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Westcore Energy Ltd. and 49 North Resources Inc. have provided an update on the continuing winter exploration program on the FNR joint venture coal property located in west-central Manitoba that is held jointly by Westcore and 49 North. Since the last news releases in Stockwatch on Feb. 10, 2011, drilling has been conducted exclusively on the FNR JV coal property. A total of 15 holes was drilled on the Quasar Main target, and one hole on the Quasar Satellite target, located approximately 750 metres to the northwest of Quasar Main. Please refer to the Feb. 10, 2011, news releases in Stockwatch for a map showing the location of the Westcore/49 North properties in Manitoba.

Highlights (Note: all thicknesses reported in this release are true thicknesses):

-- Quasar Main

  • Every hole intersected coal (15 holes in total);
  • The two greatest coal intercepts were 99.0 and 87.2 metres (composite thickness);
  • Thirteen (13) holes intersected coal thicknesses greater than 20 metres (ranging from 20.9 to 48.8 metres, composite);
  • Greatest east-west areal extent of continuous coal greater than 20 metres thick proven by drilling = 650 metres;
  • Greatest north-south areal extent of continuous coal greater than 20 metres thick proven by drilling = 500 metres;
  • The deposit is open in three directions

-- Quasar Satellite:

  • One hole drilled into target;
  • 48.6 metres of coal intersected (composite thickness)


Quasar Main: Table 1 at the end of this news release summarizes the coal intervals intersected in the 15 holes drilled into the Quasar Main target. The target is roughly triangular in shape, with the apex on the western end near Hole Q-11-13 (refer to Figure 1), and the base at the eastern end whose corners are defined by Holes Q-11-08 and Q-11-10. Thirteen holes intersected thick coal intervals greater than 20 metres (composite thickness), while two holes hit minor coal intervals (Holes Q-11-12 and Q-11-13). These two latter holes are located on the edge of the basin.

The three dimensional picture that is emerging from the 13 holes that intersected substantial coal intervals is one where 2 narrow coal seams occur near the top of the basin (each approximately 1 - 4 metres thick), followed by one much thicker unit below (approximately 16-33 metres thick). These three coal seams are separated from each other by black carbonaceous units whose thicknesses range between 3-13 metres. The three coal seams are relatively flat-lying and continuous from one end of the basin to the other, starting at depths ranging from 33 to 57 metres below surface (to the top of the first coal seam).

In addition to these upper three coal seams, the Quasar deposit also includes two very deep 'depressions' that are filled with very thick successions of coal that extend to much deeper depths. They appear to be 'basins-within-basins' that occur at Holes Q-11-06 and Q-11-07. These two drill holes intersected several more coal layers below the top three seams described for the other holes. Hole Q-11-06 intersected a 4th seam measuring 46.4 metres of continuous coal, and a 5th seam measuring 8.5 metres. Hole Q-11-07 intersected a 4th seam measuring 67.8 metres of continuous coal, and two more seams below that measuring 7.6 and 1.4 metres. The quality of the coal throughout these deeper intervals is nearly 100% pure coal (1.3 - 1.45 g/cc), with only minor intervals of slightly silty coal. Hole Q-11-06 was first reported in the February 10, 2011 news releases as having a composite coal thickness of 84.3 metres. That figure was based on a preliminary visual inspection of the core and was later upgraded to 87.2 metres after a detailed study of the core and electric log.

These very deep coal depressions, where the base of the coal reaches 151.8 metres below surface in Hole Q-11-06, and 179.8 metres in Hole Q-11-07, are striking in the suddenness with which they reach such deep depths over such short distances. Hole Q-11-06 has neighbouring holes a mere 125 and 150 metres away that contain less than 3 metres of coal (Holes Q-11-13 & Q-11-12, respectively), and Hole Q-11-15, at a distance of only 110 metres away, has a total composite coal thickness of 26.9 metres. Compared to the much deeper depths of the coal intervals in Holes Q-11-06 & Q-11-07, the base of the coal intervals in these latter three holes reach only to 10.9, 18.9 and 85.5 metres below surface, respectively.

What is particularly interesting about these very thick coal intercepts occurring in the 'basins-within-basins' is that they do not stand out in the airborne geophysical data as potential areas for thicker coal. For this reason, they came as complete surprises during drilling of the Quasar deposit.

The edges of the Quasar deposit were not completely defined by this year`s drilling program. This has left open the following areas where extensions of coal seams may occur:

  • The area north of the roughly west-to-east line defined by Holes Q-11- 06, -15, -02, -01, -03 and -08
  • The area east of the north-to-south line defined by Holes Q-11-08, -09 and -11
  • The area to the south of holes Q-11-14, -10 and -11 Quasar Satellite: An isolated geophysical target exists approximately 750 metres northwest of the Quasar Main deposit and is one of several isolated targets that were going to be tested during this winter's drilling program with only one hole. Hole Q-11-16 was drilled into the Quasar Satellite target and first encountered coal at 35.5 metres depth. Six different coal and coal with minor silt intervals were intersected in the hole for a composite total thickness of 48.6 metres. Table 2 at the end of this news release summarizes the coal intervals intersected at the Quasar Satellite.

Drilling of the FNR JV Coal Property is complete for this year's exploration program and the drill is moving back to the Black Diamond Property to finish testing the remaining targets there before spring break-up.

On another note, the bulk sample as described in the February 10, 2011 news release safely arrived at the Quantex laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia. It is currently being analysed for coal liquefaction products. Results of the analysis will be released once they are received and reviewed by Westcore.

Paul Conroy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westcore, states, "We are encouraged to see the simple geometry at the Quasar Main deposit, where several relatively flat-lying coal seams remain consistent and continuous over 100`s of metres distance. The fact that the two deep basins of coal intersected in Holes Q-11-06 & -07 did not stand out in the airborne geophysical data makes us refrain from jumping to any conclusions about potential coal thicknesses across any of our coal targets, and that systematic drilling of the targets will ensure we don't miss any other 'basins-within-basins'. Having intersected thick coal intervals at the Ambit and Quasar Satellite deposits is proving that our geophysical data is leading us to more new coal discoveries, and encourages us to test all geophysical anomalies in the future."

Ellen MacNeill, Professional Geoscientist in the Province of Saskatchewan and Qualified Person for this news release, has reviewed and approved its contents.

49 North is a Saskatchewan focused resource investment company with strategic operations in financial, managerial and geological advisory services and merchant banking. Our diversified portfolio of assets includes direct project involvement in the resource sector, as well as investments in shares and other securities of junior and intermediate mineral and oil and gas exploration companies. Additional information about 49 North is available at www.sedar.com.

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