Athabasca Defines Core Exploration Areas
May 29, 2008
Edmonton, Alberta - May 29, 2008 - Athabasca Minerals Inc. (the "Company" or "Athabasca" - TSX Venture: ABM) is pleased to announce that it has defined its core focus areas for industrial minerals and diamonds after completing a two-year evaluation on most of the more than 800,000 hectares (approximately 2 million acres) of mineral permit lands held by the Company around Fort McMurray in northeast Alberta.
Athabasca prepared an Assessment Report disclosing its findings to Alberta Energy in mid-April. The report provides details on approximately 673,160 of the total 819,213 hectares of permit lands surrounding Fort McMurray. The report authored largely by Athabasca's Chief Geologist Darrell Cotterill, P. Geol., provides analysis of key exploration activities that form the basis of the evaluation along with previous works including Alberta Geological Survey studies.
Caribou Horn Project
Exploration activities for the Caribou Horn Project (as it is now officially known) began after a thorough review of previously published reports and studies on the subsurface. Following the review of the existing data, a series of preliminary remote sensing surveys of the lands were launched. This involved a team of senior management, geologists and technicians studying air photos as well as flying over the permit lands to study land features and to identify sites that warranted exploration programs for silica sand, salt and diamonds.
Mr. Darrell Cotterill, Chief Geologist, led a program for prospecting and sampling of silica sand. This program took place in the summer and fall of 2007 and included shallow auger drilling over projected near-surface occurrences of the Pelican Formation, to test for the presence of silica. Included as well was a revisit to the Pelican Formation exposures on Greystone Creek, for a more systematic sampling of the exposure and location of suitable test drill sites. Sampling of surficial material around aeromagnetic targets identified on company permit lands was also conducted as part of the diamond indicator mineral survey. Mr. Cotterill's exploration team includes three assistants, plus a senior geologist, Mr. Don Peel, M.Sc., P.Geol, who brings an extensive background of experience in characterizing industrial mineral deposits. The team obtained a total of 38 samples that were shipped to an independent Calgary laboratory to determine the quality of the silica sand. Chemical analysis conducted by the laboratory indicated that the samples contain an average purity of 98.58% silica with a low of 97.45% and a high of 99.21% silica in the samples.
In December 2007, under Darrell Cotterill's direction, a test well was drilled to a depth of 490 m, extracting 320 m of core (limestone, evaporate and dolomite) to determine the quantity and quality of salt on the permit lands. The well intersected a cumulative thickness of 120 m of salt. Initially logged and photographed, the core has undergone chemical analysis by an independent laboratory to determine the quality of the salt. The data obtained from the core combined with the existing knowledge of the subsurface geology and surface-based logistical criteria required to support possible mining activities (i.e. road access, power and water supply) provided sufficient information to recommend suitable permit lands to retain for future salt exploration. Salt is the primary reagent required for the production of caustic soda, a catalyst required in the extraction of oil from bitumen.
Ms. Sherri Hodder, M.Sc., P. Geo., led a team prospecting for Kimberlite Indicator Minerals in a stream sediment sampling program. Ms. Hodder co-authored the Assessment Report by providing analysis of the stream sediment program. This program occurred in the summer and fall of 2007. Starting in late 2007, an airborne magnetic survey was flown over approximately 157,000 hectares of the permit lands to identify potential Kimberlite targets. Several targets have been identified and contributed to the decision of which properties should be retained for further exploration.
The report recommends relinquishing 325,182 hectares (approximately 800,000 acres) of the Company's permit lands. Exploration activities will continue on the approximately 348,000 hectares of permit lands reviewed and retained by the Company in the report. Another assessment report due in the spring of 2009 will provide analysis of the remaining 146,000 hectares of permit lands held by the Company north of Fort McMurray that were not evaluated in the recently released report.
Mr. Darrell Cotterrill, P.Geol, is identified as the Company's qualified person under NI 43-101 for this news release.
About Athabasca Minerals:
Athabasca Minerals Inc. is an innovative exploration company formed to explore for mineral resources other than oil, gas and oil sands in northeast Alberta. The Company's aim is to find and develop local sources of the minerals essential to the economic development of the region (i.e. minerals used in oil sand processing, construction, and in the everyday requirements of community living). The Company has substantial land holdings in the vicinity of Fort McMurray, Alberta have exploration prospects for an assortment of industrial minerals including salt, silica sand, gypsum, limestone, and diamonds.
Independent from its mineral exploration activities, the Company is also pursuing sand and gravel exploration and development projects throughout northern Alberta. These activities include contract works, gravel pit management, new gravel pit development and the acquisition of other sand and gravel operations.
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The TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements or information are based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by Athabasca Minerals. The forward-looking statements or information contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and Athabasca Minerals does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.