Southern Silver Exploration Corp. (TSX.V: SSV) (“Southern Silver”) reported today that it has intersected high-grade massive sulphides in the final hole of the 2017 exploration program at the Cerro Las Minitas project. The massive sulphide intercepts were contained within a broader mineralized zone in drill hole 17CLM-106 that supports continuity within the newly defined Skarn Front.
Highlight intercepts from drill hole 17CLM-106 include:
- a 2.5m down hole interval (2.1m est. True Thickness) averaging 88g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb and 10.3% Zn (465/t AgEq; 13.1% ZnEq including a higher grade 0.8m interval (0.7m est. TT) averaging 181g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb and 21.9% Zn (988g/t AgEq; 27.9% ZnEq); and
- a 1.8m down hole interval (1.5m est. TT) averaging 30g/t Ag, 0.1% Cu, and 20.7% Zn (782g/t AgEq; 22.1% ZnEq);
Drill hole 17CLM-106 continues the identification of mineralized intercepts into the newly defined Skarn Front which forms a large anomalous zone, approximately 800m x 600m, located at depth beneath the Blind and El Sol zones. The drill hole tested an area of the Skarn Front extending approximately 400m between the previously reported intercepts in drill holes 17CLM-095 (8.0 metres est. TT of 602g/t Ag, 7.1% Pb and 17.9% Zn; 1488g/t AgEq or 42% ZnEq - see NR-06-17) and 17CLM-098 (8.7 metres est. TT of 288g/t Ag, 2.0% Cu 0.8%Pb and 1.2% Zn; 575g/t AgEq or 16.2% ZnEq). Hole 17CLM-106 increases the continuity of the mineralization between these holes and opens up further exploration potential.
Southern Silver is in the process of reviewing, modelling and compiling the 2017 drill results toward an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Cerro Las Minitas Project due in the coming weeks.
Table 1: Significant Mineralized Intercepts from 17CLM-106
Figure 1: Outline of the Skarn Front, Blind and El Sol zones, Cerro Las Minitas project
Summary of Results - 2017 Exploration Program
Exploration on the Cerro Las Minitas project in 2017 was successful in both the systematic expansion of the existing Mineral Resource and the development of additional exploration targets in the adjacent licenses controlled by the company. Highlights from the 2017 Exploration Program include the:
- Reinterpretation of the geological model during the 2017 drilling program leading to the modelling of the Skarn Front mineralization that will be accretive to the existing Mineral Resources on the Cerro Las Minitas project;
- Resolution of a geological model/concept that appears to explain both primary and secondary controls on the distribution of mineralization in the new deposit that will be useful in further delineation and expansion of higher grade mineralization;
- Identification of two new target areas for offset drill testing in 2018; and
- Identification of new precious-metal targets in “greenfields” exploration on newly acquired and contiguous claims located 10km to the southwest of the known resource in the area of the Cerro.
Drilling in 2017 by Southern Silver completed 18 core holes totaling 13,600 metres and successfully outlined the Skarn Front as a zone of mineralization, located at depth beneath the Blind and El Sol Zones. Mineralization occurs on the outer edge of the skarn alteration zone surrounding the Central Monzonite Intrusion at or near the transition into marble and forms the primary geological control on the distribution of sulphide mineralization. Geological modelling suggests that intersections between the sub-vertical, northwest-trending Blind and El Sol mineralized zones and the generally more shallowly dipping Skarn Front may localize higher-grade shoots of mineralization which may be in part responsible for higher grade intervals identified in some of the 2017 drilling (eg: 17CLM-095 - 8.0 metres est. TT of 602g/t Ag, 7.1% Pb and 17.9% Zn).
Exploration in 2017 has identified two new step-out targets for drill testing in 2018. Mineralization in the Skarn Front is open for approximately 500 metres along strike to the southeast of drill holes 17CLM-101 and -105 in what is now termed the Las Victorias zone (see NR-14-17 dated September 06, 2017) and up to 600 metres along strike to the northeast, where the zone wraps around the northern margin of the Central Intrusion, in the North Skarn zone (see NR-06-17; June 12, 2017).
Southern Silver is very encouraged by the success to the 2017 drilling program and its potential to positively impact the existing Mineral Resource Estimate. Further exploration is required to determine the full development potential of the property. The newly identified Las Victorias and North Skarn Target areas, as lateral extensions of the Skarn Front, highlight the continued growth potential of the project through step-out drilling and systematic resource expansion.
Figure 2: Plan Map showing the distribution of Drill Holes at Cerro Las Minitas for the 2017 core drilling program
Southern Silver also reported on its surface float sampling program for the newly staked Creston del Oro, Biznagas and Los Lenchos claims located contiguous to the larger Cerro Las Minitas property.
Surface exploration is targeting high-grade epithermal silver-gold quartz vein systems within Tertiary volcanic stratigraphy which are found in a geologically similar environment to the veins at the Avino Mine located approximately 10 km to the NW of the northern claim boundary and at Hecla’s San Sebastian mine located approximately 40kmto the east of the target area.
Sampling has been conducted throughout the three claims over the last several months with collected samples of mostly quartz and rhyolite float. Mapping in areas of exposure in the northern parts of the claims have identified multiple quartz veins and silicified zones up to 15m thick.
