VANCOUVER, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX: ETG) (NYSE AMEX: EGI) (Frankfurt: EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") announces that the Entree and Oyu Tolgoi LLC joint venture ("Entree-OTLLC Joint Venture") has budgeted US$7 million for exploration and development work on the joint venture ground ("Entree-OTLLC JV Ground") within the Lookout Hill Property, Mongolia.
The work program for 2011 includes a combination of exploration and geotechnical drilling on the Entree-OTLLC JV Ground. The exploration team is focusing on high priority targets that could further extend the known mineralized system with a budget of $5.5 million. The $2.1 million geotechnical drilling program is related to future development of underground operations on the Hugo North Extension orebody.
Proposed exploration work includes approximately 16,000 metres of drilling and is planned to focus on testing extensions to the Hugo North Extension and the Heruga deposits. The Hugo North Extension deposit is open for 7 kilometres to the north along the OT Trend (to Ulaan Khud), and the Heruga deposit is open at depth, to the west, and to the south. Additional drilling will test other geophysical targets to the south of Heruga on the Javhlant licence.
Geotechnical drilling on the Entree-OTLLC JV Ground is planned from surface collars, to assist OTLLC in finalizing underground development plans on Hugo North. The work program is designed to investigate a potential location for a fourth shaft ("Shaft 4"), including an area just north of the Entree-OTLLC Joint Venture property boundary and adjacent to the Hugo North Extension.Entrée's President & CEO, Greg Crowe, commented, "Advancement of the Oyu Tolgoi mining complex is proceeding at a fast pace, and the Entree-OTLLC JV Ground is an integral part of future planning. This is evidenced by the focus on Shaft 4, currently planned to be sunk on the joint venture ground to access the rich Hugo North Extension as well as exploration programs designed to test the extension of the Heruga deposit ten kilometres to the south." QUALIFIED PERSON Robert Cann, P.Geo., Entrée's Vice-President Exploration, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"), has reviewed the technical information contained in this release. ABOUT ENTRÉE GOLD INC. Entrée Gold Inc. is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the worldwide exploration and development of copper and gold prospects. The Company's flagship Lookout Hill property in Mongolia completely surrounds the Oyu Tolgoi project of Ivanhoe Mines and the Government of Mongolia. A portion of the Lookout Hill property is subject to a joint venture with Oyu Tolgoi LLC, a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines and the Government of Mongolia. The joint venture property hosts the Hugo North Extension copper-gold deposit and the Heruga copper-gold-molybdenum deposit. Excellent exploration potential remains on the joint venture property for the discovery of additional mineralized zones. In North America, the Company is exploring for porphyry-related copper systems in Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. The primary asset is the Ann Mason property in Nevada, which hosts an inferred mineral resource estimate and considerable potential for additional targets. The Company is also seeking additional opportunities to utilize its expertise in exploring for deep and/or concealed ore deposits. With a treasury of approximately CAD$21 million, the Company is well-funded for future activities. Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines are major shareholders of Entrée, holding approximately 13% and 12% of issued and outstanding shares, respectively.