TORONTO, ONTARIO – Dec. 2, 2004 – BacTech Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:BM) (“BacTech”) today announced a progress report for the Dizon tailings project in the Philippines. The Dizon project is located 100 km northwest of Manila near Olongapo City at Subic Bay. BacTech and Medusa Mining Limited (“Medusa”) previously entered into a Joint Venture Memorandum of Understanding to focus on the identification of refractory gold-copper deposits in the Philippines that are amenable to BacTech’s bioleaching process. The Dizon Project is the first project to be evaluated by the joint venture.
The Dizon project operated as a 50/50 joint venture between Dizon Copper and Silver Mines Inc. (“DCSMI”) and Benguet Consolidated Inc. (“Benguet”) from 1979 to 1997 and mined 110 million tonnes of ore. The mill tailings are impounded at the head of a valley behind an earth wall dam, and at their deepest point are 126 metres deep. Benguet has subsequently withdrawn from the joint venture and returned 100% ownership to DCSMI. Medusa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with DCSMI to evaluate the potential of retreating the Dizon tails for metal recovery.
Medusa has completed a sample drilling program on the upper 50 metres of the Dizon tails whereby 578 metres of Denison tube coring was undertaken over 12 holes to recover 800 kilograms of tailings material. The cored tailings samples were collected, logged onsite by a Medusa geologist, packaged, and transported to the Manila laboratory of McPhar Geoservices Inc. (“McPhar Geoservices”), where they were dried and composited into two groups of samples per hole. McPhar Geoservices assayed the 24 samples for gold, silver, total sulphur, silica and a suite of base metals. These samples have been forwarded to Perth, Australia to undergo metallurgical testwork including bioleaching work on the sulphides.
The composite grades from the 24 drillhole samples show good consistency in grade and have returned average values of 0.3 g/t gold 0.6 g/t silver and 0.074 % copper, which are similar to previous estimates based on historic mill operating data. In addition, the tailings also contain approximately 4% magnetite. Gravity concentrates from 5 of the core composite samples have returned head grade estimates of 2.7 to 11.6 g/t gold due to the presence of free gold.
A conceptual model for metal recovery consisting of a mineral sands mining and gravity processing operation to recover free gold, magnetite and sulphides is being considered by the joint venture. Testwork is now planned to obtain further details on processing alternatives for the gold and magnetite, as well as processing the sulphides to recover additional metal. Results of the first stage test results are expected in the first quarter of 2005.
The sample drilling program was conducted under the supervision of Geoff J. Davis of Medusa Mining Limited, a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Mr. Davis is a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
BacTech has developed and patented bioleach technology for the treatment of refractory ores and concentrates over the past 16 years to enhance the recovery of gold, silver and base metals. BacTech has successfully commissioned three bioleach plants for gold and successfully demonstrated its technology in the selective recovery of base metals from complex sulphide concentrates in a joint project with Industrias Penoles de C.V. of Mexico.
BacTech acquired a 55% stake in Tonkin Springs LLC, the owner of the Tonkin Springs gold project in north central Nevada, in July 2003. BacTech has also acquired an option on 100% of the McKinnon Creek polymetallic deposit near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Finally, BacTech has entered into a series of agreements in China and the Philippines that could see the Company participating in certain projects.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Corporation, certain information contained herein constitutes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as “plan,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other ecological data, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other factors described in the section entitled “General Development of the Business of the Company – Risks of the Business” in the Corporation’s annual information form dated May 17, 2004. Circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions could change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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