During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company focused on carrying out the 2016/2017 field program, which was aimed at furthering understanding of conceptual development options for the Filo del Sol deposit, while continuing to evaluate the compelling exploration potential of the property.
This program, which was successfully completed in March 2017, included the collection of representative sample material for ongoing metallurgical testing and 8,616 metres of reverse circulation drilling in 41 holes. The objectives of the drill program included conversion of Inferred resources to the Indicated classification, expansion of the current resource, and testing a number of high-quality exploration targets within 2 km of the Filo del Sol deposit, including:
The Filo South target, which is located approximately 1 km south of the deposit. Surface mapping and sampling in this area has defined a northwesterly-trending gold +/- copper bearing zone of strong silicification, quartz vein stockwork and breccia with minimum dimensions of 1,000 metres along strike by 200 metres wide. Wide-spaced historical drilling did not test this zone, however, surface trenching across it in 2016 returned 114 metres of 0.85% copper and 0.35 g/t gold.
The Cerro Vicuña target, a distinct conical hill located 1 km southeast of the deposit, and immediately to the east of the Filo South target. Surface mapping shows this hill to be underlain by a silicified and stockwork porphyry intrusive, the Vicuña Porphyry, with grab samples of up to 5 g/t gold collected from surface. The hill is covered by an extensive copper and gold surface geochemistry anomaly and is characterized by an alteration zonation and geophysical signature characteristic of porphyry deposits. This target had never been previously drilled.
Assay results from 24 of the 41 total drill holes from the 2016/2017 drill program have been received to date, and include the following highlights:
- Confirmation of higher grade zones within the oxide gold zone that forms the upper part of the current resource (see News Release dated February 15, 2017). The assay results include intersects of 84 metres at 1.36 g/t gold in VRC097 and 78 metres at 1.02 g/t gold in VRC099, representing the best and third best gold intersections in the Filo del Sol deposit to date (gold grade times width);
- Expansion of the oxide gold zone of the current Filo del Sol resource, as a result of infill holes (see News Release dated April 10, 2017). Assay results to date have been highlighted by an intersection of 112 metres at 0.73 g/t gold in VRC101;
- Confirmation of the high-grade copper portion of the Filo del Sol resource, with intersections in infill holes of 20 metres at 1.13% copper in VRC097 and 20 metres at 1.91% copper in VRC099; and
- Identification of a potential new zone of shallow oxide copper and gold mineralization at the Filo South target (see News Release dated April 10, 2017). The assay results received to date include intersects of 102
metres at 0.77% copper and 0.35 g/t gold in VRC111, 50 metres at 0.81% copper and 0.41 g/t gold in VRC110, and 66 metres at 0.63% copper and 0.35 g/t gold in VRC119.
The Company appointed Mr. James Beck as the Company’s Vice President, Corporate Development and Projects effective February 1, 2017. Mr. Beck is a registered Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario, holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen's University and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Beck also serves as the Vice President, Corporate Development and Projects of NGEx, an exploration company listed on the TSX and Nasdaq Stockholm. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Beck was the Company’s Director, Corporate Development.
With an experienced board of directors and management team, and a treasury of approximately $11.6 million as at March 31, 2017, Filo Mining is well positioned to advance the Filo del Sol Project while also remaining flexible and responsive to continuing volatility in the resource sector.
The 2016/2017 exploration program was successfully completed in March 2017 and included 8,616 metres of a mix of infill and exploration drilling in 41 holes. Assay results relating to the first 24 holes have been received (see First Quarter 2017 Operating Highlights section above), and the Company will receive the assay results of the remaining 17 holes in the coming weeks. These new drill results will:
- Allow the Company to update the resource estimate for the Filo del Sol Project;
- Provide better understanding of the geometry and extent of the oxide gold zone of the current resource, which currently measures approximately 700 metres by 250 metres, and remains open to the north; and
- Confirm the potential of the Filo South target, located approximately 1 km south of the Filo del Sol deposit, where the Company has discovered new shallow oxide copper and oxide gold mineralization.
- In addition, Filo Mining is currently conducting a more extensive program of metallurgical testwork to follow up on the encouraging initial results received in October 2016. The Company plans to complete column leach tests which will provide information on the optimum fragment size for leaching and more information on how the mineralized material will behave on a leach pad. This information, together with an updated resource estimate, is expected to provide the information needed for a preliminary internal conceptual study of development options. This internal study is expected to be completed towards the end of the third quarter of 2017 and will allow the Company to decide whether to initiate a formal preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) of the Filo del Sol Project. If a PEA is initiated for the Filo del Sol Project, the related technical report would be targeted for completion by the end of 2017.