Southern Silver Exploration Corp. today reports that it has received New Mexico and Bureau of Land Management drill permits for its Oro Project in the Eureka Mining District of Grant County, New Mexico, USA. The district is part of a belt of major Carbonate Replacement Deposits (CRD’s) of lead, zinc, silver, gold and copper that extend southward from western New Mexico through east-central Mexico.
The permits cover drilling at ten sites, allowing for several phases of drilling. A first-phase drilling program consisting of four core holes (~1,000 metres) is planned. The holes will test four separate gold-rich CRD and skarn target areas and are based on dump and rock-chip geochemistry and historic underground mine mapping. These areas were chosen because they are extensions of previously mined mineralization or contain mineralized veins that may expand dramatically along prospective stratigraphic or structural horizons at reasonable depths.
The property consists of 8 patented mining claims and approximately 80 hectares of surface rights, as well as 146 unpatented lode mining claims for a total of approximately 1,000 hectares. The patented claims were issued circa 1905.
Production began at the Oro project shortly after the discovery of lead, copper, and silver in 1877, and continued sporadically through the early 1960’s. The New Mexico Bureau of Mines estimates production from the Eureka District between 1880 and 1961 at 2.9 million pounds (1,315 tonnes) of lead, 1.7 million pounds (771 tonnes) of zinc, 0.5 million pounds (227 tonnes) of copper, 0.45 million ounces of silver, and 5,000 ounces of gold. Reported grades are in the range of 20 oz/ton (685 g/t) Ag, 4% combined Zn and Pb, and up to 0.04 oz/ton (1.4 g/t) Au. Small amounts of very high-grade Ag and Cu mineralization have been reported.
Tertiary felsic to intermediate dikes and small stocks intrude Cretaceous-age carbonate sediments and overlying Laramide-age andesitic volcanic rocks at Oro. Alteration mapping, rock-chip sampling, and creosote plant sampling reveal a well-zoned mineral system, with a distinctly enriched gold zone surrounding a monzonitic intrusion, which regional aeromagnetic data suggest is the upper portion of a small stock. A similar aeromagnetic pattern is observed near the eastern exposure of the Howard vein.
In addition to high-grade, gold-enriched CRD deposits, Oro may host auriferous skarns. Several dump samples of skarn, without vein material, contain up to 1 g/t Au. Such mineralization occurs at Pinos Altos, approximately 40 km to the north, and in many ore deposits world wide.
Four high-priority areas are being targeted for this first phase of drilling, as more fully described on the company’s website, www.southernsilverexploration.com and briefly described below.
1. American Mine Extension - Published historic mine maps show that a westerly dipping mineralized horizon, either a favorable bed of limestone or a thrust, lies along a prominent ENE-trending, high-angle fault. Deeper portions of the mine reportedly contained increasing gold grades to 0.9 g/t. The American mine is one of the largest mines on the property, with production from a 90-metre deep shaft and 600 metres of drifts. The planned drill hole tests the down-dip projection of the intersection of the high-angle fault and the low-angle mineralized horizon to the west of historic workings. A zoning model based on surface geochemistry suggests that the American Mine lies interior to the highest gold values; therefore, the site was chosen to test CRD mineralization farther from the intrusion, where gold should be more enriched.
2. Basal Hidalgo Volcanics - A prominent ENE-trending fault cuts the Hidalgo Volcanics near the site and contains gold values in the 1 to 2 g/t Au range. This mineralization is believed to be leakage from significant mineralization in more favorable host rocks below. The base of the volcanic rocks should have been an efficient trap for mineralization; strongly altered to clay, it would have formed a cap, trapping fluids in favorable carbonates below. Rock-chip geochemistry shows a widespread, distinct enrichment in mercury, a highly volatile element, in Cretaceous sediments directly beneath the volcanic rocks, consistent with them partial forming a seal to hydrothermal fluids.
3. Howard Veins - Strong dump-sample geochemistry occurs near the site, and gold is particularly enriched (up to 17.5 g/t Au). The veins strike ENE and are exposed with mineralization for approximately 750 metres. There is a weak aeromagnetic anomaly beneath this area, possibly due to a buried intrusion. Altered carbonate conglomerate and limestone should be favorable lithologies for skarn-hosted mineralization, with probable thrust faults as additional favorable targets.
4. King Vein - Strong dump-sample geochemistry occurs near the site, and gold is particularly enriched (up to 23.8 g/t Au). The veins strike ENE and are exposed with mineralization for approximately 490 metres. Altered carbonate conglomerate and limestone underlie this area, with probable thrust faults as additional favorable targets.
About Southern Silver Exploration Corp.
Southern Silver Exploration Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of quality assets, in significant mineralized trends, close to infrastructure. Its current projects include the copper/gold/silver Minas de Ameca project and the silver/zinc/lead Pinabete project in Mexico, the Dragoon Porphyry project in Arizona and the Oro project in New Mexico. On May 21, 2009, the Company terminated its option agreement dated May 26, 2005 for the Tombstone Property in Arizona.
Robert Macdonald, (P.Geo.), is the Qualified Person responsible for reviewing the technical results reported in this release on behalf of Southern Silver Exploration Corp.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Lawrence Page, President , Southern Silver Exploration Corp.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This News Release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. Southern Silver Exploration Corp. relies upon litigation protection for forward looking statements.