South American Silver Recommences Drilling at the Escalones Copper-Gold Project in Chile, After Recent Access Road Closure
7 March, 2013 – Vancouver, British Columbia – South American Silver Corp. (OTCQX: SOHAF, TSX: SAC) (the "Company”) is pleased to advise that drilling operations at the Escalones copper-gold project in Chile have restarted after the recent stoppage. The access road, which was cut in fourteen places by a severe storm that passed through the Maipo Valley on Friday 8th February (see News Release 13-03 dated 13th February 2013) has been repaired to allow the safe passage of vehicles to the Escalones site. One drill rig restarted work on 25th February and all three rigs are now back in operation.
Phillip Brodie-Hall, President and CEO of the Company, said "We are very pleased with the efforts of the work teams in Chile, which brought the road back into service sooner than expected. The early restart improves our chances of completing the full 10,500 metre program before the drilling season ends in April. The current program is focused on the western side of the Meseta, much of which is not in the current resource block model. If we continue to get the good results we have been getting this season (see News Releases NR-02 dated 21st January 2013 and NR-04 dated 27th February 2013) we expect to significantly increase the currently reported inferred resource of 4.5 billion lbs. of copper equivalent grading 0.49% (see News Release 19th December 2011). We are planning to produce an updated resource estimate by mid-year.”
The Escalones copper-gold project is approximately 100 km southeast of Santiago, Chile and 35 km east of El Teniente, the world's largest underground copper mine. Escalones, as previously announced and supported by a NI 43-101 technical report, contains a defined Inferred Resource of 420 million tonnes of mineralized material containing 3.8 billion lbs. of copper, 56.9 million lbs. of molybdenum, 610,000 ozs of gold and 16.8 million ozs of silver at a grade of 0.41% copper, 0.05 g/t gold, 1.24 g/t silver and 61 ppm molybdenum using a 0.2% copper equivalent cut-off grade (see News Release 19th December 2011). The detailed NI 43-101 Technical Report is available on SEDAR under the Company's profile and on the Company's website at https://soamsilver.com/.
Metallurgical testwork on Escalones material completed at SGS Laboratories in Ontario has shown positive results. The standard sulphuric acid leach test achieved average copper extraction of 77% from mixed copper oxide/sulphide mineralization. Copper flotation is also proving successful and rougher/cleaner flotation testing of the porphyry material achieved 25-34% copper concentrate grades at high recovery. Further metallurgical testing is underway.
Copper equivalent calculations reflect gross metal content using approximate 3 year average metals prices as of December 2011 of $3.00/lb copper, $1200/oz gold, $22/oz silver, and $16/lb molybdenum and have not been adjusted for metallurgical recoveries. An economic cut-off grade of 0.2% copper equivalent represents a metal price of approximately $2.50/lb copper.
About South American Silver Corp.
South American Silver Corp. is a growth focused mineral exploration company creating value through the exploration and development of the large scale Escalones copper-gold project in Chile, the pursuit of new opportunities, and the realization of value from the Malku Khota project in Bolivia. The Company's approach to business combines the team's track record of discovery and advancement of large projects, key operational and process expertise, and a focus on community relations and sustainable development. Management has extensive experience in the global exploration and mining industry. The Company's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "SAC” and on the OTCQX as "SOHAF”. Information related to South American Silver Corp. is available at soamsilver.com and on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com/.
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Forward-looking statements look into the future and provide an opinion as to the effect of certain events and trends on the business. Forward-looking statements may include words such as "completing”, "expect”, "planning”, "creating”, "pursuit”, "realization” and similar expressions. In addition ,information concerning mineral resource estimates and the interpretation of exploration programs and drill results may also be considered as a forward-looking statement as such information constitutes a prediction of what mineralization might be found to be present and economically mineable if and when a project is actually developed. This release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and various estimates, factors and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as the Company's actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors affect the Company's business, or if the Company's estimates or assumptions prove inaccurate. Therefore, the Company cannot provide any assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize. Factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the risks of the mineral exploration industry which may affect the advancement of the Escalones project including possible variations in mineral resources or grade, metal prices, timely receipt of required permits, lack of access to Escalones, timely receipt of assay results, variations in drilling, other exploration and metallurgical testing results, availability of equipment and qualified personnel, failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; the international arbitration process; and other risks more fully described in the Company's Annual Information Form filed and publicly available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The assumptions made in developing the forward-looking statements include: the accuracy of results announced by the Company ealier this drilling season; timely completion of the current drill program and return of good assay results; the continued availability of equipment and qualified personnel to advance the Escalones project and execution of the Company's existing plans and further exploration and development programs for Escalones, which may change due to changes in the views of the Company or if new information arises which makes it prudent to change such plans or programs; the ability of the Company to realize value from its investments in Bolivia. Subject to applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Unless otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements in this release describe the Company's expectations as of March 7, 2013.