News Release: April 6th, 2011
Almaden Surface Work Identifies New Gold-Silver Targets Near Ixtaca
Almaden Minerals Ltd. (“Almaden” or “the Company”; AMM:TSX; AAU:NYSE) is pleased to announce surface mapping and sampling results from the Company’s 100% owned Tuligtic project where the Ixtaca Zone is located. The Company also wishes to update shareholders on the progress of the current drill program on the Ixtaca Zone. The Company anticipates drilling will continue on the Tuligtic project throughout 2011 apart from a break in operations over Easter (Semana Santa), a significant holiday in Mexico.
J.D. Poliquin, Chairman of Almaden commented, “We are very pleased with these new surface results which show the potential for further zones of epithermal gold-silver veining at Tuligtic in addition to the Ixtaca Zone. The results also show the potential for the Ixtaca zone of veining to be considerably larger than presently known. We are excited to test these new targets with drilling in the upcoming months while drilling continues at the Ixtaca Zone.”
Definition of New Zones
The Tuligtic project is partially covered by volcanic ash deposits which mask underlying potential vein zones and associated soil responses. In areas devoid of this covering ash, soil sampling has defined several areas of elevated gold and silver values, and trace elements typically associated with epithermal vein systems. The Ixtaca zone is the largest area of gold/silver soil response but it is also the area with the least ash cover on the project. Management believes that these newly defined areas could represent additional zones of underlying quartz-carbonate epithermal veining like the Ixtaca zone. Elevated gold and silver in soil at the Ixtaca East zone, located over 2 kilometres along strike from the Ixtaca zone soil anomaly, may represent the extension of veining and the Ixtaca zone in that direction. In total 2,999 soil samples have now been taken on the Tuligtic and have returned gold values from below detection to 720 ppb gold (0.72 g/t), averaging 8 ppb gold and from below detection to 30.6 g/t silver averaging 0.3 g/t silver. Rock samples of clay altered volcanic and vein float in the new areas returned highly anomalous values of gold and silver consistent with these interpretations. Highlights of sampling from these new areas include:
Caleva Zone: Located adjacent to and up to 600 meters north of the Ixtaca zone this is an area of intense clay alteration. Several outcropping veins have been identified. The 23 rock samples taken in the Caleva Zone ranged from below detection to 0.4 g/t gold and 78 g/t silver. Of the 80 soil samples defining the Caleva anomaly, gold values ranged from below detection to 310 ppb gold and 14.8 g/t silver.
Azul Zone: Located 2.3 kilometres north of the Ixtaca zone. Of the 171 soil samples defining the Azul anomaly, gold values ranged from below detection to 620 ppb Au and 30.6 g/t silver. A single grab of quartz-carbonate vein float found in the Azul zone returned 2 g/t gold and 37.8 g/t silver.
Sol Zone: Located 2.5 kilometres northeast of the Ixtaca zone. Of the 36 soils defining the Sol soil anomaly, gold values ranged from below detection to 130 ppb gold and 4.5 g/t silver.
Below are plan maps of these new areas and the Ixtaca Zone.
Update on Drilling Progress
Drilling continues around the clock with three drill rigs. One drill has commenced drilling on the Caleva zone while the other two remain on the Ixtaca zone. Holes TU-11-21 to TU-11-24 and TU-11-26 have been sampled and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Drillholes TU-11-21 and 22 are located on section 750, located a 50 meter step out to the northeast from the last reported section (drillholes TU-11-18 and 20; see Almaden’s news release of March 31, 2011). These holes encountered veining and alteration typical of that of the Ixtaca zone where expected. Hole TU-11-24 was drilled from the same collar as TU-11-21 and 22 but in the opposite direction (330 azimuth). This hole also intersected epithermal veins as well as an altered and veined dyke. Holes TU-11-26, TU-11-27 and TU-11-25, located on sections 800, 850 and 900 respectively, encountered reduced veining overall although the quartz-veined and altered dykes that also host mineralisation in the Ixtaca zone were seen where expected in all three of these holes. Holes TU-11-25 to 27 dominantly cored thinly bedded shaley sedimentary units that are known from past drilling to not be as good host rocks for the Ixtaca Zone epithermal veins as limestone units. Dyke hosted quartz veining appears to be continuing through the shaley rocks and drilling to the SW and NE of the presently defined Ixtaca zone is on-going and designed to extend and define the Ixtaca zone strike potential through, around and beyond the area of shaley rocks.
