Zacatecas Silver Corp. (TSXV: ZAC) (OTC Markets: ZCTSF) (Frankfurt: 7TV) is pleased to report multiple silver and base metal assays from the ongoing maiden diamond drilling at El Cristo vein system. Despite only testing the near surface, often strongly oxidized parts of the El Cristo veins, assay results indicate significant silver mineralization over downhole intervals of up to 9.53 m.
El Cristo is the NW strike extension of the prolific and well known Veta Grande vein system onto the Zacatecas Silver property.
Dr. Chris Wilson, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of Zacatecas comments, “The Company has now received assay results for 13 of 28 diamond drill holes at El Cristo. All holes targeted the shallow depth extension of intermediate sulphidation veins below near-surface historical workings or areas proximal to shallow historical shafts. Several holes hit historical mining voids or zones of backfill material over widths of up to 5 m, suggesting that a higher-grade part of the near surface vein had already been mined. That there are at least 20 shallow historical shafts at El Cristo, strongly suggests that the system is mineralized. Almost all holes drilled beneath these zones intersected multi-phase sulphidic quartz-carbonate veins with zinc and lead base metal sulphides. Drilling by Zacatecas has only tested small areas of the overall vein system to very shallow depths. That the first thirteen holes intersected a robust silver-equivalent grades over down-hole intercept of up to 9.56 meters is very encouraging. The system is open in all directions across multiple veins.”
Mineralization at El Cristo is of an intermediate sulphidation epithermal type, which crop out within a dilutional zone that is at least 4 km along strike and up to 600 m wide. Within this zone are multiple, steeply dipping, northwest-southeast trending veins, which have been mined historically from at least 20 near surface shafts and multiple areas of near surface workings.
El Cristo represents the northwest strike extension of the Veta Grande vein, which has reported, but unverified, historical production of 200 Moz AgEq. The veins at El Cristo show similar characteristics to those at Veta Grande, have a similar orientation, and are part of the same sigmoidal zone of dilation.
Historically the El Cristo vein system was only tested by 8 angled diamond drill holes which targeted veins at depths of below 100 to 200 metres. Of these six were concentrated within a 500 m strike length in the central parts of the veins.
Zacatecas drill holes targeted the near surface depth extension of the larger surface workings and/or the depth extension of veins around the deeper historical shaft. The 28 holes drilled to date by the Company have been scout holes also designed to test select veins over at least 2 km of strike extension.
Hole CRI-2022-001 intercepted 5 metres of back-fill material and 4.5 m of footwall mineralization for a combined intercept of 9.53 meters @ 175 Ag Eq (167 g/t Ag, 0.12 % Zn and 0.04 % Pb) from 40.03 m downhole. It seems likely that the back-fill was lower grade material used to fill the void left from mining a higher grade vein.
Hole CRI-2022-002 was a step-down of hole 001, which targeted the vein approximately 40 m vertical deeper, and intercepted 1.45 meters @ 121 Ag Eq (11.3 g/t Ag, 1.6 % Zn and 0.5% Pb and 0.18 g/t Au) from 109.05 m downhole.
Holes CRI-2022-003 to 007 were drilled off the same drill pad in the same line of section to intercept the vein progressively deeper. Hole CRI-2022-003 intercepted an approximately 5 m wide historical mining void where the target vein had been removed. Results from holes CRI-2022-006 and 007 are pending.
Hole CRI-2022-004 intercepted 0.4 m @ 163 g/t AgEq (12.4 g/t Ag, 2.4% Zn, 0.5% Pb and 0.18 ppm Au) from 57.81 m downhole.
Hole CRI-2022-005 targeted the vein below Hole 004 and intercepted 0.65 meters @ 829 g/t Ag Eq (565 g/t Ag, 1.2 g/t Au, 2.7 % Zn and 1.3 % Pb) from 55.15 m downhole.
Hole CRI-2002-013 encountered significant base metals resulting in 0.5 meters @ 974 g/t Ag Eq (19.6 g/t Ag, 0.23 g/t Au, 17.5% Zn, 1% Pb) from 70.3 m downhole. Also base metal rich, hole CRI-2022-12 resulted in 4.36 meters @ 242 g/t Ag Eq (48 g/t Ag, 0.19 g/t Au, 2.7% Zn and 1.5% Pb) from 54.34 m downhole.
The initial results of the maiden El Cristo drill program were successful. While the Company continues to receive assays over the coming weeks, the Company has elected to halt drilling until the results of received. The remaining drill results will provide a greater understanding of the El Cristo vein system and allow Zacatecas to optimize drill target selection in the upcoming months.
Table 1. Assay Results from Drill Program
Additional drilling is required to determine true widths as all hole intercepted veins at an oblique angle. The assays are not capped. Assumptions used in USD for the silver equivalent calculation were metal prices of $24/oz silver, $1,800/oz gold, $1.81/lb zinc, $ 0.90/lb lead and 100% recovery.
