Vancouver, B. C. – Wednesday August 8, 2012 – WestKam Gold Corp. (TSX VENTURE:WKG) (“Westkam” or the “Company”), a Vancouver-based gold exploration company focused on developing the Bonaparte Gold Project property approximately 50 km northwest of Kamloops, B.C., today announced the signing of an Advanced Exploration Agreement with the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation.
The Agreement formalizes a process for ongoing dialogue and cooperation between the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation and the Company regarding all exploration activities planned for the Bonaparte Gold Project, which lies within the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation traditional territory, recognizing their cultural, traditional heritage and environmental interest.
The exploration agreement covers the next two field seasons and allows WestKam unrestricted access to explore its registered mineral properties located within the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc traditional territory including installation of required infrastructure. The Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation have agreed to prepare an Archaeological Overview Assessment report of the Bonaparte Gold Project area, and support WestKam in all government applications, permits and other process and regulatory applications.
Under the terms of the agreement, WestKam will direct that its environmental services consultant, Teranis Consulting Ltd., train and employ Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation members to assist WestKam with water monitoring and environmental sampling on the Bonaparte Gold Project.
Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation has a policy to become involved in all stages of mineral exploration on their Territory from the pre-tenure stage to post reclamation stage. This agreement provides both the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation and WestKam Gold Corp. the opportunity to work closely together during the grassroots early exploration phase to ensure their mutual interests are respected and met.
“We have devoted considerable effort and resources over the past three years with the past owners of this project to work with us and we needed to challenge the discharge permit issued by the Crown to the company to get their attention.” said Chief Shane Gottfriedson, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Band. “WestKam, as the new owners, signaled a new direction and agreed to negotiate the Advanced Exploration Agreement.”
Chief Rick Deneault, Skeetchestn Indian Band, said, “Our priority is to protect our Title and Rights by having companies and the Province of BC sign off agreements with us.” “When you put all these agreement together the parties are in a better position to understand the significance of our mining and minerals interest on our Territory.”
“WestKam is proud to have the support of the Stk’emlupsemc Secwepemc Nation to carry out our mineral exploration program,” said WestKam President and CEO, Matt Wayrynen. “This Advanced Exploration Agreement provides the Stk’emlupsemc Secwepemc Nation with meaningful input into our exploration activities within their Territory, provides an added degree of certainty to our next two exploration seasons and establishes a solid foundation for a positive and mutually beneficial working relationship moving forward.”
About the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation
The Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation consists of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Band and Skeetchestn Band, a division of the Secwepemc Nation. The Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation are responsible for Aboriginal Title and Rights on their Territory.
Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Band is a progressive Band on the leading edge of self-sufficiency for their approximate 1000 members (living both on and off the reserve). They pioneered Indian Property taxation and have created over 200 direct jobs and over $200 million of regional economic activity. The Band, which operates over 10 corporations, added 20,000 acres of fee simple land, and crown leases for resource development, partnerships with investors, entrepreneurs and other investment/economic opportunities.
The Skeetchestn Indian Band is working towards self reliance through education, as another key component of the Band’s strategy, as evidenced by the opening of the Skeetchestn Community School in 1996. They also have the Knucwentwecw Development Corporation, which manages several ventures including the Big Sky Gas Station, Trailer Park, Sk7ain Ventures, Skeetchestn Holdings, Painted Rock Aggregates and a Movie Set. Other future projects may include a cultural interpretive centre and a restaurant. Cultural and sporting events such as pow wows, annual rodeos are important to the community.
About WestKam Gold Corp.
WestKam Gold Corp. is a Canadian gold exploration company focused on developing the Bonaparte Gold Project near Kamloops, British Columbia. The Bonaparte Gold Project is a high grade, bulk tonnage, copper gold target with significant potential. The Company is planning a 10,000 foot drill program for 2012 that will focus on veins that have produced multi-ounce values of gold. This new program will provide further information about the known vein system and test the potential for copper-gold porphyry type mineralization. Company website: www.westkamgold.com