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Minera Andes-Cominco Joint Venture to Drill Potentially Large Porphyry Leached-Cap Zone.

SPOKANE, WA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 11, 1997--Minera Andes (Alberta Stock Exchange MIA.) Reconnaissance drilling is scheduled to begin in April on a potentially large mineralized copper zone, perhaps 1,500 meters by 2,000 meters, at Minera Andes Inc.'s Santa Clara porphyry copper prospect in Argentina.

The specific target, Quebrada del Azufre, is part of a multiple porphyry target complex at the Santa Clara property in Mendoza Province. Since joint venturing the property to Cominco Ltd. last year, Minera Andes has increased the size of the property to 26,720 hectares of mineral rights.

Cominco's work has identified an immediate drilling target at Quebrada del Azufre. The area of interest could be as large as 1,500 by 2,000 meters and the presence of anomalous copper and highly anomalous molybdenum suggests that the system is copper-bearing and could be strongly leached with the possibility of a secondary enrichment blanket.

Cominco will begin road construction into the area immediately, and will manage the 2,000-meter reverse-circulation drilling program.

At Quebrada del Azufre, detailed mapping revealed intense potassic and phyllic alteration associated with a post-Carboniferous dacite porphyry intruding a granite-monozonite pluton. A copper-depleted leached cap was discovered. A dense quartz stockwork is developed, and leaching is intense with abundant limonite boxworks and supergene alunite veining. Of 79 rock samples, 31 returned values greater than 100 ppm Cu, and 41 greater that 10 ppm Mo (up to 230 ppm). The anomalous copper and molybdenum values coincide with the main potassic-phyllic alteration zone.

These results are significant because, typically, molybdenum values are associated with copper in a mineralized porphyry system. In a copper-depleted leached cap anomaly, the molybdenum is immobile, while copper tends to be leached and depleted.

Cominco's work indicates that two other anomalies, Tres Quebradas and Quebrada del Norte (both distinctive Landsat and geochemical anomalies), are parts of the same hydrothermal system, which extends over a length of nine kilometers north-to-south, and three kilometers east-to-west. Alteration is dominated by potassic and phyllic types. Phyllic alteration occurs peripherally to potassic core zones. Of 145 rock samples collected by Cominco, 95 returned values greater than 100 ppm Cu (up to 0.68 percent Cu), and 32 greater than 20 ppm Mo (up to 230 ppm Mo).

The overall exploration effort on the Santa Clara project has been aided by Provincial Law 6459, passed January 2, 1997. This law will allow the development of Santa Clara within the boundaries of Volcan Tupungato Provincial Park.

Allen Ambrose, president of Minera Andes, said "We are very encouraged by the progress made in the geologic and legislative areas. Cominco's work is very promising and holds great potential that can now be accelerated by recent legislation allowing mineral development in the provincial park."

Minera Andes is a mining exploration company that controls approximately 35 projects on about 700,000 acres of mineral exploration land in Argentina. Most of the properties are located in the Andean Cordillera and primarily contain gold, copper and silver exploration targets.

Cominco Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, is a major world producer of zinc, lead and a significant producer of copper and other nonferrous metals. It is vertically integrated with full exploration, development, mining, smelting and metal marketing capabilities. The operations are Minera Andes' Santa Clara property area being carried out by Cominco's wholly owned subsidiary Minera Cominco Chile.

The Alberta Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained herein.

CONTACT: Minera Andes Inc.

Arthur C. Johnson, 509/921-7322


Minera Andes Inc.

Allen V. Ambrose, 509/921-7322
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 11, 1997
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