Over 1400 rock chip and float samples have been collected to date and reveal a +12km long northwest-southeast-trending corridor of anomalous precious-metal and pathfinder values that display a distinct zoning pattern consistent with modelled vertical and lateral zonation within a large epithermal vein system. Multiple distinct clusters and trends are seen in the metal distribution which will form the basis for targeting for an RC drill program in 2018.
Work on the Cerro Las Minitas project through Autumn 2017 will include an independent update of the 2016 Mineral Resource Estimate, additional metallurgical studies and further advancement and development of the exploration targets on the Creston del Oro, Biznagas and Los Lenchos claims.
Figure 3: Plan Map showing the distribution of Surface sampling on the Creston del Oro, Biznagas and Los Lenchos claims
Cerro Las Minitas Project
Recent exploration on the company’s flagship Cerro Las Minitas property, Durango Mexico has been funded by Electrum Global Holdings L.P. (“Electrum”), which has now earned a 60% indirect interest in the project through a US$5.0M earn-in on the property, with Southern Silver acting as operator.
The Cerro Las Minitas project as of March 21st, 2016 contains an estimated Inferred Resource of 17.5Mozs silver and 237Mlbs of lead and 626Mlbs zinc (77.3Mozs AgEq) and an estimated Indicated Resource of 10.8Mozs silver, 189Mlbs lead and 207Mlbs zinc (36.5Mozs AgEq).(1)
A total of 108 drill holes for 49,600 metres have now been completed on the Cerro Las Minitas project with exploration expenditures of approximately US$15.1 million with an exploration cost of $0.13 per AgEq ounce (as of December 2016).
Table 2: Select Composites from 2016-17 Drilling on the Skarn Front Zone, Cerro Las Minitas Project
Analyzed by FA/AA for gold and ICP-AES by ALS Laboratories, North Vancouver, BC. Silver (>100ppm), copper, lead and zinc (>1%) overlimits assayed by ore grade ICP analysis, High silver overlimits (>1500g/t Ag) and gold overlimits (>10g/t Au) re-assayed with FA-Grav. High Pb (>20%) and Zn (>30%) overlimits assayed by titration. AgEq and ZnEq were calculated using average metal prices of: US$18.2/oz silver, US$1240/oz gold, US$2.8/lbs copper and US$0.91/lbs lead and US$0.94/lbs zinc. AgEq and ZnEq calculations did not account for relative metallurgical recoveries of the metals. Ore-grade composites calculated using a 80g/t AgEq cut-off and <20% internal dilution, except where noted; anomalous intercepts calculated using a 10g/t AgEq cut-off.
About Southern Silver Exploration Corp.
Southern Silver Exploration Corp. is a precious metal exploration and development company with a focus on the discovery of world-class mineral deposits in north-central Mexico and the southern USA. Our specific emphasis is the Cerro Las Minitas silver-lead-zinc project located in the heart of Mexico’s Faja de Plata, which hosts multiple world-class mineral deposits such as Penasquito, San Martin, Naica and Pitarrilla. We have assembled a team of highly experienced technical, operational and transactional professionals to support our exploration efforts in developing, along with our partner, Electrum Global Holdings LP, the Cerro Las Minitas project into a premier, high-grade, silver-lead-zinc mine.
The Company engages in the acquisition, exploration and development either directly or through joint-venture relationships in mineral properties in major jurisdictions. Our property portfolio also includes the Oro porphyry copper-gold project located in southern New Mexico, USA. The Oro property consists of patented land, State leases and BLM located mineral claims which cover a highly prospective quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration zone, interpreted to overlie an unexposed porphyry center and distal sediment-hosted, oxide-gold target.
- The 2016 Cerro Las Minitas Resource Estimate was prepared following CIM definitions for classification of Mineral Resources. Resources are constrained using mainly geological constraints and approximate 10g/t AgEq grade shells. The block models are comprised of an array of blocks measuring 10m x 2m x 10m, with grades for Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, Zn and AgEq values interpolated using ID2 weighting. The models identified at a 150g/t AgEq cut-off, an indicated resource of 3,724,000 tonnes averaging 90g/t Ag, 0.05g/t Au, 2.3% Pb, 2.5% Zn and 0.09% Cu and a cumulative inferred resource of 6,611,000 tonnes averaging 82g/t Ag, 0.17g/t Au, 1.6% Pb, 4.3% Zn and 0.2% Cu. Mineral Resource cut-offs are estimated using an average long-term price of $15/oz silver, $1,100/oz gold, $2.75/lb Cu, $0.90/lb lead and $0.90/lb zinc and metal recoveries of 82% silver, 86% lead and 80% zinc. AgEq calculations did not account for relative metallurgical recoveries of the metals. All prices are stated in $USD. Mineral Resources are conceptual in nature and as such do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The current Resource Estimate was prepared by Garth Kirkham, P.Geo. of Kirkham Geosciences Ltd. who is the Independent Qualified Person responsible for presentation and review of the Mineral Resource Estimate.
Robert Macdonald, MSc. P.Geo, is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and responsible for the supervision of the exploration on the Cerro Las Minitas Project and for the preparation of the technical information in this disclosure.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Lawrence Page, Q.C.
President & Director, 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. 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. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include the timing and receipt of government and regulatory approvals, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. Southern Silver Exploration Corp. does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.