ITH Outlines Planned US$11M Exploration Program for 2008
|January 29, 2008|
Vancouver, B.C........International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. ("ITH" or the "Company") - (TSX Venture: ITH, AMEX: THM, Frankfurt: IW9) is pleased to announce highlights of its planned 2008 North American resource definition, drilling and exploration programs. Highly encouraging results from 2007 have enabled ITH to prioritize its project portfolio, focusing on those projects with the greatest potential for resource growth. Approximately $9M of the 2008 budget is slated for Alaskan exploration, with 80% committed to the Livengood resource definition project. Approximately $0.8M is slated for the North Bullfrog project in Nevada, with the remainder attributed to new opportunities and administration and support costs. The Company has the necessary funds in place to carry out all of its presently planned 2008 exploration activities.
The primary focus of the coming season is to significantly expand the identified mineralization at the Livengood deposit in Alaska with a planned 50,000 metres of reverse circulation and core drilling during 2008. Drilling is scheduled to begin in May and continue through the end of the year utilizing up to 3 rigs.
Other key 2008 exploration programs include: initial resource definition drilling on the North Bullfrog project in Nevada and exploration programs on the Chisna Porphyry Copper Gold Project and the BMP and Coffee Dome gold projects, in Alaska. At North Bullfrog, the 2008 program commenced in late January with a 4,500 metre resource definition drilling program. In addition, an initial discovery drill program is planned for the Chisna project in Alaska and, if funds, personnel and equipment are available, also for the BMP and Coffee Dome projects.
ITH anticipates being in a position to announce the initial NI 43-101 resource calculations for the Livengood, Terra and LMS projects within the next two months.
The 100% owned Livengood Deposit is a large, bulk tonnage, road accessible gold deposit located 120 kilometres north of Fairbanks Alaska. Drilling results to date have outlined an open-ended zone of gold mineralization approximately 2 kilometres long and over 0.5 kilometres wide, with an average mineralization thickness of 85 metres of greater than 0.25 g/t, averaging 0.85 g/t, gold. Mineralization is stratabound, primarily hosted in a folded sequence of volcanics and calcareous sediments. Based on the highly encouraging 2007 results, the Company has outlined an approximate 150 drill hole program designed to significantly expand the Livengood deposit. In addition, the Company plans to expand its ongoing metallurgical testing work and begin environmental baseline studies. The Company expects to structure the Livengood drilling program so it can be continued into 2009 on a year round basis.
The 100% owned Chisna project is located approximately 250 kilometres south of Fairbanks and to the north of the Glenn highway. Exploration has identified two new porphyry systems with associated gold-copper mineralization. The work plan for 2008 will include ground geophysics to assess the subsurface mineralization potential and to aid in targeting an initial 2000 metre drill program. In addition the Company will continue to conduct surface evaluations to further explore it large land package along this highly mineralized, greater than 60 kilometre long emergent porphyry belt.
The BMP project is a 100% ITH property, located approximately 200 kilometres northwest of Anchorage and 40 kilometres north of the Company's Terra project. Exploration work has identified an 8 kilometre long belt of precious metal-rich massive sulfide mineralization that will be the focus of the 2008 program. The 2008 program will focus on a detailed airborne geophysical survey to map out the sulfide mineralization in the main belt and aid in targeting ground follow-up. If funding and equipment from other, higher priority ITH projects becomes available later in the 2008 field season, the Company plans an initial discovery drilling program at BMP.
The Coffee Dome project is a 100% ITH road accessible project located 15 kilometres north-east of the Fort Knox Gold Mine. Work in 2007 has defined a number of high-grade gold veins in trenches and three large gold in soil anomalies along a 4 kilometre trend. The 2008 exploration program will continue to delineate the large soil anomalies to assess both the bulk tonnage and high-grade vein potential of this large gold system. If funding and equipment from other, higher priority ITH projects becomes available later in the 2008 field season, the Company plans an initial discovery drill program for Coffee Dome.
ITH holds a 60% joint venture interest in the Terra project, located approximately 200 kilometres west of Anchorage, Alaska. The balance is held by AngloGold Ashanti (U.S.A.) Exploration Inc. ("AngloGold"). The project is and is characterized as a high-grade, deep epithermal, vein system. Exploration drilling has defined a continuous high-grade vein system (the Ben Vein area) as well as a new high-grade vein system in the Ice area 3 kilometres to the South. The project has produced encouraging gravity recovery results and, given the overall potential of the project, the Company is evaluating the potential to partner with a company that has demonstrated production expertise in order to advance the project.
ITH is earning a 60% interest in the LMS project from AngloGold. The LMS project is located along the Pogo Mine winter access road approximately 15 kilometres from the paved Richardson Highway. Work in 2007 focused on defining an initial resource at the open-ended Camp Zone deposit and assessing the overall potential of the mineralized east-west belt through the property. The work defined a number of new mineralized zones, as well as extensions of the Camp Zone to the east and west. The Company is currently assessing how best to take the LMS project forward given its other pressing 2008 exploration commitments and is exploring the option of advancing this project with a strategic partner.
The North Bullfrog Project is a joint venture with Redstar Gold Corp (TSX-V: RGC) in which the Company can earn up to a 70% interest. The project covers an area of 13 square kilometres and represents a very large, lowsulphidation, epithermal gold system hosted in volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Exploration has identified a number of targets permissible for large bulk tonnage deposits as well as high-grade vein systems. The initial focus of the 2008 program will be the recently acquired Mayflower property, which hosts one such high-grade vein system that was previously drilled by Barrick Gold Corporation in the mid 1990's (see NR07-32 for details). In addition to the follow-up resource development drilling on the Mayflower system, the Company will test a number of other targets on this large well mineralized land position. The project has excellent access and is located 8 kilometres north of the historical Bullfrog Mine, which produced 2.4M oz of gold. The goal of the 2008 program will be to complete an initial NI 43-101 resource calculation for the Mayflower area and assess other high priority targets so a major expansion drilling program can begin in the late fall.
Other Exploration Projects
ITH has a variety of other exploration projects that have generated encouraging results from the 2007 exploration programs but, due to priorities with projects such as Livengood, work on these will be limited in 2008. The Company is currently exploring the option of third party funding of exploration on these projects to more aggressively advance them in 2008.
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. Mr. Pontius is the President and CEO of ITH.
The work programs at ITH projects are designed and supervised by Dr. Russell Myers, Vice President of Exploration, Talon Gold (US) LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of ITH responsible for carrying out the Company's exploration programs), who is 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, which is then sealed and shipped to ALS Chemex 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 advanced gold discoveries. ITH is committed to building shareholder value through new discoveries while maintaining a majority interest in its 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
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this press release, which has been prepared by management.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 27E of the Exchange Act. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the anticipated content, commencement and cost of exploration programs, anticipated exploration program results, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves, business and financing plans and business trends. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements by the Company are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, the Company's ability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, the Company's ability to produce minerals from its properties successfully or profitably, to continue its projected growth, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies. All of the Company's public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials, including the technical reports filed with respect to the Company's mineral properties.
This press release contains information with respect to adjacent or similar mineral properties in respect of which the Company has no interest or rights to explore or mine. The Company advises US investors that the US Securities and Exchange Commission's mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned that the Company has no interest in or right to acquire any interest in any such properties, and that mineral deposits on adjacent or similar properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on the Company's properties.
This press release is not, and is not to be construed in any way as, an offer to buy or sell securities in the United States.