TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 14, 2006) - High River Gold Mines Ltd. ("High River", or the "Company")(TSX:HRG) is pleased to report that its ongoing surface exploration programme on its 1,000 square kilometre Bissa Group Permits has:|
(a) further defined and expanded:
- six target areas along the Sabce Deformation Corridor,
- five existing exploration target areas first identified by the Joint
Venture operated by Randgold Resources Ltd. ("Randgold") in the
late 1990's (see High River press release dated November 10, 2005)
(b) identified a new drill target area.
A US $10 million drilling programme, budgeted at US $2 million per quarter, will start in the fourth quarter of 2006 to follow up on these exciting prospects shown on the attached map.
The recent surface exploration work by High River on the Bissa Group Permits consisted of geological mapping, soil sampling, rock-chip sampling, and ground geophysical surveys. The planned systematic drilling programme will explore the twelve major target areas with the initial objective of expanding the 43-101 resource on Bissa Group Permits to over 2 million ounces of gold from the current 1.3 million ounces (662,250 ounces measured and indicated and 679,470 ounces inferred). This initial resource was based on drilling carried out over only a six kilometre section (the Bissa Resource Area) of the anomalous 30 kilometre-long Sabce Deformation Corridor.
The Bissa Group Permits are located in Burkina Faso on the northeast edge of the Boromo greenstone belt, part of the prolific Birimian greenstone belts of the West African craton. The Birimian greenstone belts currently host several world-class mines (e.g. Obuasi, Sadiola, etc.) and mines under construction, including High River's Taparko-Bouroum Mine.
The following summarizes results of the recently completed surface exploration work on eight of these target areas:
1. Extension of Bissa Resource Area
A systematic 100 metre by 100 metre soil sampling programme over a strike length of 15 kilometres was completed on the regional Sabce shear zone beginning at a distance of 15 kilometres southwest of the Bissa Resource Area and contiguous with the previous soil sampling. Gold-in-soil anomalies, along with historic rock sampling by Jilbey Gold Exploration Limited ("Jilbey"), have defined six target areas. The two major targets, Lelsego and Wemstenga (significant orpaillage site), both 1.2 kilometres long, are currently being surveyed by gradient array induced polarization ("IP") and ground magnetics. The survey will also cover the southwest extension of Zone 51 and Zone 52 and the Guibare orpaillage site.
The Lelsego target area is 30 kilometres southwest and along strike of the Bissa Hill deposit. Previous work by Randgold included trenching (best results of 1.6 metres grading 21.1 g/t gold and 0.5 metregrading 12.6 g/t gold) and rotary air blast ("RAB") drilling (best results of 6.0 metres grading 5.6 g/t gold and 12.0 metres grading 2.2 g/t gold). Geological mapping at 1:2500 and rock chip sampling were completed by Jilbey in 2004 to 2005 over a 900 metre strike length with 27 rock samples grading between 1.0 and 15.8 g/t gold. High River's soil sampling programme defined a 1.3 kilometre gold soil anomaly around and along the 900 metre long area of orpaillage workings and anomalous rock samples.
High River completed a 100 metre by 100 metre soil sampling programme to the northeast of the Bissa Hill deposit covering an area of 2 kilometres by 4 kilometres. The programme outlined two soil anomalies; one was 900 metres by 200 metres, while the other was 1.2 kilometres by 0.8 kilometres.
The 2006/2007 drilling programme along the Sabce shear zone will focus on testing new targets to the southwest of the known resource area and will also include deeper drilling at the high-grade Bissa Hill South Extension and the Bissa Hill deposits, both of which form part of the current gold resource.
The Bouly target is located approximately ten kilometres southeast of the Bissa Hill deposit. The Company completed geological mapping at a scale of 1:5000, rock chip sampling and a soil sampling programme on a 100 metre by 100 metre grid over an area of 9 square kilometres. The soil sampling defined a 100 ppb gold anomaly measuring 2 kilometres by 1.5 kilometres. Of 150 rock chip samples collected, 34 samples returned gold values exceeding 0.5 g/t of which 14 samples assayed greater than 1 g/t to a maximum value of 12.3 g/t. Mineralization is associated with narrow quartz-pyrite-chalcopyrite veinlets and disseminated pyrite-chalcopyrite in mafic metavolcanics and felsic to intermediate lapilli tuffs. Most of the mineralized rock chip samples are from very small outcrops over an area of 700 metres by 700 metres in the northeastern part of the soil anomaly. The area to the southwest is covered with alluvials and remains prospective.
The soil anomalies have potentially defined four, northeast trending, subparallel mineralized trends. Previous drilling by Randgold tested only one of these northeast trends defining a low-grade gold envelope of 700 metres by 200 metres. Higher grade gold mineralization within this envelope was encountered in RAB hole LIR-857, which returned 21 metres averaging 3.95 g/t gold. Core hole NT04-001, drilled by Jilbey approximately 5 metres down dip from the mineralized intercept, returned 30.6 metres averaging 2.5 g/t gold. It included two high-grade gold intercepts of 16.7 g/t over 1 metre and 14.1 g/t over 1 metre.
Up to 1,000 metres of reverse circulation ("RC") drilling is planned to follow up Jilbey's intersection following ground geophysical surveying this fall. Approximately 1.6 kilometres southwest of NT-04-001, compilation work indicates that RAB hole LIR-893 intersected 21 metres averaging 1.1 g/t. The intercept was not followed up down-dip and remains open along strike. A total of 2,000 metres of RAB drilling is also planned to the southwest to test the gold mineralization intersected in RAB hole LIR-893, and to the southeast where gold and copper soil anomalies have been untested and where eight rock samples returned greater than 1.0 g/t gold to a maximum of 12.3 g/t gold.
