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Arizona Sonoran Drills 595 ft (181.4 m) of 1.29% CuT at Parks/Salyer and Increases Existing Private Land Package

  • ASCU drills two of the best holes to date on its properties, including:
    • ECP-045: 595 ft (181.4 m) of 1.29% CuT, 1.18% TSol, 0.018% Mo (enriched)
    • ECP-042: 86 ft (26.2 m) of 2.26% CuT, 2.11% TSol, 0.020% Mo (enriched)
      • Including: 27 ft (8.2 m) of 4.22% CuT, 3.78% TSol, 0.019% Mo
  • Porphyry copper grade, thickness and continuity is improving to the north, and remains open in all directions, including the newly leased land, a potential trend of 4,000 ft (1.2 km) at the Parks/Salyer Project (“P/S Project”)
  • Outlines Exploration Target for further drilling in the coming months for the P/S Project; Exploration target supports significant upside and expansion potential for leachable material at the Cactus Project
  • Enters leasing agreement for land 42 m (138 ft) east of the ECP-045

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. & TORONTO--()--Arizona Sonoran Copper Company Inc. (TSX:ASCU) (“ASCU” or the “Company”), an emerging US-based copper developer and near-term producer, is pleased to announce assay results from the first 2 drill holes in a 12-hole program at the P/S Project. Drill hole ECP-045 extends and improves known mineralization to the northeast by 600 ft (183 m) and to within 150 ft (45 m) of the recently leased land (as noted below). Mineralization is expected to strengthen as it continues along the mine trend and into the newly leased area. Strike of the P/S Project mineralized system now totals at least 1,900 ft (579 m) with a strong grade profile (see FIGURES 1-7).

Additionally, ASCU has entered into an agreement to lease 158 acres of State Lands between the immediate boundaries of the Cactus Project and Parks/Salyer. The total land position of the combined Cactus and the P/S Project now totals 4,846 acres and provides continuity of the entire 2.5 mi (4 km) mine trend extending from Parks/Salyer to the NE Extension (see FIGURE 7).

George Ogilvie, Arizona Sonoran President and CEO stated, “These exciting drill results represent only some of the large-scale exploration upside outside of the Cactus Project. We note the drill results at P/S illustrate a very similar footprint to Cactus East, with grades in excess of 1% and good thicknesses. In particular, the drilling is demonstrating a system which is strengthening to the north and northeast towards Cactus along the mine trend. The Exploration Target at P/S is focused on extending mine life and building scalability of leachable material at the Cactus Project. Concurrent with the Cactus Feasibility drilling, our team will continue to drill the P/S Project with the aim of declaring maiden mineral resources at the P/S Project later this year. The team is currently running both programs with three drills onsite.

He continued, “As the drilling programs build on the district scale potential of the property, we have scope for further exploration at the NE Extension at Cactus. Current programs at Cactus, P/S and the NE Extension only focus on the leachable material, with known primary sulphide sitting below. The potential for significant primary material at the base of the Cactus pit and along the mine trend itself, remains untested and supports the continued belief in the opportunity and scalability of the Project.”

Parks/Salyer Exploration Target

The holes drilled to date on the P/S Project together with the new drilling, on a preliminary basis demonstrates a scalable underground opportunity for further expansion of leachable inventory at Cactus. The total underground exploration target (the “Exploration Target”) now represents an area of approximately 4,000 ft x 4,000 ft (1.2 km x 1.2 km) supported by magnetics, regional drilling results and ionic leach sampling previously conducted by ASCU. The Exploration Target at the P/S Project comprises:

  • 40-90 M tons of potential leachable material @ 1.05%- 1.3% TSol for potential of 1.0-2.35 B lbs of contained copper
  • 8-35 M tons of potential primary material @ 0.85-1.05% TCu for 0.15-0.75 B lbs of contained copper

The potential quantity and grade presented in the Exploration Target ranges are conceptual and have insufficient exploration and drill density to define a Mineral Resource. At this stage, it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the targets being delineated as a Mineral Resource. Estimates of exploration targets are not Mineral Resources and are too speculative to meet the NI 43-101 reporting standards. The methodology for preparing the Exploration Targets and a summary of supporting technical work undertaken to reach the targets can be found at the end of this announcement.

