NGEx Minerals Ltd. (TSX-V: NGEX) is pleased to report results from the final seven diamond drill holes from this season’s program at the Potro Cliffs project. Today’s results confirm a major new high-grade copper-gold-silver discovery which we have named Lunahuasi (meaning “House of the Moon”). Lunahuasi is the fourth greenfields discovery made by the Lundin Group within the Vicuña District, joining the Filo del Sol, Los Helados, and Josemaria deposits. Lunahuasi is located approximately 6km northeast of Filo del Sol (meaning “Ridge of the Sun”) along the same major structural corridor that also controls mineralization at Los Helados 9km further to the northeast. The portion of the Lunahuasi target drilled to date comprises a large swarm of quartz-sulphide veins carrying high values of copper, gold and silver. This mineralization is interpreted to be porphyry-related and is considered to be strong evidence for the presence of a nearby porphyry copper-gold system, possibly underlying the extensive alteration zone immediately to the west of this season’s drilling.
Wojtek Wodzicki, President and CEO commented, “These results are the best initial drill holes that I have seen in my career and they confirm Lunahuasi as NGEx’s next major high-grade discovery in the Vicuña District. We are very encouraged by both the quantity of veins and the consistently high grades intersected during what is only the first step in testing a very large alteration system. Today’s results increase our confidence that the Lunahuasi veins and the surrounding 11km2 alteration zone were created by one or more porphyry copper-gold systems similar to the Filo del Sol system located 6 kilometres to the southwest. It is very important to note that the veins drilled to date overprint propylitic alteration indicating that this mineralization is in the outer halo of a yet to be discovered porphyry copper centre that is likely to be close by. We are very excited to begin working our way towards the centre of the system in the next drill program.
Also of note are the bonanza-grade gold and silver values intersected in holes 2 and 7 which mark this as an exciting precious-metals target in addition to the very high copper potential. We consider that the mineralization at Lunahuasi has similarities to both the zoned intermediate sulfidation veins at El Indio, Chile which had bonanza gold and silver grades and the copper-rich high-sulfidation vein systems that occur in the Collahuasi and Chuquicamata districts located in northern Chile.
Drilling is currently paused for the Southern Hemisphere winter. We are using the winter break to complete targeting work and to plan for a major drill program expected to start early in the fourth quarter of 2023.
This has been an extremely productive and exciting exploration season for NGEx and our shareholders but as we look forward to next season we are confident that we are still in the early stages of creating value through continued exploration of what is shaping up to be a remarkable high-grade system.”
A total of eight holes were completed during 2023, comprised of two on the plateau that is the upper part of the system (DPDH001 and DPDH003) and six (DPDH002, DPDH004, DPDH005, DPDH006, DPDH007, DPDH008) in the valley which is 750 meters below the plateau. All six of the valley holes returned multiple high-grade vein intersections. The two plateau holes drilled distal alteration and appear to be on the periphery of the system.
Highlights from the overall drill program include:
Numerous other veins in addition to the highlighted intervals were intersected in all holes, full results are provided in the table below. Together, these holes have defined a block with approximate dimensions of 400m E-W by 180m N-S and a vertical extent of 850m which hosts a vein swarm with multiple veins up to approximately 20m in estimated true width. This block is currently defined by holes drilled on two E-W sections collared 150m apart and remains open in all directions.
Gold and silver values include some bonanza gold grades (top 7 values are 43.9, 18.0, 17.6, 17.3, 11.7, 11.6, 10.8 g/t Au). Very high Ag values are also present, with 39 assays over 100 g/t including 5 over 500 g/t. Results to date include 20 samples with >10% Cu including 5 over 20% Cu.
Composited intervals are shown in the table below:
|Hole ID||From (m)||To (m)||Length
|Cu %||Au g/t||Ag g/t||CuEq %|
|DPDH001||No Significant Values|
|DPDH003||No Significant Values|
Mineralization is hosted by structures which are interpreted to be subvertical and to strike approximately north-south. These structures are characterized by massive to semi-massive and disseminated sulphides, principally pyrite and enargite with locally abundant covellite. Sulphides tend to be coarse grained and include some very coarsely crystalline sections. Hole DPDH004 intersected pyrite-tennantite-chalcopyrite and pyrite-bornite assemblages, possibly indicating a zonation towards intermediate-sulphidation conditions to the west.
