Sabina Gold & Silver Corp (SBB.T) is pleased to outline the objectives of its 2012 exploration program and budget for its Nunavut projects. Logistics planning is well underway with the Goose Camp anticipated to open in early February. Once opened, Goose camp will be provisioned with all supplies for drilling to commence in early March. By the end of March, it is anticipated that eight core drills will be operating at the Back River and Wishbone properties.
2012 will be another pivotal year for us in Nunavut and at the Back River Project said Rob Pease, President & CEO The focus of the program at Back River this year will be to continue to add ounces as well as to advance the project to the development stage. Not only do we have the largest drilling program ever on the project, we have committed a significant budget towards an intensive environmental field program with the objective of completing all necessary baseline work to be well prepared for the environmental assessment phase of the project. Program components are still being finalized and will be also be directed by the project preliminary economic assessment (PEA) which we anticipate near the end of the first quarter this year.
Sabina ended 2011 with a significant cash position of approximately $160 million. In 2012, the Company plans to spend up to $74 million on its work programs and corporate G&A. Of that amount, approximately up to $65 million has been slated for work on the Company's Nunavut projects.
The objectives at Back River and Wishbone for 2012 are:
To continue to expand the known resources at depth and along strike on the Goose claim block; To drill test remaining high potential targets on the Goose claim block To drill test high priority shallow targets at the George claim block identified by the exploration tool box; To complete any drilling identified by the PEA to upgrade existing inferred resources as needed to begin a pre-feasibility study later this year; To begin evaluation of high potential targets on the other Back River claim blocks; and To assess the new resource potential of the Lucky 7 trend on Wishbone. To complete necessary baseline studies needed to support the environmental assessment phase of the project.
The Nunavut work program for 2012 is comprised of a 76,000 metre drill program. Camps at Goose and George will be provisioned with additional consumables for up to 100,000 metres to enable aggressive follow-up drilling on positive results. Two new deep diamond drills will be mobilized to Goose to bring the total in the region to eight drills.
The budget also includes upgrades to both the George and Goose camps including new buildings, new equipment and more staff facilities.
The Company's 100% owned Back River gold project was acquired in 2009 and contains a National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) compliant indicated resource of 22.3 million tonnes at 5.62 g/t Au for 4.03 million ounces gold and an additional inferred resource of 10 million tonnes at 6.23 g/t Au for 2.02 million ounces gold. These resources were calculated in 2011 and are made up of the Goose, Umwelt and Llama deposits on the Goose Claim block and the George deposits on the George claim block.
The Company has had significant success increasing the resources at Back River each year through the use of its exploration tool box. This tool box is based on (among other things) interpreting geological and geophysical signatures used to identify areas on the iron formation that have been altered by high temperature geological events.
This set of exploration assumptions has worked well for the team. In 2011 alone, the Company announced three resource updates due to the discovery of two significant new deposits (Llama and Umwelt) on the Goose claim block. These two deposits remain open and are priority targets for further drilling in 2012.
Work Plans 2012
On the Goose claim block, a focus in 2012 will be to continue to define the Umwelt deposit. Two new deep drills have been secured to complete down plunge extension and infill drilling at the new G2 zone discovered last year. Additional medium depth and shallow drilling is also proposed to infill gaps in the resource model and to increase the confidence around the deposit.
Drilling at Llama will focus on good targets situated on the East and West limbs of the deposit with a view to extending the deposit down plunge and along strike.
Additional drilling has also been proposed to examine the down plunge and dip extension of the Goose deposit, as well as, a number of other targets on the Goose claim block including the Goose Neck and Camp zones discovered in 2011.
Drilling in 2011 was successful in applying the exploration tool box to the northern belt of iron formation at the George claim block. New discoveries were made at Trigger and Lookout Hill where the need for additional drilling is being evaluated. Work in 2012 will focus on shallow open pit targets on the remainder of the property.
Initial targeting and testing will also be done on the under explored Boulder claim block, utilizing the exploration tool box to potentially discover additional open pit deposits.
