VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2009) - Hawthorne Gold Corp. ("Hawthorne" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:HGC) is pleased to provide the following review of the events and corporate progress the Company has made during 2008. Many milestones were successfully reached and significant steps were taken to ensure the Company has a productive 2009.
"During 2008, the Company advanced each of its gold projects in British Columbia, Canada, and is preparing for another busy year in 2009. In summary, the Company successfully completed the acquisition of Cusac Gold Mines Ltd., completed two exploration drilling programs at two different gold camps, consolidated the Cassiar Gold Camp, and completed rehabilitation work of the Table Mountain mine site on surface and underground. Our experienced operational, geological, and technical teams are planning for the new season, and with the forthcoming completion of the comprehensive digital geological model of Table Mountain mine, we anticipate an exciting exploration and development season. Our team has taken significant steps to ensure that the Company is prepared to become a junior gold producer in the latter part of 2009," commented Richard Barclay, President and CEO of Hawthorne.
Cassiar Gold Camp - Table Mountain Mine and Taurus Deposit
Table Mountain Mine
In April 2008, the Company completed the acquisition of Cusac Gold Mines Ltd. ("Cusac") and immediately consolidated the Cassiar Gold Camp by staking and acquiring an area totaling 56,300 hectares surrounding the existing Table Mountain mine. The Table Mountain mine site comprises a permitted and operating mill and tailings facility, 13 adits/portals and approximately 25 km of underground infrastructure. Highway #37 runs directly through the property and the Cassiar airstrip is also accessible about 10 km from the mine site.
Upon completion of the Cusac acquisition, Hawthorne's geological teams commenced compilation of a digital geological model of all of previous mining operations and exploration projects, using available data from the past 40 years. Hawthorne also conducted a detailed property-wide geophysical survey and a reconnaissance exploration exercise to efficiently "ground truth" priority areas in preparation for 2009. The digital model, when combined with the geophysics and reconnaissance program, will be a key factor in the development of the 2009 exploration program and contribute to maximizing the Company's use of funds in its exploration for additional gold resources. In late 2008, Hawthorne completed a fifteen (15) HQ/NQ diamond drill hole exploration program at Table Mountain totaling 2,536 metres and currently is waiting for assay results.
The East Bain Vein on Table Mountain hosts an NI 43-101 compliant indicated resource estimate of approximately 17,000 ounces consisting of 22,157 tons at a grade of 0.77 oz/ton and an inferred resource consisting of 6,600 ounces consisting of 1,276 tons at a grade 5.19 oz/ton (please refer to: Update of Technical Report on the Table Mountain Property, Liard Mining District, BC on the Table Mountain Property prepared by Beacon Hill Consultants (1988) Ltd. - June 1, 2008).
In late 2008, the Company advanced its strategy of consolidating the Cassiar Gold Camp by acquiring the remaining 70% interest of the Taurus deposit. The purchase of the remaining 70% was strategic to the Company as it will save up to $6 million in future cash payments, provides the Company 100% control of the deposit, increases Hawthorne's gold resource portfolio at a low acquisition cost (estimated at less than $2.75 per ounce), and allows the Company to move forward with its exploration and development strategic plan in and around the Taurus Deposit.
The Taurus Deposit hosts an NI 43-101 compliant inferred gold resource estimate of 1.04 million ounces consisting of 32.4 million tonnes at a gold grade of 1.0 g/t (please refer to Technical Report Prepared by Wardrop Engineering that is titled, "Report on the Taurus Deposit -- Liard Mining District, B.C." and dated June 2007, which is available at www.sedar.com). In addition, there is significant upside potential for future resource development. Company research indicates there may be strategic higher grade zones that can be stockpiled as supplemental mill feed as Table Mountain Mine prepares to go into production in the latter part of 2009.
Cariboo Gold Camp - Frasergold Project
During 2008, the Company completed a 58-hole diamond drill program totaling approximately 10,400 metres at the Frasergold property in central British Columbia, which is optioned from Eureka Resources Inc (TSX-V: EUK). Initial results, reported late November 2008, continue to indicate positive assay results both in low grade and high grade intervals. Of note, 54% of all holes encountered visible gold in the core and 83% of the holes within the northwest zone encountered visible gold.
The Company is compiling the remainder of the assays, which are expected to be released soon, and will initiate a NI 43-101 technical report on a potential resource estimate in the area of 2008 drilling. This report will serve as the starting point to determine the next steps in the continued exploration of the project.
The Outlook For 2009
Our experienced operations team intends to focus on expanding the gold resources within the Table Mountain Camp through a systematic approach of prioritizing exploration targets and evaluating opportunities for defining additional ounces of gold. The goal is to initially firm up resources that would provide for two years of production at the Table Mountain Mine, which is estimated to commence at an annualized production rate of approximately 25,000 ounces. The geological and technical team would then focus on identifying additional new ounces to ensure the mine remains in operation. As indicated above, the Taurus Deposit could potentially offer additional mill feed from near surface high grade zones, if necessary. With the combination of a favourable location in a prolific mining camp, a broad portfolio of exploration targets, and completion of a fully digital geological model, the Company is confident that Table Mountain can be advanced to pre-production mine development in the latter part of 2009 and subsequently move into production. A feasibility study has not been completed and there is no certainty the disclosed targets will be reached nor that the proposed operations will be economically viable.
The Company will also focus on the expansion of existing resources on its Taurus and Frasergold projects, and to fully examine the potential of the Cassiar Gold Camp including the Bain, Taurus II, Pete, Vollaug, Bear, Main Mine, Rory, The Gap, Sky, Cusac and new gold zones that may be discovered.
Hawthorne has continued to evaluate potential opportunities to acquire additional undervalued attractive gold projects in or close to production that could add to shareholder value. Hawthorne appreciates the support of its many shareholders, and we look forward to 2009 as a year of continued growth for the Company.
Michael Petrina, P.Eng., the Company's Vice President of Mining and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure contained in this news release.
About Hawthorne Gold Corp.
Hawthorne Gold Corp. is a Canadian-based gold exploration and development company with key properties located in British Columbia, Canada. Hawthorne is led by well-respected mining leaders Richard Barclay and Michael Beley. Hawthorne's goal is to become a junior gold producer by working towards production at Table Mountain in the latter part of 2009 and continued resource development at the nearby Taurus deposit, as well as the Frasergold deposit in the Cariboo region of south central British Columbia.
ON BEHALF OF HAWTHORNE GOLD CORP.
Richard J. Barclay, President & CEO
Certain information regarding the company including management's assessment of future plans and operations, may constitute forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws and necessarily involve risks associated with mining exploration and development, volatility of prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of resource estimates, environmental and permitting risks, access to labour and services, competition from other companies and ability to access sufficient capital. As a consequence, actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Hawthorne Gold Corp.
Toll Free: 1-866-869-8072
Hawthorne Gold Corp.
(604) 629-1505 or Toll Free: 1-888-629-1505
(604) 629-0923 (FAX)