Minefinders Corporation Ltd. has provided updated results from drilling completed at the Company's La Virginia Project in Sonora State, Mexico.
Following encouraging results earlier in the year, drilling remains focused on the Las Huatas Zone. Drill intercepts reported in this news release are from step-out holes designed to expand on previously reported intercepts by targeting the mineralized structure on 40 to 60 metre centres. A map showing the location of all the zones where drilling has taken place can be found on the Company's website (www.minefinders.com) and recent potentially significant intercept results are categorized by zone in the tables included at the end of this news release.
High-grade intercepts from within the Las Huatas Zone include 4.0 metres averaging 71.31 grams per tonne (gpt) gold-equivalent1 (AuEq) (41.01 gpt gold and 1,817.9 gpt silver) contained within 23.5 metres averaging 13.69 gpt AuEq (7.63 gpt gold and 363.2 gpt silver). Gold-equivalents are based solely on the contained gold and silver and no base metals have been observed to occur. To date, the Las Huatas zone has been systematically tested over an area of approximately 250 metres laterally and 250 metres vertically. Drill sites are currently in place to test an additional 450 metres of strike length as well as target mineralization at depth.
Highlights of assay results from recently completed holes in the Las Huatas Zone include:
- LV11-47C: 23.5 metres of 13.69 gpt AuEq including 9.0 metres of 34.51 gpt AuEq and 4.0 metres of 71.31 gpt AuEq
- LV11-48C: 7.8 metres of 2.04 gpt AuEq including 1.0 metre of 9.45 gpt AuEq
- LV11-49C: 2.0 metres of 8.16 gpt AuEq
- LV11-50C: 15.0 metres of 6.14 gpt AuEq including 4.5 metres of 18.09 gpt AuEq and 1.5 metres of 41.13 gpt AuEq
All intervals are reported as down-hole lengths and are not corrected to true widths for the mineralized intervals as drill holes typically cut mineralization at variable angles and geometries of mineralized zones remain speculative until further drilling is completed.
1 Gold-equivilent has been calculated using a silver to gold ratio of 60 to one.
Geologic mapping and sampling is currently being conducted on the south end of the project where the Las Huatas mineralized zone is known to extend for at least two to three kilometres to the south of current drilling. This expands the total strike length along mineralized structures to more than 10 kilometers of length. Once this work is completed, an application to expand the existing environmental permit to include this area for drilling will be filed.
Two test drill holes within the El Campo Santo Zone, located in the northern half of the project, were also completed. These drill holes were designed to test down-dip of previously drilled shallow intercepts. Results include 4.62 gpt AuEq over 2.0 metres in hole LV11-38C and 6.53 gpt AuEq over 2.0 metres in hole LV11-44C indicating that grades are increasing with depth. Additional drilling along the El Campo Santo Zone is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.
In the Con Virginia Zone (the central portion of the property), the focus has been the development of additional infrastructure such as access roads and new drill pads, the construction of which are both complete. The new drill pads will allow for additional targeting of the zone where mineralization remains open along strike and up dip.
During the course of 2011, the Company has constructed an additional 3 kilometres of road and 15 additional drill pads at La Virginia. Two core rigs are currently dedicated to the project and the Company plans to add a third core rig before the end of the year. Thus far, the Company has drilled nearly 11,000 metres in 2011 of its planned 12,750 metre program at La Virginia. Total drilling for the project now exceeds 17,000 metres in 55 completed core holes.
Due to the positive progress made year-to-date, the Board of Directors has approved an increase of US$1 million in the 2011 budget for La Virginia from US$2.7 million to US$3.7 million. Drilling will continue to follow up on encouraging intercepts located in the three main zones, totaling seven kilometres of mineralized strike length, and will also be extended to cover an area to the south of the Las Huatas Zone.
The La Virginia Project is located approximately 220 kilometres east-northeast of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico and is 100 kilometres north-northwest of the Company's Dolores Mine. The land package encompasses more than 34,000 hectares within a geologic environment similar to that of the Dolores gold and silver deposit.
Initial drill targets were developed through geologic mapping and geochemical sampling, but were limited by the rugged topography, available surface exposures, and preliminary access requirements. Gold to silver ratios, geochemical zonation patterns, and their elevational and lateral relations are being studied from currently available data in order to continue to target areas of highest potential.