2022 P/S Exploration Program

ASCU is currently pursuing a 12-hole exploration program, following up on four historic diamond holes. The planned program totals 22,000 ft (~6,700 m) and aims to test the extension of the porphyry copper system from the southern border of its Parks/Salyer property, along the mine trend towards the Cactus Mine. With success, the Company may increase the number of drill holes on the project.

Subject to program success, the Company anticipates issuing a maiden mineral resource estimate for the property. Defined mineralization will aim to leverage the Cactus Mine’s already envisaged 18-year, low-cost operation, thus providing the Company with significant scale of production in the longer term.

Lease Assumption and Assignment Terms

Cactus 110 LLC (a group company of ASCU) has entered into an assignment & assumption agreement (the “Assignment & Assumption Agreement”) and a royalty agreement (the “Royalty Agreement”) in respect of transfer of permit 08-122116 with Bronco Creek Exploration Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of EMX Royalty Corporation (NYSE American: EMX; TSX-V: EMX). The total added land position is 158 acres of leased State Land.

Key terms of the Assignment & Assumption Agreement and Royalty Agreement include:

  • Payment of US$5,000 on the effective date of the agreement (determined to be February 9, 2022) and further US$195,000 upon registration and transfer of the permit in the name of Cactus 110 LLC;
  • Payment of US$1.5 M upon declaration of 100 Mlbs of mineral resource (as defined under NI 43-101) and further payment of US$1.5 M upon further declaration of additional 100 Mlbs of mineral resource (as defined under NI 43-101) in relation to the transferred property;
  • Payment of US$50,000 annually as an advance royalty payment until commencement of commercial production. Upon commencement of commercial production 75% of the annual advance royalties shall be offset from the net smelter royalty payment as mentioned below;
  • 1.5% net smelter royalty applicable to production returns generated (subject to allowable deductions) from the transferred property. ASCU has the right to purchase 1% of the net smelter royalty for US$500,000 at any time; and
  • US$2 million undertaken in exploration expenditures before the first anniversary of the registration of the transfer and further US$2 million spent in exploration expenditures before the second anniversary of the registration of the transfer (total US$4 million work commitment)

The agreements also include customary terms and conditions as applicable to transactions of a similar nature.

Permitting activities will be directed to the State and County levels in a similar process to owning Private Land.

Geologic Description of Drilling Results at P/S

The Company’s 100%-owned Parks/Salyer Project is located 1.3 mi (2 km) down trend to the southwest of the Cactus Project on private land. The P/S Project is interpreted to represent a north trending horst block of porphyry copper mineralization similar in characteristics to that of Cactus West. Results to date at Parks/Salyer support that interpretation with mineral zonation also consistent with Cactus containing oxide, chalcocite enrichment, and primary chalcopyrite-molybdenite mineralization (see FIGURES 1-7). Exploration drilling to date has been undertaken from the Company's southern property boundary northward along the northeasterly regional trend of known copper mineralization. Hole ECP-042 intercepted oxide and enriched mineralization with a post mineral dacite dike truncating the continuity of the high-grade enrichment. Similar dacite dikes were encountered during the mining of the Sacaton (Cactus West) pit where they were observed as localized and discontinuous features.

Thick, continuous primary chalcopyrite-molybdenite mineralization was intercepted at depth terminating at the basement fault. ECP-045 intercepted thick, continuous oxide and enriched copper mineralization with little post-enrichment leaching. The bedrock and mineralization contacts indicate ECP-045 is located within a downfaulted block from previous holes drilled at Parks/Salyer which compliments the reduced post-enrichment leaching observed. The continuity and grade of mineralization logged in ECP-045 is similar to that intercepted in Cactus East drilling, which represents a high-grade underground resource in the Cactus Project located within a down dropped block from the shallower Cactus West mineralization. ECP-045 is the northern most hole drilled in the P/S Project and mineralization remains open in all directions. According to a 2019 ionic soil survey, which did not define the extents of the system, mineralization is open to the northwest for at least another 1,969 ft (600 m).

