VANCOUVER, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - New Gold Inc. ("New Gold") (TSX and NYSE AMEX:NGD) today announces that the company has completed the acquisition of 223 square kilometres of additional mineral claims (the "Auro Properties") from Gold Reach Resources Ltd ("Gold Reach"). The Auro Properties include two claim blocks immediately to the southeast of the Blackwater Project. The Auro land package begins five kilometres from the current Blackwater mineral resource, borders New Gold's current landholdings in multiple areas to the south and east and covers a total of 144 square kilometres of prospective land. The Auro South land package lies further to the southeast and adds an additional 79 square kilometres to New Gold's overall land position in the Blackwater area which is now approximately 900 square kilometres. See the section entitled Property Map at the conclusion of the news release for further information on the location of the Auro Properties.
Pursuant to the terms of the purchase agreement, New Gold provided Gold Reach with consideration consisting of a cash payment of C$6 million, a 2% net smelter return royalty on the Auro Properties and a commitment to spend C$500,000 on exploration in each of the next three years to advance the properties. The Auro Properties did not previously have any royalty commitments associated with them. Historically, C$2.4 million has been spent on the properties with the majority focused on the Auro property, located adjacent to the Blackwater mineral resource. Work by Gold Reach to date includes: airborne electromagnetic surveys, over 6,000 soil samples and 3,000 metres of drilling.
"We are excited to have added the Auro Properties to our overall landholdings at Blackwater, particularly as they are situated along trend of, and very close to, our current Blackwater mineral resource," stated Mark Petersen, Vice President Exploration. "The exploration work that Gold Reach has done to date will serve as a solid basis from which to move forward in exploring these prospective claims."
"Beyond the expanded exploration potential this gives us, having additional land in the area is an important benefit as it further enhances our flexibility in respect of optimal infrastructure locations which could lead to savings in the future," added Robert Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer.Going forward, the Auro Properties will be integrated with New Gold's regional exploration program at Blackwater. The company will provide updates on the progress being made across its multi-faceted exploration initiatives over the coming months.