VANCOUVER, B.C., Feb. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AsiaBaseMetals Inc. (the "Company") (TSX-V: "ABZ") is pleased to announce that is pursuing mining opportunities in Myanmar, a country with exceptional geological merit and a country now moving onto the world stage, especially in the mining sector. The Company is continuing to advance its Gnome (Cobalt & Zinc) Project in British Columbia (see below under the heading "About Gnome Project") and its Jean Iron Ore Project in Ontario.

Registration from The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration

In connection with the entry into Myanmar, the Company has filed for and obtained a registration from The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration ("DICA"), which handles company registrations for foreign businesses and serves as a secretary to the Myanmar Investment Commission (the "MIC"), the responsible body for investment applications. The registration enables the Company to submit investment proposals to the MIC via DICA for verification and approval.

Application for Lithium Exploration Permits in Myanmar

Since Myanmar has never previously been subjected to modern systematic Lithium exploration, neither for hard-rock nor salar-type (continental salts and brines) to date, the Company has decided to focus its entry into Myanmar through exploration for Lithium. Accordingly, the Company submitted an application for the grant of exploration permits for Lithium, with particular focus of hard-rock and salar-type (continental salts and brines), on mineral claims comprising approximately 74 square kilometres located 14 kilometres from the town of Thazi in in Central Myanmar (currently referred to as the "Thazi Mineral Claims"). The Company selected the Thazi Mineral Claims as it believes its geologic literature research indicates that the Thazi Mineral Claims contain mountainous pegmatite-bearing granites which favour the existence of both hard-rock and salar-type deposits. Further, the Company is not aware of any modern systematic Lithium exploration being conducted in Myanmar to date.

Raj Chowdhry, the President, CEO and Chairman of AsiaBaseMetals Inc., stated:

"The Company’s planned entry into the Lithium space, starting especially in Myanmar, a country having both China and India as neighbours (combined population of almost three billion people) who may well represent the largest users of batteries in the world, is a significant move. Myanmar is endowed with impressive geology and which is finally opening its doors to the world for the first time in modern times. We look forward to capitalizing on the first mover advantage while adding and contributing to the growth of the country."

Upon the Company's submitted application for the grant of exploration permits for Lithium being  granted, the Company intends to design its initial work program to explore for both hard-rock and salar-type (continental salts and brines) deposit potential, using modern field techniques with International Organization for Standardization approved mineralogic studies and analytical assaying methods (SGS-Hardrock Lithium Processing Studies/SciAps-Z300 LIBS Analyser).

The Thazi Mineral Claims are located in the Hlaing Det area in the Meiktila District, known as the main Feldspar-producing area of Myanmar. The Thazi Mineral Claims are accessible by road via the Meiktila-Thazi-Taunggyi highway, the main highway from central Myanmar to Shan State in the east, which eventually leads to the border of Thailand, and by train which runs through the central portion of the Thazi Mineral Claims. Power also runs along the highway and is available in the Hlaing Det area.

Previous work carried out in the Hlaing Det area is described in the 2011 research journal study published by Dagon University entitled Economic Aspects of Feldspar in the Hlaingdet-Payangazu Area, Thazi Township, Mandalay Division 1(the "Dagon Research Study") which stated that the Hlaing Det area is mined manually from pegmatite bodies within granite with lengths up to 60 metres and widths of up to 6 metres. The Dagon Research Study indicated, based on limited exploration activities (without drilling), that the average feldspar in the vein of productions working (which included eight veins) was 45% feldspar, with indications of some veins possibly extending on to the applied for Thazi Mineral Claims. This may not be indicative of future mineralization on the Thazi Mineral Claims. The Dagon Research Study, including the estimation of feldspar grade, was not prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and has not been verified by the Company or its qualified person. The Company has no plans to explore for Feldspar.

Despite the Hlaing Det area being famous for salt deposits in its alluvial covered flat terrain, records, although non-compliant with NI 43-101, indicate that up to 9,000 tons of salt were obtained/extracted in 1937 from salt-bearing sands from this area for use in silk-rinsing process.   Analysis made at that time indicated only one compound NaCO3. The Company is not aware of any analytical determination of LiCO3 and other elements on these salts being made to date.  NaCO3 is one of the common compounds contained together with LiCO3 in salar-type deposits of the world.  In this aspect, the Company believes that these salt flats may contain LiCO3.  Again, although water wells in the Hlaing Det area are locally known to be "salty and bitter", the Company is not aware of any analytical determination having ever been made to test these waters to date.  The Company believes that the Thazi Mineral Claims have the potential to include salt deposits in its alluvial covered flat terrain.

The foregoing technical disclosure is not compliant with NI 43-101. A qualified person has not verified the data.

About Gnome Project

The Gnome Project (Cobalt/Zinc), owned 100% by AsiaBaseMetals (12 mineral claims encompassing 5,868 hectares), located 230 km north-northwest ("N-NW") of the town of Mackenzie in British Columbia, Canada is 35 km southeast ("SE") from Teck Resources Limited ("Teck") & Korea Zinc's ("KZ") joint ventured ("T-KZ-JV" - 50% each) Cirque Deposit and 15 km SE of the Cardiac Creek deposit – Akie Project (ZincX Resources Inc.).  The Cirque deposit, the Cardiac Creek deposit, Pie, Cirque East and Yuen properties (51% interest in the Pie, Cirque East and Yuen properties that were originally optioned by Teck from ZincX Resources Inc. (formerly Canada Zinc Metals Corp.) ("ZincX") now held as part of the T-KZ JV), the Cirque Property  and the Gnome property are all in the same geological belt, northeast ("NE") of Williston Lake, in north western British Columbia, Canada, within a north-northwest-south-southeast (N-NW-S-SE) -oriented geological trend in the southernmost part (Kechika Trough) of the regionally extensive Paleozoic Selwyn basin, one of the most prolific sedimentary basins in the world for the occurrence of SEDEX zinc-lead silver and stratiform barite deposits. 

