San Roque Project Resume
The San Roque property is located in costal desert near the Atlantic Ocean in southwestern Argentina within an area of Patagonia having excellent infrastructure and mining friendly politics. The property is an advanced stage exploration project for a low-sulphidation epithermal polymetallic mineral deposit with gold and zinc as the principal economic commodities accompanied by important values of silver, indium and lead.
The property is owned by Minas San Roque S.A, which is in turn jointly owned by Marifil Mines Ltd. and NovaGold Resources through their wholly owned Argentinean subsidiary companies. Marifil holds 51% equity in Minas San Roque and is currently the project operator.
An independently generated initial NI 43-101 compliant Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.5 million ounces of gold equivalent mineralization has been calculated for the project. This is a conceptual open pit constrained Inferred Mineral Resource of 32,891,400 tonnes at 1.42 grams per tonne gold equivalent (“g/t AuEq”) containing 1,499,900 ounces of AuEq, of which the gold constituent is 486,600 troy ounces. This Inferred Mineral Resource was computed using an oxide plus sulphide tonnages weighted average cut-off grade of 0.58 g/t gold equivalent. It also includes 12,770,600 troy ounces of silver. Notably, the estimated indium content, an element vital to the global digital electronics industry, is 12,586,000 troy ounces. The gold equivalent was calculated using the three year trailing price averages for the metals reported.
This Inferred Mineral Resource includes a strong zinc component of over half a billion pounds which when combined with lead amount to 847,000,000 pounds of base metals (384,000 tonnes). Elevated copper and molybdenum values have also been noted, and they will be modeled in future progressive Mineral Resource estimates.
The Inferred Mineral Resource is an over-all estimate combining four separate zones of mineralization that have been constrained to certain open pit mining dynamics, as well as specific geological and metal elements grade domains.
The resource is all in the Inferred category only because of the lack of metallurgical recovery test data precludes upgrading portions of it to the Indicated category. The amount and spacing of drill holes is sufficient in some zones for determining Indicated Resources pending results of planned extractive metallurgical bench scale tests.
Geologists familiar with the property believe there is sufficient evidence to imply geologic grade and continuity within and possibly between some of the four different mineral zones that, if proven, could upgrade their resource classifications. Marifil reasonably expects that the majority of Inferred Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued drilling, metallurgical recovery testing and an improved specific gravity data base for the various rock formations.
It is clear to geoscientists involved in the project that the limits of the mineral deposit have not yet been established, and that it could be much bigger. Many drill holes ended in well mineralized material. Additionally, numerous mineralized rock outcroppings and soil geochemical metal anomalies, especially for gold, remain to be drilled tested.
The property is secured by 73,915 hectares of mine rights of which 9,449 hectares are held by exclusive mineral exploitation (mining) concessions, with the remainder being surrounding temporary mineral exploration permits. These mining concessions are subject to a federal 3% pit head production royalty and are free of any private production royalties
About US$8.5 million has been invested assessing this mineral deposit discovery, the majority of which was for 16,586 meters of diamond core drilling as 112 holes. A continuation of drilling aimed at expanding the NI43-101 compliant Inferred Mineral Resource estimate and for testing newly discovered outlying gold veins is forthcoming.
The San Roque epithermal polymetallic deposit is geologically analogous to some of the world class mineral deposits located in the Central Mexican Silver Belt where mineralization is genetically related to felsic magnetism. Mineralization is manifested by multiple broad zones of narrow, sheeted and banded quartz-carbonate-sulphide veins and stockworks as well as sulphide disseminations within brecciaed volcanic rocks. Mineral deposition and host rock hydrothermal alteration are stratigraphically and structurally controlled. These types of epithermal mineral mineralization are best described as being Felsic Flow Dome Complex deposits.
Marifil believes the prospects for potential mining development at San Roque are good. The near surface nature and grade of the mineralization are positive factors for economic extraction possibilities, as well as is its location in a geographic zone of well-developed infrastructure and politically welcoming province.