DURANGO, Colo., July 17, 2012 -- Varca Ventures, Inc. (OTCBB: VRCV) (www.varcaventures.com) announced the update of the status to its shareholders and investment community of its wholly owned, May Day-Idaho Mine Complex (the mine) in La Plata County, Colorado. Following the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety's (DRMS) conditional approval of the Company's 112d mining permit in November 2011, the Company has been completing corrective actions to prepare the mine for production. The following lists the Company's most notable achievements during the first half of 2012.
May Day No. 1 Portal Stabilization
January through March the Company designed, submitted, and received approval for a Technical Revision (TR-01) to its 112d permit to repair the collapsed May Day No. 1 portal and stabilize the highwall above the portal. Stabilization of the 60 foot by 150 foot highwall has been ongoing since May and has included excavation of the collapsed material, benching and re-grading of the highwall above the portal, and bolting and matting approximately 4,000 square feet of exposed bedrock directly above the portal. To date, the Company has drilled and set a total of 2,792 feet of steel stabilizer bar and split set bolts into the highwall. By the week of July 9th, the Company had successfully stabilized the highwall down to the portal level. Beginning the week of July 15th, the Company will be installing 44 feet of pre-fabricated structural steel sets at the base of the highwall that will be anchored to the exposed portal. Safe passage into the portal at the base of the highwall will require placing backfill of native materials against the highwall and on top of the steel sets in compacted lifts. The current schedule of operations indicates that this phase of the stabilization will be completed by no later than July 30th. The Company would like to commend its site manager, Gary Gibbons, and his construction crew for their diligence in completing the very technically challenging task of stabilizing the caved highwall while maintaining a safe working environment at all times.
January through May the company completed required geophysical drilling along haul roads, mine benches, highwalls, and bridge abutments throughout the 35 acre permit boundary. The drilling results were used as design criteria to reinforce active areas within the permit boundary to ensure a safe and stable working environment for Company personnel.
Monitoring Well Drilling and Groundwater Monitoring
During May, monitoring wells were installed at four pre-determined locations in order to meet requirements under the 112d mine permit. The initial purpose of the wells is to determine baseline groundwater elevations, quantities, and quality. The wells will also serve as long term monitoring sites during active mining to ensure that the Company's activities are conducted in a manner that protects groundwater resources at and down gradient from the mine. The first set of baseline samples were collected from the wells in June. Following additional sampling of baseline conditions, the Company will provide a comprehensive groundwater baseline report to DRMS by November 2012.
Surface Water Monitoring
Surface water monitoring of five previously established sampling locations was completed in June. These samples were collected as part of the ongoing hydrologic balance studies that will continue on a quarterly or bi-annual basis (depending on location) as a condition of the approved 112d permit. Similar to the groundwater monitoring, local surface water resources are being monitored by the Company to ensure that its activities are being conducted in a manner that protects local surface water resources.
New Access Road Approval
Following a series of geotechnical, storm drainage, and structural engineering studies, the Company submitted a Technical Revision (TR-02) to its 112d permit in April. TR-02 details the construction of a new access road between La Plata County Road 124 and the Company's existing bridge crossing the La Plata River (approximately 1,700 feet). This new access road occurs entirely within private lands under the Company's control and is intended to be the future primary means of access to the mine. The new access road will also allow the Company to cease relying on obtaining temporary special use permits to traverse U.S. Forest Service lands. The design of the new access road was approved by DRMS in May, and approval from La Plata County is pending. The Company anticipates construction of the new access road during the 2012 working season.
Haul Road Improvements
From January through the present the Company has completed and maintained stormwater controls, grading, road base upgrades, and dust abatement to over 2.25 miles of mine roads within the permit boundary. These actions have improved safety (per Mine Safety and Health Administration requirements), and drastically reduced travel time on site while ensuring that the local water and air resources are protected.
La Plata River Bridge Renovation
In January through May, the Company completed geotechnical and structural analyses of its bridge crossing the La Plata River. Based on the analyses the Company submitted a Technical Revision (TR-03) to its 112d permit to enhance the existing features of the bridge to accommodate anticipated loads. DRMS approved TR-03 in June, 2012 and the Company is planning on completing enhancements to the bridge during the 2012 working season.
Chief Portal Alternatives Analysis
As part of the corrective actions required under the 112d permit, the Company prepared an analysis of three different alternatives to address the collapsed Chief portal and restore the blocked flow pathway of the adjacent drainage. The Chief portal serves as the emergency escapeway from the May Day No. 1 level of the mine. The alternatives analysis was submitted to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency in June. The Company anticipates a final decision from both federal agencies in July, after which the Company will prepare a Technical Revision to its 112d permit to obtain approval from DRMS.
Contact: Randy Oser, President: (941) 951-0787.
Varca Ventures, Inc. is an exploration stage company that seeks to engage in the acquisition, exploration and development of natural resource properties primarily in North America and is headquartered at 1630 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL, 34236.
Forward-Looking Statements in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "may," "could," "should," "anticipates," "likely," "believes" and words of similar import also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current facts and analysis and on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determined and assumptions of management. There are forward-looking statements within this news release, and actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors beyond the Company's control. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, competition, permitting, and the risk that the Company may not find any minerals in commercially feasible quantity. These and other risks are described in Varca Ventures, Inc. 8K report filed on November 2, 2011 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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SOURCE Varca Ventures, Inc.