Southern Empire Resources Corp. (Southern Empire) (TSX-V: SMP) (Frankfurt: 5RE) announces that it has received acceptance from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for road construction, pad preparation and sonic drilling of the Padre y Madre historical heap leach pads at its Oro Cruz Gold Project in southeastern California.
- BLM acceptance received for sonic drilling of the Padre y Madre historical heap leach pad
- Permit bonding lodged with the BLM
- Sonic drill contract call for tender issued
- Sonic drilling anticipated to begin in mid-September
- BLM acceptance valid for two years expiring in 2022, extendible to 2024
- BLM acceptance for sonic drilling the American Girl historical heap leach pad is anticipated soon
WestLand Resources Inc. of Tucson, Arizona, specialists in environmental permitting and planning, have spearheaded Southern Empire’s California permitting efforts and liaison with the regulatory bodies, including the BLM, the State of California and Imperial County. David Tupper, Southern Empire’s Vice President – Exploration said: “We are exceptionally pleased with the successes our teams have accomplished, especially during these unusual times, in the permitting of our first phase of sonic drilling of the decommissioned, historical Padre y Madre heap leach pads at Oro Cruz. We are on schedule for a drill campaign starting in mid-September.”
Southern Empire previously released gold assay results of twelve selected grab samples taken from the Padre y Madre that ranged from 0.128 to 1.230 grams gold/tonne (see Southern Empire’s news release of July 7, 2020). Dale Wallster, Southern Empire’s CEO stated: “The goal of sonic drilling the already mined, oxide material contained in the historical heap leach pads at Oro Cruz is to establish an industry compliant mineral resource and provide us with samples for extractive metallurgical test work. The potential to ultimately reprocess these existing leach pad materials gives us additional upside to any high-grade, underground resources we develop at Oro Cruz.”
Work programs during the COVID-19 pandemic
Southern Empire is well-financed to start its proposed Oro Cruz exploration programs, having recently completed two oversubscribed, non-brokered private placement financings (see Southern Empire’s news releases dated March 18 and June 12, 2020 for details).
Although BLM, state and county offices are currently closed, their staff have established measures to provide services remotely. Timing of Southern Empire’s exploration programs will be contingent on governmental regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and also the availability of exploration-related personnel, drill contractors, equipment, lodging, et cetera. Southern Empire will adhere to COVID-19 directives regarding safe working practices putting worker, community and national safety first and will proceed with exploration and development work programs only if potential COVID-19 risks can be effectively managed.
About Southern Empire Resources Corp.
Southern Empire is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold deposits in North America.
In the Cargo Muchacho mountains of Imperial County, southeast California, Southern Empire holds options to acquire a 100% interest in the 2,160 hectares (5,338 acre) Oro Cruz Property located approximately 22.5 kilometres (km; 14 miles) southeast of the operating Mesquite gold mine of Equinox Gold Corp.
With a history that includes extensive drilling and large-scale open pit and underground mining by the American Girl Mining Joint Venture (53 per cent owned by MK Gold Co., a subsidiary of Morrison Knudsen Corporation, and 47 per cent owned by Hecla Mining Company), which was suspended during the gold market downturn in 1996, the Oro Cruz Gold Project hosts many exploration targets, the Padre y Madre and American Girl decommissioned heap leach pads, and a high-grade oxide gold zone that, based on the historical mine operation records, is amenable to conventional heap leach extractive methods.
Southern Empire also owns an 85% interest in 101 unpatented BLM lode mining claims covering the 817 hectares (2,020 acres) Eastgate Gold Project, located in Churchill County, Nevada approximately 81 km (50 miles) southeast of the city of Fallon and 42 km (26 miles) from the Bell Mountain gold project currently undergoing final mine permitting by Eros Resources Corp. Southern Empire has recently completed six HQ-size core drill holes at Eastgate, that targeted high-grade gold/silver epithermal vein systems that were previously drilled by reverse circulation methods. Selective core samples have been submitted to ALS USA Inc.’s laboratories in Reno, Nevada and assay results will be released after they become available. Permitting for the next phase of drilling has been initiated.
Southern Empire is in the process of acquiring MAS Gold Corp. (TMX-V: MAS), a Canadian mineral exploration company having road-accessible projects located in the La Ronge Gold Belt of Saskatchewan approximately 60 km west of the SSR Mining Inc.’s producing Seabee and Santoy gold mines. Please refer to Southern Empire’s news release dated July 13, 2020 available on SEDAR.
MAS Gold’s Greywacke North gold deposit, one of several known stratabound, high-grade gold-bearing zones on the Greywacke Lake Property, has an estimated Indicated Mineral Resource of 255,500 tonnes at a grade of 9.92 grams gold per tonne (g Au/t), plus an Inferred Mineral Resource of 59,130 t at 7.42 g Au/t, at a cut-off grade of 5 g Au/t (see MAS Gold’s NI 43-101 Technical Report of June 1, 2016 available on SEDAR).
The North Lake gold deposit, located on the Preview-North property, 33 kilometres southwest of Greywacke North, has an Inferred Mineral Resource estimated at 417,000 ounces of gold contained in 14,110,000 t grading 0.92 g Au/t (see MAS Gold’s News Release dated March 25, 2020 and their NI 43-101 Technical Report dated April 10, 2020).