|Solitario Plans Drilling on 8 Projects in 2006; Acquires Gold & Silver Projects in Brazil/Bolivia
April 18, 2006
|Denver, Colorado: Solitario Resources Corporation ("TSX: SLR") is providing an update on its extensive exploration activities in South America and Mexico, where plans are well underway to initiate drilling on eight projects during 2006. These projects include the Pau d'Arco and Mercurio gold projects in Brazil, the advanced Pedra Branca PGM project also in Brazil, the advanced high-grade Bongara zinc project in Peru, the Libertad gold project in Peru, the Titicayo silver project in Bolivia, the Triunfo gold-silver-lead-zinc project also in Bolivia, and the exciting new Pachuca Real silver-gold project in Mexico. The Pau d'Arco and Titicayo properties represent recent acquisitions.
Chris Herald, President and CEO of Solitario, stated, "Our 2006 exploration program will drill-test the most significant array of mineral properties in our history. Each and every one of these projects has excellent potential to develop into a top-tier mineral deposit. Previous drilling has demonstrated large-scale mineralization on both our high-grade Bongara zinc deposit and our near-surface Pedra Branca platinum-palladium ("PGM") project. In addition, our initial work has increased our optimism regarding the potential of our new Pachuca Real silver-gold project that is located in the Pachuca-Real del Monte mining district with past production of 1.4 billion ounces silver and seven million ounces gold."
Pau d'Arco (Brazil): This newly-acquired property in the Tapajos gold region has a history of high-grade gold extraction from a mineralized zone by small-scale surface miners over a nearly continuous length of one-kilometer. The property has never been drill tested. Surface work is currently being conducted to further define drill targets. We expect to initiate a minimum 1,000 meter core drilling program on this high-potential property in the third quarter of 2006. Our target is a high-grade gold vein 2-10 meters wide.
Mercurio (Brazil): A second round of drilling is planned on the Mercurio project also in the Tapajos gold region of Brazil. In 2005, nine of twelve drill holes intersected significant gold values. Highlights included core holes SB-04 that intersected 12.1 meters grading 12.2 grams per tonne ("g/t") gold, SB-08 that intersected 3.0 meters of 6.48 g/t gold and SB-12 that intersected 4.1 meters grading 5.29 g/t gold. Since the 2005 drilling program, geochemical sampling has revealed significant additional potential and a geophysical survey will begin within several weeks to further define drill targets. We are planning a follow-up 1,000-meter core drilling program beginning within the next two months.
Libertad-Newmont Strategic Alliance Property (Peru): Our first Newmont Strategic Alliance Property to be drilled is the Libertad project in southern Peru. The Libertad mineralized zone has been traced on surface for nearly 400 meters and is up to 25 meters wide where exposed. Mineralization is covered by soil and gravels along one side and along both of its strike extensions. A detailed geophysical survey over the main zone and along its on-strike extensions will begin in several weeks. Following analysis of the results of the geophysical survey, we expect to complete a 1,000 meter drilling campaign in the second half of 2006.
Pachuca Real (Mexico): The 46,350-hectare (114,500 acres) Pachuca Real silver-gold project is situated in and around the prolific Pachuca-Real del Monte mining district. Solitario's property encompasses about 35 percent of the historic district, but more importantly, covers over 90% of the potential extensions of the district to the north and northwest. Our recent surface work has already identified a number of mineralized structures similar to those mined in the old district and some surprisingly large areas of alteration. We expect to drill-test a number of strong targets in the second half of 2006 identified from our current surface exploration program and have tentatively budgeted 2,000 meters of drilling for this excellent property.
Titicayo (Bolivia): The recently acquired Titicayo silver project consists of a mineralized structural zone that has been traced on surface for nearly one-kilometer in length and 10 to 20 meters in width. The zone is covered by younger volcanics on each end and is consequently open to expansion. We are currently completing our surface mapping and sampling work and hope to begin drilling within a month. Our initial plan calls for 800 meters of drilling.
PLATINUM-PALLADIUM (PGM) PROJECTS
Pedra Branca (Brazil): As previously reported, Anglo Platinum Ltd. elected to fund the next $1.25 million work program on our advanced Pedra Branca PGM project as part of its $7.0 million joint venture earn-in. We are currently completing various definitive agreements with Anglo Platinum before beginning the new program, which will include core drilling, resource modeling, metallurgical testing and other pre-feasibility related work. The new drilling program, totaling approximately 5,000 meters, is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Bongara (Peru): Past drilling, though widely spaced, suggests the potential for over 20 million tonnes of high-grade zinc mineralization. We are presently permitting a 23-hole infill drilling program with the objective to delineate an initial several million tonne resource averaging in excess of 10% zinc and 2% lead. The proposed program focuses on an area approximately 200 by 700 meters in size representing only 5% of the known extent of mineralization. This 4,500 meter drilling program is expected to begin by the fourth quarter of 2006. If the objective of this year's drilling program is achieved, a comprehensive feasibility-stage program augmented with surface and underground access to the deposit may be justified.
Triunfo (Bolivia): The Triunfo polymetallic (gold-silver-lead-zinc) project is located about 35 kilometers east of the capital city of La Paz. Exposed stockwork mineralization occurs as a structurally controlled zone up to 80 meters wide and at least 400 meters long. Good potential for size expansion exists along strike where the zone is covered by shallow talus and along its southern limit of width where it is covered by alluvium. No drilling has ever been conducted on the property. A geophysical survey we conducted in 2004 shows the zone to be wider and longer than indicated by outcropping mineralization. We expect to initiate an initial 800 meter drilling program within the next two months.
Solitario is a gold, silver, platinum-palladium, and base metal exploration company actively exploring in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. Solitario is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: SLR).
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
|Debbie W. Mino
|Christopher E. Herald
President & CEO
|This press release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results and future plans and objectives of Solitario, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Development of Solitario’s properties are subject to the success of exploration, completion and implementation of an economically viable mining plan, obtaining the necessary permits and approvals from various regulatory authorities, compliance with operating parameters established by such authorities and political risks such as higher tax and royalty rates, foreign ownership controls and our ability to finance in countries that may become politically unstable. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Solitario’s expectations are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Solitario’s documents filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Commissions, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities.