EXPLORATION – Juanicipio Project
Since the discovery of the Deep Zone as an extension at depth of the high-grade Bonanza Zone (see Press Release April 23, 2015), the Valdecañas Vein System has emerged as a multi-stage, high-grade vein swarm comprising the Valdecañas vein, characterized by large dilatant zones (bulges) in its east and western reaches (previously interpreted as the overlapping East and West Valdecañas Veins), the hangingwall Anticipada Vein, the Pre-Anticipada Vein, several en echelon splays and the family of northeast-trending cross veins that comprise the Venadas-Valentina Vein family. Last year’s (2019) drill results include the deepest lateral intercepts to date on the Valdecañas Vein, with deep mineralization now traceable continuously over a strike length exceeding 2,000 metres (“m”) and up to 1,100 m vertically from the top of the Bonanza Zone. Vein widths range from approximately 2 m to over 29 m. Deep mineralization on the Valdecañas Veins remains open laterally for several hundred metres to the claim boundaries on both ends; to the east claim boundary for Anticipada; and Pre-Anticipada and to depth across all veins (see diagrams with Press Release dated March 4, 2019 at https://magsilver.com/news/valdecanas-deep-zone-expanded-and-significant-new-hangingwall-vein-discovered/ ).
Assays from 48 holes (46,060 m) designed to both convert the Inferred Mineral Resources included in the Deep Zone into Indicated Mineral Resources and further trace the Deep Zone laterally and to depth, were reported in 2019 (see Press Release dated March 4, 2019), and earlier this year in the quarter ended March 31, 2020, additional results from the 2019 28-hole (33,864 m) diamond drill program were announced (see Press Release dated March 3, 2020).
Valdecañas Deep Zone expanded and significant new hangingwall vein discovered
The 2019 drill results released on March 3, 2020, extend and confirm continuity to depth of high-grade mineralization in the East and West Valdecañas Vein Deep Zones and in the Anticipada Vein. Drilling in 2019 was not designed to extend the Pre-Anticipada vein. Drilling in 2019 did trace and confirm the northeast-trending Venadas vein some 800 m to the south. Drilling and development also coincidentally discovered two new northeast-trending cross veins, the Valentina and Venadas II veins.
Notably, many intercepts in the Valdecañas Deep Zone continue to demonstrate atypically high silver grades that MAG believes are ascribable to stacking or superimposition of mineralization related to a later deeper, boiling zone (mineralized horizon). As well, areas within the Deep Zone show extensive skarn and the increasing copper grades expected in the “root zone” (lower reaches) of an epithermal vein. Gold grades remain high and are remarkably consistent throughout the entire vertical extent of the Valdecañas Vein. These characteristics, interpreted in combination with other geological features, reflect proximity to a major mineralizing-fluid upwelling zone where multiple repeated pulses of mineralization combined to generate exceptionally high-grade and thick polymetallic mineralization. The search for additional mineralizing fluid upwelling zones within the Juanicipio Joint Venture property is ongoing, as each could be a centre of additional high-grade mineralization.
2019 28-hole (33,864 metre) diamond drill program – assays released March 3, 2020
The 2019 drill program expanded and upgraded the wide, high-grade Deep Zone and confirmed additional northeast-trending veins. Drill highlights (see Table 1 below):
- Confirm and expand continuous wide, high-grade mineralization in the Valdecañas Deep Zone;
- Confirm and expand the wide, high-grade zones in the Anticipada Vein;
- Confirm and expand the Venadas Vein to the south with strong silver and gold grades; and,
- Discover the northeast-trending Valentina and Venadas II veins through drilling and development.
Exceptional intercepts included:
Table 1 – Highlights 2019 Drill Program Assays
1 True widths (“TW”) were measured off cross sections
2 Abbreviations used: metres (“m”) and grams per tonne (“g/t”)
The discovery of more northeast-trending veins close to the planned production areas, coupled with the expanding high-grade Anticipada and Pre-Anticipada veins, should add significantly to the growing mineral endowment of the project and, importantly, provide considerable mining flexibility throughout an extended mine life.
A complete set of tables by vein of the 2019 drilling results are available at https://magsilver.com/site/assets/files/5810/nr-mar3-2020-table1-sdadds.pdf along with a new 3D video displaying the entire Valdecañas Vein system, available at https://magsilver.com/site/assets/files/5810/SSMovieHQ2_3-Mar3-2019-sdsawe.mp4 .
