Revenue generated at Diablito, New Uranium tailings property, Trading update
VANE Minerals Plc ("VANE" or "The Company") reports that the revenue stream anticipated from the sale of Diablito's silver/gold concentrates has now commenced with the first shipment of concentrates in December 2005. Continuation of these revenues, which it is estimated will average US$200,000 per month, will achieve VANE's objective of fully funding the group's current foreseeable exploration activities.
Drilling equipment originally scheduled for the second round of drilling at Guadalcazar was diverted to the Choix prospect, in Sinaloa, which has resulted in the completion of drilling on the prospect ahead of schedule and under budget. The assay results are expected in the next 4-6 weeks.
The first-round drilling results in 2005 were encouraging, as they confirmed the Company's belief in the hydrothermal origin of the gold. Having diverted drilling equipment to Choix, drilling operations at Guadalcazar are being rescheduled for the first quarter of 2006. VANE has identified that the entire "tuff area" of 6km by 0.8km is gold bearing. The area is estimated to contain 4 million oz of gold, although the Company deems this to be of insufficient grade at this stage to be mineable. This, however, underlines VANE's belief that there is likely to be a higher grade feeder(s) within the large area which has supplied the tuff with its gold content.
The Government of Paraguay has extended VANE's Investigation Permits by six months, which will now run until September 2006. The first results of soil sampling covering the gold targets initially identified by reconnaissance stream sediment sampling have been received and encouragingly, significant samples indicate the existence of an extensive area 14km by 8km containing gold. Sampling is continuing in an effort to more accurately define the extent of the mineralised area in anticipation of conversion of our Investigation Permits to Exploration Licences prior to drilling.
Management is currently undertaking a pre-feasibility study at its Mina Charay gold/silver project to confirm the economic viability of the project and this study is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2006.
VANE continues to be active on the Colorado Plateau in the western U.S. where a number of attractive uranium exploration and acquisition opportunities are being evaluated. We continue to add properties to our portfolio of uranium targets and are pleased to announce that VANE has been granted the Exploration Permit for the Hillside Tailings Project, North-Central Arizona. This project is deemed relatively small with around 180,000lbs but it is a simple process of delivering the tailings to a mill, if the economics are viable. VANE is in the process of a feasibility study on this project.
Chairman Michael Spriggs commented: "The Company is pleased with the progress of VANE so far, continuing to achieve all we had set out to do at IPO and more. The monthly revenues from Diablito will cover all current exploration costs throughout the group. We are active on a number of important exploration fronts and consider there to be excellent opportunities for VANE to generate significant growth through on-going activities."