April 22, 2008
Avalon Ventures Ltd. TSX: AVL (the "Company") is pleased
to announce that its Phase 2 winter drilling program on the Lake Zone Rare
Earth Element ("REE") deposit on its 100% owned Thor Lake rare
metals project, NWT, is progressing ahead of schedule and producing
preliminary results consistent with the Company's expectations. As at the
date of this news release, 30 holes totaling 5645 metres have been
completed. All of these holes have been drilled from the ice of Thor Lake
on 100-150 metre hole-spacing, in order to better define the northern part
of the deposit.
Based on visual observations in the drill core provided by the Company's
geologists, supported by qualitative analytical data generated in the field
through the use of a portable XRF analyzer, it appears that the Heavy Rare
Earth Element ("HREE") enriched mineralized zones encountered in
the Phase 1 program, do extend into the northern part of the Lake Zone
deposit, as predicted by the Company's geological model. Initial assays
from the Phase 2 drill holes are expected in May and will be reported as
soon as results from a significant number of holes have been received and
compiled. This summer, once all the results from the winter drilling
program are received, a new resource estimate for the Lake Zone REE deposit
will be prepared by our independent technical consultants, Wardrop
Drill production rates are considerably improved over the Phase 1 program
resulting in a 20-25% reduction in the average cost per metre of drilling
compared to the Phase 1 program. All the holes planned to be drilled from
the ice have been completed ahead of schedule and continuing cold weather
means additional holes can be drilled before it becomes necessary to move
off the ice around the end of April. It is now forecast that the full
10,000 metres planned for the Phase 2 program can be completed by August,
2008. Drilling operations are being carried out under the direct
supervision of J.C. Pedersen, P.Geo. and Dr. D.L. Trueman, P.Geo., under
the overall direction of the Company's Vice-President, Exploration, Dr.
William Mercer, P.Geo.
Metallurgical studies on the Lake Zone REE mineralization have been
inititated at SGS Lakefield Research Limited. Initial work involves
systematic characterization of the mineralogy in the HREE-enriched
mineralized zones using the QEMSCAN automated system. This will be followed by laboratory testwork
to design a flowsheet to recover the HREE-enriched mineral phases, notably
fergusonite, an yttrium-niobium oxide mineral containing a high proportion
of HREE plus neodymium. A series of at least 9 closely-spaced holes will be
drilled in May in the central part of the deposit, south of the lake, in
order to provide the estimated 800 kg of mineralized rock required for the
metallurgical process development work. This work will proceed through the
summer and fall with disclosure of results expected before year-end. These
results, combined with the new resource estimate for the Lake Zone, will
provide all the data required for completion of a pre-feasibility study on
the deposit in early 2009.
The Company is also carrying out environmental studies to supplement the
environmental baseline established by previous operators. Recently, this
has involved a complete review of historical environmental studies and a lake
water sampling program to supplement the initial water sampling data
collected last summer. This work is being conducted by Jacques Whitford,
environmental consultants. The Company continues to implement a pro-active
community consultation policy and entertained representatives of the
Wildlife, Lands and Environment committee of the Lutsel K'e Dene First
Nation for a site visit on April 10, 2008. No concerns were raised by the
committee members and the Company continues to receive positive reports from
government land use inspectors on its environmental practice.
Total program expenditures during the three months ended February 29, 2008
were $1,061,141 as reported in the Company's recently-filed quarterly
financial statements and MDA for the six months ended February 29, 2008.
These can be viewed at http://www..avalonventures.com/invest...
About Avalon Ventures Ltd.
Avalon Ventures Ltd. is a Canadian junior mineral exploration and
development company, with a primary focus on rare metals and minerals with
high technology and environmentally-beneficial applications. Avalon
currently holds a portfolio of five such projects, including three that are
at, or close to, the feasibility stage. Shares Outstanding: 64,547,248.
Cash resources: approximately $14.5 million.
To find out more about Avalon Ventures Ltd., please visit our website at
www.avalonventures.com. This news release is available on the Company's
official on-line investor relations site for investor commentary, feedback
and questions. Investors are invited to visit the "Avalon
Ventures" IR Hub at http://www..agoracom.com/ir/avalon.
In addition, investors are invited to e-mail their questions and
correspondence to AVL@agoracom.com or phone Don Bubar, P..Geo. President,
at 416-364-4938. Mr. Bubar is the Qualified Person responsible for the
technical content of this news release.
This news release contains forward-looking information. This
forward-looking information includes, or may be based upon, estimates,
forecasts, and statements as to management's expectations with respect to,
among other things, the size and quality of the Company's mineral
resources, progress in development of mineral properties, demand and market
outlook for metals and future metal prices. Forward-looking information is
based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the
information is given, and is subject to a variety of risks and
uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results
to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking
information. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the
exploration and development of mineral properties, uncertainties with
respect to the receipt or timing of required permits and regulatory
approvals, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and
other geological data, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project
cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating
to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other
factors. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of
the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or
revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as
required by law.