Drilling in 2019 returned the thickest and deepest lateral intercepts to date on the Valdecañas Vein, with deep mineralization now continuous over a 2,000 m strike length and up to 1,100 m vertically from the top of the Bonanza Zone. The 2019 vein intercepts range in width from approximately 1 m to over 21 m (see Figure 2 and tables at https://magsilver.com/site/assets/files/5810/nr-mar3-2020-table1-sdadds.pdf ) and the Valdecañas Vein remains open laterally to the claim boundaries at both ends and to depth. The best 2019 intercept is Hole D5-12, which cut 5.7m (true width) grading 3,884 g/t (113 ounces per ton (“opt”)) silver, 8.4 g/t (0.25 opt) gold, 6.5% lead, 9.7% zinc and 0.3% copper. This includes a 0.8m (true width) zone that ran 16,271 g/t (475 opt) silver, 9.2 g/t gold (0.27 opt), 17.8% lead, 11.8% zinc and 0.2% copper. The location of this intercept is important as it greatly expands the thick and high-grade eastern dilatant zone. Other significant holes include D1-5 and D1-10, both within the western dilatant zone, and D6-6 in the eastern dilatant zone. D5-11 also added very good width and grade above the east dilatant zone.
The Anticipada Vein is sub-parallel to and lies 50-100m in the hangingwall of the Valdecañas Vein. In 2019, it was coincidentally cut by 11 holes targeting the Valdecañas Vein and several of these intercepts significantly expand the vein. This is especially the case in a vertical zone along its western reaches where it widens and higher grades appear (see Figure 3 and tables at https://magsilver.com/site/assets/files/5810/nr-mar3-2020-table1-sdadds.pdf ). The best intercept is in Hole D6-6 and two other holes (D5-10 and D5-11) extend the well-mineralized zone on the eastern end of the vein. The remaining six holes tested the western limits of the vein and show moderate to relatively weak mineralization. The Anticipada Vein remains open to depth and to the east.
New Vein Discoveries – 2019
The Pre-Anticipada Vein (discovered and announced in Press Release, March 4, 2019) is also subparallel to the Valdecañas Vein and is located a further 50-100m into hangingwall above the Anticipada Vein. It was coincidentally cut by five infill holes targeting the Valdecañas Vein but their geometry was not favourable (see Figure 4 and tables at https://magsilver.com/site/assets/files/5810/nr-mar3-2020-table1-sdadds.pdf ). The two easternmost holes (D5-8 and D5-9) cut appreciable silver and gold values within the coherent high-grade zone that characterizes the Pre-Anticipada Vein (See Figure 4) but do not significantly expand it. Pre-Anticipada remains open for 200-300 m to the eastern property boundary and to depth.
Venadas, Venadas II and Valentina Veins
Five surface drill holes from the 2019 program tested the Venadas Vein (see tables at https://magsilver.com/site/assets/files/5810/nr-mar3-2020-table1-sdadds.pdf), the first northeasterly-trending vein ever found in the Fresnillo District, to depth and to the south. The hole drilled farthest to the south (93P) extends the vein to 800 m from its intersection with the Valdecañas Vein and cut high silver and gold grades with no base metals (2.5 m (true width) grading 918 g/t (27 opt) silver and 1.8 g/t gold). Vein textures and the lack of base metals indicates this is a high-level intercept and that the vein should have good potential to depth. Hole 97P was the only hole drilled below 93P and it hit only a narrow, pinched-down vein. Additional deeper holes are planned for 2020 to determine where the vein opens up again at depth.
Importantly, two additional northeast-trending veins (Venadas II and Valentina; See tables at https://magsilver.com/site/assets/files/5810/nr-mar3-2020-table1-sdadds.pdf) were discovered during 2019 through a combination of drilling and being cut in development headings. Both had been suspected based on oblique angle vein intercepts in several holes directed towards the Valdecañas Vein. Drill hole P32, which was designed to intercept Venadas II on the way to Valdecañas, cut 1.2m (true width) grading 279 g/t (8 opt) silver; 0.7 g/t gold. The Valentina Vein was also cut multiple times by the eastern development ramp and a number of historic Valdecañas vein drill holes, the best of which is Hole M39 which cut 0.7m grading 1,215 g/t (35 opt) silver, and 3.6 g/t gold.
The intercepts for Venadas, Venadas II and Valentina lack significant base metal grades (with the exception of one intercept) indicating that these holes have likely cut the veins high in the mineralizing system. Also, all three veins have been intercepted on both the hangingwall and footwall side of the Valdecañas Vein in drill core and underground workings. This, combined with underground exposures of mineralized cross cutting northeast trending veinlets, strongly suggest that these veins cross-cut the main-stage of the Valdecañas Vein and may coincide with the long-recognized late gold-rich mineralization stage. Short-hole underground drilling and drifting is contemplated for fleshing out these veins and determining what relationship they have with the Valdecañas Vein.
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