On June 20, 2018, ZincX announced robust results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") of the Cardiac Creek deposit hosted within the Akie Project.  The PEA does not include a resource estimate for Cobalt or otherwise indicate that Cobalt is present at the Akie Project.  Mineralization hosted on the Cirque and Cardiac Creek (Akie Project) properties is not indicative of the mineralization hosted on the Company’s Gnome Project at its current stage of exploration.

The Company had previously announced its planned exploration work in 2019 on its Gnome Project (Cobalt & Zinc) following the discovery of the following indicated anomalous values, amongst other elements:

Cobalt and Zinc Discovery
Highlights of Soil & Rock Samples Analytical Results **

Cobalt (Co)Zinc (Zn)Manganese (Mn)Nickel (Ni)Iron (Fe)
0.58%5.99%10.62%0.82%51.84%

(** See the Company's news release dated October 29, 2018 for a full description of the work completed in the 2018 exploration work program and for additional soil and rock sample analytical results which were replicated in the January 7, 2019 news release for convenience only. This information is also available on the Company’s website at www.AsiaBaseMetals.com).

The Company anticipates the additional work on the Gnome Project to include trenching (for Cobalt) and selection of drill targets and relatively shallow drilling (for Zinc) upon compilation and analysis of recent (2018) and historical exploration data and based in part on the extensive previous work performed on the Gnome Project. The Company expects the work on the Gnome Project to be a two phased exploration program to consist of: i) trenching to better define the Cobalt discovery (at an estimated cost of approximately $100,000, within the approximate 1 sq. km previously sampled area) in the first phase, and ii) drilling to confirm and better define the Zinc discovery (at an estimated cost of approximately $300,000).  The second phase work is expected to be comprised of up to 750 metres of drilling, likely in 10 drill holes, averaging 75 metres each.

For further information on the Gnome Project, see the Company's NI 43-101 technical reports dated August 21, 2009 (Qualified Person: Darwin Green B.Sc., M.Sc., P.Geo.) and December 4, 2012 (Qualified Person: John F. Childs, Ph.D of Childs Geoscience Inc. from Bozeman, MT., USA). A copy of the reports and the above referenced news release can be found on the Company’s website (www.AsiaBaseMetals.com) and on the Company's profile on SEDAR.

Having arranged the financing for the phase one work, the Company anticipates pursuing the funding for the second phase after completing the first phase work, with a view to minimizing dilution to shareholders."

Qualified Person

Afzaal Pirzada, P.Geo., a consultant to the Company, is a Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101 and has reviewed, verified and approved the information of a scientific or technical nature contained in this news release.

Grant of Stock Options

The Company announces that, subject to TSXV approval, it has granted an aggregate of 1,312,500 stock options (the "Options") to certain directors and/or members of the Advisory Board under the Company's Stock Option Plan. The Options will be exercisable at a price of $0.30 per common share for a period of two (2) years from date of grant. Of the total Options, 50% will be fully vested upon grant, with 25% of the Options vesting six months from the date of grant and the final 25% of the Options vesting one year from the date of grant.

Chief Financial Officer

The Company also announces that, with the recent resignation of the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, Raj Chowdhry will be acting as the interim CFO of the Company.

About AsiaBaseMetals Inc.

AsiaBaseMetals Inc., a mining company led by an experienced and successful business and mining team, is prudently advancing its 100% owned Gnome Project and its 100% owned Jean Iron Ore Project in world-class mining districts in Canada, one of the safest and mining friendly jurisdictions in the world.  In addition, the Company is seeking to further diversify its portfolio, with special attention directed to advanced acquisition targets in the Americas, Asia and Africa for base metals [Copper (Cu)], alkali metals [Cobalt (Co) / Lithium (Li)] and precious metals [Gold (Au) / Silver (Ag)].

The Company intends to retain commodity focus as projects are identified and acquired by plan of arrangement spin-out transaction(s) in the same manner as when AsiaBaseMetals Inc. was originally formed.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

The PEA is considered preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves have not yet demonstrated economic viability. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of a mineral resource will be upgraded to mineral reserves. Therefore, there is no certainty that the results concluded in the PEA will be realized.  Mineralization hosted on the Cirque and Cardiac Creek Properties is not indicative of the mineralization hosted on the Company’s Gnome Project at its current stage of exploration.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Certain disclosure in this release, including statements regarding the grant of the Thazi Mineral Claims, the Company’s plans for future exploration programs in Myanmar and expected outcomes, the Gnome Project (Cobalt & Zinc), possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions and the Company’s exploration and other plans, may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. In making the forward-looking statements in this release, the Company has applied certain factors and assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable, including that the Company will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for the grant of the Thazi Mineral Claims and exploration in Myanmar, the Company will obtain the necessary approvals for possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions, and the Company will be able to carried out future exploration or work programs as planned. However, the forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such uncertainties and risks include, among others, financing risks, delays in obtaining or inability to obtain required regulatory approvals of the Thazi Mineral Claims, the Company's ability to secure possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions, and changes in the Company’s plans. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

1 For the full Dagon University Research Journal study entitled Economic Aspects of Feldspar in the Hlaingdet-Payangazu Area, Thazi Township, Mandalay Division, 2011, Volume 3, see https://www.dagonuniversity.edu.mm/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/18-Geology-1.pdf

 

Contact Information

AsiaBaseMetals Inc.
Raj Chowdhry, Chief Executive Officer   
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