International Tower Hill Begins 50,000 Metre 2010 Exploration Drill Program at Livengood Gold Project, Alaska Expands Livengood Land Package by 60% to 70 Km2
February 4, 2010
|Vancouver, B.C.......International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. ("ITH" or the "Company") - (TSX: ITH, NYSE-A: THM, Frankfurt: IW9) is pleased to announce the start of the first phase of its planned 50,000 metre 2010 exploration drill program at Livengood Gold Project, Alaska. The initial phase of this program is the 2010 Winter drilling program, which focuses primarily on the expansion of the Southwest and Western parts of the Money Knob deposit containing the highest grade portion of the deposit discovered to date. In addition, the highly prospective area between the Sunshine and Core Zones will be infill drilled (Figure 1) during the Winter program.
The Winter 2010 program utilizes four drills, which will operate 24 hours a day until the middle of April, targeting the completion of over 20,000 metres of core and reverse circulation drilling. The results from the Winter drill program will be included in a resource update scheduled for the end of the second quarter of 2010.
Effective January 1, 2010, the Company has amended its existing Livengood project lease with the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust (AMHLT) to increase the leased fee simple land by approximately 25 square kilometres. With this major expansion of the lease, the Livengood project now covers approximately 70 square kilometres, which includes additional potential exploration areas and surface mine facility sites (Figure 2). The amended lease will provide the Company with full flexibility for multiple development scenarios at the Livengood project.
The Company's independent consultants are currently working on a resource update to incorporate the final 70 holes drilled in the 2009 Summer program which are dominantly from the Sunshine, Northeast and Money Knob Zones of the deposit. This resource update is currently targeted for release in the near future.
As part of its project optimization work at Livengood, the Company is conducting its initial metallurgical milling recovery tests to assess the viability of using a variety of milling techniques to enhance gold recovery and maximize the economic performance of the project. The Company has been releasing this data as it has come available and expects to continue this during the next several weeks. Results to date have been encouraging for the integration of milling into the production plan.
Livengood Project Highlights
ITH controls 100% of its 70 square kilometre Livengood land package, which is primarily made up of fee land leased from the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust and a number of smaller private mineral leases. The Company and its predecessor, AngloGold Ashanti (U.S.A.) Exploration Inc., have been exploring the Livengood area since 2003, with the project's first indicated resource estimate being announced in early 2008. The 2009 drilling program was part of a series of drill initiatives which mark the first grid drilling resource definition campaign for the project and is only the initial step in what the Company envisions as a major long-term exploration program to define one of the world's larger new gold deposits.
The Livengood Deposit is hosted in a thrust-interleaved sequence of Proterozoic to Palaeozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Mineralization is related to a 90 million year old (Fort Knox age) dike swarm that cuts through the thrust stack. Primary ore controls are a combination of favourable lithologies and crosscutting structural zones. In areas distal to the main structural zones the selective development of disseminated mineralization in favourable host rocks is the main ore control. Within the primary structural corridors all lithologies can be pervasively altered and mineralized. Devonian volcanic rocks and Cretaceous dikes represent the most favourable host lithologies and are pervasively altered and mineralized throughout the deposit. Two dominant structural controls are present: 1) the major shallow south-dipping faults which host dikes and mineralization which are related to dilatant movement on structures of the original fold-thrust architecture during post-thrusting relaxation, and 2) steep NNW trending linear zones which focus the higher-grade mineralization which cuts across all lithologic boundaries. The net result is broad flat-lying zones of stratabound mineralization around more vertically continuous, higher grade core zones with a resulting lower strip ratio for the overall deposit and higher grade areas that could be amenable for starter pit production.
The surface gold geochemical anomaly at Livengood covers an area 6 kilometres long by 2 kilometres wide of which an area approximately 3 kilometres by 1.5 kilometres has been explored by drilling to date. Surface exploration is ongoing as new targets are developed to the northeast of the known mineralization.
Qualified Person and Quality Control/Quality Assurance
Jeffrey A. Pontius (CPG 11044), a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has supervised the preparation of the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news release and has approved the disclosure herein. Mr. Pontius is not independent of ITH, as he is the President and CEO and holds common shares and incentive stock options.
The work program at Livengood was designed and is supervised by Dr. Russell Myers, Vice President, Exploration, and Chris Puchner, Chief Geologist (CPG 07048), of the Company, who are responsible for all aspects of the work, including the quality control/quality assurance program. On-site personnel at the project photograph the core from each individual borehole prior to preparing the split core. Duplicate reverse circulation drill samples are collected with one split sent for analysis. Representative chips are retained for geological logging. On-site personnel at the project log and track all samples prior to sealing and shipping. All sample shipments are sealed and shipped to ALS Chemex in Fairbanks, Alaska for preparation and then on to ALS Chemex in Vancouver, B.C. for assay. ALS Chemex's quality system complies with the requirements for the International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025: 1999. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples. Quality control is further assured by the use of international and in-house standards. Finally, representative blind duplicate samples are forwarded to ALS Chemex and an ISO compliant third party laboratory for additional quality control.
About International Tower Hill Mines Ltd.
International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. is a resource exploration company, focused in Alaska and Nevada, which controls a number of exploration projects representing a spectrum of early stage to the advanced multimillion ounce gold discovery at Livengood. ITH is committed to building shareholder value through new discoveries while maintaining a majority interest in its key holdings, thereby giving its shareholders the maximum value for their investment.
On behalf of
INTERNATIONAL TOWER HILL MINES LTD.
(signed) Jeffrey A. Pontius
Jeffrey A. Pontius,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Quentin Mai, Vice-President - Corporate Communications
Phone: 1-888-770-7488 (toll free) or (604)683-6332 / Fax: (604) 408-7499
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