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Aphrodite Gold maintains full ownership of plus 1m gold ounce Aphrodite project

Aphrodite Gold (ASX: AQQ) will continue to wholly own the highly prospective plus 1 million gold ounce Aphrodite gold project, which is strategically located near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

Aphrodite granted an option to Eagle Eye Metals (ASX: EYE) in 2010 to acquire by the 30 June 2011 a 20% interest in the project.

Eagle Eye has advised Aphrodite that the company will not exercise the option, with Eagle Eye to instead focus on operations in West Africa - where the company recently acquired some prospective gold projects.

Consideration to exercise the option comprised a cash payment of $1.44 million plus reimbursement of 20% of the direct exploration and development costs incurred by Aphrodite on the project to date.

Aphrodite continues to move the project forward with reverse circulation drilling and detailed metallurgical programs underway, with a Scoping Study set to commence in the September quarter of 2011.

The company is looking to increase the gold resource, and last month commenced drilling at the nearby Chameleon Prospect, which forms part of the Scotia Gold Joint Venture Project the company recently farmed into with Breakaway Resources (ASX: BRW).

Chameleon is just 5 kilometres from the plus 1 million gold ounce Aphrodite project.

Under the terms of the farm-in and joint venture agreement, Aphrodite can earn up to 80% of the gold rights in the Scotia Project tenements covering 217 square kilometres - with Breakaway retaining the rights to all other minerals.

Boosting the chances of drilling success is known gold at the prospect, with the joint venture to follow up some wide historic hits including:

- 29 metres at 3.40 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 124 metres;
- 22 metres at 5.43g/t gold from 150 metres; and
- 8 metres at 3.39g/t gold from 202 metres.

Most importantly mineralisation remains open both at depth and along strike.

Eagle Eye is a substantial shareholder of Aphrodite, holding 11.85 million shares, equivalent to 8.9%, and 5.925 million options.