Vancouver B.C.: TNR Gold Corp. (the “Company”). The Company is pleased to provide our shareholders with an update on TNR Gold Corp.’s activities over the past year and an outlook of its objectives for 2012 and beyond.
· Spin-out of International Lithium Corp. and unit distribution to shareholders;
· 100% Consolidation of Shotgun gold project, Alaska;
· Soules Bay iron ore acquisition encompassing 12km strike length iron formation, 100% Option;
· Seabrook Lake project, historic high REE grades confirmed; and
· Los Azules litigation, new claim added and court date set to commence Nov. 19, 2012.
In alignment with the Company’s objective to unlock the value of its property portfolio, this year was witness to the completion of a multi-year endeavour, a plan of arrangement entailing the spin-out of TNR’s lithium and rare metals subsidiary, International Lithium Corp (ILC:TSXV). TNR shareholders were the beneficiary of a unit (one share and one share purchase warrant) distribution in ILC that provides them individual investor exposure to ILC as well as continued exposure through TNR’s retained 27% equity ownership in ILC.
ILC has been active and has embarked on two drill programs since its listing date. Twenty holes totaling 1,753 metres were drilled on the Mavis Lake rare metals pegmatite project near Dryden Ontario. Of the 20 holes drilled, 17 intersected one or more intervals of pegmatite greater than 2 metres and up to 78 metres in length with analytical results pending. In addition and much anticipated, the Phase 1 resource delineation drill program has commenced at the Mariana lithium brine project with the objective to characterize the subsurface brine across different regions within the salar. An extensive Phase 2 drill program is planned for early next year targeting an Inferred Resources estimate for Q3-2012.
As a testament to the merits of ILC’s projects, a prominent China based lithium product manufacturer, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., completed a comprehensive due diligence process and committed to an initial 9.9-per-cent equity share in ILC through participating in the listing financing. As a strategic partner, Ganfeng intends to provide instrumental future support toward the development of ILC’s projects from a financial and technical perspective.
During ILC’s listing process, TNR has strengthened its core project portfolio with the recent consolidation of 100% ownership of the Company’s Shotgun gold project in Alaska, from NovaGold. The Shotgun Project is situated in a prolific world class gold region with previous operators estimating a pre-NI43-101 historical resource of 32.8 million tonnes grading 0.93 gram per tonne at a cut-off of 0.5g/t Au for a contained 980,000 ounces of gold*. A 3-D IP and resistivity geophysical orientation survey was completed to better identify the controlling structures for mineralization discovered from the last round of drilling that intercepted 210.5 metres grading 1.29 g/t Au at Shotgun Ridge indicating higher grade feeder zones open at depth. The geophysical survey will assist in targeting the extension of the mineralization at Shotgun Ridge as well as defining drill targets at the numerous additional anomalies that are evident on the project.
In Argentina, in addition to the work that our joint venture partners such as La Mancha and NGEX Resources are performing on our properties, TNR will focus in the coming year on its El Tapau project, which has experienced limited drill coverage consisting of 7 holes with one reporting a significant intersection of 82 metres grading 0.49% Cu that has not been followed up on. The company has also recently discovered seven historic drill holes drilled on or near the property boundaries internal to our large claim concession, which had returned significant grades of gold, silver and copper. Next year, the Company will attempt to validate these remarkable historic results as well as drill the untested geophysical anomalies proximal to this zone to demonstrate the significant potential of the property.
In addition, TNR has bolstered its project portfolio and expanded its commodity exposure with the addition of three new properties, the Big Beaver House and Seabrook Lake REE projects as well as the Soules Bay iron ore project. The Big Beaver House boasts one of the largest carbonatite complexes in Ontario at 5 by 5 kms in scale, has experienced limited historic drilling with only a partial suite of REE elements analyzed for and when reanalyzed by the Ontario Geological Survey reported Nd+La+Ce grades up to 3,200 ppm indicating significant total REE potential. The Seabrook Lake is one of the most southerly carbonatite complexes in Ontario and this past season’s initial sampling program has confirmed historical REE grades up to 3390 ppm CeO2, 1779 ppm Nd2O3, 1163 ppm La2O3, and 1903 ppm Nb2O5 with 50% of samples report >0.20% TREO***. These early stage REE projects will be advanced through 2012 with drill programs planned.
