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Amarc Resources Ltd
Symbol AHR
Shares Issued 186,602,894
Close 2023-01-16 C$ 0.145
Market Cap C$ 27,057,420
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Amarc recaps 2022 exploration, talks copper outlook

2023-01-17 15:32 ET - News Release

Dr. Diane Nicolson reports

AMARC 2022 A TRANSFORMATIVE YEAR AND CORPORATE OUTLOOK

Amarc Resources Ltd. has provided this summary of its major achievements and milestones over the last 12 months, as the company looks toward another highly active exploration year progressing its Joy, Duke and Ike districts. In 2022, Amarc successfully expanded the opportunities for development within its portfolio of copper-gold districts, added further depth and breadth to its exploration and management team, and engaged a communication group, enhancing its ability to provide effective and timely information to shareholders and the market.

Advancing Amarc's portfolio of porphyry copper-gold districts

Amarc and Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada Inc. made considerable progress at the Joy district, completing a second comprehensive program with a substantial drilling component in 2022. In November, Amarc and Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd. completed an agreement on the Duke district and initiated drilling at Duke before year-end. Freeport at Joy and Boliden at Duke can earn up to a 70-per-cent interest in the districts by financing $110-million and $90-million of staged earn-in expenditures, respectively. At both Joy and Duke, Amarc is the operator, which is a positive reflection on the team's operational abilities and high standards across all aspects of exploration and development.

Amarc believes that these strategic earn-in agreements are a testament to the high quality of its project portfolio, located in British Columbia, a premier mining jurisdiction, and its attractiveness to major mining companies. The investments made through these agreements will be important catalysts to the advancement of exploration and development of the company's projects, while being non-share dilutive, and will further the growth of the company. In addition, the fully financed, continuing exploration activities at the Joy and Duke districts will provide a significant flow of results in 2023.

Joy district

Leading into 2022, Amarc revealed expansions of the Pine deposit laterally and to depth through a comprehensive $5.94-million Freeport-financed program in the Joy copper-gold district in 2021. Notably, the three long-core holes completed at the Pine deposit in 2021 intercepted some of the highest grades over the longest intervals encountered to date (March 7, 2022, news release). This program also confirmed the potential for additional, large-scale, porphyry copper-gold deposits in the district.

In 2022, Amarc operated a significant exploration program that included core drilling, designed to target additional extensions to the known mineralization at the Pine deposit and initially test the more advanced deposit-scale copper-gold targets clustered across the Joy district. Geological mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysical ground surveying were also completed to better define existing and also new copper-gold targets within the district in preparation for current and future drilling. As work progressed, the drilling component of the program was significantly expanded with three drill rigs active; all told, approximately 15,427 metres were completed in 37 drill holes. In line with increased activities, the initial exploration budget was also significantly expanded to approximately $14-million (Canadian). Although Amarc experienced significant processing delays at the laboratory in 2022, assays are now being received and the company looks forward to releasing assay results over the coming weeks.

Duke district

In late November, Amarc announced an earn-in agreement with Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boliden Group, for its 100-per-cent-owned Duke copper-gold district and immediately commenced a drill program focused on delineating the size of the Duke deposit, which will continue into this year. The Duke district's excellent infrastructure enables the company to drill year-round. In addition to the drilling at the Duke deposit, ground geophysical and other surveys are planned as part of a comprehensive program to advance both the Duke deposit and prioritized porphyry copper deposit targets for drill testing. To the end of 2023, Boliden is to finance $10-million (Canadian), of which $5-million is committed expenditures.

Amarc also continues to focus on plans to advance the Ike district, which includes the higher-grade copper-gold Empress deposit and the Ike deposit, a porphyry copper-silver-molybdenum discovery, and the company's other copper-gold porphyry projects in British Columbia.

Building Amarc's management team for the long term

Early in 2022, Amarc strengthened its experienced management team with the appointment of Dr. Roy Greig, PGeo, as the company's new vice-president, exploration. The appointment of Dr. Greig enhances Amarc's leadership team for the longer term and reinforces the company's existing relationship with C.J. Greig & Associates, one of Canada's premier minerals exploration and discovery groups. C.J. Greig & Associates will be assisting with Amarc's initiatives to explore and develop the company's porphyry copper-gold districts in British Columbia.

