TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 6, 2012) - Alturas Minerals Corp. (the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:ALT)(LMA:ALT) is pleased to report that it has entered into two Letters of Intent ("LOI") with Sociedad de Inversiones Gema Limitada ("Inversiones Gema" or the "Owner"), a Chilean mining exploration company, to acquire 100% of its Marilin and Quispe gold-(+/-copper) projects, located 95 km east-northeast and 165 km northeast of Copiapo, respectively. The projects are hosted within the prolific gold- and copper-mineralized Maricunga Belt, in Region III of northern Chile.
Miguel Cardozo, President & CEO of Alturas commented that "The Marilin and Quispe projects represent a key development for the Company in Chile, one of Latin America's premier mining jurisdictions. Alturas has now consolidated a high-quality project portfolio in the mineral-rich Chilean and Peruvian Andean chain and has made significant progress in its strategy of geographic diversification. Alturas has now established a firm presence in one of the most prolific gold-copper belts in the world: the Maricunga belt which hosts over 92 million ounces of gold and 13 billion pounds of copper in known resources. In both properties, Marilin and Quispe, high-grade gold-silver veins (previously subject to artisanal mining) together with extensive gold, silver and copper anomalism, hydrothermal brecciation, stockwork-veining and various alteration assemblages, indicate that these areas correspond to the uppermost epithermal levels of a porphyry system. The Company believes that significant potential exists for the discovery of gold-(+/-copper) bulk-tonnage mineralization".
Under the terms of the letters of agreement, Alturas has paid the sum of US$5,000 to Inversiones Gema upon the execution of each of the LOIs (US$10,000 in total) on May 30, 2012 and has until June 30, 2012 to complete a technical and legal due diligence, and to execute formal Option Agreements with Inversiones Gema to acquire 100% of the Marilin and Quispe properties.
If Alturas decides to execute any or both of the Option Agreements, the Company will have the option to acquire the projects over a term of four years by making staged cash payments to the Owner for a total of US$3.325 million for each of the projects (US$6.65 million in total if both option rights are exercised) over the four year period, including a US$30,000 payment upon signature for each project (US$60,000 in total, from which the US$10,000 paid to the Owner upon the execution of the letters of agreement will be deducted).
The transaction remains subject to final Board, regulatory and TSX-V approvals, due diligence and formal legal documentation with closing scheduled for June 30, 2012.
The Maricunga gold-copper Belt
The Maricunga Gold Belt extends approximately 150 kilometers north-south and 30 kilometers east-west, straddling the border between Chile and Argentina. The mineral deposits hosted are often very large, low-grade porphyry gold (+/- copper) type. The Maricunga belt hosts over 92 million ounces of gold and 13 billion pounds of copper in resources, including ore deposits such as Jeronimo (3.4M oz Au), Chimberos (30.0M oz Ag), La Coipa (4.9M oz Au eq), Maricunga (3.6M oz Au), Marte-Lobo (6.9M oz Au), La Pepa (3.4M oz Au), Volcan (8.9M oz Au), Refugio (10.4M oz Au), Caspiche (26.4M oz Au and 6.7B lb Cu), and Casale (25.9M oz Au and 6.8B lb Cu).
The Marilin Gold-(+/-Copper) Project
The Marilin project is located 95km ENE of the Copiapo city at an altitude of 3,650 meters above average sea level, and is accessed through a dirt road extending from Puquios until Vegas La Junta. The total size of the mining properties included in the agreement is 1,600 hectares but, due to the overlaps with underlying properties, the actual area available to Alturas is expected to have a size of between 600 and 800 hectares, which will be confirmed by the ongoing due diligence on the mining titles.
The geology is dominated by a quartz-porphyry of granodioritic composition intruding a volcano-sedimentary sequence. Both rock types are affected by silicic-argillic alteration (including kaolin, alunite and phillic assemblages with disseminated sulphides) and peripheral propilitic alteration. High-grade gold veins containing 10 to 100 g/t gold have been historically mined by artisanal miners in the northern part of the property. The porphyry shows zones with mutiphasic and stockwork-type quartz-veinlets and hydrothermal breccias, both with sulphides and Fe-oxides containing 0.5 to 1.0 g/t gold (as reported by Inversiones Gema). Besides gold anomalism, silicic-argillic altered rocks show silver values around 110 g/t and copper contents between 150 and 400 ppm.