Of particular interest are the high gold and silver grades seen in the structures, with individual samples assaying up to 43.9 g/t gold and 1,165 g/t silver. Bonanza-grade gold values near the top of hole DPDH007, in a structure that contains more quartz and less sulphide, possibly reflect a zonation from high-sulphidation sulphide veins towards gold-quartz veins at shallower levels and towards the east.
In addition to the valley drilling, two holes were drilled on top of the plateau to the west. Holes DPDH001 and DPDH003 were drilled to final depths of 929m and 350m, respectively. They both intersected a sequence of epiclastic and volcaniclastic rocks with weak silicification and clay alteration typical of the shallow and distal part of an epithermal system. No significant assay intervals were recorded in either hole.
2023 LUNAHUASI DRILL PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The 2023 drilling program concluded in May with a total of 4,912m drilled in 8 holes. Drillhole collar information is as follows:
ABOUT NGEX MINERALS
NGEx Minerals is a copper and gold exploration company based in Canada, focused on advancing its Los Helados copper-gold project located in Chile’s Region III and testing the nearby Lunahuasi project located approximately 12 kilometres to the southwest in San Juan Province, Argentina. Both projects are located within the Vicuña District which includes the Josemaria and Filo del Sol deposits. Los Helados and Lunahuasi lie along the same major north-northeast trending structure that controls the Filo del Sol deposit.
NGEx Minerals is the majority partner and operator for the Los Helados Project, subject to a Joint Exploration Agreement with Nippon Caserones Resources Co., Ltd. which operates the Caserones open pit copper mine located approximately 15km north of Los Helados through a subsidiary that is subject to an announced agreement whereby Lundin Mining Corporation will acquire a controlling stake.
NGEx Minerals’ near-term objectives are to continue drilling the high-grade core of Los Helados and exploration at Lunahuasi and on the rest of its land package in the Vicuña District. The Company is listed on the TSXV under the trading symbol “NGEX”. NGEx Minerals is part of the Lundin Group of Companies.
QUALIFIED PERSONS AND TECHNICAL NOTES
The scientific and technical disclosure included in this news release have been reviewed and approved by Bob Carmichael, B.A.Sc., P.Eng. who is the Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Mr. Carmichael is Vice President, Exploration for the Company.
Samples were cut at NGEx’s operations base in Copiapó, Chile by Company personnel. Diamond drill core was sampled in maximum 2-meter intervals, stopping at geological boundaries, using a rock saw. Core diameter is a mix of PQ, HQ and NQ depending on the depth of the drill hole. Samples were bagged and tagged and packaged for shipment by truck to the ALS preparation laboratory in Copiapó, Chile where they were crushed and a 500g split was pulverized to 85% passing 200 mesh. The prepared samples were sent to the ALS assay laboratories in either Lima, Peru or Santiago, Chile for copper, gold and silver assays, and multi-element ICP and sequential copper analyses. ALS is an accredited laboratory which is independent of the Company. Gold assays were by fire assay fusion with AAS finish on a 30g sample. Copper and silver were assayed by atomic absorption following a 4-acid digestion. Samples were also analyzed for a suite of 49 elements with ME-MS61 and a sequential copper leach analysis was completed on each sample with copper greater than 500ppm (0.05%). Copper and gold standards as well as blanks and duplicates (field, preparation and analysis) were randomly inserted into the sampling sequence for Quality Control. On average, 9% of the submitted samples are Quality Control samples. No data quality problems were indicated by the QA/QC program.
Copper Equivalent (CuEq.) for drill intersections is calculated based on US$ 3.00/lb Cu, US$ 1,500/oz Au and US$ 18/oz Ag, with 80% metallurgical recoveries assumed for all metals. The formula is: CuEq. % = Cu % + (0.7292 * Au g/t) + (0.0088 * Ag g/t).
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