Outlook

Copper has typically been recognized as an important economic indicator. This was reflected in its performance in 2022, particularly in the latter half of the year, when prices dropped as global economic growth slowed, as a result of factors such as tighter a United States monetary policy, the energy crisis arising from Russia's war in Ukraine and China's combination of strict COVID-19 lockdowns, and a weak property market; however, the influential Wall Street bankers Goldman Sachs and Bank of America expect copper prices to recover in 2023 as China opens up and supplies tighten.

And the outlook for copper is positive over the longer term as the green transition gains momentum. A growing number of countries have set net-zero policies with aggressive goals. Canada has acknowledged the key part that copper plays in the generation, transportation and transmission of energy by including copper in its critical minerals strategy. The United States is making massive public and private investments in renewable power, electric vehicles (EVs), charging stations and other electrification technologies that are heavily reliant on copper, and has announced its intent to work with Canada to secure a reliable supply chain to meet its policy goals. The influence is already being felt. Bank of America analyst Michael Widmerv noted, "... collated data on demand growth rates from sectors linked to net-zero policies indicated an expansion in copper consumption of 4.5 per cent year on year out to 2030 ... in contrast to demand growth ... [of] 2.1 per cent over the past two decades."

Expert studies such as The Future of Copper by S&P Global show the world needs to find and develop more deposits of copper -- and soon. Amarc believes that it is ideally positioned to do so. British Columbia is the heartland of Canada's copper production. With two agreements with major producers, it is clear that Amarc's district-scale projects are being noticed. The fundamentals of the copper market over the long term are highly positive. The stage is set for an exciting 2023!

A collaborative effort

The planning and successful execution of productive programs are dependent on the continuing efforts of the members of Amarc's team inclusive of its partners, consultants and contractors, and, in particular, on the willingness of indigenous groups, local governments and stakeholders to work collaboratively with the company. Amarc extends its thanks to all of you. Amarc would also like to acknowledge its shareholders for their continued support that contributes to the success of the company.

About Amarc Resources Ltd.

Amarc is a mineral exploration and development company with an experienced and successful management team focused on developing a new generation of long-life, high-value porphyry copper-gold mines in B.C. By combining high-demand projects with dynamic management, Amarc has created a solid platform to create value from its exploration-stage and development-stage assets.

Amarc is advancing its 100-per-cent-owned Ike, Duke and Joy porphyry copper-plus-or-minus-gold districts located in different prolific porphyry regions of Southern, central and Northern B.C., respectively. Each district represents significant potential for the development of multiple and important-scale, porphyry copper-plus-or-minus-gold deposits. Importantly, each of the three districts is located in proximity to industrial infrastructure -- including power, highways and rail.

Amarc is associated with HDI, a diversified, global mining company with a 35-year history of porphyry copper deposit discovery and development success. Previous and current HDI projects include some of B.C.'s and the world's most important porphyry deposits, such as Pebble, Mount Milligan, Southern Star, Kemess South, Kemess North, Gibraltar, Prosperity, Xietongmen, Newtongmen, Florence, Casino, Sisson, Maggie, Ike, Pine and Duke. From its head office in Vancouver, Canada, HDI applies its unique strengths and capabilities to acquire, develop, operate and monetize mineral projects.

Amarc works closely with local governments, indigenous groups and stakeholders in order to advance its mineral projects responsibly, and in a manner that contributes to sustainable community and economic development. The company pursues early and meaningful engagement to ensure its mineral exploration and development activities are well co-ordinated and broadly supported, address local priorities and concerns, and optimize opportunities for collaboration. In particular, Amarc seeks to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with indigenous groups within whose traditional territories Amarc's projects are located, through the provision of jobs, training programs, contract opportunities, capacity funding agreements and sponsorship of community events. All Amarc work programs are carefully planned to achieve high levels of environmental and social performance.

Qualified person

Dr. Roy Greig, PGeo, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has read and approved all technical and scientific information related to the Duke project contained in this news release. Dr. Greig is Amarc's vice-president, exploration.

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