|January 18, 2017|
Bitterroot Resources Acquires Option on Former High-Grade Silver Producer, Silver Mining Executive John Wright Joins Board of Directors
|Michael Carr, President of Bitterroot Resources Ltd. ("Bitterroot" or the "Company", symbol BTT, TSX-V) announces that the Board of Directors has approved a strategy of adopting a precious metals focus for future exploration and development activities. Initially these efforts will be concentrated on the Hackberry property, a former high-grade silver producer in Mohave County, Arizona. Bitterroot, through its US subsidiary, Trans Superior Resources, Inc., has acquired an option (the "Option") from the Hughes Family Trust ("Hughes") to purchase a 100% interest in 12 patented lode mining claims comprising the core of the Hackberry property. |
The Hackberry patented claims cover 97 ha (240 acres), hosting the past-producing Old Hackberry (Sunshine) and South Hackberry high-grade silver mines. The total Hackberry project area currently under Bitterroot's control is approximately 526 ha (1,300 acres), including the unpatented lode claims discussed below. Historical documents available at the Arizona Geological Survey's ("AZGS") digital archive state that 278 samples of ore analysed from the Hackberry Mine in 1919 contained an average of 32 oz/ton silver (1,097 grams Ag/tonne), (Weed, in 1922 Mines Handbook). Additional historical data from the AZGS digital archive files state that between the 200-level and 600-level of the Old Hackberry Mine, the average grade was approximately 25 oz/t silver (857 grams Ag/tonne), 0.1 oz/t gold (3.4 grams Au/tonne) and 8 per percent lead. AZGS files also stated that on the 750-level of the mine, the mined mineralized material was 22 feet (6.7 metres) wide, of which three (3) feet (0.91 metres) contained 100 oz/t silver (3,428 grams silver/tonne) with the adjacent 19 feet (5.8 metres) containing 25 oz/t silver (857 grams Ag/tonne), (Johns, 1918).
Note: The foregoing sampled grades from prior production from the Hackberry property were not prepared by or on behalf of the Company, are historical in nature, and have not been verified by a qualified person, as defined in NI 43-101. The foregoing samples are unlikely to be representative of overall grades of mineralized material at the Hackberry Property. The Company does not treat these production sample results as current mineral resources or reserves, and due to the historical nature of the records, the Company is unable to conduct sufficient verification of the samples to determine their reliability.
In order to provide preliminary confirmation of the historic assay data, rock and dump samples were taken during Bitterroot's initial inspection of the Hackberry property. A high-grade dump sample (HBY-001 below) taken from the dump of the main Old Hackberry decline shaft returned 41.7 oz/t silver (1,430 grams Ag/tonne) and 0.08 oz/t gold (2.7 grams Au/tonne), 13% lead and 12% zinc. Two additional surface grab samples (HBN-001 and HBN-006 below) taken along strike, approximately 1.4 km and 1.9 km northwest of the Old Hackberry Mine, contained 40.3 oz/ton silver (1,380 grams Ag/tonne) and 33.8 oz/ton silver (1,160 grams Ag/tonne) respectively. While these selected grab samples are not representative of the mineralization hosted on the property and are limited in number, the Company believes that they enhance the reliability of the historical production records of the Hackberry mine.
These samples were collected by Glen Adams, a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, while visiting the Hackberry Property on September 8 and 9, 2016. The samples remained in Mr. Adams' possession until they were shipped by commercial carrier to ALS Geochemistry ("ALS") in Tucson, Arizona. The samples were prepared for analyses by ALS in Tucson. The analytical procedures (ME-GRA21 and ME-ICP41) were performed by ALS Canada Ltd. in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory.
The Hackberry silver deposits are hosted in epithermal veins of probable mid-Tertiary age that range in thickness from 1 to 22 feet (0.3 to 6.7 metres). The underground workings comprising the Old Hackberry and South Hackberry mines extend along approximately 750 feet (230 metres) of strike and 950 feet (290 metres) of down-dip depth. Mine plans show the lowest level of the historic workings is less than 660 feet (200 metres) vertically below the surface outcrop of the mineralization. Mining activities are believed to have ceased in 1920 or 1921. Apart from several documented property reviews by interested parties, there has been no systematic exploration undertaken on the property since the early 1920's.
