| ||January 31, 2012|
Mesa Acquires the Bounty Potash Project
| ||Mesa Exploration Corp. (TSX-V: MSA) ("Mesa") is pleased to announce the acquisition of the 104 square mile Bounty potash project in the Great Salt Lake Desert of western Utah. The project is 15 miles north of Intrepid Potash's Wendover operation, a potash mine which is chemically and physically analogous to the deposit at the Bounty project. The Wendover mine has been in production for 75 years utilizing a system of potash brine collection ditches and solar evaporation ponds, with potash and salt being processed in a simple flotation mill. The Wendover mine has annual production of 100,000 tons of potash and 200,000 tons of magnesium chloride, grossing $60 million per year.|
The Bounty project consists of 90 square miles of potash prospecting permit applications from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 14 square miles of Potash Leases from the State of Utah.
The Bounty project area is a remnant of a regional Pleistocene lake which deposited a salt flat underlain by a potash brine aquifer at depths of 2 to 6 feet. The aquifer is contained in a bed of sand, silt and clay. Several potash brine mines in the area are operating on similar lake remnants, producing muriate of potassium (MOP) and sulphate of potassium (SOP), at operating costs of $180 per ton. MOP sells for $500 per ton and SOP for $650 per ton.
Historic exploration work was conducted in 1966 at the project and adjacent areas by Quintana Petroleum. Quintana drilled 35 auger holes resulting in the definition of 5.1 million tons of potash (MOP) grading 6.8 grams/liter. Quintana limited the estimation of the resource to the top 10 feet of the brine aquifer, the depth limits of the auger drilling equipment. Mesa controls 80% of the resource, including sites for a mill and evaporation ponds. The Quintana resource is historical in nature and was calculated using a polygonal contour estimation method, the industry standard prior to NI 43-101 standards, thus it is not NI 43-101 compliant and should not be considered as a current resource.
Mesa is designing an exploration program of forty auger holes to be drilled to the base of the shallow aquifer. Drilling will infill and verify the historic sampling and map brine aquifer depth, thickness, lithology and potash content. Additionally a minimum of six reverse circulation drill holes will be drilled to 500 feet to test for deeper brine aquifers typically found in the region. Historic assay, specific gravity and lithology data have been acquired and are being digitized. An evaluation of the assay data is being made to determine if the deposit is MOP or if there is sufficient sulphate for SOP production.
"The Bounty project is a very attractive asset. With confirmation and infill drilling success, the existing resource has good potential to be confirmed, upgraded and enlarged. Shallow brine mines have historically demonstrated multiple benefits over conventional underground and open pit mines. Benefits include easier access for development, enhanced operator safety, lower capital investment and operating costs and significantly lower exploration costs. Bounty is located in a mine-friendly area, close to an interstate highway, a railroad and the town of Wendover." stated Foster Wilson, President and CEO.
About Mesa Exploration
Mesa is developing and exploring a portfolio of mineral properties in the United States where it controls significant land holdings. All projects are within proven mining districts with excellent access and infrastructure. Mesa currently has 14 million shares issued and outstanding, 50% of the shares are controlled by insiders and institutions. For further information please visit our website at www.MesaExploration.com.
This Press Release has been prepared and revised under the supervision of Dana Durgin, AIPG Certified Professional Geologist, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 guidelines.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
MESA EXPLORATION CORP.
(signed) Foster Wilson, President and CEO
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, including the likelihood of commercial mining and possible future financings 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 unsuccessful exploration results, changes in metals prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. Mining is an inherently risky business. Accordingly the actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on the Company and the risks and challenges of its business, investors should review the Company's annual filings that are available at www.sedar.com
For further information call:
Corporate Communications, 775-379-3993
The TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this news release.
You can view the Next News Releases item: Thu Feb 16, 2012, Mesa Files NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Bounty Potash Project
You can view the Previous News Releases item: Wed Jan 25, 2012, Mesa To Drill Moonshine Springs Uranium Project
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