Orvana Enters Into a Minerals Lease in the State of Michigan
Orvana Minerals Corp. announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Orvana Resources US Corp., has entered into a minerals lease in respect of an area of the “Western Syncline” located in the Upper Peninsula of the State of Michigan. The leased area is referred to as the Copperwood Project.
The Copperwood Project is located about 30 kilometers southwest of the now-closed White Pine mine, which produced over 1.7 million tonnes (3.75 billion pounds) of copper between 1952 and 1996, principally from chalcocite-bearing siltstone and shale units at the base of the Nonesuch Formation. Twenty-one (21) holes, the deepest of which reached 263 meters (864 feet), were drilled on the leased property during the 1950′s by U.S. Metals Refining Company (USMRC). Also, a shallow shaft and short drifts were driven to assess rock mechanic characteristics and the nature of the mineralized zone. Although it is believed that USMRC took great care in drilling, sampling, and analyzing the drill core, these data were collected prior to the implementation of National Instrument 43-101 standards. The historical exploration information cited below should not be relied upon until validated by new drilling.
Orvana possesses copies of the original lithology and assay logs as well as limited split core from eleven (11) of the historical drillholes within the leased area. The mineralized zone lies at the base of the Nonesuch Formation and is stratigraphically equivalent to the mineralized zone at the White Pine mine. At its shallowest, the mineralized zone subcrops under less than 30 meters of unconsolidated glacial sediments, and lies at about 200 meters depth one kilometer to the north. The historical drill holes show that the copper mineralized zone is from 1.4 meters to 3.8 meters thick, with average copper grades between 1.0% and 2.2%; these thicknesses and grades are conceptual in nature. Orvana will undertake additional drilling to validate the historical exploration data as well as to conduct ore characterization and metallurgical tests. The rock pile around the 1950′s shaft area does not show obvious signs of acid-water generation despite over 50 years of wet, oxidizing conditions, which suggests that the rock in and around the mineralized zone is not reactive.
Orvana President and Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Mirabal said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to develop a copper deposit in this part of the world. The Upper Peninsula has had a long history of copper production, dating back to the American Civil War era. The Copperwood Project is situated in an historic mining area with excellent infrastructure. This project is an important step in the diversification process to which Orvana is committed, and we are continuing to pursue other development opportunities throughout the Americas.”
Additionally, Mr. Mirabal stressed, “Orvana takes pride in our attention to the environment and the fact that our current mining operations at the Don Mario mine in Bolivia exceed Bolivian and international environmental standards. We are also proud of how we design and build the required infrastructure in such a way as to minimize its footprint.
We will initially be investing in environmental studies related to water and other resources to prepare for the permitting process. Bids for these studies have been received and a contractor will be selected in the near term. These studies will not only include installations for ground and surface water monitoring, but will provide additional data about the mineralized zone as well, thus allowing for the confirmation of some of the geological and geomechanics data collected by USMRC in the 1950′s. Our preliminary work, which indicates that the section of interest is non-reactive, will be expanded to confirm the potential minimal impact on the environment.”
Under the minerals lease, in consideration for annual lease payments, Orvana will have mineral rights in respect of 312 hectares (771 acres) until the later of the 20th anniversary of the date of the lease or the date Orvana ceases to be actively engaged in development, mining, or related operations on the property. Lease payments will be applied to any royalty payments due under a related net smelter return royalty (NSR) agreement that Orvana has entered into with the lessor. The NSR, which will be determined quarterly, ranges from 2% to 4% on a sliding scale based on inflation-adjusted copper prices. The minerals lease may be terminated by Orvana on 60 days’ notice. The minerals lease covers privately-owned lands and would not be affected by any amendments that the U.S. Congress may make to the 1872 General Mining Law to require the payment of royalties on Federal lands.
Orvana has also acquired an exclusive option to lease mineral rights on identical terms in respect of an additional 964 hectares (2,382 acres) in the general area of the current minerals lease.
Orvana Minerals Corp. is a Canadian mining and exploration company based in Toronto, Canada, involved in the evaluation, development and mining of precious and base metal deposits in the Americas. The Company owns and operates the Don Mario Mine in eastern Bolivia. Orvana’s long-term goal is to become a low cost, long-life, multi-mine gold and base metals producer in the Americas. Orvana’s shares have been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange since 1992 under the trading symbol ORV. Further information on Orvana may be found on the Company’s website at www.orvana.com