A modern day “gold rush” is now underway in the Mio-Pliocene age volcanic arc in northern Chile and Argentina that is driven by new exploration models and technology targeting multi-million ounce high sulphidation epithermal (HSE) oxide gold deposits. Mirasol staked 22,300 ha of claims for nine projects in the newly discovered Gorbea Belt in 2012, securing large prospective alteration systems identified by its generative team. Detailed ground follow-up of these targets identified large outcropping gold systems at the Atlas and Titan Projects. These oxide gold systems were not recognized by previous explorers and underscores how Mirasol’s industry-leading approach to exploration methods delivers opportunities for shareholders.
A joint venture with Yamana Gold was signed in March 2015 with an option to acquire 75% interest over a seven-year period. Yamana has demonstrated a commitment to an aggressive exploration program where the first earn-in option to 51% requires US$10 million in exploration spending and cash payments to Mirasol of US$2 million over four years. Included in the deal is provision for Yamana to provide financing to Mirasol for its 25% share of the development costs and the option for Mirasol to convert up to 9% of its equity position into a 3% net smelter return ("NSR") royalty. Yamana began its 2nd drilling program in January 2017 and entered the 3rd year of JV in May 2017 making a US$ 400,000 option payment to Mirasol.
The Atlas project is centred on a +25 sq. km high sulphidation epithermal gold alteration system hosting multiple gold and silver targets that are being drill tested by Yamana. A number of geochemical and geophysical anomalies were drilled by Yamana in late 2015 and early 2016 and drilling totalled 5,436 m in 10 holes.
The strongly anomalous gold and silver drill intersections from the 2016 Atlas drill program confirm the presence of a large deeply oxidised precious metal bearing HSE system at the project. Atlas contains many of the key geological and mineralization features of recent multi-million ounce discoveries at Alturas (Barrick Gold) and Salares Norte (Gold Fields), supporting its potential to host large-scale gold mineralization.
Best intersections to date from reverse circulation (RC) drilling include:
Drill hole 7:
40 m at 1.38 g/t Au and 17.9 g/t Ag
including 28 m at 1.82 g/t Au and 22.0 g/t Ag
30 m at 0.67 g/t Au and 5.1 g/t Ag
including 18 m at 0.90 g/t Au and 7.4 Ag
Drill hole 10:
54 m at 0.35 g/t Au and 5.5 g/t Ag
including 10 m at 1.02 g/t Au and 6.2 g/t Ag
Although the anomalous intersections returned from the program to date are relatively deep, potential for shallower up-dip and along strike extensions of the mineralization encountered in drill hole 7 have not yet been drill tested.
Yamana has elected to continue into the 3rd year of the joint venture and drilling commenced in January 2017 testing for extension of the mineralization encountered in hole 7 and other targets in the Atlas property.
The Gorbea Belt project is part of Mirasol’s generative program strategy to search for standalone multi-million ounce oxide bulk-minable discoveries.
To learn more about the Yamana JV and recent drilling results see all Current and Historical News Releases below. To learn more about HSE systems see Further Information below.