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Mariana Resources' First Exploration Of Eastern Deseado Massif Portfolio Nearly Complete

Latin America-focused explorer Mariana Resources(LON:MARL) (TSE:MRY) is nearing completion of the first exploration on its wholly owned eastern Deseado Massif portfolio in Santa Cruz, Argentina.

An update of the results is expected in the next few weeks, Mariana said, adding that a review of post-resource drill results at its flagship Las Calandrias in Santa Cruz is continuing.

At its Los Amigos project, also in the Santa Cruz district, Mariana and partner Hochschild have altered the terms of their joint venture.

The amended terms include immediate vesting of interests at 70% Hochschild and 30% Mariana, with ongoing project expenses on a pro-rata basis and subject to a standard dilution clause.

In addition, Mariana's interest will convert to a royalty on net smelter returns when its project interest falls below 10%.

This arrangement will allow Mariana to focus more on its eastern Deseado Massif properties, it said.

In Chile, SCM Tierra Noble, a joint venture with Cliffs Natural exploring for IOCG (iron-oxide-copper-gold) is to drill 4,000m of reverse circulation next month. Mariana has a 20.6% interest in the project which will dilute in 2012.

At Jiguata in northern Chile, Mariana has withdrawn from an option to acquire the property.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.