Minera Irl Ltd (LON:MIRL), the Latin American focused gold mining company with stock listings in Toronto and Lima as well AIM in London, has announced a new gold/silver discovery at its Escondido Project in Patagonia. The exploration target is an extension onto the Minera IRL Escondido exploration license from the neighbouring Calandria Sur discovery, which belongs to another AIM listed miner, Mariana Resources (LON:MARL) . Minera IRL previously reported a gold and silver anomalous outcropping breccia occurrence that has been mapped on surface for some 700 meters, generally over 100 meters wide, striking south east from the Mariana southern lease boundary.
Assay results from the first pass scout drilling program into the Northern Breccia Zone at Escondido have now been received. Ten of the eleven holes into the target area have intersected substantial zones of mineralized breccia. Among the best of those was hole E-D10-02, which at 25.38 meters averaged 1.45 grams per ton of gold and 9.62 g/t of silver, including 13.75 meters grading 2.39 g/t of gold and 14.56 g/t of silver.
Courtney Chamberlain, the chairman of Minera IRL, said: “We are very excited with the results of this first round of drilling at Escondido which has demonstrated substantial, near surface intersections of gold/silver mineralization with a strike length exceeding 600 meters. This indicates the potential for a bulk tonnage development opportunity. While the Mariana team discovered this precious metal mineralized system, the Minera IRL drilling is a credit to our exploration team and represents a significant discovery on our ground. It has only been six months since work commenced on Escondido and the exploration program has advanced rapidly including geological mapping, surface geochemical sampling, geophysical investigations and scout drilling. The combined strike length of the Escondido/Calandria Sur mineralized breccia system controlled by the two companies now exceeds one kilometre.”
Planning is under way for an expanded drilling program at Escondido before the end of 2010. In addition, pathfinder metallurgical testwork will be undertaken shortly. Disseminated gold-silver breccia-hosted mineralization at Escondido is genetically related to a series of rhyolitic flow-dome feeder dykes. The rhyolite domes intrude a sequence of gently dipping volcaniclastic units which are also mineralized around the contact margins of the breccias. Exploration has begun to use recently acquired high-resolution helicopter borne magnetic-radiometric data, together with ASTER data, to identify additional areas on the property comparable to that of the explored northern breccia trend. The information is helping vector the Minera IRL Patagonia exploration team into the most potentially prospective parts of the rhyolitic dome complex developed on this tenement, for follow up geological mapping and possible geophysical IP work to define other targets for drill testing in the coming months.
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