Torex Gold Resources Inc. (TSX: TXG) is pleased to report results from the 2022 drilling program at EPO, a deposit located to the north of the Media Luna deposit in close proximity to the Guajes Tunnel, south of the Balsas River. The program was focused on upgrading Inferred Resources to the Indicated category and expanding Inferred Resources through step-out drilling.
Jody Kuzenko, President & CEO stated:
“We are very encouraged by the results of the 2022 drilling program at EPO, which is expected to achieve our target of upgrading approximately half of the current Inferred Mineral Resource to the Indicated category. We are also optimistic about the potential to further increase the size of EPO, as the deposit remains open to the north, south and west. Results from infill drilling targeting to upgrade Inferred Resources to the Indicated category conducted in 2022, and the infill program planned for the first half of 2023, will form the basis of an internal prefeasibility study on EPO, which we expect to complete in H1 2024.
“Infill drilling at EPO returned intersections with similar thickness and even better grades than previous drilling in these areas. Based on the 2022 drill results, we expect a reasonably high conversion rate when upgrading Mineral Resources from the Inferred category to the Indicated category. Notable assay results include 18.9 grams per tonne gold equivalent over a core length (not true width) of 32.9 metres, 107.7 gpt AuEq over 4.3 m, 10.8 gpt AuEq over 35.1 m, 7.3 gpt AuEq over 42.0 m, and 16.4 gpt AuEq over 17.2 m.
“Step-out drilling to the south and west of EPO was also successful in extending the mineralized footprint of the deposit approximately 200 m to the west and 250 m to the south. Based on the results of the program, we expect to add Inferred Mineral Resources within the area drilled off.
“Drilling EPO, with a view to advancing to the mine design stage, is a strategic priority given the potential for EPO to play a key role in supporting our efforts to fill the mill and maintain consistent gold equivalent production beyond 2027. These drill results continue to demonstrate the underlying resource potential of the Morelos Property and reinforce our positive outlook on our ability to complement future production from Media Luna.”
Table 1: Highlights from the 2022 drilling program at EPO
|Drill Hole||Drilling Type||From
|ML22-900D||Infill – Indicated||634.21||667.08||32.87||12.25||72.38||3.59||18.90|
|ML22-924D||Infill – Indicated||636.83||654.06||17.23||5.32||149.77||5.77||16.38|
|ML22-886D||Infill – Indicated||646.27||681.32||35.05||4.93||75.61||3.11||10.83|
|ML22-927||Step-out – Inferred||484.65||502.00||17.35||9.11||11.47||0.31||9.75|
|ML22-926D||Infill – Indicated||669.00||701.10||32.10||1.35||81.08||3.86||8.54|
|ML22-925D||Infill – Indicated||674.01||702.47||28.46||1.19||45.92||2.12||5.16|
|ML22-909A||Infill – Indicated||671.70||686.48||14.78||1.71||70.09||2.88||7.17|
|ML22-919D||Infill – Indicated||665.27||671.56||6.05||6.82||35.06||1.46||9.58|
|ML22-815D||Infill – Indicated||592.14||606.85||14.71||8.58||8.12||0.41||9.33|
|ML22-912D||Infill – Indicated||523.14||541.91||18.77||4.23||8.21||0.08||4.45|
|ML22-920A||Step-out – Inferred||621.69||626.00||4.31||12.47||16.32||0.19||12.96|
Notes to Table:
|1)||Intersections are reported as core length (not true width/thickness). Core lengths reflect drilling core recovery.|
|2)||The gold equivalent grade calculation used is as follows: AuEq (g/t) = Au (g/t) + Ag (g/t) * 0.011385 + Cu (%) * 1.621237 and use the same metal prices ($1,550/oz gold, $20/oz silver and $3.50/lb copper) and metallurgical recoveries (85% gold, 75% silver and 89% copper) used in the Mineral Resource estimate for the EPO deposit.|
Assay results from the infill drilling program at EPO can be found in Table 2 and results from the expansion drilling program in Table 3. Highlights from the 2022 drilling program at EPO are also outlined in Figure 1.
The gold equivalent grade calculation accounts for the same metal prices ($1,550/oz gold, $20/oz silver and $3.50/lb copper) and metallurgical recoveries (85% gold, 75% silver and 89% copper) used in the current Mineral Resource estimate for the EPO deposit, set out in the March 2022 Technical Report.
2022 EPO DRILLING PROGRAM
During 2022, approximately 30,100 metres were drilled at EPO, for which 100% of assays have been received. Drill results from the 27,400 metres drilled at Media Luna in 2022 were released earlier this month (refer to press release dated March 8, 2023 titled Torex Gold Reports Results From Drilling at Media Luna).
Drilling at EPO in 2022 was focused on both upgrading and expanding Mineral Resources. Infill drilling was primarily targeted at upgrading Inferred Mineral Resources to the Indicated category, with the Indicated Resource to be used as the basis for an internal prefeasibility study on EPO. Expansion drilling was primarily targeted at increasing the overall size of the Mineral Resource.
Figure 1: 2022 EPO drilling program successful in upgrading Inferred Mineral Resources to the Indicated category and expanding mineralized footprint of the deposit
In total, the Company invested over $19 million in drilling within the Media Luna Cluster in 2022. A similar level of drilling is anticipated in 2023, with the 2023 program focused on upgrading Inferred Resources at EPO and expanding the overall mineralized footprint of the Media Luna Cluster.
Infill Drilling Program
Approximately 16,100 metres of drilling in 2022 was directed towards upgrading Inferred Resources to the Indicated category. Based on the results of the drilling program, which has reduced the drill spacing to 30 m by 30 m (from 70 m by 70 m), a relatively high conversion rate of Inferred Mineral Resources to the Indicated category is anticipated. Given many of the drill holes returned gold equivalent grades higher than previous drilling results, we expect a higher portion of contained metal (gold, silver and copper) to be upgraded to the Indicated category relative to the level of tonnes upgraded.
Results from the Indicated Resource drilling carried out in 2022, in addition to drilling planned in H1 2023, will form the basis of an internal prefeasibility study evaluating the economics of developing a new mining front at EPO. The prefeasibility study is expected to be completed in H1 2024. If economic, EPO would contribute to the Company’s strategic priority of filling the mill beyond 2027 when, based on year-end 2021 Mineral Reserves only, Media Luna is the only source of ore for the processing plant.
Results from the 2022 infill drilling program at EPO are outlined in Table 2.
Expansion Drilling Program
Approximately 14,000 metres of drilling in 2022 was directed towards expanding Mineral Resources at EPO. Based on the results of the drilling conducted in 2022, the Company expects to add Inferred Resources, which are expected to offset a portion of Inferred Mineral Resources upgraded to the Indicated category.
Drilling carried out in 2022 was successful in extending the mineralized footprint of EPO ~200 m to the west and ~250 m to the south, directions in which mineralization remains open.
Results from the 2022 expansion drilling program at EPO are outlined in Table 3.
MEDIA LUNA REGIONAL GEOLOGY
The Media Luna deposit is hosted within the Mesozoic carbonate-rich Morelos Platform, which has been intruded by Paleocene stocks, sills, and dykes of granodioritic to tonalitic composition. Skarn-hosted gold-silver-copper mineralization is developed within the sedimentary rocks along the contacts of intrusive rocks as well as within altered dykes of the skarn envelope. The main portion of this mineralized package dips to the southwest at approximately 30°; in the lowest part of the known mineralization, the dip steepens to approximately 60°, while the northernmost portion of the deposit dips to the north, resulting in a broad antiformal geometry of the deposit.
Mineralization at Media Luna is hosted in skarn that developed at the contact of the intrusive granodiorite and overlying sedimentary rocks. The skarn is characterized by a mineral assemblage of pyroxene, garnet, and magnetite. Metal deposition and sulfidation occurred during retrograde alteration and is associated with a mineral assemblage comprising amphibole, phlogopite, chlorite, and calcite ± quartz ± epidote as well as variable amounts of magnetite and sulfides, primarily pyrrhotite. Additional mineralization is associated with skarn developed within and along dykes and sills above the main granodiorite intrusion.
Additional information on the Media Luna deposit, the Media Luna Feasibility Study and the analytical and sampling process is available in the Company’s technical report entitled the “Morelos Property, NI 43-101 Technical Report, ELG Mine Complex Life of Mine Plan and Media Luna Feasibility Study, Guerrero State, Mexico”, dated effective March 16, 2022 filed on March 31, 2022 (on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and the Company’s website at www.torexgold.com.
QUALITY ASSURANCE / QUALITY CONTROL
At the Company’s Morelos Property (see description below), all the Media Luna project drill core is logged and sampled at the core facility within the project camp under the supervision of Nicolas Landon, Chief Exploration Geologist for the Media Luna Project. A geologist marks the individual samples for analysis and sample intervals, sample numbers, standards and blanks are entered into the database. The core is cut in half lengthwise using an electric core saw equipped with a diamond tipped blade. One half of the core is placed into a plastic sample bag and sealed with zip ties in preparation for shipment. The other half of the core is returned to the core box and retained for future reference in the Company core shack with the assay pulps and coarse rejects. The core samples are picked up at the project camp and delivered to Bureau Veritas (“BV”) to conduct all the analytical work.
Sample preparation is carried out by BV at its facilities in Durango, Mexico and consists of crushing a 1 kg sample to >70% passing 2 mm followed by pulverisation of 500 g to >85% passing 75 μm. Gold is analyzed at the BV facilities in Hermosillo, Mexico following internal analytical protocols (FA430) and comprises a 30g fire assay with an atomic absorption finish. Samples yielding results >10 g/t Au are re-assayed by fire assay with gravimetric finish (FA530-Au). Copper and silver analyses are completed at the BV facilities in Vancouver, Canada as part of a multi-element geochemical analysis by an aqua regia digestion with detection by ICP-ES/MS using BV internal analytical protocol AQ270. Overlimits for the multi-element package are analyzed by internal protocol AQ374.
Torex has a sampling and analytical Quality Assurance/Quality Control (“QA/QC”) program in place that has been approved by BV and is overseen by Nicolas Landon, Chief Exploration Geologist for the Media Luna Project. The program includes 5% each of Certified Reference Materials and Blanks; blind duplicates are not included, but Torex evaluates the results of internal BV laboratory duplicates. Torex uses an independent laboratory to check selected assay samples and reference materials and has retained a consultant to audit the QA/QC data for every drill campaign at Media Luna. The QA/QC procedure is described in more detail in the Technical Report filed on SEDAR.
The scientific and technical data contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Carolina Milla, P.Eng. Ms. Milla is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (Member ID #168350), has experience relevant to the style of mineralization under consideration, is a qualified person under NI-43-101, and is an employee of Torex. Ms. Milla has verified the data disclosed, including sampling, analytical, and test data underlying the drill results; verification included visually reviewing the drillholes in three dimensions, comparing the assay results to the original assay certificates, reviewing the drilling database, and reviewing core photography consistent with standard practice. Ms. Milla consents to the inclusion in this release of said data in the form and context in which they appear.
ABOUT TOREX GOLD RESOURCES INC.
Torex is an intermediate gold producer based in Canada, engaged in the exploration, development, and operation of its 100% owned Morelos Property, an area of 29,000 hectares in the highly prospective Guerrero Gold Belt located 180 kilometres southwest of Mexico City. The Company’s principal asset is the Morelos Complex, which includes the El Limón Guajes Mine Complex, the Media Luna Project, a processing plant, and related infrastructure. Commercial production from the Morelos Complex commenced on April 1, 2016, and an updated Technical Report for the Morelos Complex was released in March 2022. Torex’s key strategic objectives are to optimize and extend production from the ELG Mine Complex, de-risk and advance Media Luna to commercial production, build on ESG excellence, and to grow through ongoing exploration across the entire Morelos Property.
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