Focus Ventures Ltd. has announced that field work is underway at its Santa Cruz Project located in the State of Durango, Mexico.
The project covers 13,350 hectares of mining claims over a system of high-grade epithermal silver veins and breccias that occur within a corridor 9km long and 2km wide.
This first phase exploration field program includes trenching, rock chip sampling, mapping and clay alteration studies within the known mineralized trend, in addition to systematic soil sampling to define extensions to the trend to the east, south and north. The work has already identified several new areas of alteration. The information from this first phase program will be used to design a Stage 2 drill program planned for early 2012.
The surface mineralization at Santa Cruz is typically silver rich and hosted by breccias, indicating a high level in the epithermal system. Several of the structures were mined historically for high grade silver, copper and gold. For example the San Pablo - La Fragua - Orozco trend which can be traced for over 3km along strike, with widths of individual zones ranging up to 30m on surface. Underground sampling by Focus at the newly discovered El Padre vein located some 2.2km further east returned grades from trace to 1,440 g/t Ag and 1 g/t Au over 0.9m within broad zones of epithermal breccias up to 8m wide.
The Santa Cruz project lies within the Silver Lake Trend, in the western flank of the Sierra Madre Occidental Volcanic Province, a polymetallic belt that hosts several operating and past producing gold and silver mines.
Mineralization consists of veins and breccias extending over a strike length of at least 9km, historically termed the West, Central and Eastern Districts. Recently discovered high grade silver veins have highlighted the potential in the Eastern District which will be the main focus of the initial work program. Precious metal mineralization is typically hosted in banded and smoky quartz veins and breccias associated with mainly argentite, electrum and sulphosalts.
New mineralized zones at El Padre, Don Blas and Renata were discovered within the last year in the Eastern District, along trend from the San Pablo - La Fragua - Orozco structure. The El Padre structure has been traced for 500m on surface and is now undergoing small scale, artisanal production by the claim owners, a local Mexican mining company. Underground sampling by Focus at El Padre returned high grade assays from trace to 1,460 g/t Ag and trace to 2.2 g/t Au within broader zones of low grade quartz breccias and stockworks up to 8m wide.
Highlights of this sampling include 775 g/t Ag + 0.2 g/t Au over 1.1m; 733 g/t Ag + 0.7 g/t Au over 1.8m, and 591 g/t Ag + 1.1 g/t Au over 2.3m. The El Padre structure is open along strike and at depth.
The San Pablo - La Fragua - Orozco trend consists of a major silicified shear associated with at least two parallel fault zones. Past production at La Fragua of direct-shipping high grade silver, gold and copper ore saw grades of 3,200 g/t Ag, 27 g/t Au and 33% Cu, similar to those mined historically in the Santa Cruz Mine, located in the Western District.
Limited previous drilling in 2005 along the La Fragua - Orozco structure appears to have tested for disseminated mineralization. Four holes were drilled at wide spacings over a strike distance of 1.7km. All holes intersected mineralization, including narrow, high grade and wider, low grade disseminated intervals, e.g. 464 g/t Ag + 0.12 g/t Au + 2.71% Zn over 3.0m in Hole SC-2, (112m-115m), and 76 g/t Ag + 1.07% Zn over 19m in Hole SC-5 (101m - 120m).
Terms of the Option Agreement
Under the Terms of the Agreement with a local Mexican mining company, Focus has the option to acquire 80% of the Santa Cruz Project by defining 15Moz of Silver Equivalent resources in the Inferred Category within 4 years, and by paying the owner a total of $20,000,000 cash, of which $40,000 is payable on signing of the agreement (paid), and $20,000 is payable every 6 months while the option is outstanding. Upon exercise of the option, Focus must pay the owner the remaining cash balance owing and grant the owner a 3% NSR on future production. The Agreement also grants Focus right of first preference to the historic Santa Cruz and Zambraneña mines (201 hectares) located in the west and central parts of the Santa Cruz Project.
Sampling Quality Analysis and Quality Control
Gold was assayed by Atomic Adsorption Spectrometry with fire assay gravimetric finish. Silver was determined by multi-acid digestion and ICP-AES, with fire assay gravimetric finish. ALS Chemex's quality control system complies with International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025:2005. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples. Quality control is further assured by Focus's own QA/QC program which involves the insertion by Focus personnel of blind certified standards and blanks into the sample stream at regular intervals in order to independently assess analytical precision and accuracy of each batch of samples as they are received from the laboratory. Finally, representative sample pulps are forwarded to an ISO-compliant third party laboratory for additional quality control.