Ventana Announces Settlement of La Bodega Arbitration and Acquisition of La Baja Property
Ventana Gold Corp. announce it has signed agreements with Minera La Bodega and Minera De La Baja, two privately held Colombian companies, to acquire all mineral rights, key surface rights, easements, equipment and facilities, and related intangible assets on both the La Bodega and La Baja properties. As part of this transaction, the arbitration between Minera La Bodega and Ventana’s subsidiary, CVS Explorations Ltda., will be terminated.
On the La Bodega property, Ventana has discovered two large, high-grade zones of gold mineralization known as La Bodega and La Mascota. The La Mascota zone is a large scale and high grade epithermal gold, silver and copper enriched system. It has been defined along a strike length of 1.4 kilometres through a combination of extension and in-fill drilling. Extension drilling has defined mineralization up to 600 metres to the southwest of the known La Mascota zone, most recently with hole 207 announced on May 6, 2010, which encountered an intercept of 38.1 metres grading 10.4 grams per tonne gold. Along dip, the La Mascota zone has been drilled up to a depth of 400 metres and remains open.
The La Bodega zone is a near surface gold and silver enriched system that forms a higher-grade portion of the Angostura deposit. The discovery hole in this zone intercepted 107 metres at 7.8 grams per tonne gold. Recent analysis by Ventana’s consulting resource geologist indicates the La Bodega zone may extend to further depths than currently drilled. As a result, Ventana has recently reactivated drilling in this area.
The La Baja property comprises 16.5 hectares between the La Bodega and El Cuatro properties and contains an operating mine and processing plant. The property is strategically located on strike with the La Mascota zone (see map at http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/507ven.pdf) and provides Ventana with contiguous mineral rights tenements for a distance of 2.1 kilometres. Historic workings on the La Baja property indicate that additional, parallel mineralized zones may also be present. Recent drill intercepts on El Cuatro demonstrate that La Mascota mineralization extends at least another 500 metres from the southwest edge of the La Bodega border, across the northern portion of the La Baja property. Ventana drill holes 122, 132 and 155 intersected the zone near the border of La Baja with intercepts grading 47 metres of 4.65 grams per tonne gold, 8.4 metres of 10.61 grams per tonne gold, and 22 metres of 4.82 grams per tonne gold, respectively. Hole 122 bottomed in mineralization. In addition, it is apparent that the recently discovered Las Mercedes parallel zone trends onto La Baja. Acquisition of this strategic property consolidates Ventana’s land position in the California district and the Company’s land holdings now total 4,590 hectares.
Ventana President and CEO Steve Orr said: “We are extremely pleased to have acquired all the assets of Minera La Bodega and Minera De La Baja, which includes 100% ownership of the mineral rights, some surface rights, facilities and equipment on both properties. The agreements give us unencumbered access to an expanded land package for continued exploration and development of this prolific gold district.”
Under the terms of the agreements, Ventana will pay US$48 million into trust accounts in conjunction with Minera La Bodega and Minera De La Baja placing their respective assets into the trusts. Once the mineral rights from La Bodega and La Baja have been transferred to and registered with Ventana, the assets and payment will be released from trust. The transfer of the mineral rights is expected to take 45 business days.
Ventana intends to finance the transaction with a portion of its current cash and a loan for US$20 million from related parties of Ventana. The loan has a term of eight months, bears interest at a rate of 12%, and has a fee payable.