5. Kogkundi (New Target Area)
This newly identified target is located two kilometres west of Bouly. Geological mapping and rock chip sampling has defined three parallel, north northeast trending mineralized structures extending for approximately 1.6 kilometres. Twelve of 78 rock chip samples exceeded 1 g/t gold to a maximum of 6.7 g/t gold. The Company is planning a 2,000 metre programme of RAB drilling.
The Liliga target is located approximately ten kilometres south southeast of the Bissa Hill deposit on the Liliga deformation corridor. Soil sampling and geological mapping at a scale of 1:5000 was completed over an area of five square kilometres. The soil sampling programme defined a 100 ppb gold anomaly, trending northeasterly, over a distance of two kilometres. This anomaly remains open to the northeast where it is covered by a veneer of alluvium.
In the known area of mineralization, Jilbey's trench 818N (235 metres) returned 4.06 g/t over 31.8 metres and 1.43 g/t over 12 metres in the East Zone and 13.04 g/t over 11.5 metres in the West Zone. Jilbey's RC hole BLR-001 testing the East Zone had returned an intercept of 2.20 g/t over 10 metres. New trenching by High River returned the following: Trench 900N (160 metres), excavated 80 metres northeast of trench 818N, testing the East Zone, returned three intervals of 5.1 g/t over 1.8 metres, 2.2 g/t over 3 metres and 8.5 g/t over 2 metres, Trench 920N (90 metres), excavated 100 metres northeast from Trench 818N West Zone, intersected 1.6 g/t over 4 metres.
High River has identified the presence of metasedimentary rocks on the Liliga target, suggesting some similarities with the geology at Bissa. High River relogged the core from ten diamond holes (LDH-1 to 10) drilled by Randgold, which confirmed the association of the gold mineralization with sulphides and silicification. The integration of the historical and recent/current work is underway. The Company is planning to extend the ground geophysical surveys beyond the one square kilometre area already covered by Jilbey in 2005, before starting a systematic RC drilling programme over the Liliga target.
The Gougre area is located twelve kilometres south southwest of the Bissa Hill deposit. High River has recently completed a 100 metre by 100 metre soil sampling survey and geological mapping at 1:1000 over the Gougre target area. The 100 ppb gold-in-soil anomaly of 600 metres by 200 metres corresponds to the outcropping mineralization. Gold mineralization observed on surface outcrops is mostly associated with (1) deformation and quartz veinlets parallel to the east northeast trending shear zone in altered mafic metavolcanics, (2) quartz vein stockworks oriented northwest associated with silica-pyrite alteration in massive mafic metavolcanics, and (3) pervasive silica-pyrite alteration in an easterly trending porphyry dyke.
Compilation of the historical work together with High River's recent surface exploration work is currently underway.
The Rofo-Lessa area is located 13 kilometres east southeast of the Bissa Hill deposit. The Company completed geological mapping at a scale of 1:5000. Jilbey had completed rock chip sampling and a 100 metre by 100 metre soil sampling survey over an area of 26.6 square kilometres. The soil sampling defined a north northeast trending 100 ppb gold anomaly measuring 7 kilometres by 2 kilometres. The rock chip sampling, totaling 2,469 samples, returned 67 samples exceeding 1 g/t gold to a maximum of 210 g/t gold.
At Rofo, Randgold had completed two diamond drill holes testing a flat quartz vein. Hole RDH-2 intersected high-grade gold mineralization near surface, returning 40.4 g/t over 2.0 metres. Today, the site is being worked by orpailleurs. The workings cover an area of 100 metres by 100 metres and are exposing abundant quartz veining with values of up to 44.0 g/t gold, and sheared metasediments with values of up to 16.0 g/t gold. The Company plans detailed geological mapping at 1:1000 with a systematic sampling programme of the workings.
The Company is currently conducting a 153 kilometre ground magnetic and gradient IP survey over the anomalous Rofo-Lessa target area to provide a better understanding of the structural controls of the gold mineralization.
Driffield Cameron, Vice President Exploration of High River, is the Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 and has reviewed the technical information contained in this release. Analytical work is carried out at the independent Abilab Laboratories Ltd. in Bamako, Mali.
About High River
High River is currently constructing two open-pit gold mines which are scheduled to commence production in the first half of 2007, the Taparko-Bouroum Project in Burkina Faso and the Berezitovy Project in Russia. Annual gold production from Taparko-Bouroum is planned at 100,000 ounces in year one increasing to over 140,000 ounces in the third year of operation, with annual production from Berezitovy averaging more than 100,000 ounces. Combined with gold production from High River's 85%-owned Russian subsidiary, OJSC Buryatzoloto, High River's attributable annualized gold production rate is expected to exceed 325,000 ounces by mid-2007, establishing the Company as a mid-tier gold producer.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations. These forward-looking statements entail various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected. Risk and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Management's Discussion and Analysis published in the Company's Annual Report and in the Annual Information Form.
A map of the High River Bissa Permits is available on CCNMatthews' website at http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/hrb0914.pdf.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
High River Gold Mines Ltd.
Vice President Investor Relations
(416) 360-0010 (FAX)