Sacre-Coeur Minerals Ltd. yesterday announced a strategic restructuring of its exploration programs in Guyana to prioritise development of its advancing Million Mountain Project, as well as a series of steps to conserve cash.
Exploration will continue but on a more limited basis on other priority targets within its portfolio in Guyana.
The restructuring reflects management’s assessment of the optimal strategy for increasing shareholder value in the present difficult world economic environment, based upon information developed in its Guyana exploration programme over the past three years.
Last September, the Company released its NI 43-101 compliant interim resource estimate of 451,397 measured and indicated troy ounce of gold contained in Zone One near surface at its Million Mountain Project in Guyana.
In a release from the company, the Company also announced identification of seven additional highly prospective mineralized zones in close proximity, along a trend with the original Zone 1 discovery.
The seven additional zones of anomalous gold cover a surface area in aggregate more than 20 times the mineralized target area defined by Zone 1.
Together, the eight zones comprise a mineralized target with world class potential. In addition to its potential to host a commercial deposit of significant size, the project exhibits relative ease of access from the capital city of Georgetown, has a large and well developed permanent work camp, has a minimum of environmental complexities, and is the subject of a large body of technical data which the Company has now developed.
As such, the Million Mountain Project is considered by management to be the Company’s highest priority for immediate development and the focus for its expenditures in the next year.
Given the very difficult state of the world economy, and of the junior resource equity market in particular, the Company’s management and Board have revised its strategy to maximise opportunities for near term success while conserving cash through the expected period of downturn. In addition to prioritizing development of the Million Mountain Project, the Company is suspending grassroots exploration and target generative programmes elsewhere in its portfolio.
This strategic shift will permit the Company to reduce its exploration staff in Guyana by some 194 persons to 27 per cent of past level. The reduction in staff will include not only local support workers but expatriate geologists as well, which will be reduced by 64 per cent from 14 to five, effective January 1, 2009.
Field work will be consolidated out of the Company’s main Lower Puruni District Camp, located at the Million Mountain Project, to further reduce operating costs. Two core drills which have recently been operating on the Company’s properties by third party contractors will be demobilized, leaving two Company-owned rigs available for operation in 2009 by our own drillers.
Over the past three years, the Company has conducted extensive studies of its seven regional blocks in Guyana, comprising approximately 2360 sq km of property. These studies have included broad-based geochemical and geophysics studies, mapping, sampling and other field reconnaissance work, together with desk-top studies.
Based on this work, the Company has prioritized its holdings which it believes to have sufficient resource potential to justify further investigation, while segregating those holdings which it does not believe have significant potential to host a commercial deposit.
As a result of this work, the Company will be relinquishing before year end nearly 50 per cent of its existing property portfolio in Guyana. Further details will be provided after finalization of the property reductions and filing with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.
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