Condor Gold Commences Drilling on Cacao Vein to Demonstrate the Potential Upside of La India Project, Nicaragua
Condor Gold (AIM: CNR; TSX: COG) has commenced a 5,000 m diamond drill programme at the Cacao prospect at La India Project, Nicaragua. Cacao is located 4 km from the planned processing plant at our fully permitted La India mine. It is a potential satellite deposit to the already permitted La India, America and Mestiza open pits.
The drill programme has three main objectives: 1) to increase the Inferred Mineral Resource on the Cacao Vein. 2) to increase the strike length of the vein towards the Santa Barbara prospect, 3 km away. 3) to prove the structural geological model that Cacao represents a dilational opening between two major basement feeder zones (the La India and Andrea Corridors).
· 5,000 m diamond drill programme commenced at the Cacao prospect at La India Project with the objective of increasing its mineral resource.
· Drilling will concentrate on demonstrating the depth of the main gold mineralisation level and extending it along strike.
· Cacao already hosts an Inferred Mineral Resource of 662 Kt at 2.8 g/t gold for 60,000 oz gold defined by Condor from 2,890 m drilling in 2019.
· Cacao is a highly prospective target, sitting on a major dilational opening between two major feeder zones (La India and Andrea Corridors).
· The Cacao vein is one of the thickest in the district, comparable to the main La India Vein. Mineral textures are identical to La India
· Isolated exposures of quartz veins in bedrock and colluvium suggest the Cacao structure extends for 3-4 km. Samples from active artisanal mine workings in the Rio Viejo, approximately 1.6 km along strike from Cacao returned assays of up to 11.6 g/t gold.
· A hot spring deposit (sinter) at Cacao indicates minimal erosion, with the entire epithermal system preserved. Sinter is the rock found at the top of an epithermal boiling zone.
· Higher grades at depth at Cacao. Previous drilling indicates improving gold grade at depth, suggesting the presence of a boiling-related bonanza zone.
· Mineralisation is open down-dip and along strike.
· Historic drilling by Condor demonstrated broad zones of gold mineralisation: intercepts included: 7.85 m at 3.75 g/t, 7.85 m at 2.95 g/t, and 17.1 m at 1.74 g/t gold. The principal vein shows excellent continuity.
· Underlying felsic, glassy volcanic rocks are anticipated at depth. These are a more favourable host for veining, for example at La India. The andesite/felsic contact may be especially favourable for veining and bonanza grade.
· Potential satellite mine: the prospect is only 4 km from the planned and permitted processing plant at La India.
Mark Child, Chairman and CEO commented:
“Condor has successfully permitted a new processing plant of up to 2,800 tpd, along with the associated mine site infrastructure, and is currently completing detailed engineering studies to make the project ‘shovel ready’. Initial production is expected to be 120,000 oz gold p.a. from three permitted open pits. In parallel, Condor is now embarking on the exciting second part of its strategy: demonstrating the potential for a 5 Moz Gold District with the initial focus on a 5,000 m drilling programme at Cacao.
Please see http://www.condorgold.com/content/technical-videos or if you are viewing from Canada http://ca.condorgold.com/content/technical-videos. The Company considers that the significant potential of Cacao is now demonstrated via its 2,890 m of drilling, resultant Inferred Mineral Resource of 662 Kt at 2.8 g/t gold for 60,000 oz gold and subsequent geological interpretation. Cacao is open at depth and along strike in both directions. The vein width is comparable to the best intersections at La India and the hanging wall of the vein is increasingly stockworked, as at La India. Structurally controlled ore shoots, as at La India, are to be expected in this major dilational, and continuous, vein. The next phase of drilling at Cacao will test the interpretation that it is largely a concealed gold deposit. It aims to demonstrate the depth of the main gold mineralisation and extend it along strike and increase the Inferred Mineral Resource.”
The Cacao target is hosted by flat-lying andesites and is separated from the La India, America and Mestiza veins by the Highway Fault (Figure 1). This fault was active after vein mineralisation and dropped down rocks to the east. This explains the presence of a chalcedonic phreatic breccia and hot spring deposit (sinter) at Cacao. These typically form upon, and immediately beneath, the original ground surface. Consequently, the gold mineralised epithermal vein system at Cacao has been ‘preserved’ in its entirety. The vein which fed the hot spring is only present at depth. This contrasts with the veins west of the Highway Fault, including La India, where erosion directly exposes the high grade (bonanza) level of the epithermal system. This made the veins west of Highway Fault significantly easier to locate. Cacao is therefore a ‘concealed’ target that failed to attract the attention of both Noranda Mining, which mined at La India before 1956, and informal miners.
Link to Figure 1: Location of Cacao Relative to Permitted Mine Site Infrastructure
Background; Discovery to Inferred Mineral Resource
An east-west-striking ridge of chalcedonic phreatic breccia, 10 to 50 m wide and about 600 m long, was first identified at Cacao in 2006. Rock chip and trench sampling by Condor in 2006-2007 identified some gold-bearing subvertical crustiform quartz veins up to 1 m thick within the breccia. But, unlike the significant veins at La India and America, they are discontinuous and were never exploited by informal miners.
Drilling in 2007 and 2008 demonstrated that the phreatic breccia narrows downwards and gives way to a higher grade, classic crustiform epithermal vein. This vein is identical to those mined by Noranda at La India. Identification of float boulders of hot spring sinter in 2015 motivated further drilling in 2016, to test the model of a concealed boiling level. As at La India, the drilling identified numerous mineralising ‘events’, with early hydrothermal breccias cut by later crustiform veins. This long-lived hydrothermal system resulted in some significant veins and intercepts of up to 7.85 m (3.9 m true thickness) at 3.75 g/t gold (CCDC023, approximately 150 m below surface).
Drilling to date (26 holes, total of 2890 m) has only tested below the ridge of chalcedonic breccia. The best intercepts are shown in Table 1.
The current programme has commenced with 1 drill rig and will continue to test deeper, but will also test the strike potential. Eastwards the mineralisation dives beneath a major alluvial fan, about 20 m thick. Deeply eroded streams in the fan show large boulders of silicified rock and sinter directly along strike; this implies the vein continues. The Cacao Vein reappears from the alluvium in the Rio Viejo, about 1.6 km east of Cacao. There, several parallel veins are exploited by informal miners. Grab samples give up to 11.6 g/t Au. The structure(s) then disappears below more alluvium, before re-emerging on Condor’s Santa Barbara Concession, about 3 km east of Cacao. Float boulders at Santa Barbara show excellent epithermal vein textures; grab samples give up to 1.8 g/t Au. Nearby, in situ veins, within rhyolite, give up to 15.8 g/t Au. (Figure 2).
Table 1: Drill Results on Cacao Vein
Link to Figure 2: Geological map with the inferred Cacao-Santa Barbara Vein.
Mineral Resource Estimation
Resource modelling suggests that Cacao is amenable to open pit and underground mining, despite the lower grades encountered at surface. A mineral resource estimate is shown in Table 2.
Table 2: Cacao Inferred Mineral Resource, prepared in accordance with CIM and Canadian NI 43-101 (25th January 2019; SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd).
The Company considers that the significant potential of Cacao is now demonstrated. It is open at depth and along strike. The vein width is comparable to, or greater than, the best intersections at La India. The epithermal textures indicate boiling conditions, good for high-grade gold. And, as at La India, structurally controlled ore shoots are expected in this major dilational, and continuous, vein. The next phase of approximately 5,000 m of drilling will test the interpretation that Cacao is a major concealed gold deposit. Drilling will concentrate on demonstrating the depth of the main gold mineralisation level and extending it along strike.
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