Canarc Urges Suriname Government to Facilitate Canarc's Offer of Major New Investment to Explore and Develop Large Gold Mine on Benzdorp Property
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
November 13, 2000
Bradford J. Cooke, President and C.E.O of Canarc Resource Corp. (CCM-TSE) announced today that Canarc has been offering the government of Suriname a major new investment in the gold mining sector for the past several months. The offer is for Canarc to explore and develop a large modern gold mine on the Benzdorp property in southeast Suriname. Several institutional investors and major mining companies have expressed interest in providing financial support for Canarc's development plans at Benzdorp. Since 1996, Canarc has spent $2 million on exploration at Benzdorp and discovered several gold prospects that merit further development. These investors and companies however have also indicated that they cannot support Canarc's development plans until there is an agreement with the government regarding the mineral title. No investors or companies will finance any further work on the Benzdorp property until the mineral concessions are granted to Canarc. The government has not yet accepted Canarc's offer of a major new investment, even after several months. Now only direct and immediate action by the highest level of government can save this valuable offer of foreign investment in the gold mining sector of Suriname. Mr. Cooke has urgently requested the government to consider Canarc's offer of investment in the gold mining sector as a matter of national interest. Stated Mr. Cooke, "It is a pity that the new government has not yet been able to respond positively to the offers of Canarc and its investors to finance, explore and develop a large modern gold mine on the Benzdorp property. Since 1993, Canarc has demonstrated its firm committment to Suriname by investing more than $8 million in the gold mining sector." "Canarc's exploration work at Benzdorp provided contract employment opportunities for 150 local workers, including many past employees of the Geological and Mining Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Canarc also provided geological training opportunities for several Surinamese students in the field, including some who went on to receive their university degrees." "Our plans for Benzdorp would see the property developed in the most responsible manner with full regard for the environment. We will continue to create employment and training opportunities for local citizens so that Suriname receives the full benefit of the transfer of knowledge and technology. The Benzdorp gold mine as conceived by Canarc would generate several hundred million dollars in tax revenues for the government, create hundreds of jobs and operate for more than 15 years." "In 1997, Canarc succeeded in bringing Placer Dome, one of the largest gold mining companies in the world, to Suriname under an agreement that gave Placer Dome the right to earn an interest in the Benzdorp property by developing a large gold mine. Placer Dome left Suriname one year later without making any investment because the state mining company, Grassalco, breached its agreement with Canarc and refused to even meet with Placer Dome." Mr. Cooke continued, "Since that time, Canarc has made many attempts to convince Grassalco to honour its contractual obligations to Canarc but to this day Grassalco continues to breach the Canarc-Grassalco agreement. Canarc has suffered irreparable harm and humiliation as a result of Grassalco's actions." "Even if Grassalco repaired its breaches of contract, Grassalco cannot repair the damages suffered by Canarc and its shareholders as a result of Grassalco's actions. Grassalco's reputation with institutional investors and international mining companies is now very poor. Mr. Cooke concluded, "Since the Benzdorp concessions have all been returned to the Ministry of Natural Resources through either expiry or breach of license by Grassalco, the government is now in the position to grant the Benzdorp concessions to Canarc in order to facilitate this major new investment. This action would allow Canarc and its investors to immediately return to developing the gold mining potential of the Benzdorp property." Since taking power in August, 2000, the new government of President Venetiaan has had to deal on a daily basis with urgent matters of state. The economy of Suriname is in very poor shape and inflation has been running at 67% this year. A new national budget and economic stabilization program are expected to pass the National Assembly soon. Respecting Canarc's situation at Benzdorp, Minister of Natural Resources Demon, has fired the Board of Grassalco and the new Board should be appointed shortly. After that time, the Minister should be able to respond to Canarc's offer of new investment at Benzdorp. Since Canarc's applications for the Benzdorp mineral concessions have already taken a considerable amount of time, Canarc has been turning its attention over the past few months to the evaluation of possible new property acquisitions. The Company is currently evaluating higher grade, more advanced, gold-silver projects in Mexico, Brazil and Canada for their near-term cash flow potential and large tonnage, early stage gold and polymetallic projects in the USA for their huge upside potential. We are also seeing some opportunities in the oil and gas sector. Canarc management expects to announce at least one significant new property acquisition before year-end. Canarc Resource Corp. is a growth-oriented, international gold exploration and mining company. Our large property portfolio includes joint ventures with Homestake and Noranda. Major shareholders include Barrick Gold and Echo Bay Mines.
The Company's common shares trade under the symbol "CCM" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "CRCUF" on the OTC Bulletin Board.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS CANARC RESOURCE CORP.
Bradford J. Cooke
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