VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 11, 2012) - Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:PEX) reports that exploration crews will be mobilized in late May to continue exploration on its 262-square-kilometre Mariposa Gold Project located in the Yukon's White Gold District. The 2012 work program will include a second year of diamond drilling to define the extent of gold mineralization discovered during 2011 drilling of the Skookum Main zone.
The Mariposa Project is located 15 kilometres southeast of Kinross's White Gold deposit and 12 kilometres northeast of Kaminak's Coffee discoveries, which are now seeing a third year of drilling. The area flanking the Mariposa Project will also continue to be busy during 2012, with exploration proposed by Ethos Gold Corp., Smash Minerals Corp., and Independence Gold Corp.
Exploration on the property to date has identified a 15-kilometre-long brittle deformation zone, referred to as the Mariposa Fault, within which the presence of gold in bedrock has been confirmed from the 2011 diamond drilling program. In many gold mining camps, such corridors have the potential to host significant gold deposits. Within the Mariposa Fault, which remains largely unexplored, additional targets have emerged from geophysical and geochemical coverage, including the Alberta Creek area, which is eight kilometres east of the Skookum Main Zone. A comprehensive exploration program, to include diamond drilling, is therefore planned in 2012 to continue to systematically evaluate this prospective corridor.
The first year of drilling at Mariposa successfully intersected gold values in 20 drill holes which tested three gold-in-soil and geophysical targets. The best drill result of 2.44 grams per tonne (g/t) gold over 38.9 metres was returned from the Skookum Main zone. The 2012 exploration program will include an initial phase of 2500 metres of diamond drilling, scheduled to begin in early July.
The 2012 exploration program, with a first phase budget of $2.3 million, will include:
- Drilling, to further define the extent of the drill-intersected gold bearing structures detected within the open-ended three-square-kilometre geochemical anomaly of the Skookum Main zone.
- Trenching in the Skookum Main zone, to further explore geochemical and geophysical trends in preparation for drill-testing hosting of gold mineralization.
- Ground geophysical surveys and trenching, to groom additional drill targets within the two-square-kilometre Skookum West zone, where float samples graded up to 19.9 g/t gold.
- Infill soil geochemical and ground geophysical surveys, as well as prospecting, of the Big Alex gold target. Targets will also be groomed for initial drill testing of this open-ended gold-in-soil anomaly, which contains bedrock gold occurrences of up to 3 g/t gold.
- Soil geochemical and ground geophysical surveys, to prepare the newly discovered Alberta Creek gold target for drill testing. Prospecting and trenching of the current anomalies will be conducted, as well as detailed soil sampling, to expand the existing grid coverage.
- Regional geochemical and geophysical surveys are also proposed within the yet-to-be prospected approximately 150-square-kilometre area of the eastern and northern portions of the Mariposa property.
Plans for ongoing exploration of three additional Pacific Ridge properties in the White Gold District will be announced in the coming weeks. Also to be reported will be plans for the Baker Lake Uranium property and the Fyre Lake copper-gold massive sulphide deposit.
As at March 31, 2012, Pacific Ridge had working capital in the approximate amount of $3.0 million.
The technical information contained within this News Release has been reviewed and approved by Janice Fingler, P.Geo, Vice President Exploration of Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd., and Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 policy.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
John S. Brock, President and CEO
Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd.
Forward-Looking Information: This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address exploration drilling and other activities and events or developments that Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. ("Pacific Ridge") expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the placements and future exploration plans and expenditures. Although Pacific Ridge believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market prices, exploration successes, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. These statements are based on a number of assumptions including, among other things, assumptions regarding general business and economic conditions, the timing and receipt of regulatory and governmental approvals for the transactions described herein, the ability of Pacific Ridge and other parties to satisfy stock exchange and other regulatory requirements in a timely manner, the availability of financing for Pacific Ridge's proposed transactions and programs on reasonable terms, and the ability of third party service providers to deliver services in a timely manner. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Pacific Ridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.