Bitterroot's management believes the Hackberry property has good potential to host additional high-grade silver mineralization along an almost four-(4) kilometre prospective strike length which hosts variably mineralized veins and alteration zones. Obvious exploration targets exist along strike or down-dip from previously mined areas, in blind hanging wall or footwall veins and in areas proximal to the old workings which are covered by recent alluvial deposits. Bitterroot has staked an additional 50 contiguous unpatented lode claims around the Hackberry patented claims and additional lands are in the process of being acquired.
In order to define drill targets for testing later in the year, Bitterroot's first phase of exploration on the patented claims is expected to include detailed geological mapping, structural analysis, rock, soil and silt sampling and geophysical surveys. Permitting in advance of similar work on the unpatented claims will begin immediately.
Under the terms of the Option, and immediately following receipt of TSX Venture Exchange ("Exchange") acceptance of the Option, Bitterroot will initially pay US$50,000 and issue 1,500,000 common shares to Hughes. On or before each of the next four (4) anniversary dates of Exchange acceptance, Bitterroot will pay Hughes US$62,500 and issue Hughes 1,250,000 shares, for total consideration of US$300,000 and 6,500,000 Bitterroot shares, to exercise the Option and acquire a 100 percent interest in the patented claims. Hughes will also retain a 3 percent net smelter returns royalty (the "NSR") on the patented claims and 13 of Bitterroot's unpatented claims. Following exercise of the Option, Bitterroot can buy half (1.5 percent) of the NSR for US$1,500,000. Upon commencement of commercial production, Hughes will also receive minimum advance royalty payments of US$940,000 per year for 5 years.
The Option Agreement remains subject to the acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Mr. John H. Wright Appointed to the Board of Directors
John H. Wright has been appointed as a director of the Company. Mr. Wright was a founder, director and former president and chief operating officer of Pan American Silver Corp. He is a director of SilverCrest Metals Inc. and has previously been a director of Lumina Copper Corp., Northern Peru Copper Corp., Regalito Copper Corp. and Capstone Mining Corp. The first 10 years of John's career were spent with Teck Corporation and Cominco Ltd., where he worked at the Trail smelter operations, and later participated in the management of feasibility studies, marketing and mine construction at the Afton, Highmont, Bullmoose and David Bell mines. Mr. Wright is a metallurgical engineer and honours graduate of Queens University in Ontario.
Michael Carr, president and chief executive officer of Bitterroot, stated: "John brings a wealth of technical and corporate expertise from a 40-year career with emphasis on underground mine construction and operations in Mexico and South America. His experience managing technical, corporate and market matters will enhance our ability to effectively explore and advance Bitterroot's projects".
The Company has granted to Mr. Wright incentive stock options to purchase of 200,000 common shares of the Company at an exercise price of $0.10 per share for a five-year term expiring Jan. 16, 2022. A consultant to the Company has also been granted 70,000 options on the same terms.
Mr. Glen W. Adams, PG (Wisconsin), a consultant to the Company, is the Qualified Person responsible for the technical content of this news release. Mr Adams has prepared, supervised and approved the scientific and technical disclosure in this news release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Michael S. Carr
Johns, A.L., 1918, Report on Silver King Group, Peacock Mining District, Hackberry,
Mohave County, Arizona, unpublished report in Arizona Geological Survey
Digital archives, Tucson, AZ, report dated May 27, 1918, 9 p.
Weed, W.H., 1922, Hackberry Consolidated Mining Co, in The Mines Handbook, vol.15,
Published by The Mines Handbook Co, Tuckahoe, N.Y., p. 288
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "expect", "estimate", "objective", "may", "will", "project", "should", "predict", "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward looking statements concerning the potential future exercise of the Option, and receipt of regulatory approval thereof. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward looking statements because the Company cannot give any assurance that they will prove correct. Since forward looking statements address future events and conditions, they involve inherent assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of assumptions, factors and risks. These assumptions and risks include, but are not limited to, assumptions and risks associated with the results of the Company's exploration activities on the applicable mineral properties, metals prices, the state of the equity financing markets, and regulatory approval matters.
Management has provided the above summary of risks and assumptions related to forward looking statements in this press release in order to provide readers with a more comprehensive perspective on the Company's future operations. The Company's actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward looking statements and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits the Company will derive from them. These forward looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and, other than as required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise.