Orla Mining Ltd. (TSX: OLA) (NYSE: ORLA) is pleased to provide the results from the oriented in-fill core drilling program on its Camino Rojo sulphide deposit, located in Zacatecas, Mexico. The drill results confirm the presence of wide, higher-grade gold zones within the sulphide mineral resource, and the Company intends to further explore the potential for open pit or underground bulk mining methods. An updated resource estimate for the sulphide portion of the deposit will be undertaken which will form the basis of a Preliminary Economic Assessment.
“We are encouraged with the results from the Camino Rojo Sulphides drill program. While the geological setting is already well understood, this new information will be meaningful as we refine the geological model and move to focus on possible development approaches,” stated Jason Simpson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orla Mining. “We are pleased that this drilling has reinforced the structural controls predicted by our geologists, and we will likely require more drilling across the orebody, ideally at this more optimal drill orientation.”
SULPHIDE DRILL HIGHLIGHTS:
The program consisted of close-spaced drilling on three sections of the sulphide zone focusing on the extension of the Camino Rojo deposit down plunge of the planned open pit. The objective was to test the continuity of higher-grade mineralization within the 7.3 million ounces of gold in the sulphide measured and indicated mineral resource estimate (259 million tonnes at 0.88 g/t Au) lying directly below the open pit currently being developed on the oxide mineral reserves. The fourteen holes completed across the sulphide zone yielded 27 significant mineralized drill intercepts with a grade-by-thickness factor greater than 50 g/t by metre Au (g/t*m Au), including the following 10 intercepts with a grade-by-thickness factor greater than 100 g/t by metre Au:
Full drill results are available in the Appendix of the press release and available on Orla’s website at: Sulphide Drill Results.
All assays were performed on 1.5 metre core intervals and all drill core is HQ in diameter in size. The reported composites were not subject to “capping”, however a preliminary analysis suggests that only 2 out of 2,441 samples exceeded the potential capping level of 27.0 g/t – these samples averaged 36.8 g/t gold (max. 42.4 g/t) and Orla believes that applying a top cut would have a negligible effect on overall grades.
SULPHIDE DRILL PROGRAM:
At the time Orla acquired the Camino Rojo project from Goldcorp Inc. (now called Newmont Corporation) in 2017, the Company’s technical team believed, based on its geological evaluation of the existing data, that additional drilling had the potential to outline and better define continuous zones with grades appreciably higher than the average sulphide mineralized measured and indicated mineral resource grade of 0.88 g/t gold. In particular, the Company noted that the vast majority of the drill holes testing the Camino Rojo sulphide zone had been drilled south to north. With many of the key, higher grade sulphide veins being north dipping, this resulted in drill holes intersecting the mineralized zones at a highly oblique angle. The Goldcorp drilling had strongly suggested the presence of higher-grade zones, but the paucity of appropriately oriented intercepts made it difficult to establish the geometry of high-grade domains and to estimate tenor of the better grade mineralization. As a result, the Company concluded that, to further its evaluation of the potential mining scenarios for the Camino Rojo Sulphides, additional drill data would be required to provide confirmation of grade and geometry of the better grade zones. Orla’s 2020-2021 program of southerly directed drill holes was specifically designed to be a step in that process.
The 6,079-metre directional core drilling program on the Camino Rojo sulphide mineral resource began in October 2020 and was completed in April 2021. The main objectives of the program were to generate additional geological and analytical information regarding the continuity and geometry of the higher-grade gold mineralization (>2 g/t Au), obtain geotechnical information required to evaluate potential underground mining scenarios, and provide new material for metallurgical studies. The drill program achieved all objectives, and the information will further support development scenario planning for the large sulphide mineral resource.
Within the sulphide zone of the Camino Rojo deposit, a total of 14 drill intercepts, including two partial intercepts through the target zones, from four parent holes, were obtained on three sections spaced approximately 250 metres apart (see Figure 1). This program utilized directional drilling techniques, providing closely spaced intercepts ranging from 10 metres to 50 metres on average in the target zone, while avoiding redrilling the upper portions of the holes located in the barren to low grade hanging wall of the deposit. All drill holes were oriented to the southeast targeting a dike fault zone and sulphide vein sets, which dips steeply to the northwest and has been interpreted as a key control of mineralization.
The drill holes yielded multiple wide mineralized intercepts from closely spaced drill holes on each of the widely spaced drill sections. The mineralization consists of swarms of bedding concordant and crosscutting sulphide veinlets hosted by sedimentary rock units (siltstones) of the Caracol Formation.
The most significant results with grade-per-thickness factor greater than 50 g/t by metre Au are tabulated below and shown on a vertical longitudinal section (see Figure 2). Full results are available in the Appendix.
|Holeid||From_m||To_m||metres||Au g/t||g/t*m Au||Zn%|
Holes CRSX21-03A and CRSX21-03B returned significant intercepts but below 50 g/t by metre Au, including 27.9m at 1.34 g/t Au, 10.5m at 2.47 g/t Au, 25.5m at 1.07 g/t Au in hole CRSX21-03A, and 7.5m at 4.0 g/t Au, 7.5m at 2.94 g/t Au, 25m at 1.42 g/t Au and 16m at 1.26 g/t Au in hole CRSX21-03B. Hole CRSX21-04 was the parent hole and was not completed to depth needed to hit target and was not sampled, but daughter holes 04A, 04B, and 04C were drilled through the zone.
This new drilling was intended to test a refined geological model and to further assess and confirm the presence of higher-grade zones. The recent holes drilled more perpendicular to the structure and across the steeply dipping sulphide vein sets, appear to confirm the presence of the higher-grade portions of the deposit.
