VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, May 6, 2010 (Marketwire) -- (TSXV: ITH, NYSE-A: THM, Frankfurt: IW9) has signed a key exploration agreement with Ahtna, Incorporated, an Alaska native corporation ("Ahtna"), which owns or has selected highly prospective land surrounding the high priority Ahtell porphyry system which forms part of the Chisna Project Joint Venture between Raven and Ocean Park Alaska Corp. (Ocean Park's Alaskan subsidiary). The agreement is the first step in developing a strategic partnership with Ahtna for the exploration and development of mineral resources in the promising Chisna porphyry belt of Alaska. The Ahtna lands add an additional 75,520 acres to the existing 87,940 acres of Alaska State mining claims that make up the Chisna Project (Figure 1). Pursuant to the agreement, Ahtna has consented to the transfer of Raven's rights to the Ocean Park/Raven Joint Venture. Further consent will be required if Raven ceases to be the operator under the Joint Venture.
To view the Location of Ahtna Agreement Exploration Area, click the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/OCP_map.pdf
Ahtna Agreement Summary
Ahtna and Raven have signed a Mineral Exploration Agreement with Option to Lease effective March 30, 2010 over a 75,520 acre parcel surrounding existing Alaska State mining claims held by Raven. The key terms of the Ahtna agreement include the following:
-- exclusive right to explore, and the option to enter into a mining lease
to develop and mine, the subject lands for up to a six-year period
-- annual option payments of US$1.00 - US$1.25 per acre
-- minimum exploration expenditures of US$4 - US$8 per acre, escalating
over time, provided that if the agreement is not terminated at the end
of any option year, the exploration expenditures for the next year
become a firm commitment
-- at the end of the third year, Raven will release at least 50% of the
original lands subject to the agreement
-- preferential contracting, hiring and training practices for Ahtna
shareholders or designees
-- scholarship contributions to the Ahtna Heritage Foundation
(US$10,000/year, subject to increase for inflation)
-- all surface work subject to Ahtna archaeological and cultural clearance
Upon Raven having expended an aggregate of US$1,000,000 (including 2,500 feet of core drilling) and having completed a feasibility study over some or all of the land subject to the exploration agreement within the six year term of the exploration agreement, Raven has the option to enter into a mining lease. The key terms of the mining lease include:
-- exclusive mining rights for an initial term of ten years and so long
thereafter as commercial production continues
-- minimum exploration and development expenditures of US$4.00 - US$9.00
per acre subject to the lease until commercial production is achieved,
escalating over time
-- advance minimum royalty payments of US$6 - US$12 per acre escalating
over time (50% deductible from production royalties)
-- net smelter return production royalties for gold and silver scaled from
2.5% (gold price US$550 per ounce or less) to 14% (gold price per ounce
US$1,900 or higher per ounce), 2.5% on base metals and 3% on all
minerals other than gold, silver or base metals
-- in the event Raven acquires rights to minerals within the area subject
to the lease, the acquired minerals lands are subject to a production
royalty in favour of Ahtna of 2% of the gross value of any gold and
silver and a NSR of 1% on base metals
-- Ahtna is also entitled to receive an amount by which 20% of the net
profits realized by Raven from its mining operations on Ahtna minerals
(10% in the case of non-Ahtna minerals) in any year exceed the aggregate
royalties paid by Raven to Ahtna in that year
-- Ahtna has the right to acquire a working interest in the lands subject
to the lease, which is to be greater than or equal to 10% but not more
than 15%, upon Raven having made a production decision, and in
consideration, Ahtna will be required to fund ongoing operations after
such exercise in an amount equal to 200% of Ahtna's percentage share of
the pre-production expenditures incurred by Raven (not including advance
minimum royalty payments to Ahtna). Should Ahtna exercise such option,
it would become a participant in the Ocean Park/Raven Joint Venture
Donald Gee, President and CEO of Ocean Park said: "The signing of this agreement with Ahtna, Incorporated is an important step forward for the Chisna project and the Ahtell target area in particular. The Ocean Park/Raven Joint Venture looks forward to its new partnership with the Ahtna group and aggressively pursuing its exploration program on this exciting new Alaskan copper-gold porphyry belt."
Chisna Project Background
The Chisna Project, located in the Chistochina mining district of south-central Alaska, is a Joint Venture between Ocean Park's wholly owned subsidiary, Ocean Park Alaska Corp., and Raven. Ocean Park's 51% interest in the Joint Venture is earned by its US$20M initial contribution for exploration expenditures over a 5 year period. Raven is the initial operator. The 2010 exploration budget is in excess of US$6M.
The Chisna Porphyry belt contains numerous unexplored copper and gold targets with the two most significant being the highly prospective +8 square kilometre, Ahtell alkaline porphyry copper-gold system (which has recently been augmented by the Ahtna land addition) and the large 40 square kilometre POW system at the northwest end of the belt.
The project is targeting Cretaceous copper-gold porphyry style mineralization of a similar age to the Pebble deposit, located approximately 600 kilometres to the southwest. The Chisna project contains a number of grassroots surface discoveries made by ITH in 2006 and 2007 which were the focus of the 2008 follow-up work.
2010 Exploration work will include:
-- regional airborne ZTEM survey over 2,270 square kilometres
-- geochemical soil and silt sampling program
-- regional and property scale geological mapping
-- 6,000 metres of diamond core drilling focussing on the POW and Ahtell
The TSX Venture Exchange has in no way passed upon the merits of the proposed transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.
OCEAN PARK VENTURES CORP.
On behalf of the Board
Donald Gee, President and CEO
This new release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors discussed in the management discussion and analysis section of our interim and most recent annual financial statement or other reports and filings with the TSX Venture Exchange and applicable Canadian securities regulations. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.