Argonaut Gold Inc. (TSX: AR) is pleased to announce it has discovered high grade gold veins below the El Crestón open pit at its La Colorada mine in Sonora, Mexico. The high grade intercepts include:
Pete Dougherty, President & CEO commented: “It has always been our intension to drill test below the El Crestón pit to determine whether the La Colorada mine has the potential to transition from an open pit mine to an underground mine in the future. These high-grade gold and silver results vastly exceeded our expectations and obviously warrant follow up drilling. We are excited to continue exploration at depth at La Colorada, as we work to determine if a future underground mine is viable. The initial gold and silver grades encountered are clearly encouraging.”
Argonaut’s exploration drilling at La Colorada has intersected several high-grade veins extending below the planned El Crestón ultimate pit. The high-grade zones are deep extensions of the gold rich veins now being mined within the El Crestón open pit and display good lateral continuity along strike. Table 1 below highlights the initial drill results designed to test the down dip extension of the mineralized veins.
Table 1: Select Drill Results Below the El Crestón Open Pit
|Hole||Azimuth||Dip||From (m)||To (m)||Interval (m)||Au g/t||Ag g/t||Estimated
A table of all drill results as well as maps are available on the Company’s website at
All intercepts are associated with oxide material in quartz veins or quartz breccia, which are hosted in broader zones of structural weakness.
The first drill program was conducted using a reverse-circulation (“RC”) drill rig and focused on testing for down dip extensions of the three main vein sets within the El Crestón open pit. The RC drilling was conducted using industry best practices with drill samples collected on 1.5 metre intervals using down hole centre-face return hammer bits, cyclone collection and riffle splitters to reduce contamination and maintain clean, accurate samples. To further confirm high-grade gold and silver intercepts in RC drilling, Argonaut completed three twin diamond drill core (“DD”) holes to validate the RC sample assays. All drilling was above or near the top of the water table, in competent rock, and recoveries in both the RC and DD holes are considered excellent. Since the El Crestón pit is actively being mined, the DD twin holes were drilled from lower benches and therefore the down-hole distance of the RC holes and DD holes vary slightly, and the twin intervals are close though not a perfect match. The comparative intervals are highlighted in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Select RC Sample Assays Compared to DD Sample Assays
|RC ASSAYS||CORE SCREEN ASSAYS 2021|
|Drill Hole||From (m)||To (m)||Int. (m)||RC Au ppm||Ag ppm||Twin DD Hole||From (m)||To (m)||Int. (m)||Au SCR21 ppm||Ag ppm|
Brian Arkell, Vice President of Exploration stated: “During 2020, we added 130,000 gold ounces to reserves at La Colorada, and we see significant potential to add additional mineralization this year as well. When we initially encountered the high-grade gold and silver RC sample assays, we were determined to twin multiple holes with a DD rig to validate metal tenure. The DD assays compare reasonably well to the RC assays, and we plan on continuing the program with a DD rig going forward. I am extremely proud of our local team’s discovery record and look forward to our next steps, as we continue to test the continuity of these high-grade gold and silver veins at depth.”
A plan view map and cross sections detailing the high-grade gold and silver intercepts are presented below:
Mining activity in the La Colorada district dates to the mid-1700s when underground mining took place at various periods of time until the early 1900s. In the 1990s, La Colorada was re-started as an open pit, heap leach mine until decommissioning in 2002. Argonaut re-started open pit, heap leach operations in 2012 and, through 2020, has produced over 400,000 gold ounces at La Colorada.
Gold and silver at La Colorada are hosted in a series of low sulfidation epithermal style quartz veins formed along a major regional suture zone. Four deposits – Gran Central, La Colorada, El Crestón and Veta Madre – have been mined, or are currently being mined and/or are in the future mine plans. At El Crestón, mineralization occurs along east-west oriented sets of sub-parallel veins, vein breccias and stockworks that maintain good lateral continuity for over 800 metres along strike and are known to continue extensively at depth. Three major veins – the North, Central and South veins – comprise the principal mineral production at El Crestón.
For further information on the La Colorada mine, please see the report listed below on the Company’s website or on www.sedar.com:
|La Colorada Mine||NI 43-101 Technical Report on Resources and Reserves, La Colorada Gold/Silver Mine, Hermosillo, Mexico dated March 27, 2018 (effective date of December 8, 2017)|
Qualified Person Comments / Quality Control Procedures
The preparation of this press release was supervised and approved by Brian Arkell, Argonaut Gold’s Vice President of Exploration and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. Mr. Arkell also reviewed the RC and DD, sampling, and on-site sample preparation procedures at La Colorada.
The Company has implemented a QA/QC program to ensure sampling and analysis of all exploration work is conducted in accordance with industry and CIM Exploration Best Practices Guidelines. RC holes are drilled with air or water injection depending on the geology, sampled through rotary splitters and / or Gilson-type splitter, and collected in micropore sample bags. Cores are logged then photographed and sawn in half by experienced geotechnicians, placed in numbered plastic bags. All samples are gathered in rice bags which are sealed with tamper-proof security tags under the supervision of the project geologists. RC chips and the remaining half of the core are retained for future assay verification and/or metallurgical testing. Other QA/QC procedures include the insertion of blanks and Reference Standards along with sample duplicates. The laboratory has its own QA/QC protocols, running standards, blanks, and duplicate samples in each batch stream. Gold analysis is conducted by lead collection, fire assay with a gravimetric finish on a 50-gram sample. Metallic screen fire assaying is completed using a 1.0 kg sample and two 50 gm fire assays of the pass (-100 mesh) pulverized material on all samples containing visible gold. Check assays are conducted at a secondary ISO certified laboratory.
About Argonaut Gold
Argonaut Gold is a Canadian gold company engaged in exploration, mine development and production. Its primary assets are the El Castillo mine and San Agustin mine, which together form the El Castillo Complex in Durango, Mexico, the La Colorada mine in Sonora, Mexico and the Florida Canyon mine in Nevada, USA. The Company also holds the construction stage Magino project, the advanced exploration stage Cerro del Gallo project and several other exploration stage projects, all of which are located in North America.
Figure 1 – Plan Map of the El Crestón open pit showing the locations of the drill holes from the recent exploration program (CNW Group/Argonaut Gold Inc.)
Figure 2 – Cross section showing the section for ‘line A’ in Figure 1 (Plan View Map) (CNW Group/Argonaut Gold Inc.)
Figure 3 – Cross section showing the section for ‘line B’ in Figure 1 (Plan View Map) (CNW Group/Argonaut Gold Inc.)
Figure 4 – Cross section showing the section for ‘line C’ in Figure 1 (Plan View Map) (CNW Group/Argonaut Gold Inc.)
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