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Southern Silver Exploration Begins Intensive Drilling Program at Cerro Las Minitas Project

Southern Silver Exploration Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SSV)(FRANKFURT:SEG) reported today that it has commenced its intensive exploration program of the Cerro Las Minitas project, Durango state, Mexico on February 20th, 2011.

The company also reported that the second hole at its Dragoon Copper Porphyry project in Arizona, drilled by optionee Freeport McMoRan Exploration Corp., has intersected a thick interval of veined and mineralized intrusive.

Cerro Las Minitas, Durango State, Mexico

The exploration program at Cerro Las Minitas consists of airborne, ground IP survey, and a minimum of 3,000 metres of diamond drilling

  • The Airborne Magnetic Survey consisting of 1,100 line-kilometres and covering the entire 10,980 hectare property, including the known mineralized zones at Cerro Las Minitas, has been completed on schedule. The results are currently being evaluated to define magnetic anomalies that have a similar geophysical signature as the one associated with Cerro Las Minitas. Once the evaluation has been completed, the favourable areas will be prospected, mapped, sampled and surveyed with ground geophysics to define additional drill targets.
  • The Ground I.P. (Induced Polarization) Survey, consisting of approximately 20 line kilometres, commenced February 25th, 2011 and will cover the immediate area of historic mining at Cerro Las Minitas. It is scheduled to be completed by the third week of March. The survey will assist in the definition of the lateral and down-dip extent of the wide (up to 60 metres) contact skarn zone that is located at the contact of an intrusion and limestone. The skarn contains well documented high-grade, silver-, lead- and zinc- deposits, which were the focus of historical mining in the area. The skarn also hosts disseminated copper and gold mineralization. The I.P. survey will also assist in the identification of carbonate replacement deposits (CRDs) containing silver, lead and zinc which are known to be present within the surrounding limestones/marbles.

The geophysical program will cover both known areas of mineralization and newly recognized un-explored regions that may then be prioritized for further exploration based on their similarity to the known mineralized zones.

The Environmental permit for the drill program has been approved by Mexican Government agencies and the 3,000 metre diamond drill program will commence the second week of March.

The diamond drill program consists of two phases:

  • The primary phase will be directed to test geological targets and those targets identified by previous drilling.
  • The second phase will be directed to test the anomalies identified by the airborne and ground geophysical surveys.

Previously reported assays from a program by Southern Silver of detailed mapping and sampling of surface exposures and trenches in the area of the historic mining confirmed both the style and general tenor of historically reported mineralization on the property. Eleven of 86 initial grab and chip samples returned values in excess of 100g/t silver, including 464g/t silver and 15.7% lead and 1.16% zinc from a hand-cobbled sample from the Santa Nino chimney(1). Additional select chip sampling of historic trenches to the southeast and east of the high-grade mantos and chimneys returned strongly anomalous gold (+1g/t) and copper (0.1% to 0.8%) mineralization, which represent significant bulk-tonnage targets in the skarn immediately adjacent to the main intrusive body.

Dragoon Project, Arizona Update

Southern Silver also reported that the second drill hole on the Dragoon project by optionee, Freeport McMoRan Exploration Corp. (FMEC) has intersected a significant interval of veined and mineralized porphyritic granodiorite. The Dragoon project is located 90 kilometres southeast of Tucson, Az.

The hole which was completed to 1,055 metres, intersected a lower 440 metre interval of altered Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and porphyritic Laramide-age(?) intrusive before passing into, across a strongly sheared contact, unmineralized Precambrian footwall rocks at a depth of 1000 metres. Quartz veining and variable amounts of copper, molybdenum and zinc sulphides occur sporadically through much of the +400 metre target interval.

Southern Silver believes that this and other historical data suggest the presence of a copper-enriched mineralized system in the project area.

FMEC continues to log and sample the hole. Assays are pending.

Oro Project, New Mexico

The company also reported that it has initiated the process to file a permit for up to fifteen additional drill holes on the Oro project, New Mexico in early March. Drill targeting follows completion of a 455 line-kilometer airborne magnetic survey over the property, surface exploration and a five-hole, 1,645 meter core drilling program completed early in 2010. The most recent work has identified strongly altered intrusive bodies at depth as well as a large area of magnetic lows that coincide with strong surface alteration over an area of 3.6 kilometres x 1.6 kilometres. The Oro project is situated in the general area of large porphyry copper deposits in Arizona and southwest New Mexico. It is believed that the Oro project has potential for intrusion-related gold mineralization, a porphyry copper-gold deposit as well as silver-enriched CRD deposits.

Cerro Las Minitas property

The Cerro Las Minitas property comprises 17 concessions which total 10,980 hectares and an approximate 25 kilometre lineal strike length. The project lies within the Faja de Plata (Belt of Silver) of north-central Mexico, which is one of the most significant silver producing regions in the world. Current reserves/resources and historic production from this region are in excess of three billion ounces of silver.

Mining has been conducted on the property since colonial times and has identified several types of silver-, lead- and zinc-enriched massive-sulphide pipes, veins and carbonate-replacement deposits (CRDs), as well as mineralized skarns at the margins of a large intrusive body. The Santa Eulalia replacement deposit (45Mt of 310g/t Ag, 7.1% Zn and 8.2% Pb) and the skarn deposit of San Martin (60Mt of 118g/t silver, 0.9% copper and 3.9% zinc) are examples of two major Mexican mines occurring in similar geological environments(2). The mineralized zones at Cerro Las Minitas have been exploited to depths of 300 metres and over widths of 60 metres.

Limited historical drilling on the project by Noranda (not independently verified by Southern Silver) returned numerous intervals of higher grade silver and base metals, including: a 11.45 metre interval (down hole) grading 123g/t silver, 1.55% lead and 7.79% zinc from drill hole NGV-00-02 and a 1.41 metre interval (down hole) grading 529g/t silver, 6.99% lead and 1.27% zinc from drill hole NGV-00-06.

Source: Southern Silver Exploration Corp.

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