Quality Assurance / Quality Control
Zacatecas follows industry-recognized standards of Best Practice and Quality Assurance/Quality Control. Samples are submitted to ALS in batches of 20 — comprising 16 half cut core samples, one field blank, two certified reference material standards and one staged duplicate. Samples are sealed in plastic bags using single use tie-locks and delivered to ALS Zacatecas — thereby ensuring chain of custody. Since the ALS facility in Zacatecas is only a preparation facility, sample pulps were sent to ALS Ireland for fire assay. To date all batches have passed QAQC and blanks and CRM’s were within acceptable tolerance limits. All diamond holes were drilled HQ diameter. Core recovery across all veins was better than 98%.
The contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Chris Wilson, B.Sc. (Hons), PhD, FAusIMM (CP), FSEG, Chief Operating Officer of Zacatecas. Dr. Wilson is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 and is responsible for all technical information in this news release.
About Zacatecas Silver Corp.
The Zacatecas silver property is located in Zacatecas state, Mexico, within the highly prospective Fresnillo silver belt, which has produced over 6.2 billion ounces of silver. The company holds 7,826 hectares (19,338 acres) of ground that is highly prospective for low-sulphidation and intermediate-sulphidation silver base metal mineralization and potentially low-sulphidation gold-dominant mineralization. On December 15, 2021, Zacatecas announced a mineral resource estimate at the Panuco deposit consisting of 2.7 million tonnes at 187 grams per tonne (g/t) silver equivalent (AgEq) (171 g/t silver (Ag) and 0.17 g/t gold (Au)) for 16.4 million ounces AgEq (15 million ounces silver and 15,000 ounces gold) (See news release dated December 14, 2021).
The property is 25 kilometres southeast of MAG Silver Corp.’s Juanicipio mine and Fresnillo PLC’s Fresnillo mine. The property shares common boundaries with Pan American Silver Corp. claims and El Orito, which is owned by Endeavour Silver.
Additionally, Zacatecas has recently announced a transaction to acquire the Esperanza Gold Project from Alamos Gold Inc. Esperanza is an advanced stage, attractive low-cost, low-capital-intensity and low-technical-risk growth project located in Morelos state, Mexico. Alamos has progressed the project through advanced engineering, including metallurgical work, while also focusing on stakeholder engagement, including building community relations.
To date, significant core and reverse circulation drilling has occurred at the Esperanza gold project, resulting in a total of 389 drill holes for 69,716 metres. Four targets adjacent to or close to the historical resource were identified to potentially expand the historical resource. The project also hosts seven regional exploration targets, largely untested, that also merit drill testing.
Alamos reported in its most recent annual information form a resource estimate of a measured and indicated resource of 34,352,000 tonnes at 0.98 g/t gold and 8.09 g/t silver for 1,083,366 ounces of gold and 8,936,201 ounces of silver and inferred resource of 718,000 tonnes at 0.80 g/t gold and 15.04 g/t silver for 18,375 ounces of gold and 347,192 ounces of silver. The Company considers this to be an historical resource for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101. Resource blocks were defined using with dimensions of 10 metres (m) by 10 m by five m. The estimation of grades was performed with the ordinary kriging method on capped composites. An added step in the estimation strategy was the utilization of the dynamic anisotropy technique in Vulcan’s unfolding options. This added capability allows for a more realistic outcome of the estimated grade’s spatial distribution as it follows the folded shape of the deposit. Assumptions used in the resource include the following metal prices: gold price of $1,400 (U.S.) per ounce (oz) and silver price of $22 (U.S.) per oz. The resource assumed the following economic assumptions: recovery of 60.4 per cent at 0.2 g/t to 71.9 per cent at 1.6 g/t for gold, 25 per cent for silver, $2.60-per-tonne mining costs, 64-cents-per-tonne general and administrative costs, $4.20-per-tonne milling costs and a pit slope of 45 degrees. The Company considers the resource relevant due to its identification and modelling of the Esperanza deposit.
The Company has not done sufficient work to classify the resource as a current mineral resource or mineral reserves and the Company is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. Although the resource estimate is considered reliable, the Company will resample a portion of the drill core for the purpose of carrying out a new resource estimate. Furthermore, additional data verification, including resurveying of select diamond drill holes collars; review of graphic drill core logs, comparison of these logs with remaining half-cut core and a cross check of select geological logs agonist database entries; and a check of original assay certificates against the assays and drill hole database.
Figure 1: Map of El Cristo showing Zacatecas’ drill hole locations. Historical drill hole traces are also shown (black). The base of the map is a grey scale digital elevation model. Recently drilled holes traces with assay results received are shown in blue. (CNW Group/Zacatecas Silver Corp.)
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