The Company entered into a 100% purchase option agreement on the Soules Bay Iron Ore project located approximately 310 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario proximal to highway, power and rail. The Soules Bay project encompasses a 12km strike length of highly magnetic iron formation that is immediately adjacent, to the west, to a historical reserve* of 628 million tonnes grading 23.1% soluble iron**. This area west of the claim boundary has witnessed considerable exploration while limited exploration has been performed within the property boundary on the same-trend magnetic anomaly. A 94.5 metre composite, 1957 drill sample, within and near the western boundary of the Property reported 24.9% soluble iron. The location and geological setting is ideal for a winter drill program in early 2012.
Throughout the last three years, TNR has also been seeking resolution on its ownership status of the Los Azules, an advanced-staged exploration project in San Juan, Argentina which hosts one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world.
In May 2011, following a two-day hearing before the British Columbia Supreme Court, TNR and its subsidiary, Solitario Argentina S.A., have been granted leave to amend their pleadings to add a new claim to the litigation (the “New Claim”) over the Los Azules project in Argentina. The litigation involves TNR, Minera Andes Inc., MIM Argentina Exploraciones S.A. (“Xstrata”) and related entities. The Los Azules project is an advanced exploration project currently reporting a National Instrument 43-101 compliant Inferred Resource.
The New Claim alleges that Xstrata and Minera Andes did not complete the required exploration expenditures required for Xstrata’s exercise of its option on April 23, 2007 to acquire the Properties. On that basis, TNR and Solitario advance a claim of breach of contract and intentional interference with economic relations, and seek the return of the Properties, or alternatively, damages as against the defendants or any of them.
The trial is scheduled to commence on November 19, 2012 and conclude in January 2013.
In the original Notice of Claim, among other claims, TNR and Solitario seek rectification of a 2004 Exploration and Option Agreement with Xstrata (later assigned to Minera Andes) to restore a right on the part of Solitario to back-in to up to 25% of certain properties constituting the northern half of the Los Azules project (the “Properties”) any time within 120 days of the production of a feasibility study. Minera Andes and Xstrata oppose rectification and the other relief sought by TNR and Solitario.
TNR will be vigorously defending its legal position and invite all shareholders to learn more about the case proceedings via the publicly available documents. The Notice of Claims, Application, and Judgement files are available on BC Supreme Court database and hosted on TNR’s webpage. www.tnrgoldcorp.com/s/LosAzules.asp
Exploration success begins with having the right people, patience, perseverance and timing. TNR believes it has these key ingredients in place for a successful 2012 and beyond.
*The geology and assay results quoted above are from various historical reports and have not been verified by the Company. A Qualified Person (QP), as defined in NI 43-101, has not done sufficient work to classify this historical estimate as current mineral resources. TNR is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources, as defined in NI 43-101, and thus the historical estimate should not be relied upon. Furthermore, because no recent work has been done to evaluate the economics of the deposit, there is no guarantee that the quoted historic “reserve” figure is potentially economic. Economic studies done in 1960 do not mean the mineralized iron deposit would be found to be economic today. In accordance with NI 43-10, Sec 2.3 (2), the reader is cautioned that the estimate of the potential quantity and grade for the deposit is conceptual in nature and that there has not been sufficient exploration in this instance to define a current mineral resource nor is there certainty that further exploration will delineate the target as a mineral resource.
** Soluble iron is that partial component of total iron content that is acid (i.e. aqua regia) soluble. For clarification, the iron in iron oxides is classified as acid soluble, whereas iron-bearing silicates represent an example of material categorized containing insoluble iron.
*** Grab samples are by definition selective and are unlikely to represent average grades on the property.
ABOUT TNR GOLD CORP. / INTERNATIONAL LITHIUM CORP
Over the past twenty-one years TNR, through its lead generator business model, has been successful in generating high quality exploration projects around the globe. With the Company’s expertise, resources and industry network, it is well positioned to aggressively identify, source, explore, partner and continue to expand its project portfolio.
TNR’s recently listed subsidiary, International Lithium Corp. (TSX:ILC.V), demonstrated the successful application of TNR’s business model in which TNR shareholders benefited from a unit distribution upon spin-out of TNR’s lithium and rare metals projects. TNR remains a large shareholder in ILC at 27% of outstanding shares.
At its core, TNR provides significant exposure to gold and copper through its holdings in Alaska and Argentina; and teamed with the recent acquisitions of rare-earth elements and iron ore projects in Canada confirm TNR’s commitment to continued generation of in-demand projects, while diversifying its markets and building shareholder value.
On behalf of the board,
President — TNR Gold Corp.