New Pacific Metals Corp.

 

2004

NUX Acquires Option from SKN Resources Ltd over Nickel, Copper PGM Project in Sichuan Province, China


March 4, 2004

VANCOUVER, BC, March 4, 2004. Nu XMP Ventures Limited ("NUX") is pleased to announce it has entered into an Option Letter Agreement with SKN Resources Ltd., ("SKN") by which NUX may acquire 100% of SKN's wholly owned subsidiary SKN Nickel & Platinum Inc. ("SNP"). SNP is party to two agreements whereby SNP has the right to acquire a 75% and 90% interest respectively in Exploration Permits located in Sichuan Province, China. The Permits, and Permit applications cover several Nickel (Ni) - Copper (Cu) - Platinum Group Metal (PGM) prospects, collectively called the Kang Dian Project, on which BHP Billiton expended in excess of US$3,430,000 during the late 1990s with the intention of looking for the Noril'sk-type of Ni-Cu-PGM deposits. The Project was returned to the original Chinese owner in 2000 due to BHP Billiton's reorganization.

Kang Dian Project
The Kang Dian Project is comprised of seven properties, covered by 8 Exploration Permits (82 square kilometers) and 4 Permit Applications (813 square kilometers), located 50 to 210 km west and southwest of Chengdu, the capital city of the Sichuan Province. Chengdu is serviced by daily air -flights with connections to all major cities in China. Access to the general project area is via paved highways and gravel roads.

The Project area is situated in the center of the Panxi Rift, which is developed along the western margin of the South China Craton. The Panxi Rift forms a series of north-south trending graben-horst blocks that can be traced for at least 1000 km with maximum width of 350 km near the Yunnan-Sichuan provincial border. Much of the rift system is obscured by Permian flood basalt and post-Triassic sedimentary cover. The majority of Ni-PGM mineralization is associated with Permian-age gabbro  norite and peridotite dykes, stocks and sills, which extends from the DB deposit (significant nickel) in the north to the JBS deposit of PGM in the south, a distance of 750 km.

The Panxi Rift shows marked similarities to the Noril'sk Rift in western Siberia with respect to the age of the volcanic eruption event, composition of the continental flood basalts and the occurrence of significant Ni-PGM mineralization associated with mafic to ultramafic intrusive phases genetically linked to the flood basalts.

The most notable prospects within the Kang Dian Project area are as follows:

AZ Prospect
The AZ prospect contains a number of mafic -ultramafic sills and a stock that intruded into Devonian limestones. A discovery was made in 2003 through field mapping and trenching. Three mineralization zones were defined by surface channel sampling in the AZ property.

The No. 1 zone is an ultramafic sill traced over 100 meters in length with a trench interception of 7.5 meters grading 1.21% Ni, 0.76% Cu, 1.06 grams per tonne (g/t) PGM. The sill, extending north-south and steeply dipping to west, is located in the axis of a fold, hosted by gabbro and proxene peridotite in contact with limestone. Ni-Cu-PGM minerals occur in either massive or disseminated sulphides.

No. 2 zone is 200 meters north of No. 1 zone. The zone extends east-west and is nearly vertical. Mineralization occurred along contact zone between mafic -ultramafic sill and carbonate. A gossan up to 10 meter s wide and 200 meter s long was seen in the area. A grab sample returned 0.034 % Ni, 0.017% Cu, 0.93 g/t PGM and 3.2 g/t gold (Au).

No. 3 zone is 400 meters southwest of No. 1 zone. The zone, extending northwesterly and dipping to the northeast, was identified by channel sampling on two outcrops, grading 0.99% Ni 0.37% Cu, and 0.26 g/t PGM.

A grab sample collected by the property owner on the ultra-mafic stock in 2003 graded 1.01% Ni, 1.28% Cu, and 28.5 g/t PGM.

Jinhe-Nantianwan Prospect
This prospect is within a gabbro-pyroxenite batholith approximately 20 km in length and about 10 km in width in late Precambrian limestone. Numerous ultramafic sills that intruded in the batholith and late Precambrian sediments contain Ni-PGM mineralization. Trenching programs in the ultram afic sills have identified a number of Cu-Ni-PGM mineralization zones with copper grades ranging from 0.26% to 25.87% Cu. On the Nantianwan Property, Cu-Ni-PGM mineralization is localized over a strike length of 3 km in Permian ultramafic rocks or along contact between the intrusion and Sinian dolostones. The best zone is 370m long and 1.36m thick, grading 1.48% Cu, 0.89% Ni, 0.89 g/t Pt, 0.76 g/t Pd, and 0.25 g/t Au.

Laguo Prospect
Mineralization in the Laguo area is Keewanawan-style native copper, hosted by the Late Permian Emeishan flood basalt. Four mineralized zones rang ing from 200 to 560 meters in length and 0.7 to 3.5 meters in width were defined by surface trenching over a northeast trending strike length of 1.5 km.

At the south corner of the prospect, artisanal miners are currently mining zinc-lead material in Silurian dolostone. Disseminated sphalerite and galena were associated in carbon-rich beds. A grab sample by SKN's independent consultant returned 15.9% Zn and 4.93% Pb.

Letter Agreements
According to the two letter agreements with the respective holders of the permits and permit applications comprising the Kang Dian Project, SNP holds the right to acquire 75% and 90% interests, respectively, in over ten exploration permits by contribut ing US$2,780,000 to fund the exploration and development of the Project over a period of four years with a first year minimum contribution of US$600,000. After SNP has earned its 75% and 90% interests, respectively, contributions to fund the exploration and development of the Project will be made pro rata. The interest of the Chinese property owners can be diluted to not less than 10% to 12% if they elect not to make cash contributions.

The SKN Agreement
NUX has entered into an Option Letter Agreement with SKN whereby NUX has the option to acquire SNP and thereby the Kang Dian Project through the issuance of a total of 7,000,000 of its shares at a deemed price of $0.375 per share. SKN will receive 6,500,000 of these Shares (the "SKN Shares"), while one of the Chinese property owners will receive 500,000 of the NUX Shares. The SKN Shares will be issued on the basis of 2,500,000 on issuance of a Bulletin by the TSX Venture Exchange accepting the transaction; a further 2,000,000 shares are issuable upon suc cessful completion of the US$374,000 work program recommended under the Technical Report that has been completed on the Project; and 2,000,000 shares are issuable on completion of US$1,000,000 in funding obligations by SNP under the Agreement with one of the permit holders. The SKN Shares will be subject to escrow for three years with quarterly releases. SKN Shares remaining in escrow are subject to cancellation in the event NUX determines not to continue contributing to the joint venture company to be created. SKN will have the right to place a representative on the NUX board of directors.

The transactions referred to are subject to regulatory approvals, and the SKN Agreement remains subject to NUX shareholder approval.

The Company has also granted a total of 1,800,000 options to Directors officers, employees and consultants exercisable at $0.50 per share for a period of five years.

Statements in this press release other than purely historical information, including statements relating to the Company's future plans and objectives or expected results, constitute forwardlooking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company's business, including risks inherent in mineral exploration and development. As a result, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF NU XMP VENTURES LIMITED
Per: "Joanne Yan"

Joanne Yan
Director

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this release.

Download News Release (PDF: 47KB)