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Riverside Resources Inc. has reported that the BHP – Riverside Exploration Funding Agreement (“EFA”) will be extended into a fourth year. Building on the past three years of BHP fully funded generative exploration work, the EFA will move into the next exploration phase focusing on five copper projects in Sonora, Mexico (see Figure 1) with a currently approved US$1,100,000 in exploration funding to work on the Llano de Nogal district and US$500,000 in ongoing High Value Work programs in the Sonora Projects for a total so far allocated budget of US$1,600,000 exploration work on the specified properties in the EFA.

The approved next phase of work focuses toward property specific funding to advance the current priority projects with derisking exploration, geophysics, geology, geochemistry, mineral titles, and other related mineral exploration aspects to progress towards drilling and drill decisions. Additional expanded budgets for drilling will be added as projects are moved forward to the Operational Phase for the BHP -Riverside EFA. To that effect, Riverside has experience in all aspects of the upcoming work, as Riverside has managed this successfully in earlier exploration alliances with Kinross Gold, Antofagasta, Cliffs, and Hochschild among others.

Riverside’s President and CEO, John-Mark Staude, commented: “We are pleased to see our partnership with BHP progress from the generative phase into more focused exploration work across the portfolio of projects we’ve acquired and advanced to-date. Now that our partnership with BHP is focusing on a priority group of copper projects, the extensive data, relationships and additional targets we’ve generated within the broader EFA area can also be leveraged and pursued by Riverside. The solid funding support by BHP builds beyond Riverside’s strong balance sheet and other projects. The Company owns and anticipates catalysts in the coming quarter.

This exploration program is coordinating with the technical teams from BHP and Riverside Resources to work together towards programs which are jointly defined by both companies, while Riverside continues to be the EFA Operator. The five projects that are moving forward are called collectively the “Sonora Projects”. BHP and Riverside will progress the Sonora Projects exploration for large Tier 1 scale porphyry Cu targets and work toward drilling where the majority ownership and funds from BHP could earn a minimum of 80%. Once any of the Sonora Projects are named a Designated Project and moved to the Operational Phase, the partnership continues through a funding by BHP of at least $4M into each project, as outlined in earlier news releases, with Riverside retaining an NSR on projects, should BHP earn an interest and Riverside does not choose to continue as JV partner.

BHP and Riverside will now focus the EFA on Sonora Projects with additional funding to be fully funded by BHP for this fourth year, with emphasizing on drill targeting, permitting, preparation for future drill testing of identified assets and expand on the work programs of the five projects noted below.

The Technical Committee, comprised of both BHP and Riverside personnel, reviewed and visited prospective areas in Sonora, identified during the Generation Phase of the EFA, and singled out a portfolio of five priority copper projects, which are inside of two reduced focused zones and specific property boundaries.

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Figure 1: Progressing five projects inside of two focused areas for the BHP – Riverside funded work extended EFA.

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Additionally, with the thorough evaluations completed by the BHP – Riverside EFA, the Company and BHP now hold a comprehensive and unique data set on Sonora’s porphyry copper potential. Certain prospective target areas were not selected within the EFA framework for various reasons but still have significant potential to host large copper deposits, and both parties can now pursue these opportunities themselves. Moreover, Riverside is also working up four Additional Properties that are mutually agreed for BHP to consider and could be added to the Sonora Projects. These additional properties have yet to reach an on-going funding decision and if not, then may become part of the going forward target ideas that Riverside could pursue as well as the larger exploration region in the coming months.

Options Grant

On September 2nd, 2022 the Company granted 1,000,000 incentive stock options (the “Options”) to Directors, Officers and Consultants of the Company. The Options are exercisable at $0.13 per share for a period of 5 years from the date of grant. Options granted to individuals in their capacity as a Director vest in 3 equal instalments over 18 months and Options granted to Officers and Consultants vest in 4 equal instalments over 12 months. The Options were granted pursuant to the Company’s shareholder-approved stock option plan and are subject to the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange and any applicable regulatory hold periods.