Endurance Gold Corporation (EDG - TSX.V) is pleased to announce that an exploration team has now completed the initial summer program of mapping, soil, and rock sampling on the Bandito Property with encouraging results. Preliminary analyses have resulted in the recognition of previously undocumented copper, rare earth, and niobium prospects. Highlights include:
- Two (2) rare earth element prospects with values up to 2.558% total rare earth oxides plus yttrium (TREO+Y) with high percentage neodymium, as well as 2.235% and 1.256% TREO+Y;
- More than ten (10) new niobium prospects over a large area with analytical results that assayed over 0.25% Nb2O5, and;
- Five (5) new copper-nickel prospects with grab sample values up to 2.53% copper, 1.76% copper, and 8,220 ppm nickel.
Rare Earth Alteration - REE and Niobium Prospects
Summer mapping has defined an alteration system related to the rare earth, and niobium mineralization that is three (3) kilometers in strike and about 500 meters in width hosted within Proterozoic-aged quartzite and clastic sediments (REE Alteration). This REE Alteration is located immediately adjacent to the contact with the fluorite-bearing nepheline syenite. The REE Alteration remains open to expansion along strike in both directions where it disappears under cover. The nepheline syenite is at least three by two kilometers in size and is sericite and iron-oxide altered throughout.
Within the REE Alteration, two subparallel prominent trends of metasomatically altered rocks (Fenites) have been mapped. The North Fenite trend is steeply north-dipping, has a mapped strike length of at least 1.1 kilometers, and is up to 160 meters at its widest exposure. On its northern edge, the North Fenite parallels the nepheline syenite intrusive but is separated from the intrusive by altered quartzite at least 50 meters in width.
The South Fenite trend is interpreted to be almost vertical, has an exposed strike length of at least 1.1 kilometers and varies in width from 5 to 20 meters. Some of the South Fenite exposures are up to 500 meters south of the nepheline syenite intrusive contact.
Fenite alteration is low-sulphide and multiphase with sodium and potassium alteration (albite and k-feldspar), sericite, altered sodium amphiboles, hematite, chlorite, ankerite, fluorite, tremolite-actinolite, biotite, monazite, zircon, rutile, and numerous other unidentified minerals.
To date, the best rare earth prospects have been identified on the interpreted eastern strike extension of the North and South Fenites. On the North Fenite trend the best result received to date returned 2.558% TREO+Y over 0.5 meters (with elevated neodymium at 0.254% Nd2O3) associated with hematite-rich multiphase quartz-kspar-hematite-monazite Fenite. On the South Fenite, grab samples have returned up to 2.235% and 1.256% TREO+Y associated with multiphase albite-quartz-chlorite-ankerite-rutile-monazite Fenite. The average proportion of heavy rare earth elements (Eu to Lu) to total REE in the three highest samples received to date is 4 percent. Insufficient studies have been completed on these samples to identify the minerals which host the rare earths. Analytical results from sampling of other possible rare earth prospects are pending.
To date, at least ten (10) new niobium prospects with initial grab samples exceeding 0.25% Nb2O5 have been identified over an approximate two kilometer strike length associated primarily with the Fenites and in one case altered nepheline syenite near the intrusive contact. Although both the REE and niobium prospects are primarily hosted in Fenite, the higher value niobium prospects do not directly correlate with the high rare earth prospects.
Quartz-Sericite-Pyrite Alteration and Copper-Nickel Prospects
Superimposed on the REE Alteration and approximately 400 meters southeast of the "South Fenite" REE prospect, is a quartz sericite pyrite stockwork alteration (QSP Alteration) that encompasses a mapped area of 300 by 300 meters with potential to expand to 1000 by 300 meters based on observations in areas of limited outcrop. The original pyrite content in the stockwork has been removed by weathering resulting in a limonite-hematite gossan. All of the nickel and copper mineral prospects are related to this QSP Alteration.
2011 sampling has confirmed the elevated nickel values reported in the Company's release of December 21, 2010. This original Bandito nickel discovery is associated with the southern extension of the QSP Alteration. About 400 meters north of the original Bandito nickel discovery, prospecting, sampling and mapping has identified five (5) previously undocumented copper (nickel) prospects with grab samples returning up to 1.76% copper, 2.53% copper, and 8,220 ppm nickel. The five new copper-nickel prospects fall within an approximate 250 by 150 meter area in the QSP Alteration and are evidenced by black "copper wad" and malachite staining within the QSP Alteration.
Equity Exploration Consultants Ltd (Equity) managed the summer soil and rock sampling program. Equity is a private, Canadian company established in 1987, which is focused on providing high quality mineral exploration services. Henry Awmack P.Eng and Dave Swanton of Equity managed the exploration program and have reviewed and approved the technical content of this release.
The summer exploration program has resulted in the collection of 190 rock and chip samples and 1,472 soil samples to date. Only results from the first 103 rock samples have been received. Additional sampling results and assays for over-limit niobium values are still pending.
The company is currently planning a follow-up exploration program for September to further evaluate the best prospects identified to date. Details of the proposed exploration program will be announced shortly.
Under the terms of the agreement with True North Gems Inc. ("TGX"), Endurance can earn an initial 51% joint venture interest in the Bandito property by completing a total of C$125,000 in cash payments by December 31, 2012 and also completing C$1,000,000 in exploration expenditures by December 31, 2013. Once Endurance earns its 51% interest, it has a further option to acquire an additional 24% interest (total 75%) by issuing TGX 200,000 shares of Endurance and by completing an additional C$1,000,000 in exploration expenditures prior to December 31, 2015. Endurance has exceeded its 2010 and 2011 work requirements.
Grab samples are selective by nature and are unlikely to represent average grades on the property or within the target areas
All 2011 samples were analyzed at ALS Minerals using the ME-MS81, ME-AQ81 and OG46 for high copper. For ME-MS81, a prepared sample (0.200 g) is added to lithium metaborate flux (0.90 g), mixed well and fused in a furnace at 1000Â°C. The resulting melt is then cooled and dissolved in 100 mL of 4% HNO3 / 2% HCl solution. This solution is then analyzed by inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry. The lithium metaborate fusion is not the preferred method for the determination of base metals, thus the prepared sample was also subject to an aqua regia digestion (ME-AQ81) and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma -- atomic emission spectroscopy for the reporting of the base metal values. For ME-OG26, a sample that analyzed over 10,000 ppm copper with ME-AQ81 is digested in 75% aqua regia for 120 minutes. After cooling, the resulting solution is diluted to volume (100 mL) with de-ionized water, mixed and then analyzed by inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometry or by atomic absorption spectrometry.
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