In the second year of the option, Gold Reserve plans to carry out a 7,000 to 12,000 metre drill program to test four known copper-gold mineralized targets; Las Garrochas, the Caballo Vein, the Quartz Breccia Vein and Oro East. During the first year of the option, Gold Reserve conducted ground-based mapping, sampling, geochemical studies, and geophysical analyses on the Property. Gold Reserve is currently upgrading roughly 22 km of access roads. An airborne geophysical survey and drilling are about to commence. Gold Reserve has also initiated environmental baseline and social impact studies, which forms the basis of a comprehensive social impact and mitigation plan for any future development. Gold Reserve has advised Soltoro additional drilling could be added to the program during the year.
Andrew Thomson, President and C.E.O. of Soltoro Ltd., stated: “Soltoro’s partner, Gold Reserve, is conducting a 7,000 to 12,000 metre drill program at La Tortuga to test the copper gold potential in four separate zones. Gold Reserve invested close to $300 million in the Brisas copper/gold deposit in Venezuela where they defined 10.2 million ounces of gold and 1.4 billion pounds of copper. Gold Reserve is well funded with the experience to develop La Tortuga into an operating mine.”
The La Tortuga Property is an 11,562 hectare property being investigated for its base and precious metal potential with occurrences of copper and gold mineralization over 49 square kilometers. Potential targets include iron-oxide-copper-gold, porphyry copper and epithermal gold and/or base metal veins. Previous work includes 151 line-kilometers of induced polarization, 20 drill holes (both core and reverse circulation), geological mapping and sampling (approximately 1,000 soil, rock chip and stream sediment samples) and a ground magnetic survey.
The Option Agreement allows Gold Reserve to acquire an undivided 51% interest by making an aggregate US$650,000 in option payments to Soltoro and by making US$3 million in expenditures on the property over 3 years. Gold Reserve has made $275,000 in option payments to Soltoro to date. At completion of the earn-in a joint venture agreement will be formalized. Upon exercise of the option, Gold Reserve may acquire an additional 9% for US$2,000,000.
Soltoro is engaged in exploration for bulk tonnage gold and silver deposits in Mexico. Soltoro holds an interest in an excess of 55,000 hectares of ground in Jalisco State. Soltoro is focused on expanding silver resources at the El Rayo silver project while seeking partners to advance the balance of its projects. Soltoro holds 15% of the common shares of Argentum Silver Corp. with a 3% N.S.R. payable on Argentum Silver’s Victoria and Coyote properties. Soltoro’s La Tortuga project is under option to Gold Reserve Inc. Soltoro has 59,783,037 shares outstanding and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol SOL. Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. holds 4.5 million shares of Soltoro Ltd.