Additional drill sections are available on Orla’s website at: Sulphide Drill Sections.
CAMINO ROJO SULPHIDE PROJECT:
In parallel with advancement of the Camino Rojo Oxide Gold Project towards first production by the end of 2021, the Company is also evaluating multiple development scenarios on the Camino Rojo Sulphide Project. The development scenarios being considered to potentially form the basis of a PEA currently include: (1) an underground mining option or (2) an open pit mining option with processing at a to-be-constructed sulphide facility at Camino Rojo, and (3) an open pit mining option with processing at Newmont Corporation’s Peñasquito plant.
Orla’s geological team is integrating geological and geotechnical data from the 2020-2021 drill program, including downhole televiewer data, into an updated geological model. Mine Development Associates of Reno, Nevada will then update the sulphide mineral resource estimate, using the updated geological model and all drilling data for the Sulphide Project, including the recent Sulphide Project drill hole data.
The first batch of samples obtained from the drilling has arrived at Blue Coast Research Ltd. of Parksville, British Columbia for metallurgical testing. Investigations will build on the previous metallurgical work completed on the Sulphide Project and will include process methods and updated recovery predictions as well as exploring the potential for ore sorting, which will be completed by Sherritt & Steinert.
Activities for the Sulphide Project in the second half of the year will focus on updating the mineral resource estimate, evaluating economic opportunities, and metallurgical studies. While Orla remains focused on completion of the Camino Rojo sulphide PEA by year end, the higher grades indicated in the recent drill program may necessitate additional drilling and to ensure the resource appropriately reflects the grade and tonnage of the higher-grade zones. The timing of the study may therefore be adjusted.
Drill Results: All reported intercept widths are down hole intervals. Drilled intercepts are believed to be true width intercepts across a broad mineralized zone. Drill results are also available at Sulphide Drill Results.
Qualified Persons Statement
The scientific and technical information related to Camino Rojo in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Sylvain Guerard, P. Geo., who is the Qualified Person as defined under the definitions of National Instrument 43-101.
Quality Control Protocols
All gold results were obtained by ALS Minerals (Au-AA23) using fire assay fusion and an atomic absorption spectroscopy finish. All samples were also analyzed for sulphur/sulphide using ME-IR08, carbon and organic carbon using ME-IR06a and multi-elements, including silver, copper, lead and zinc using an Aqua Regia (ME-ICP41) method at ALS Laboratories in Canada. Samples with base metal values in excess of 1% by ICP analysis are re-run with AA46 aqua regia and atomic absorption analysis. Drill program design, Quality Assurance/Quality Control and interpretation of results are performed by qualified persons employing a Quality Assurance/Quality Control program consistent with NI 43-101 and industry best practices. Standards, blanks and duplicates are included approximately one every 25 samples for Quality Assurance/Quality Control purposes by the Company as well as the lab. Approximately 5% of sample pulps are sent to a secondary laboratory for check assays.
About Orla Mining Ltd.
Orla is developing the Camino Rojo Oxide Gold Project, an advanced gold and silver open-pit and heap leach project, located in Zacatecas State, Central Mexico. The project is 100% owned by Orla and covers over 160,000 hectares. The technical report for the 2021 Feasibility Study entitled “Unconstrained Feasibility Study NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Camino Rojo Gold Project – Municipality of Mazapil, Zacatecas, Mexico” dated January 11, 2021, is available on SEDAR and EDGAR under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, respectively. The technical report is also available on Orla’s website at www.orlamining.com. Orla also owns 100% of the Cerro Quema Project located in Panama which includes a near-term gold production scenario and various exploration targets. The Cerro Quema Project is a proposed open pit mine and gold heap leach operation and the Company recently announced the highlights of a Pre-Feasibility Study on the project. An independent technical report for the Pre-Feasibility Study on the Cerro Quema Oxide Gold Project prepared in accordance with the requirements of NI 43-101 will be available under Orla’s profile on SEDAR, EDGAR, and on the Company’s website on or before September 11, 2021.
Appendix: Camino Rojo Sulphide Drill Results3
|Holeid||Inc||From_m||To_m||meters||Au g/t||g/t *m Au||Zn%||e_nad27||n_nad27||elev_mts||azimuth||dip||metres|
1 The Camino Rojo Mineral Resource estimate has an effective date of June 7, 2019 and was prepared using the CIM Definition Standards. Additional information can be found in the Camino Rojo Technical Report entitled “Unconstrained Feasibility Study NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Camino Rojo Gold Project – Municipality of Mazapil, Zacatecas, Mexico” and dated January 11, 2021.
2 Those intervals deemed significant and listed in the Appendix table were defined and calculated using a cut-off grade of 1 g/t Au, a minimum composite of 10 g/t*m Au, and a maximum 6 metres of consecutive internal waste (<1 g/t Au). Individual assay results or composite results of >10g/t Au (calculated with no internal dilution) are listed in the table.
3 Daughter hole position is given as the collar location of the parent hole. The reported azimuth and dip of the daughter holes corresponds to the surveyed azimuth and dip at the target (the dike fault zone). Reported azimuth and dip of parent holes is from the initial survey at surface.
Figure 1: Plan View of 2020-2021 Camino Rojo Sulphide Project Drill Holes (CNW Group/Orla Mining Ltd.)
Figure 2: Longitudinal Section showing most significant intercepts (greater than 50 g/t by metre Au) of 2020-2021 Camino Rojo Sulphide Project Drill Holes (CNW Group/Orla Mining Ltd.)
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