Strongbow Exploration Inc. (SBW: TSXV) is pleased to provide an exploration update on its gold exploration properties in North and South Carolina, USA, including the Midway, Ridgeway and Parker gold projects.
An initial drilling program, consisting of ten holes (1,949 m), tested five of fifteen target areas within the Midway project. At four of the targets, drilling intersected variable widths (centimetre scale up to 32.4 metres) of hydrothermal, sericite-silica-pyrite alteration. Molybdenite and chalcopyrite mineralization is variably associated with these alteration zones and gold values are locally elevated (from background up to 375 ppb). Drilling of the fifth target was terminated early due to challenging drilling conditions.
Ken Armstrong, President and CEO of Strongbow stated: "Initial exploration work at Midway over the last eighteen months has advanced the project from an area play concept through land acquisition, geophysical and geochemical surveys and initial exploration drilling. This work has outlined at least fifteen priority exploration targets located within an 11,000 m strike length between the Haile and Brewer gold mines. The zones of alteration and mineralization encountered in this initial drilling program are encouraging and we believe that these zones will help us vector into a larger mineralized system. Our original thesis that the Midway project represents a compelling exploration target in an area of proven gold endowment and excellent infrastructure in a politically stable jurisdiction remains intact."
Results have also been received for detailed follow up and infill geochemical surveys over several of the highest priority targets at Midway. David Gale, Vice-President of Exploration for Strongbow commented: "Our geochemical sampling program has defined a number of excellent multi-element geochemical anomalies. These targets are very robust, having been repeated with several passes of sampling and using three different sampling techniques. The alteration, anomalous gold and related pathfinder element mineralization, identified in the minimal amount of drilling completed to date confirms the highly prospective nature of these targets. It is clear that further drilling is required to properly evaluate the Midway targets."
Planning is currently underway for a two staged drilling program in the first half of 2012. The initial campaign will involve an overburden drill that will allow for a comprehensive evaluation of all of the geochemical anomalies down to bedrock. This will help focus a follow up diamond drilling program which will concentrate on the highest priority targets along the Haile-Brewer gold trend.
The Ridgeway project consists of 18 properties covering over 1,300 acres located between two and five kilometres along strike to the east of Rio Tinto's past producing Ridgeway gold mine in South Carolina. The Ridgeway mine produced approximately 1.5 million ounces of gold between 1988 and 1998. Strongbow has completed detailed geochemical surveys of four of the properties, including two properties where previous drilling defined a zone of gold mineralization (the Lloyd zone) over a 250 m strike length. Gold assays from this drilling ranged from background values up to 2.4 g/t over 25.9 m. Strongbow's geochemical surveys have outlined a prominent 300 m by 350 m multi-element geochemical anomaly that is coincident with the Lloyd zone, as well as a new 200 m by 300 m anomaly located 600 m to the southwest.
Importantly, the Lloyd zone lies beneath unconsolidated sands of the Coastal Plain cover sequence. These sands are also present in the Midway project area 45 km to the northeast. The delineation of such a well-defined anomaly over known gold mineralization further confirms that the geochemical techniques being used by Strongbow are an effective exploration tool in this area and provides increased confidence in the Midway area targets.
Parker gold mine
Strongbow has also received results for an eight hole, 1,400 m drilling program at the company's Parker gold mine property in North Carolina. The purpose of the program was to test if a larger mineralized system is present beneath historic gold workings on this never before drilled property. All eight drill holes encountered narrow zones of weak to moderate silicification and quartz veining. Gold mineralization (ranging from 100 ppb to 9,643 ppb gold) was generally restricted to narrow intervals of less than 2.5 m. The general lack of a broad alteration system accompanying gold bearing quartz veins within the project area is disappointing, and no further work is planned for the property.
Regional exploration work
Strongbow, as part of its regional exploration efforts in the southeastern United States, has to date collected over 6,300 geochemical samples, approximately 4,000 of which have been collected outside of the Midway project. A number of target areas have been defined by this regional work and follow up surveys are planned and property acquisition efforts are underway.
About the Midway gold project
The Midway project consists of over 3,500 acres within the prospective, 16 kilometre (10 mile) Haile-Brewer gold trend in South Carolina. All of the Midway properties are located adjacent to either the past producing Brewer gold mine or properties owned by Romarco Minerals Inc. (R-TSX) including the Haile gold mine and Buzzard properties. Current measured and indicated resources reported by Romarco for the Haile gold mine consist of 3.1 million ounces gold with additional inferred resources of 1.1 million ounces gold. Gold mineralization at the Haile and Brewer mines, as well as at the nearby Buzzard prospect, is hosted within volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Carolina slate belt (CSB). In addition to the Midway project, Strongbow is also evaluating properties in the Ridgeway project area and is working to identify and acquire additional gold targets within the CSB.
Drill core samples were submitted to Acme Analytical Laboratories in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were analyzed with a 36 element ICP mass spectrometer package, using a 15 gram sample split and a modified aqua regia digestion. Rocks returning >100 ppb gold are re-evaluated using a 30 gram fire assay analysis. These samples are custom-blended with fire-assay fluxes and heated to 1050oC. This process produces a dore bead and the gold is measured from the bead using a gravimetric determination. The regional geochemical samples use either the ICP method described above, or an ultratrace digestion that is first cold leached with nitric acid then fully leached with a modified aqua regia solution. A 1 gram sample split is used for this analysis. A quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program is in place that includes the insertion of certified gold standards, blanks and field duplicate samples into the sample stream to confirm the accuracy and precision of the reported results. Strongbow's exploration programs are conducted under the supervision of David Gale, P.Geo.(BC), Vice-President of Exploration for Strongbow and a qualified person under NI 43-101.
STRONGBOW EXPLORATION INC.
/s/"Kenneth A. Armstrong"
Kenneth A. Armstrong
President and CEO
For further information, please contact:
Vice-President of Exploration
Tel: 604 668 8355
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