Rio Tinto Commences Exploration On Solwezi Copper Project
Vancouver, British Columbia, April 19, 2021 – Midnight Sun Mining Corp. (the “Company” or “Midnight Sun”) (TSX-V: MMA) is pleased to announce Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration Limited (“Rio Tinto”) have commenced their initial 2021 exploration campaign on Midnight Sun’s Solwezi Licences in Zambia. Rio Tinto is in Stage 1 of the previously announced Earn-In and Joint Venture Agreement (the “Earn-In Agreement”) (see the Company’s news release Midnight Sun Signs USD$51 Million Earn-In Agreement With Rio Tinto, dated April 27, 2020, for details of the Earn-In Agreement). The initial 2021 work program budget is USD $3,200,000 and is expected to be completed in late June. Results of this exploration work will dictate the additional budgets for 2021.
Rio Tinto’s planned initial work includes:
- 4,000 metres of diamond and 1,900 metres of air core drilling on the Mitu trend;
- 1,200 metres of diamond drilling to test high grade copper anomalies, identified in the Q4 2020 air core drill program, on the north side of the Solwezi Dome at the Gameno (formerly Kifubwe) Prospect; and
- 1,600 metres of reverse circulation and 1,000 metres of air core drilling, and further mapping at Dumbwa to test a 10+ kilometre copper soil anomaly.
Rio Tinto’s Q4 2020 exploration work focused on strengthening their geological understanding of the Solwezi Licences. Emphasis was placed on identifying and modeling the geology of the Kazhiba Dome which underlies the 22 Zone, where an overturned Upper Plate and upright facing Lower Plate are separated by a mafic breccia. This geology appears similar to what is observed at the Kansanshi Mine. The work completed during this program included:
- The reanalysis of previous air core drill samples over the Kazhiba Dome and adjacent areas;
- 129 air core drill holes drilled on a 500 metre x 500 metre grid over the entire Kazhiba Dome;
- The air core programme included 29 air core holes tracking an audio-frequency magnetotelluric geophysical line towards Basement and testing a mineral occurrence at the Gameno (formerly Kifubwe) Prospect;
- The reanalysis of previous soil samples;
- A 250 metre x 250 metre infill geochemical soil sampling grid; and
- Six stratigraphic diamond holes, totalling 2,060 metres, designed to test the Lower Plate of the Kazhiba Dome for mineralisation.
Al Fabbro, President and CEO of Midnight Sun, stated, “After a lengthy rainy season and dealing with the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited for Rio Tinto to begin the 2021 work program. With the bulk of this initial budget committed to drilling, this has the potential to be a very pivotal season for Midnight Sun and the Solwezi Licences.”
The Solwezi Licences are comprised of two individual exploration licences totalling 506 square kilometres, situated in the North-Western Province of Zambia on the prolific Zambia-Congo Copper Belt and adjacent to Africa’s largest copper mining complex, First Quantum’s Kansanshi Mine.
Qualified Person: Richard Mazur, P.Geo., a Director of the Company and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical data and contents of this release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF MIDNIGHT SUN MINING CORP.
President & CEO
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This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements.” All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, changes in market conditions, unsuccessful exploration results, changes in commodity prices, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. Mining exploration and development is an inherently risky business. Accordingly, the actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Company’s forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by the Company or on its behalf, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.