Hawthorne Gold and Cusac Gold Mines have signed a Definitive Agreement on the Plan of Arrangement to merge the two companies. The resulting entity will hold a balanced portfolio of gold exploration, development and near-term production assets, all located in British Columbia, Canada. The companies will work diligently to close the Arrangement within 120 days of the Definitive Agreement or approximately April 15, 2008. As part of the transaction, Cusac assigned all its rights to the option to acquire 46 mineral claims near Cassiar, British Columbia from American Bonanza Gold Corp, dated June 7, 2007. The property covers the majority of the Taurus Deposit that hosts a NI 43-101 compliant Inferred resource estimate of 1.04 Moz of gold consisting of 32.4 Mt at a grade of 1 g/t (technical report dated May 15, 2007, by Wardrop Engineering is available at www.sedar.com). The balance of the Taurus deposit is held 100% by Cusac. Hawthorne also announces it has arranged, subject to regulatory approval, a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of $3 million. Proceeds of the financing will be used as interim funding to complete the first payment of the Bonanza option, costs to complete the merger of the two companies, and general working capital. Founded in 1966 by Guilford Brett, Cusac is a junior gold exploration and past-producing company focused primarily on the Cassiar gold property, a 175 km2 package of mineral claims located in north central British Columbia. Cassiar hosts a number of gold assets, including the Taurus deposit, the fully permitted Table Mountain gold mine, and the Taurus II early stage exploration area. Hawthorne is led by Richard Barclay and Michael Beley who co-founded Bema Gold and Eldorado Gold in the 1980s and 1990s and have worked together for nearly 40 years. Hawthorne’s VP of Operations, Michael Redfearn, has over 35 years of mining, metallurgical, environmental and construction experience in the industry. Redfearn was Vice President of Operations for bcMetals Corp, where he was responsible for the oversight of the feasibility study on the Red Chris project in northern British Columbia. He was Mine Manager at the Cantung mine in the Northwest Territories and held various senior positions with Cominco.