VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 19, 2006) - Victoria Resource Corporation (TSX VENTURE:VIT), a 31% owned affiliate of Bema Gold Corporation (TSX:BGO)(AMEX:BGO)(AIM:BAU), is pleased to announce that it has signed a Letter of Intent to lease the Relief Canyon Project from Newmont USA Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation. Relief Canyon consists of 10 full and partial sections of checkerboard ground and 155 unpatented mining claims that together, surround and contain small portions of the former producing Relief Canyon Mine located approximately 26 kilometres east of Lovelock, Nevada. The Relief Canyon Mine reportedly produced a total of 430,000 ounces of gold from run-of mine tonnage at an average grade of 1.27 grams per tonne (g/t) gold between 1985 and 1989.
The Relief Canyon project area is located in a north-east trending structural belt, parallel to and approximately 140 kilometres west of the Battle Mountain gold trend. This belt is 65 kilometres long, averages 8.3 kilometres wide and hosts the Willard Mine to the northwest, the Relief Canyon Mine and the Nevada Packard mine in the central part of the belt, and numerous mercury and antimony mines in the Antelope mining district southeast along the belt. The Relief Canyon project area occurs in the central part of the belt. Surface exploration for Carlin type gold systems was conducted in the belt from approximately 1984 to 1992, but drilling was limited to the immediate area of the Relief Canyon Mine and some of the nearby mercury and antimony mines.
Gold mineralization in the Relief Canyon area is associated with Carlin-style jasperoid and zones of brecciation in sulfidized limestone that are hosted by the Triassic Grass Valley shale, Natchez Pass Limestone and fault zones cutting these. Victoria's reconnaissance mapping indicates that the project area contains many zones of high gold potential where north-west, north-south, and north, north-west structural systems intersect. The Relief Canyon Mine area is considered to have potential for underground targets within these structural intersection zones and wide spread gold values over the property indicates the potential for open pit targets.
The lease is subject to a total of $3.6 million dollars in work commitments over a period of seven years, of which $400,000 over a period of 2 years is a firm contractual obligation of Victoria. Newmont has a one-time back in right on or before completion and delivery of a Positive Feasibility Study by Victoria. Should they exercise this right, Newmont must expend 250% of Victoria's expenditures in order to earn a 51% interest in the property. After earn-in, the project will be a 51% Newmont - 49% Victoria joint venture. A one time purchase payment of $1,500,000 and a sliding scale net smelter return royalty (NSR) of up to 5% based on the price of gold, less any underlying royalties but subject to a minimum of 2%, is due should Newmont not exercise its back-in right. Two pre-existing royalties exist, one of which would increase the total royalty to 5.5%, but which covers a single, partial section (494.66 acres) away from the existing mine. All other sections and unpatented claims are subject to a maximum 5% NSR. Advanced royalty payments totaling $1,754.59 will be reimbursed to Newmont upon closing of the final agreement now being completed by both parties. Newmont shall also retain preferential processing rights should it prove to be cost effective for processing of ore from the project area.
Victoria is also pleased to report that it has completed a Letter of Intent with Newmont Capital Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation, to lease the Seven Troughs project located approximately 40 kilometres west of Lovelock, Nevada. The property consists of 103 patented claims and 246 unpatented claims (approx. 7 square miles) the majority of which occur within the Seven Troughs Mining District. Reported historic (1907-1955) production of the district was 158,468 ounces of gold and 995,876 ounces of silver, at an average grade 35.6 g/t gold and 223.9 g/t silver. Drilling by Franco-Nevada in 2000 in the central graben area produced several high-grade intercepts including 3.3 metres at 36.1 g/t gold. This zone is open to the north and south.
Most of the district is covered by post-mineral volcanics and the gold-bearing, volcanic-hosted quartz-adularia veins were mined where exposed in windows in this cover. Thus, much of the district is considered to have high potential below these post-mineral volcanics and Victoria's goal is to first map the district utilizing structural methods followed by drilling to test prospective structures.
The lease provides for work commitments of $2.6 million over a period of seven years of which $250,000 over a two year period is a firm contractual obligation of Victoria. The first year is commitment-free so that Victoria can implement a detailed structural mapping program of the district. Newmont has a one-time back in right on or before delivery of a positive feasibility study, whereby the project would revert to a Newmont/Victoria (51%/49%) joint venture after an earn-in by Newmont incurring 250% of the exploration expenditures of Victoria. Should Newmont not back in, Victoria must make a $1,000,000 payment and grant a sliding scale 3-5% NSR to Newmont, dependent on the price of gold. The royalty paid to Newmont would be less any underlying royalties, subject to a 1% minimum. Any annual minimum royalty payments from underlying agreements shall be paid by Victoria, which in the first year of the lease total $39,000. Newmont would retain preferential processing rights whereby the parties would negotiate specialized processing of ore.
Victoria believes the acquisition of these two properties along with the recent acquisition of the Cove-McCoy property (see press release dated 04/04/06) will offer several good exploration opportunities in key regions of Nevada. Both Letters of Intent remain subject to finalization of definitive documentation and regulatory approvals.
The qualified person under National Instrument 43-101 is Tom Garagan, P.Geo. Mr. Garagan is a Director of Victoria and the Vice President of Exploration for Bema.
All dollar figures are in United States dollars.
On Behalf of VICTORIA RESOURCE CORPORATION
Roger T. Richer, President and Director
Some of the statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements, such as estimates and statements that describe the Company's future plans, objectives or goals, including words to the effect that the Company or management expects a stated condition or result to occur. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Victoria Resource Corporation
Manager, Investor Relations