VANE Minerals update

19 March 2012
VANE Minerals update

Copper exploration drilling programme update

VANE is pleased to announce an update on its copper exploration drilling programme.

  • Diamond drill rig to complete initial programme at McGhee Peak
  • Expanding drill programme at McGhee Peak with further holes planned
  • Drilling commenced on next exploration target, Peg Leg
  • Drill permits granted on two additional projects; Railroad and Lone Hills

As previously announced on 3 February 2012, the Company has completed two rotary exploration holes and partially drilled a third hole at McGhee Peak which have demonstrated a mineralised porphyry system. An attempt to re-drill the third hole, MP-1, reached a depth of 500 feet, but was unable to reach the desired depth due to poor ground conditions again being encountered. MP-1 intersected quartz-sericite alteration accompanied by disseminated pyrite and averaged 0.03% copper between 0 and 350 feet where the hole was lost due to heavy water flow and poor ground conditions. Offset hole MP-1A, adjacent to hole MP-1, intersected the same mineralized area from 0 to 350 feet and finally reached a depth of 500 feet, still in mineralization, but with heavy contamination of samples due to in-fall material. The hole was cased to 350 feet and will now be deepened by diamond drilling.

Following further assessment of the drilling to date, which clearly intersected a porphyry intrusion with encouraging alteration and vein-type copper, molybdenum, tungsten and zinc mineralisation, VANE has committed to a further drilling programme to explore this porphyry system. A diamond drill rig, which is more suitable for the encountered ground conditions, will be used for the follow-up drilling programme, during which hole MP-1A will also be completed. Contractors are being engaged to undertake the diamond drill programme whilst permits for this next phase of drilling are obtained from State authorities. Once permitted, each diamond drill hole is expected to take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete and analysis will be performed as drilling progresses.

In the meantime the rotary drill rig has been moved to VANE's next exploration target, Peg Leg, located in southern Arizona. An initial 2 hole drilling programme commenced on 12 March 2012.

Final drilling permits have now also been received for two additional drilling projects, Railroad and Lone Hills.

David Newton, CEO of VANE, commented:

"Although it is frustrating not to have completed the third hole at McGhee Peak to target depth, our analysis of the drilling to date has given us sufficient confidence to commit to diamond drilling there. The rotary drilling has already discovered two mineralised targets within a clearly identified porphyry system relatively inexpensively. This is a promising development for VANE and we will continue our exploration there. There are a number of copper exploration targets within our license areas and we intend to remain active in attempting to identify further porphyry systems. "

Results to date from drill hole and surface geology/geochemistry/geophysics are encouraging, in that the presence of two mineralized targets within the same exploration property increases the chances of success. The discovery of a large mineralised porphyry system is the first step in VANE's copper exploration programme. This will be followed by vectoring within the large porphyry system to determine if economically viable higher grade mineralisation is present.

Kristopher K. Hefton, Chief Operating Officer of VANE Minerals plc, BSc Geology, who meets the criteria of a qualified person under the AIM Rules - Guidance for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies, has reviewed and approved the technical information contained within this announcement.