Additionally, approximately 30% of the total planned expenditures at Back River are planned to advance the project towards development. Environmental and permitting processes will commence concurrently with the completion of the PEA to enable the project to move towards a pre-feasibility and draft environmental impact statement.
The Wishbone Project was initially comprised of a series of 180 mining claims covering a district-scale land package over the highly prospective extension of the Hackett River Greenstone belt that hosts the Hackett River VMS project. With the sale of the Hackett River project to Xstrata, Sabina retained 48 of these claims along the south eastern portion of the greenstone belt that cover a number of iron formation hosted targets with geology analogous to that found at Back River.
In August 2011, a new highly favourable gold trend was identified by Sabina on these retained Wishbone claims at the Lucky 7 target where hole SWB-11-07 intersected 6.45 g/t Au over 4.50 m and 71.3 g/t Au over 1.50 m. As a result of this discovery, Sabina staked 73 new claims to the east and south of the existing property. The Wishbone project now consists of 121 mining claims covering 79,166 ha.
Work plans 2012
Drilling at Wishbone will focus on the Lucky 7 trend. Approximately 15 holes have been planned for follow up on 2011's positive results in hole SWB-11-07. Additional holes have been planned for the testing of other targets along the trend that have similar geophysical signatures.
Field work consisting of mapping, prospecting and soil sampling will also be conducted the over new claims staked by Sabina in 2011.
Mr. Peter Manojlovic, PGeo, and Vice President Exploration of Sabina Gold & Silver Corp is a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101 and has reviewed the technical content of this press release and approved its dissemination.
The NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for Back River was prepared by Doug Cater, P. Geo and Project Manager for Sabina, a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 as it relates to the George, Goose and Llama Mineral Resource estimates, and by Marek Nowak, P. Eng, SRK Consulting, a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 as it relates to the Umwelt resource estimate.
The NI 43-101 Technical Report for the Back River Resource Estimate can be found on www.SEDAR.com or on the Company's website.
SABINA GOLD & SILVER CORP.
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is an emerging precious metals company with district scale, world class undeveloped assets in one of the world's newest, most politically stable mining jurisdictions: Nunavut, Canada.
Sabina's primary properties consist of the Back River Gold Project, the Wishbone Claims, a vastly prospective grass roots project and the Hackett River silver royalty all located in Nunavut. The Company has announced the completion of the sale of Hackett River and certain claims in the Wishbone greenstone belt to Xstrata Zinc Canada Division (Xstrata) for which the Company received $50 m cash and a silver royalty on Xstrata's Hackett River silver production of 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces produced and 12.5% of all silver produced thereafter.
For further information please contact:
Nicole Hoeller, Vice-President, IR: 1 888 648-4218 firstname.lastname@example.org
Forward Looking Statements
Statements relating to future operations at the Hackett River Project, the Back River Project and the Wishbone Greenstone belt and the expected results of this work are forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation of certain Provinces in Canada. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words expects, plans, anticipates, believes, intends, estimates, 'projects, potential and similar expressions, or that events or conditions will, would, may, could or should occur. Information inferred from the interpretation of drilling results may also be deemed to be forward looking statements, as it constitutes a prediction of what might be found to be present when and if a project is actually developed. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to fluctuations in metal prices; uncertainties related to raising sufficient financing to fund the planned work in a timely manner and on acceptable terms; changes in planned work resulting from weather, logistical, technical or other factors; the possibility that results of work will not fulfill expectations and realize the perceived potential of the Company's properties; risk of accidents, equipment breakdowns and labour disputes or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in the work program; the risk of environmental contamination or damage resulting from Sabina's operations and other risks and uncertainties, including those described in Sabina's Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2010.
Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of Sabina's management on the date the statements are made. Sabina undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements should management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.
This news release has been authorized by the undersigned on behalf of Sabina Gold & Silver Corp
Rob Pease, President & CEO 930 West 1st Street, Suite 202 North Vancouver, BC V7P 3N4 Tel 604 998-4175 Fax 604 998-1051 http://www.sabinagoldsilver.com