Sacre-Coeur Completes Initial Assessment of Its Guyana Exploration Portfolio and Prioritizes Advancement of the Million Mountain Project While Conserving Cash During Economic Turndown
SACRE-COEUR MINERALS, LTD. (the “Company”) (TSX-V: SCM) (FRANKFURT: S5N) today announced a strategic restructuring of its exploration programs in Guyana to prioritize development of its advancing Million Mountain Project, as well as a series of steps to conserve cash. Exploration will continue on a more limited basis on other priority targets within its portfolio in Guyana. The restructuring reflects management’s assessment of the optimal strategy for increasing shareholder value in the present difficult world economic environment, based upon information developed in its Guyana exploration program over the past three years.
In September, 2008, the Company released its NI 43-101 compliant interim resource estimate of 451,397 measured and indicated tr oz Au contained in Zone 1 near surface at its Million Mountain Project in Guyana. In the same release, the Company also announced identification of seven additional highly prospective mineralized zones in close proximity, along a trend with the original Zone 1 discovery. These seven additional zones of anomalous gold cover a surface area in aggregate more than 20 times the mineralized target area defined by Zone 1. Together, these eight zones comprise a mineralized target with world class potential. In addition to its potential to host a commercial deposit of significant size, the project exhibits relative ease of access from the capital city of Georgetown, has a large and well developed permanent work camp, has a minimum of environmental complexities, and is the subject of a large body of technical data which the Company has now developed. As such, the Million Mountain Project is considered by management to be the Company’s highest priority for immediate development and the focus for its expenditures in the next year.
Given the very difficult state of the world economy, and of the junior resource equity market in particular, the Company’s management and Board have revised its strategy to maximize opportunities for near term success while conserving cash through the expected period of downturn. In addition to prioritizing development of the Million Mountain Project, the Company is suspending grassroots exploration and target generative programs elsewhere in its portfolio. This strategic shift will permit the Company to reduce its exploration staff in Guyana by some 194 persons to 27 % of past level. The reduction in staff will include not only local support workers but expatriate geologists as well, which will be reduced 64% from 14 to 5 effective January 1, 2009. Field work will be consolidated out of the Company’s main Lower Puruni District Camp, located at the Million Mountain Project, to further reduce operating costs. Two core drills which have recently been operating on the Company’s properties by third party contractors will be demobilized, leaving two Company-owned rigs available for operation in 2009 by our own drillers.
Over the past three years, the Company has conducted extensive studies of its seven regional blocks in Guyana, comprising approximately 2360 sq km of property. These studies have included broadbased geochemical and geophysics studies, mapping, sampling and other field reconnaissance work, together with desk-top studies. Based on this work, the Company has prioritized its holdings which it believes to have sufficient resource potential to justify further investigation, while segregating those holdings which it does not believe have significant potential to host a commercial deposit. As a result of this work, the Company will be relinquishing before yearend nearly 50% of its existing property portfolio in Guyana. Further details will be provided after finalization of the property reductions and filing with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.
According to Greg Sparks, P.Eng., Senior V.P and head of the Company’s Guyana program, “While retrenchments are never pleasant, this market driven situation has provided the opportunity for us to rationalize our program to ensure that we are going about our business as efficiently as possible. As a result of the excellent exploration work by our technical team over the past three years, we have been able to make some difficult but informed decisions concerning downsizing of our overall portfolio and prioritization of the Million Mountain Gold Project. We are one of the fortunate junior companies with ample cash to continue to advance its key project and continue to add intrinsic value to its stock. We are taking all steps necessary to meet the current market conditions proactively by reducing our total burn rate to approximately CAD $250,000 per month. With cash on hand of approximately CAD $5.7 million management expects that though this down turn could be protracted, the Company will emerge intact and with greater value-added.”
The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of properties for the potential mining of gold, metals and diamonds in South America, initially focussing on exploration for gold on its properties in Guyana. The Company presently has an interest in approximately 850 square miles of mineral properties in Guyana, including the Million Mountain Property. The Company has offices in Vancouver, Canada and Georgetown, Guyana. More information about the Company is available at www.scminerals.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF SACRE-COEUR MINERALS, LTD. "Irwin A. Olian" Irwin A. Olian CEO and Chairman
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of the information contained herein. The statements made in this press release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ from the Company’s expectations.
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For further information, contact: Irwin Olian President and CEO Email: Email Contact Phone: 604-899-0100 Fax: 604-899-0200 Lee Dunston Corporate Communications Email: Email Contact Phone: 604-899-0100 Fax: 604-899-0200 Carrie Howes Corporate Communications - London Email: Email Contact Phone: 7780-602-788 SACRE-COEUR MINERALS, LTD Sacre-Coeur Minerals, Ltd Suite 1925, Box 11553 650 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC V6B 4N8
SOURCE: Sacre-Coeur Minerals, Ltd.