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NewWest Gold Corporation's Northumberland Joint Venture Announces Results From its 2006 Program
Lakewood, Colorado (ots/PRNewswire) - NewWest Gold Corporation (TSX:NWG) (NewWest) today announced the results for the completion of Phases One and Two of its 2006 Northumberland project drilling program, carried out by its joint venture partner, Newmont USA Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) ("Newmont"). These Phase Two results complement the Phase One results released November 21, 2006, which revealed holes with high-grade mineralization. Located in Nye County, Nevada, Northumberland is NewWest's flagship and most advanced property.
At a total cost of US$3.033 million, the 2006 program drilled numerous targets within Newmont's conceptual open pit as well as underground targets within the Southwest Zanzibar target area. In addition, early-stage targets were drill-tested outside of the resource area, on the eastern and western range front within the Northumberland Project area.
The two phase exploration program included 54 drill holes with total footage of 55,357 feet. Phase Two consisted of 13 reverse-circulation rotary (RC) and core holes with a total footage of 21,242 feet, and Phase One consisted of 41 RC and core holes with a total footage of 34,115 feet.
Some Phase Two drill holes encountered gold mineralization approaching underground-mineable grades. Hole NUN-82C encountered 30 feet of 0.246 oz Au/ton between 1,725 and 1,755 feet; hole NUN-83C encountered 10 feet of 0.448 oz Au/ton between 1,650 and 1,660 feet; and NN-85 encountered 20 feet of 0.287 oz Au/ton between 1,455 and 1,475 feet. Phase One holes NN -63C and NN-64C were drilled to explore for the deeper high-grade mineralization previously discovered in NN-5. Hole NN-63C encountered 25 feet of 0.437 oz Au/ton at a depth of 1,015 feet, and Hole NN64C encountered 30 feet of 0.306 oz Au/ton at a depth of 830 feet. Phase One 2006 hole NN-56 reported a 290-foot continuously mineralized zone grading 0 .118 oz Au/ton that appears to be associated with both the Zanzibar Deposit and the lower zone discovered in hole NN-5.
"NewWest has achieved significant progress at Northumberland since the Company's inception," said Steve Alfers, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The 2006 drilling encountered impressive grade and thickness in step-outs from mineralization in a feeder system previously discovered in Hole NN-5. Although the feasibility has not yet been assessed, this suggests this portion of the Zanzibar deposit may be exploitable by either open-pit or underground mining methods. Drill results from other areas of the deposit complex confirm, and in some cases enhance, the NewWest resource model, and indicate potential for continued progress in 2007."
Underground Zanzibar Targets, Phase 2
Phase Two included 11 RC and pre-collar core holes with total footage of 18,602 feet that concentrated on testing higher grade underground targets in the Southwest Zanzibar Deposit outside of Newmont's conceptual pit indicated by previously drilled high-grade holes NW-1103 and NW1086A.
All 11 holes encountered significant mineralization. Three of the holes had intercepts that approach underground-mineable grades: NUN-82C with 30 feet of 0.246 oz Au/ton between 1,725 and 1,755 feet; NUN-83C with 10 feet of 0.448 oz Au/ton between 1,650 and 1,660 feet; and NN-85 with 20 feet of 0.287 oz Au/ton between 1,455 and 1,475 feet.
Follow-up to Previously Reported NN-5 and NN-56, Phase 1
Hole NN-5 was Newmont's 2004 drill hole that encountered two zones of mineralization including 105 feet of 0.142 oz Au/ton within the Zanzibar Deposit, and 65 feet of 0.267 oz Au/ton just below the Zanzibar Deposit. Phase One 2006 hole NN-56 reported a 290-foot continuously mineralized zone grading 0.118 oz Au/ton that appears to be associated with both the Zanzibar Deposit and the lower zone discovered in hole NN-5.
Phase One holes NN-63 and NN-64 were drilled to explore for, and better define, the deeper zone of mineralization encountered in both NN-5 and NN-56. NN-64 encountered 80 feet of mineralization in the Zanzibar Deposit with a grade of 0.215 oz Au/ton between 785 and 865 feet, which includes 30 feet of 0.306 oz Au/ton between 800 and 830 feet. Hole NN-63 also encountered well-mineralized Zanzibar Deposit (100 feet of 0.226 oz Au /ton between 720 and 820 feet) and also encountered 25 feet of 0.437 oz Au/ ton between 990 and 1,015 feet. This deeper high-grade zone in NN-63 extends the mineralization in NN-56 60 feet to the south where it remains open-ended.
Orocopter Exploration Drilling, Phase 2
The Orocopter anomaly is a gold geochemical anomaly located on the eastern side of the Toquima Range approximately four miles east of the Northumberland Mine. Two wide-spaced exploration RC holes NUO-1 and NUO-2, with total footage of 2,640 feet, were drilled as stratigraphic holes to initially test the anomaly at depth. The holes encountered locally anomalous mineralization. The anomaly will require further evaluation.
Metallurgical Characterization, Phase 1
As disclosed on November 21, 2006, seven core holes were drilled as part of Phase One to obtain samples for metallurgical testing and waste- rock characterization. Final results for this work are pending.
Complete drill and assay results, as well as a map of the drill-hole locations, are available on the News page of NewWest's website, www.newwestgold.com. Reported "thickness" for averaged grade intervals does not imply "true thickness," however, most reported thicknesses are only slightly greater than true thickness. Reported grade averages are in ounces per ton and based on a cutoff grade of 0.050 oz Au/ton for sulfide, and 0.010 oz Au/ton for oxide materials.
NewWest's wholly owned subsidiary, Nevada Western Gold LLC ("Nevada Western"), entered into a joint venture with Newmont on the Northumberland project. Under the joint venture agreement terms, Newmont may earn a 60% interest in the joint venture by completing $25 million in expenditures on the Northumberland project by December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2006, Newmont has spent approximately US$6 million at Northumberland from the inception of the joint venture. The joint venture agreement permits Newmont to withdraw from the venture and cease funding exploration and development of the project for any reason. Additionally, if Newmont fails to meet the cumulative expenditure requirement at the end of any calendar year, the joint venture will terminate and Nevada Western retains 100% of the project . NewWest retains a 3% net smelter return royalty (NSR) on 100% of future gold production.
Michael Gustin, Ph.D., of Mine Development Associates, Reno, Nevada, is NewWest's qualified person as defined by NI43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical data in this news release.
This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information in this news release includes but is not limited to, economic performance, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserve exploration, expansion of the conceptual pit, and future plans and objectives of NewWest Gold Corporation including future exploration and development. Any number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements, including those set out in the Company's prospectus dated August 18, 2006, as well as future results. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed timeframes or at all. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
NewWest is one of the largest holders of precious metals mineral rights in Nevada's gold trends, spanning approximately 623,000 acres. NewWest holds 19 exploration projects, including advanced staged projects with measured and indicated resources. NewWest's goal is to advance its projects along the pipeline into production.
ots Originaltext: NewWest Gold Corporation
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For further information: NewWest Gold Corporation, Stephen Alfers,
President and Chief Executive Officer, Tel: +1-(303)-425-7042, Fax: