionally, we continue to add to our pipeline of new properties, at least three of which we will drill this year. Finally, we augmented our exploration efforts in Latin America with the addition to our staff of key experienced technical personnel and the establishment of a permanent exploration office in Mexico."
JOINT VENTURE PROJECTS
Pachuca Real (Silver-Gold, Mexico): Newmont initiated its 3,500 to 4,500-meter drilling program in early May. Five holes have been completed to date with assays pending. Drilling is expected to continue to the end of summer. New drilling results should become available by mid-summer. The 46,350-hectare (114,500 acres) Pachuca Real silver-gold project is situated in and around the prolific Pachuca-Real del Monte historic mining district that produced 1.4 billion ounces of silver and over 7.0 million ounces of gold. Solitario's property encompasses about 35 percent of the historic district, but more importantly, covers over 95% of the potential extensions of the district to the north and northwest.
Newmont can earn a 51% interest in the project by spending $12 million on exploration and development over a 4.5 year period and may earn up to a 65% interest by completing a positive feasibility study for the project (see Solitario's press release dated September 25, 2006).
Bongará (Zinc-Lead, Peru): Votorantim Metais completed a highly successful 4,350-meter drilling campaign in December 2006 (see Solitario's press release dated March 27, 2007). Based on these results, as well as 12,000 meters of previous drilling conducted on the Florida Canyon deposit, Votorantim Metais will initiate a 14,000 meter drilling campaign to better define strata-bound mineralization to assist in planning surface and underground access to mineralization. The two-core rig program is expected to begin in early July and continue through November. New drilling results should become available by late-summer.
Solitario's subsidiary Minera Bongará S.A. ("Bongará") holds title to 100% of the project's mineral rights and assets. Votorantim Metais can earn up to a 70% interest in Bongará by funding $18.0 million in exploration and development expenditures, making annual cash payments to Solitario beginning in August 2007 and committing to place the project into production based upon a feasibility study. Once Votorantim has fully funded its $18.0 million work commitment, it has further agreed to finance Solitario's 30% participating interest for construction.
Pedra Branca (Platinum-Palladium, Brazil): Solitario initiated a 3,500 meter drilling program (100% funded by Anglo Platinum Ltd.) in late-May 2007. Drilling results from this program should become available by mid-summer. The objective of this program is to identify new PGM deposits to add to the mineralization thus far delineated in four separate near-surface deposits. Six high-quality new targets will be drill tested. Target selection for this round of drilling was augmented by a recently completed ground IP geophysical survey and detailed reprocessing of previously gathered magnetic geophysical data.
Solitario's subsidiary Pedra Branca Mineração S.A. ("PBM") holds title to 100% of the project's mineral rights and assets. Anglo Platinum may earn a 51% interest in PBM by spending a total of $7 million on exploration at Pedra Branca by February 28, 2010. Anglo Platinum can earn an additional 9% interest in PBM (for a total of 60%) by either (i) completing a bankable feasibility study or (ii) spending an additional $10.0 million on exploration or development. Anglo Platinum can also earn an additional 5% interest in PBM (for a total of 65%) by arranging for 100% project financing to put the project into commercial production.
100%-OWNED DRILLING PROJECTS
Mercurio (Gold, Brazil): A 2,000 meter third round of drilling is planned on the Mercurio project in the Tapajos gold region of Brazil beginning in mid-2007. In 2005 and 2006, 18 of 23 drill holes intersected significant gold values (see Solitario's press release dated February 12, 2007). This year's drilling will focus on offsetting strongly mineralized drill holes and a completely new area of potentially significant mineralization that was recently identified.
Titicayo (Silver, Bolivia): A four-hole core drilling program was recently completed on the Titicayo silver project in Bolivia. Drilling results are pending. The drill target at Titicayo consists of a mineralized structural zone that has been traced on surface for nearly one-kilometer in length and 10 to 20 meters in width. The zone is covered by younger volcanics on each end and is consequently open to expansion. No previous drilling had ever been conducted on the property.
Triunfo (Gold-Silver-Zinc-Lead, Bolivia): A three-hole core drilling program is underway on our Triunfo polymetallic (gold-silver-lead-zinc) project, which is located about 35 kilometers east of the capital city of La Paz in Bolivia. Exposed stockwork mineralization occurs as a structurally controlled zone up to 80 meters wide and at least 400 meters long. Good potential for size expansion exists along strike where the zone is covered by shallow talus and along its southern limit of width where it is covered by alluvium. No drilling has ever been conducted on the property.
MEXICAN EXPLORATION OFFICE ESTABLISHED
In May, Solitario established a permanent exploration office for its Mexican exploration operations in Hermosillo. Mr. Luis A. Martinez was hired as Country Manager to accelerate the Company's exploration efforts in Mexico. Mr. Martinez has been in the mineral exploration industry for the past 30 years managing numerous exploration projects for major mining company exploration groups. He has been involved in five base and precious metal discoveries during his career. For the past 15 years, he held various management positions within the former Noranda-Falconbridge group of companies (now Xstrata). Two additional senior geologists from the Noranda-Falconbridge group have also joined Solitario's exploration team along with Mr. Martinez in Mexico.
Solitario is a gold, silver, platinum-palladium, and base metal exploration company actively exploring in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. Besides Votorantim, Solitario has significant business relationships with Newmont Mining and Anglo Platinum. Solitario has approximately US$24 million in cash and marketable securities and no debt. Solitario is traded on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX: XPL) and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: SLR).
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
|Christopher E. Herald
President & CEO
This press release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results and future plans and objectives of Solitario, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Development of Solitario’s properties are subject to the success of exploration, completion and implementation of an economically viable mining plan, obtaining the necessary permits and approvals from various regulatory authorities, compliance with operating parameters established by such authorities and political risks such as higher tax and royalty rates, foreign ownership controls and our ability to finance in countries that may become politically unstable. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Solitario’s expectations are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Solitario’s documents filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Commissions, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities. This release also contains information about adjacent properties on which Solitario has no right to explore or mine. We advise U.S. investors that the SEC's mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned that mineral deposits on adjacent properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on our properties.