TABLE 1: Drilling Highlights

Drill

Zone

Metres

Feet

Grade (%)

Hole

from

to

length

from

to

length

CuT

Tsol

Mo

ECP-045

oxide

343.2

376.1

32.9

1,126.0

1,234.0

108.0

0.89

0.83

0.020

including

354.8

376.1

21.3

1,164.0

1,234.0

70.0

1.16

1.07

0.019

enriched

402.3

583.7

181.4

1,320.0

1,915.0

595.0

1.29

1.18

0.018

including

402.3

434.9

32.6

1,320.0

1,427.0

107.0

1.81

1.71

0.018

and

501.4

556.3

54.9

1,645.0

1,825.0

180.0

1.68

1.61

0.024

primary

583.7

648.3

64.6

1,915.0

2,127.0

212.0

0.37

0.02

0.009

ECP-042

oxide

268.5

272.2

3.7

881.0

893.0

12.0

1.00

0.94

0.008

enriched

332.3

336.9

4.7

1,090.1

1,105.4

15.3

1.06

1.05

0.012

enriched

360.4

386.6

26.2

1,182.3

1,268.3

86.0

2.26

2.11

0.020

including

366.7

374.9

8.2

1,203.0

1,230.0

27.0

4.22

3.78

0.019

enriched

402.9

416.8

13.9

1,322.0

1,367.6

45.6

0.64

0.45

0.008

enriched

446.2

477.0

30.8

1,464.0

1,565.0

101.0

0.67

0.26

0.022

primary

477.0

654.2

177.2

1,565.0

2,146.3

581.3

0.42

0.04

0.027

including

480.1

520.9

40.8

1,575.0

1,709.0

134.0

0.57

0.05

0.038

and

595.3

607.5

12.2

1,953.0

1,993.0

40.0

0.56

0.04

0.160

  1. Intervals are presented in core length; are drilled with vertical dip angles.
  2. Drill assays assume a mineralized cut-off grade of 0.5% CuT reflecting the potential for heap leaching in the case of Oxide and Enriched based on underground material, or to provide typical average grades in the case of Primary material. Holes were terminated in either Primary mineralization or the basement fault.
  3. Assay results are not capped. Intercepts are aggregated within geological confines of major mineral zones.
  4. True widths are not known.

Table 2: Drilling details

Hole

Easting

Northing

Elevation

Depth

Azimuth

Dip

ECP-042

383750.000

58600.000

1373.537

2151.500

0

-90

ECP-045

384249.114

59511.375

1382.548

2127.000

0

-90

Summary of Information Comprising the Exploration Target

ASCU has conducted extensive exploration work to delineate the Exploration Target contained in this announcement. This work includes analysis and interpretations from four historical and the two recently drilled core holes into the project, similarities of mineralization intercepted to that of the adjacent Cactus project (for mineralization and alteration characteristics, and grade architecture), and review of geophysical and surface ionic leach programs to support realistic target ranges for extent, thickness, and grade. The Exploration Target ranges assume an underground target for exploration purposes.

Quality Assurance / Quality Control

Drilling completed on the project in 2020 and 2021 was supervised by on-site ASCU personnel who prepared core samples for assay and implemented a full QA/QC program using blanks, standards and duplicates to monitor analytical accuracy and precision. The samples were sealed on site and shipped to Skyline Laboratories in Tucson AZ for analysis. Skyline’s quality control system complies with global certifications for Quality ISO9001:2008.

Technical aspects of this news release have been reviewed and verified by Allan Schappert – CPG, who is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101– Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Links from the Press Release

FIGURES 1-7: https://arizonasonoran.com/projects/exploration/maps-and-figures/

Neither the TSX nor the regulating authority has approved or disproved the information contained in this press release.

About Arizona Sonoran Copper Company (www.arizonasonoran.com | www.cactusmine.com)

ASCU’s objective is to become a mid-tier copper producer with low operating costs, develop the Cactus Project that could generate robust returns for investors, and provide a long term sustainable and responsible operation for the community and all stakeholders. The Company's principal asset is a 100% interest in the Cactus Project (former ASARCO, Sacaton mine) which is situated on private land in an infrastructure-rich area of Arizona. The Company is led by an executive management team and Board which have a long-standing track record of successful project delivery in North America complemented by global capital markets expertise.

Forward-Looking Statements

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ASCU to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect the outcome include, among others: future prices and the supply of metals; the results of drilling; inability to raise the money necessary to incur the expenditures required to retain and advance the properties; environmental liabilities (known and unknown); general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; results of exploration programs; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; political instability, terrorism, insurrection or war; or delays in obtaining governmental approvals, projected cash operating costs, failure to obtain regulatory or shareholder approvals.

Although ASCU has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and ASCU disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

Contacts

Alison Dwoskin, Director, Investor Relations
647-233-4348
adwoskin@arizonasonoran.com

George Ogilvie, President, CEO and Director
416-723-0458
gogilvie@arizonasonoran.com