VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 15, 2009) - Passport Metals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:PPI) has received the drilling permit from the Arizona State Land Department for the Holbrook Potash Project in east central Arizona. Passport plans to commence with the drilling program as recommended by independent Qualified Person Steve Butrenchuk, P.Geol. (Alberta) within two to three weeks.
Historic drilling in the 1960's and 1970's by Arkla Exploration Company and Duval Corporation included 9 holes on the current Passport holdings. Five of the 9 holes were assayed with potash values ranging from 11.05% K2O to 14.59% K2O all over 1.2 metres (4 feet). Passport will initially complete 5 reverse circulation / diamond drill holes, including twinning some the historic holes, to verify the potash horizon and historic grades and then continue drilling to allow the completion of an NI43-101 resource estimate.
The Passport exploration permits lie in the Holbrook basin, an evaporite basin underlying 1,550 square kilometres (600 square miles) of east central Arizona. Passport has the right to earn a 100% interest, subject to a 1% Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty in 3,210.5 hectares (7,933.31 acres) within the potash bearing portion of the basin.
Potash mineralization within the Holbrook basin is located at about 365 to 396 metres below surface. Maximum thickness of the potash is about 12.2 metres. Previous exploration has shown the potash mineralization consists of sylvite, carnallite and polyhalite.
There have been two estimates for the entire potash component of the Holbrook basin. The area of the Holbrook basin underlain by potash is 1,550 square kilometers or 155,000 hectares. Carr (1966) estimated a geological target of 256.9 million tonnes of potash at an average grade of 19.76% K2O. Rauzi (2008) reviewed all available data and estimated a geological target for the entire Holbrook basin of 682 million tonnes of potash at 6% K2O to 2.58 billion tonnes of potash at 20% K2O.
The current Passport holdings comprise a total of 3,210.5 hectares, suggesting these holdings could host 2.07% of the total geological target or 14.1 million tonnes of potash at 6% K2O to 53.4 million tonnes of potash at 20% K2O.
There are no current 43-101 mineral reserves or resources on Passport's Holbrook basin Potash Project holdings. The potential quantities and grades indicated are conceptual in nature. At this time, there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the discovery of these mineral resources.
Passport is acquiring a 100% interest, subject to a 1% NSR, in the 12 Holbrook exploration permits by making payments of up to $1,000,000 over two years and issuing 250,000 shares and 1,000,000 warrants exercisable for a further 1,000,000 shares. Passport also has to complete minimum exploration commitments of US$200,000 on the Property.
A National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Holbrook Property is available on the Company's website www.passportmetals.net and also under the Company's profile on SEDAR: www.sedar.com.
R. Tim Henneberry, P. Geo., a Director of Passport, is the Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101, who has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
PASSPORT METALS INC.
Laara Shaffer, DirectorNeither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.