About the Ixtaca Property
The Ixtaca zone is a blind discovery made by the Company in 2010. The zone of veining is thought to have a north-easterly trend. Holes to date suggest that the zone is sub vertical with local variations. This interpretation suggests that true widths are approximately 60% of intersected widths. The drilling completed to date has traced mineralisation over more than 300 meters along this northeast trend. Based upon observations at surface and of core as drilling progresses, there seems to be a variety of veinlet orientations within the vein zone.
Registered professional geologist Jim Lunbeck, a qualified person (“QP”) under the meaning of NI 43-101, is the QP and project manager of Almaden’s 2011 Ixtaca program and reviewed the technical information in this news release. The analyses reported were carried out at ALS Chemex Laboratories of North Vancouver using industry standard analytical techniques. Soil samples are analysed for gold, silver and 50 other trace elements using aqua regia and Inductively Coupled Plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). For rock and drill core samples gold is first analysed by fire assay and atomic absorption spectroscopy (“AAS”). Samples that return values greater than 10 g/t gold using this technique are then re analysed by fire assay but with a gravimetric finish. Silver is first analysed by Inductively Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (“ICP-AES”). Samples that return values greater than 100 g/t silver by ICP-AES are then re analysed by HF-HNO3-HCLO4 digestion with HCL leach and ICP-AES finish. Of these samples those that return silver values greater than 1,500 g/t are further analysed by fire assay with a gravimetric finish. Blanks, field duplicates and certified standards were inserted into the drill core and rock sample stream as part of Almaden’s quality assurance and control program which complies with National Instrument 43-101 requirements. Gold equivalent (“AuEq” or “Gold Eq.”) and silver equivalent (“AgEq” or “Silver Eq.”) values were calculated using silver to gold ratios of 50 to 1. The ratio of 50 to 1 was used to be consistent with past news releases. Intervals that returned assays below detection were assigned zero values. Metallurgical recoveries and net smelter returns are assumed to be 100% for these calculations.
Almaden is a well-financed (no debt, approximately $C25 MM in working capital) mineral exploration company working in North America. The company has assembled mineral exploration projects, including Tuligtic, through its grass roots exploration efforts. While the properties are largely at early stages of development they represent exciting opportunities for the discovery of significant gold, silver and copper deposits as evidenced at Ixtaca. Currently six projects (Caldera, Caballo Blanco, Tropico, Nicoamen River, Matehuapil and Merit), are optioned to separate third parties who each have the right to acquire an interest in the respective project from Almaden through making certain payments and exploration expenditures. Four further projects are held in joint ventures. Almaden also holds a 2% NSR interest in 11 projects. Almaden’s business model is to find and acquire mineral properties and develop them by seeking option agreements with others who can acquire an interest in a project by making payments and exploration expenditures. Through this means the company has been able to expose its shareholders to discovery and capital gain without the funding and consequent share dilution that would be required if the company were to have developed these projects without a partner. The company intends to expand this business model, described by some as prospect generation, by more aggressively exploring several of its projects including the Ixtaca Zone.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Morgan J. Poliquin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
President, CEO and Director
Almaden Minerals Ltd.
The Toronto Stock Exchange and NYSE AMEX have not reviewed nor accepted responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this news release which has been prepared by management. Statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements as that term is defined in the private securities litigation reform act of 1995. Such forward ‑looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from estimated results. Such risks and uncertainties are detailed in the Company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, certain information presented constitutes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Canadian securities laws. Such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, those with respect to potential expansion of mineralization, potential size of mineralized zone, and size and timing of exploration and development programs, estimated project capital and other project costs and the timing of submission and receipt and availability of regulatory approvals involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of Almaden to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to international operations and joint ventures, the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral resources, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, environmental risks and hazards, increased infrastructure and/or operating costs, labour and employment matters, and government regulation and permitting requirements as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Almaden's Annual Information form and Almaden's latest Form 40-F on file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Although Almaden has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Almaden disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required pursuant to applicable securities laws. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statement