Minera Alamos Inc. (TSX-V: MAI) is pleased to provide an update on the ongoing pit optimization drilling program at the Nicho complex (Santana gold project) in Sonora, Mexico. In addition, the Company provides updates on various optimization initiatives and studies underway during the ongoing ramp up of gold mining operations.
Drilling Highlights (full assays included in table 1)
The 19 hole program (totaling 4,039m of new drilling) was initiated in late 2020 (following the easing of Covid restrictions) and continued into 2021 running parallel to the construction of the Santana mine. The primary purpose was to further delineate the outer limits of the main Nicho “pipe” structure, which is slated to be brought into operation as the current starter pit at Nicho Norte becomes further advanced. A number of holes were also included to follow up on the deeper mineralization located in hole S20-134D (see news release dated April 30th, 2020) that had intersected 0.60 g/t over 247.9 m and was, at the time, one of the few deep holes drilled below 200m depth at the Nicho zone. The program, to date, has been a success and demonstrated that the Nicho deposit remains open to the south and at depth. Drilling results will be combined with those from previous campaigns into the maiden NI43-101 resource statement for the Nicho Complex expected around the end of the year.
“In parallel with the construction and ongoing ramp up of operations at the Santana gold mine, we have continued our exploration activities throughout this highly prospective area. The current drilling, although designed for pit optimization work, continues to provide positive surprises, especially at depth, as we test the outer boundaries of known mineralized zones. As we grow our understanding of the system we look forward to additional positive developments while we prepare to open up the larger Nicho main zone for mining following the successful opening of the starter pit at Nicho Norte,” stated Darren Koningen, CEO. “In addition and in parallel with mining operations, multiple operational optimization studies are underway as we glean information from the early mining, leaching and carbon loading activities at the Nicho Norte mine site. A full update on the operational ramp up and gold recovery will be provided in the coming weeks.”
Table 1: Drill Results From Pit Optimization Drilling Phase
|Hole #||Zone||From (m)||To (m)||Interval (m)1,2||Au g/t||Notes|
|S20-147D||NICHO||0.00||284.80||284.80||0.69||Hole ending in mineralization|
|S20-148D||NICHO||7.60||284.80||277.20||0.43||Hole ending in mineralization|
|S21-158D||NICHO||111.00||164.70||53.70||0.91||Hole ending in mineralization|
1 – Grades/widths of mineralized intervals represent complete “from” “to” drill depths as shown.
2 – All holes were drilled at 45-90 degree inclinations. The true widths of the mineralized zones in these areas are currently unknown.
The most southerly drill fence completed at the Nicho deposit (as shown by drill holes S20-144D, S20-143D, S20-145D and S20-156D on Map 1 below) confirms that the mineralization remains open both laterally and at depth. The Company plans to complete additional holes to further test this southeast area of the deposit. In addition, planning is underway for additional holes aimed more specifically at delineating the deeper zones in order to better define the source of the mineralised fluids.
Map 1: Plan view of drill holes and drill traces
Santana Project Optimization
The focus during the initial phases of mining at the Nicho Norte pit was to gain valuable operations data (mining and processing) from the limited early material that was available from June and July’s start of operations. The following efforts are currently underway and will continue as mining operations ramp up toward commercial production:
All diamond drill samples were collected by Minera Alamos personnel including the Company’s exploration geologists. Drill core samples were cut in half and divided based on visual observations into typically 1-2 m intervals. One half of the sample was bagged for analysis and the remaining half was logged by Minera Alamos personnel and stored for future reference. Blanks, duplicates, and standards were randomly inserted in the sample stream with the samples sent for analysis as part of the normal QA/QC procedures.
All samples were prepared and analyzed for gold using fire assaying with AA/gravimetric finish in addition to a standard 35-element ICP suite. All samples were sent for sample preparation at the Bureau Veritas facility in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Drill collar location, azimuth and dip for drill holes included in this release are provided in the table below:
1 – Collar coordinates as listed (easting, northing) are UTM values (WGS84 datum)
2 – Dip as shown in planned orientation. Actual measured values post drilling are generally ± 3 degrees
3 – Depth as measured downhole. (Total of 4,040m of drilling reported)
The Company made its production decision and has started the development and production of the Santana gold mine without having completed a feasibility study demonstrating economic and technical viability. As such, there may be increased uncertainty of achieving planned production levels, estimated recovery of gold, the costs associated with such recovery, including increased risks associated with developing a commercially mineable deposit. Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. Failure to commence production would have a material adverse impact on the Company’s ability to generate revenue and cash flow to fund operations.
Mr. Darren Koningen, P. Eng., Minera Alamos’ CEO, is the Qualified Person responsible for the technical content of this press release under National Instrument 43-101.
About Minera Alamos Inc.
Minera Alamos is a gold development company poised to join the ranks of gold producers in 2021. The Company has a portfolio of high-quality Mexican assets, including the 100%-owned Santana open-pit, heap-leach mine in Sonora that is currently going through its operational ramp up. The newly acquired 100%-owned Cerro de Oro oxide gold project in northern Zacatecas that has considerable past drilling and metallurgical work completed and could enter the permitting process rapidly. The La Fortuna open pit gold project in Durango (100%-owned) has an extremely robust and positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) completed and the main Federal permits in hand. Minera Alamos is built around its operating team that together brought 3 mines into production in Mexico over the last 13 years.
The Company’s strategy is to develop very low capex assets while expanding the projects’ resources and continuing to pursue complementary strategic acquisitions.
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