During the 2011 and 2012 campaign at El Capitan drilling encountered numerous intervals of gold mineralization ranging from 50 m to 140 m in length. Mineralization appears localized along the unconformity between Tertiary-age volcaniclastic rocks and Cretaceous-age sediments. The upper part of the mineralized zone consists of porous, volcanic agglomerate cut by narrow quartz veinlets and hydrothermal breccias (averaging 0.2 g/t to 0.5 g/t Au). At the base of the volcanic unit, there is a shallow-dipping, 10 m to 35 m wide silicified zone (averaging 0.7 g/t to 1.5 g/t Au), and, below this zone, there is a sequence of oxidized shales that is also cut by quartz veinlets and hydrothermal breccias (averaging 0.2 g/t to 0.6 g/t Au) with low silver values.
The Jesus Maria prospect was initially considered to be a relatively narrow but high-grade vein-type target; however, drilling carried out in 2013 and 2014 encountered 20 m to 80 m wide intervals of predominantly silver-rich mineralization (with accessory gold and base-metal values). Based on the widths of mineralization, the Jesus Maria might be amenable to open-pit extraction methods. At their eastern limits, the deposits are separated by approximately 300 m; however, the mineralized zones are interpreted as merging to the west. Additional drilling between the western limit of the Jesus Maria deposit and the El Capitan deposit could connect the two zones and delineate additional mineralization.
The Mineral Resource statement for the El Capitan and Jesus Maria deposits is shown in Table 1.1; the resources are not constrained within pit shells but include mineralization, above cut-off, that is within a maximum depth of 150 m below surface. There are no adjustments for recovery or dilution in the statement of mineral resources. It is important to note that these are estimates of mineral resources, not mineral reserves, as the economic viability has not been demonstrated.
Table 1.1: Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate
To date 86 holes have been drilled in the property.