“We hadn’t actually hit what we have been on the lookout for,” stated Vizsla president and CEO Michael Konnert in an interview with Canadian Mining Journal. “We have been capable of finding excessive grade and drill some good ore shoots, nevertheless it wasn’t actually that dwelling run but.”
Then got here the pandemic, which compelled a two-month shutdown of exploration on the 94-sq.-km mission.
Throughout that point, the corporate’s geologists went again to their desks and frolicked reviewing their work. That break free from the mission paid off once they have been capable of return to drilling in Might, with a deal with the Napoleon vein system and Cordon del Oro vein hall at Panuco.
“On our second gap again, we made our first discovery at Napoleon after which on our seventh gap we drilled one of many highest grade silver intercepts in latest historical past in Mexico,” Konnert says.
That second gap, reported final June, minimize 8.2 metres of 1,544 g/t silver-equivalent (738.9 g/t silver and 11.06 g/t gold) from 108.6 metres downhole. The interval included a 2-metre part of three,348 g/t silver-equivalent (453.8 g/t silver and 9.2 g/t gold).
The ultra-high-grade gap adopted in July, with gap NP-20-07 returning 6 metres of 8,078 g/t silver equal (1,808.2 g/t silver, 66.8 g/t gold, 2.99% lead and three.3% zinc) from 69 metres.
Vizsla now has greater than 68,000 metres of drilling beneath its belt (28,500 metres final yr and 40,000 metres for the primary half of 2021), in addition to C$89 million in its treasury. It additionally counts Eric Sprott as a significant shareholder, with a 12% curiosity within the firm.
The junior is conducting one of many greatest exploration applications in Mexico, with 35 geologists and eight drill rigs onsite at Panuco. In June, it introduced it was including two extra rigs for a complete of 10.
The majority of the drilling this yr is devoted to useful resource drilling within the western portion of the property, with 5 rigs on the Napoleon and Tajitos veins.
However regardless of the torrid tempo of drilling, the corporate isn’t in a rush to compile an preliminary useful resource at Panuco.
“The following step for us is to seek out the pure edges of mineralization at Napoleon,” Konnert says. “We might put out a useful resource for Napoleon and Tajitos, nevertheless it’s not the appropriate transfer till we discover the pure edges of the mineralization and embody all of that in a useful resource.”
That might occur subsequent yr, however Konnert says there’s no set timeline.
To this point, Napoleon has a strike size of three km, and has been drilled 950 metres alongside strike and 350 metres at depth. The vein width averages 4 metres true width, however varies as much as 15.3 metres. Mineralization plunges shallowly to the south, the place it widens and returns larger grades, and is open at depth. The three most recent holes drilled at Napoleon, to the south of earlier drilling, had a mean true width of seven.4 metres with a mean weighted grade of 673 g/t silver-equivalent.
Tajitos, which was traditionally mined, extends for 575 metres of strike and 250 metres depth, and is open to the northeast, southwest, and at depth. The typical vein width of mineralization (encountered in 32 drill holes) is 3 metres with a weighted common grade of 505 g/t silver equal (329 g/t silver and a couple of.1 g/t gold).
Vizsla can also be conducting exploration drilling on targets (assays are pending for 5 new targets throughout 4 vein corridors) generated by its mapping and prospecting crew, and conducting geophysical surveys to establish potential areas.
Vizsla’s 2019 choice settlement to amass Panuco, situated 45 minutes away from Mazatlan, consolidated a land bundle that beforehand was cut up between two completely different operators. Over a time period of seven years, the earn-in settlement will see the corporate pay $43 million for the land bundle.
“The massive motive we have been capable of do it’s as a result of silver costs have been fairly low, $14 or $15 an oz. At these costs, the Mexican firms weren’t making a lot cash,” Konnert says.
The property features a permitted 500 t/d mill (more likely to be expanded), tailings amenities, underground mines, roads, powerlines and permits. The corporate has the choice to speed up the earn in interval.
After an preliminary useful resource is established, Vizsla will transfer onto financial research.
“The thrilling half is that we don’t should spend two or three years allowing a mill, we don’t should spend a lot time allowing a tailings facility, we don’t should construct energy strains or roads – all that’s there on the property, permitted and operational.”
The epithermal silver-gold mission is situated within the prolific Sierra Madre Occidental belt. Vizsla describes the geology and mineralization model at Panuco as close to similar to First Majestic Silver’s (TSX: FR; NYSE: AG) San Dimas mine (acquired from Primero Mining in 2018 for $320 million), 80 km away in Durango.
Whereas each districts share a historical past of mining going again centuries, nevertheless, Panuco has not seen any trendy, systematic exploration till Vizsla got here alongside.
“Sinaloa has been ignored for exploration,” Konnert says. “I feel that’s the one motive that this district was obtainable to us. If it was over the border in Durango or one of many extra established mining jurisdictions, I feel it might already be in a Fresnillo or a Penoles.”
Whereas Mexico has misplaced a few of its shine for Canadian miners lately due to cartel violence, in addition to uncertainty stemming from a court case challenging Almaden Minerals’ (TSX: AMM) mining claims in Puebla state, Konnert says Vizsla’s expertise with each the native authorities and communities has been constructive.
“We’re completely satisfied to be there – we’re grateful for the communities that host us,” he says of Copala and Concordia areas of Sinaloa.
In different information, Vizsla just lately acquired shareholder approval for a spinout of its copper pursuits – the Blueberry copper mission in central British Columbia’s Babine porphyry belt and an choice to earn 60% within the Caruthers Move copper mission 200 km north of Smithers. The spinout is predicted to be accomplished in July.
(This text first appeared within the Canadian Mining Journal)