Colorado Creek Exploration Venture Underway

Mantra Mining Inc. announces that it has awarded a drilling contract for 8,250 feet of core drilling on its Colorado Creek Project in the state of Alaska to Boart Longyear Co.

The drilling program initially will target approximately 10 holes within the more than 2.8-mile mineralized corridor, which is defined by a coincident gold soil anomaly and magnetic low located adjacent to a large intrusive center, and associated with a series of rhyodacite porphyry sills and dikes. The drilling is designed to test this large-scale gold mineralized system with many characteristics similar to the 30-million-ounce gold reserve at Donlin Creek located southwest of Colorado Creek in the central part of the Kuskokwim Gold Belt. NovaGold Resources Inc. and Barrick Gold recently have completed a feasibility study at Donlin Creek, and currently are advancing the project through the permitting process in anticipation of making a construction decision to build what could be one of the largest gold-producing mines in the world.

Mantra also plans additional surface sampling on trend with the northeast striking mineralized corridor. Historic exploration data, which include 4,500 feet of core-drilled dome in 1997, airborne geophysics, and results from more than 1,900 soil samples and 600 rock samples, have been compiled and integrated into a comprehensive project database. The data define a northeast trending mineralized zone that is at least 2.8 miles long and associated with a magnetic low on the margin of a multi-phase intrusive complex. Gold mineralization appears associated with the porphyry dikes and sills that intrude Cretaceous-age sedimentary and volcanic rocks, a geologically similar setting to the huge Donlin Creek gold system.

Mantra’s vice president of exploration, Jerry Zieg, states, “Progress at Colorado Creek is going very well since we completed the acquisition of the project March 9. Work has focused at this stage on a systematic compilation of the project database to prioritize the targets for initial test work and to identify new target areas within the 10,888-hectare project area. Final planning nearly is complete for the upcoming 8,200-foot drill program at Colorado Creek, which is anticipated to be the first of a series of drill programs that the company plans to conduct to test the potential for a multi-million-ounce gold system at Colorado Creek.”

The Colorado Creek project is located 250 miles northwest of Anchorage in low rolling hills roughly midway between the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers. The Colorado Creek Property is located in an area of historical and ongoing placer gold mining operations at the northern end of the Kuskokwim Gold Belt, which historically has produced more than 4 million ounces of gold. Some camp facilities exist on the property, and an airstrip serviceable by Hercules aircraft supports exploration on the property.

Drilling Begins at the Antelope Project

Harvest Natural Resources Inc., headquartered in Houston, has commenced drilling operations on its Antelope project located in the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah. Mobilization of Unit Drilling Corp.’s rig #109 to the drilling location occurred in early June. The permitted depth of this exploration well is 18,000 feet. Harvest is the operator, and has a 50 percent working interest in the project.

Drilling is anticipated to require approximately 80 days, and will be followed by about 90 days of production testing, if warranted. Results from the well may lead to appraisal and development drilling programs on the project, which would likely be undertaken in late 2009 and 2010. The well is being drilled as a tight hole, and therefore no further reports will be made public until testing and evaluation is complete.

The Antelope project is targeted to explore for and develop oil and natural gas from multiple horizons in the area. Specifically, three horizons have been identified as most prospective. Harvest president James Edmiston says, “We are excited to see the initiation of drilling activity on our Antelope project. There are a number of additional prospects, leads and ideas within our 52,000-gross-acre land position. We anticipate the Antelope project to be a source of multiple exploration and development drilling opportunities over the next several years.”

Exploration Lease Litigation

Two lawsuits have been filed in Utah after the U.S. Department of the Interior revoked a bunch of oil and gas exploration leases, which previously had been approved, because they’ve been deemed too close to national park lands. Representatives of the drilling companies involved in the suit say that the Department of Interior had faulty information regarding the distances of the drill sites from the National Parks. The Department says that it would reassess the situation.

Industry Report and Forecast

“The U.S Drilling Oil & Gas Wells Industry Report,” published annually by Barnes Reports, contains timely industry statistics, forecasts and demographics. The report features 2009 current and 2010 forecast estimates on the size of the industry (sales, establishments, employment) nationally and for all 50 United States and more than 900 metropolitan areas. The report also includes industry definition, 5-year historical trends on industry sales, establishments and employment, a breakdown of establishments, sales and employment by employee size of establishment (9 categories), and estimates on up to 10 sub-industries, including directional drilling and service well drilling. The 126-page report costs $149, and is available by phoning 800-298-5699.