Azure Minerals Limited (ASX: AZS) has announced an encouraging update on the silver and gold exploration program underway on its Alacrán Project, Mexico.
The company reported that a two-stage 7,000m drill program is expected to start this quarter focusing on resource expansion drilling at Loma Bonita and additional greenfields exploration drilling.
AZS noted that thick and high-grade intersections of gold mineralisation were identified on the Loma Bonita resource boundary indicating that the deposit remains open for expansion in multiple directions.
Highlights from previous drilling include 47m @ 2.8g/t gold & 33g/t silver from surface in MDPC-131; and 67m @ 1.6g/t gold & 21g/t silver from surface in MDPC-096.
The company reported that the first-pass greenfields sampling of historical mines south of Cerro Alacrán returned spectacular results up to 3,675g/t Ag, 24.1g/t Au, 2.3% Cu, 33.5% Pb, and 21.0% Zn.
AZS said that a follow-up exploration is underway for these and other new targets in preparation for trenching and drilling.
Alacrán is ideally located within the Laramide Copper Province, North America’s most prolific copper-producing district, and is close to several large operating copper mines, including the world class giant Cananea Copper Mine.
Within Alacrán, there are two outstanding epithermal silver and gold deposits – Mesa de Plata and Loma Bonita – which together host resources of 32Moz silver and 150,000oz gold.
At Mesa de Plata, the JORC Mineral Resource, 100% of which is in the Measured and Indicated categories, comprises 27.4 million ounces of silver, with the near-surface High Grade Zone containing 15.5 million ounces of silver at a grade of 275g/t.
The JORC Mineral Resource comprises approximately 5Moz of silver and 150,000oz of gold and mineralisation remains open in all directions at Loma Bonita.
Priorities identified for Alacrán
The company announced that the priorities for near-term exploration activities at Alacrán include focus on gold and silver exploration and development; mineral resource expansion drilling at the Loma Bonita gold and silver deposit; continuation of greenfields exploration and target identification programs with follow-up trenching and drilling; and advanced-stage metallurgical testwork on the Mesa de Plata silver and Loma Bonita gold-silver mineralisation and build on development studies suspended in 2016.
Drilling to be restarted at Loma Bonita
The company announced that its main priority is to restart drilling at Loma Bonita to expand the gold and silver mineral resource.
Based upon Azure’s initial drilling, an initial mineral resource of 150,000oz gold & 4.8Moz silver in 5.4Mt @ 0.9g/t Au & 28g/t Ag was estimated.
Azure said that it is planning a 50 to 60-hole resource expansion drilling program totalling approximately 7,000m. A significant proportion of the drilling will be carried out on the northern, eastern and southern extensions on hole spacings of 50m x 50m.
The company said that additional drilling is also planned to test potential strike extensions to the southeast towards Cerro San Simon and Cerro Enmedio where gold mineralisation was intersected in previous drilling.
Thick, high-grade historical intersections
The company reported that the previous drill intersections confirm the mineralisation remains open in the following directions.
To the east: MDPC-131 intersected 47.2m @ 2.8g/t Au & 33g/t Ag; To the south: MDPC-098 intersected 24.4m @ 0.7g/t Au & 13g/t Ag; and To the north: MDPC-135 intersected 16.8m @ 1.2g/t Au & 86g/t Ag
AZS reported that the applications for environmental approval and site access have been submitted and drilling will commence as soon as approvals have been received, which are expected in the December quarter.
Additional drilling planned
The company said that additional drilling is also being planned for less-advanced targets where exploration has identified anomalous gold and silver mineralisation from surface sampling or in first-pass drilling.
Prospects that show good potential include Cerro San Simon / Cerro Enmedio where previous drilling returned wide intervals of moderate grade gold mineralisation, MDPD-025: 31.5m @ 0.5g/t gold from 20.7m; Palo Seco Sur where surface sampling grades up to 1,119g/t silver and 1.27g/t gold; and south of the Cerro Alacrán copper porphyry where sampling of historical mine workings returned grades up to 3,675g/t silver, 24.1g/t gold, 2.3% copper, 33.5% lead and 21.0% zinc.
Azure had recently identified high-grade silver, gold and base metal mineralisation hosted in banded quartz-sulphide veins exploited by historical mining.
Mapping shows that such veins occur extensively throughout the southeast of the property with some individual veins mapped over strike lengths in excess of 500m. This mineralisation may be of the Intermediate Sulphidation type and likely related to the nearby Cerro Alacrán copper porphyry intrusion.
AZS said that twenty-one samples were collected and all returned very high grades with maximum values of 3,675g/t silver, 24.1g/t gold, 2.3% copper, 33.5% lead and 21.0% zinc.
The company said that 10 samples returning values greater than 1,000g/t silver; 17 samples returning values greater than 1.0g/t gold; 10 samples returning values greater than 1.0% copper; 12 samples returning values greater than 10.0% lead; and 10 samples returning values greater than 10.0% zinc.
The company announced that the results from the first-pass sampling program are very encouraging and further systematic sampling and detailed mapping of the veins is now underway in preparation for follow-up trenching and drilling.
Azure said that further reconnaissance exploration in greenfields areas is ongoing with strong potential for more exploration success.