The Quispe Gold-(+/-Copper) Project
The Quispe project is located 165 km NE of the Copiapo city and 45km NE of the town of Inca de Oro at an altitude of 3,450 meters above average sea level and is accessible by a dirt road from Inca de Oro until a point within 3km of the project area. The total size of the claims Quispe 1 to 9 is 1,510 hectares but, due to the overlapping with underlying properties, the actual area available to Alturas is expected to have a size of around 1,120 hectares, which will be confirmed by the ongoing due diligence on the mining titles.
Both the high-grade material (greater than 100 g/t Au, greater than 3% Cu, greater than 50 g/t Ag selected ore) found in the artisanal mine workings and other mineralization reported from the area correspond to the uppermost, epithermal part of a porphyry system, partially covered by volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The exposed part of the mineralized system covers a 2km2 area comprising high-grade epithermal veins, hydrothermal breccias, stockwork-veining and porphyry bodies with intense silicic-argillic alteration. Epithermal mineralization occurs within a 400m-long by 10 to 50m-wide zone, and mine workings reach a depth of 60m, bottoming in mineralization.
Seven rock samples have been reported by Inversiones Gema. Three of them (M1, M2 and M3) taken from the epithermal area that was not previously uncovered by artisanal miners reported 0.46%, 1.70% and 0.23% copper and 125.9 g/t, 37.7 g/t and 9.1 g/t gold, respectively. One sample (M7) was taken by Inversiones Gema from the old mine workings and reported 6.25% copper and 32.8 g/t gold. The mineralization in these workings extends vertically for at least 40-60 meters, containing bornite, calcosite and chalcopyrite. Another sample (M6) corresponds to the altered porphyry and has reported 6.25% copper and 1.2 g/t gold and two other samples (M4 and M5) came from outcrops with copper oxide mineralization reporting 5.12% and 1.62% copper and 3.6 g/t and 9.0 g/t gold, respectively.
About Alturas Minerals Corp.
Alturas is a Canadian corporation, and is the indirect parent of the Peruvian company, Alturas Minerals S.A. ("Alturas Peru") and of the Chilean company, Alturas Chile Limitada ("Alturas Chile"). Alturas Peru has been exploring various mineral projects in Peru since January 2004. Alturas Chile initiated exploration activities during the second quarter of fiscal 2010. Alturas' exploration strategy is focused on the discovery of large copper-gold porphyry/skarn deposits and epithermal gold mineralized deposits.
The principal assets of Alturas are one project in drilling stage Chapi Chapi-Utupara, and five drill-ready mineral exploration projects located in Peru and Chile, including the Sombrero, Huajoto, Ccaccapaqui and Pampa Colorada projects in Peru, and La Corina property in Chile. Alturas entered into a revised agreement on its Pampa Colorada property with Origen Group S.A.C. and into an option agreement on its Ccaccapaqui project with Compania de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A. (see press releases dated January 5th, 2012 and January 31st, 2012, respectively). In addition, Alturas Peru has interests in three other less-advanced exploration projects in Peru (Callejones, San Antonio and La Divina).
About Alturas's QA/QC Procedures
Strict sample integrity is maintained throughout the geochemical sampling program. The bagged samples are transported by Alturas staff to the city of Abancay in South Peru where they are shipped directly to Inspectorate Services Peru SAC Labs in Lima. Inspectorate is an ISO 9001:2000 certified laboratory that is preparing for ISO 17025 accreditation. At the Inspectorate's Lima facility, all samples are dried then crushed to 90% -10 mesh (less than 2mm) size; then riffle split to obtain an approximately 200 gram subsample. The subsample is further crushed to 95% -200 mesh (less than 75 microns) to obtain a 100 gram split ready for analysis. All samples are routinely assayed for gold by conventional fire-assay methods at Inspectorate's Lima facility, and for 34 additional elements (including silver, copper, lead, zinc) using aqua regia acid digestion followed by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy ("ICP-AES") analysis. Alturas follows a rigorous QC/QA program, including routine insertion of standards and blanks as well as assay of duplicate samples at other independent laboratories. Certified standards, of known gold grade are inserted "blind" every 20th sample as an independent check on assay accuracy.
As required by the National Instrument 43-101, Alturas's designated Qualified Person for the supervision of exploration of the projects is Dr. Paul Pearson, F. AUSIMM, who has reviewed the technical information reported in this News Release.
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Cautionary Language and Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements", which are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Investors are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and results. Risks and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Company's disclosure documents filed from time to time with the Canadian securities authorities.The TSX Venture Exchange and the Bolsa de Valores de Lima do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.