VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Dec. 17, 2015) – Mesa Exploration Corp. (TSX VENTURE:MSA)(OTC PINK:MSAJF) is pleased to announce an update for the potash projects (“the Projects”) Whipsaw, Salt Wash and White Cloud located in eastern Utah and the Bounty project located in western Utah.
Eastern Utah – Whipsaw, Salt Wash and White Cloud Projects
In late November the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completed an environmental impact and scoping study for leasing potash and oil/gas, the final record of decision is due Summer 2016. All four BLM planning alternatives show no impact on recreation and the study documents the robust nature of existing potash and oil/gas extraction. There is strong local support for expansion of the resource industry, specifically support for new potash and oil/gas extraction, the largest tax payer in Grand County is the Cane Creek potash mine, followed closely by oil/gas. The restrictive alternative currently favored by the BLM will have a negative effect on the local economy, their income is guaranteed regardless of the local economy. The BLM study does not provide an alternative revenue generation scheme on the scale demonstrated by the extraction industry. Public land ownership is less than 6% of the County, a situation that has severely strained the tax base, and momentum has been building to reverse this imbalance (please see the section below ‘Land Transfer Initiatives’). The Cane Creek mine is currently exploiting 2 of 18 potash beds of the Paradox Formation, these beds are found at the to the Whipsaw, Salt Wash and White Cloud Projects, as previously reported.
Eastern Utah – Bounty Potash Project
As previously reported, BLM denied Mesa’s Potash Permit Applications due to the presence of a pioneer trail on the barren lifeless salt flat. Mesa appealed that decision but withdrew when it was determined the appeal process would take years rather than months as the court saw a reduction in judges from nine to three and backlogs in processing claims. Mesa has the support of the local mayors East Wendover UT and West Wendover NV, Box Elder and Tooele UT county commissioners and Elko county NV commissioners, US Congressmen, Senators, and local people hoping for a well paying job. Opposition to the Project comes a handful of trail enthusiasts and BLM personnel. The opposition provides no plans to offset lost revenues from potash development. Mesa and this large support base will be working with Congressional delegates and the BLM to reverse the decision, with concessions, buffers and compromise. The historic trails are managed inconsistently by BLM, for example 30 miles to the west of Bounty, on the same trail, Newmont is constructing a new hard rock open pit gold mine.
Land Transfer Initiatives
Over 66% of Utah is owned by the federal government, with conflicting and cumbersome federal rules, regulations, processes, and management policies that historically prevent or prohibit development resulting in diminished revenue to the State and its citizens. In 2012 the Utah Legislature passed H.B. 148, “Transfer of Public Lands Act and Related Study,” a law and study designed for the disposal of Federal lands to the State of Utah. A similar bill for Nevada, HR 1484, was introduced into the US Congress for action in 2016.
After receiving an exhaustive legal and historical analysis concerning federal control over public lands, the Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands voted December 9th 2015 to move forward with preparations to act on H.B. 148. The analysis, produced by a team of renowned constitutional scholars and legal experts from across the nation, concluded the federal government has no authority to retain near permanent ownership of the public lands inside a state. Mesa is very encouraged by these recent developments and is heartened by the strong local support.
About Mesa Exploration
Mesa is exploring a portfolio potash, gold and silver mineral properties in the United States where it controls significant land holdings in proven mining districts with excellent access and infrastructure. Mesa currently has 16.7 million shares issued and outstanding, 50% of the shares are controlled by insiders and institutions. For further information please visit our website at www.MesaExploration.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
MESA EXPLORATION CORP.
(signed) Foster Wilson, President and CEO
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements”. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, including the likelihood of commercial mining and possible future financings are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include unsuccessful exploration results, changes in metals prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. Mining is an inherently risky business. Accordingly the actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on the Company and the risks and challenges of its business, investors should review the Company’s annual filings that are available at www.sedar.com
The TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this news release.