Further exploration update on multiple high-priority hydrothermal centres within the Cabaçal VMS belt
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / August 8, 2023 / Meridian Mining UK S (TSX:MNO)(OTCQX:MRRDF)(Frankfurt/Tradegate:2MM) ("Meridian" or the "Company") is pleased to advise of the arrival of the fourth rig and the expansion of the Company's exploration programs into new targets. Drilling has now commenced at Santa Helena, targeting confirmation and expansion of the historic high-grade VMS resources and the previously untested high-grade gold overprint.
Meridian has also received an environmental licence ("LOPM") to enable additional exploration of multiple high-priority hydrothermal centres across the Cabaçal VMS belt, including an initial 2km of Alamo, in addition to the Chiquito and Cigarra targets (previously "C2-A", & "C6" respectively. See Figure 1).
The geological team has been further strengthened with the appointment of a Chief Geologist, Mr Erich Marques, adding extra resources to the geological management team in realizing the Cabacal Project's exploration and development potential.
Highlights Reported Today
- Drilling has commenced in the Santa Helena Zone;
- Vertical drill program to confirm historical high-grade results and VMS host geology;
- Angled drill program to test high-grade gold over-print;
- Drill program to test near mine exploration upside defined by geophysics;
- New bore-hole probe arriving to optimize targeting for Cu-Zn-Au-Ag mineralization.
- Meridian receives additional permits and access agreements for expanded exploration across the VMS belt;
- Environmental licence covers ten additional farms on three exploration licences;
- Opens up further exploration programs at the initial 2km of Alamo target, in addition to the Cigarra, & Chiquito targets;
- Geological and geophysical programs to be expanded to define drill targets; and
- Meridian strengthens geological management team with appointment of Chief Geologist, Erich Marques.
Dr. Adrian McArthur, CEO, comments: "The Company is very pleased to have now added the fourth rig to its 2023 drilling program, which enables testing of new areas and targets while maintaining the high rate of drilling at Cabacal. Work is commencing at Santa Helena where we will conduct verification and extensional drilling, testing the shallow high-grade resource potential and immediate extensional geophysical targets. With the expansion of these programs targeting multiple hydrothermal centres in the belt, the Company is pleased to welcome Mr Erich Marques as Chief Geologist, allowing the team to focus on both the execution of ongoing resource development programs at Cabaçal and the expansion of the belt's potential."
Santa Helena Drill Program
Drilling has now commenced at Santa Helena (Figure 2), a Cu-Zn-Au-Ag deposit located ~9km to the southeast of the Cabaçal Mine area, forming one of a series of exploration targets along the Mine Corridor. The various targets are considered to represent hydrothermal centres in a clustered VMS field. The Company has been progressively working to expand access to new sites as licences are granted. Work programs to assist 3-D targeting through regional geochemical and geophysical programs will be expanded.
The Santa Helena drill program has a twofold objective: 1) to complete a series of holes as part of a verification program, to validate the historical data in line with 43-101 standards; 2) to initiate scout drilling to test satellite geophysical targets, to test resource extension potential.
The compiled Santa Helena database indicates that many historical holes were not completely sampled (at surface or at depth). Extensions of near-surface mineralization to the east were also not integrated into the last historical resource estimation1, and dominantly vertical drilling may not have coupled well with steeper structural sets related to the high-grade gold overprint event.
The Company's digitization of additional BP drill records in the area suggests that mineralization may occupy more than the one stratigraphic level previously modelled. Modelling of grade shells in Leapfrog software highlights a lower mineralization horizon that has been poorly drilled.
A new down-hole probe has been purchased by the Company and is currently clearing customs. It is optimized to test for Cu-Zn sulphide assemblages of lower conductivity, complimenting the Company's existing EMIT probe. The geophysical program will screen for multiple potential sulphide mound systems which characterise VMS fields.
Targeting the Cabaçal Belt's Multiple Hydrothermal Centres
The belt scale exploration and permitting program continues engagement with landholders and statutory agencies to expand its footprint for regional exploration programs. The Brazilian management team has established exploration access agreements with local landholders and submitted them for environmental licencing with the state agency, SEMA. The Company has already established agreements with twelve local landholders from the Cigarra target. Some of these properties will require the landholders to register a land-use document ("CAR"; Cadastro Ambiental Rural) before the environmental agency can issue exploration permits. SEMA has already issued a new environmental licence (Licença de operação para pesquisa mineral; "LOPM" n° 330101/2023) relating to properties where both formal agreements and CARs are in place.
1 Meridian Mining News Release of March 29, 2022.
The newly issued LOPM also covers properties in the Company's Álamo licence, 867407/2008, to the east of Santa Helena. Amongst the areas approved for exploration is the immediate adjoining farm to Santa Helena, which extends the strike extension of the Santa Helena VMS system now available for exploration over 2km to the east. This and a number of other smaller farms will provide access to open soil anomalies and Cabaçal Threshold VTEM anomalies2. Meridian will execute geochemical and ground geophysical programs to define follow-up drill targets. The community engagement program remains in progress to expand land access agreements on the Álamo and Cigarra licences.
The new LOPM adds to the existing permit for the Chiquito target region, where the Company has already defined an emerging area of Au-Ag mineralization3, and where further drilling will be conducted on the Chiquito Cu-Au target area an untested geochemical-geophysical target position.
The ANM has recently approved two licences for a second term of exploration - 866002/2016 and 866455/2016, spanning 3,746 Ha across a 7km extension of the northern extension of the Cabaçal Belt. This area covers an historical BP Minerals Target area, referred to as Cigarra (Figure 1). Historical records describe a geological / geochemical environment similar to that of the chloritic outcrops of the Cabaçal deposit setting, with gold and base metal anomalies present.
The Company will continue to liaise with landholders and statutory agencies for access to other interpreted hydrothermal centres, which include Sucuri (geochemical / geophysical target), Sáo José (geochemical target), Santa Rita (formerly "C4B"; geochemical - geophysical target), and multiple other targets. Access agreements are in place for some areas, but await regularisation of title documents. Access agreements and/or written contracts are required on other areas with the management continuing with community liaison. As these agreements, and subsequent LOPM's, are granted the Company will seek to commence exploration activities in these areas.
The Company's licences in the Araputanga and Jaurú Belts, along with the northern and southern extensions of the Cabaçal Belt, remain under in application stage.
Expanding Geological Team
The Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Erich Marques as Chief Geologist of the Company. Erich is a geologist with 15 years of experience, and holds a Bachelor in Geology from the Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil. He is a Qualified Person, being a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (MAIG). He is also registered with the Brazilian Resources and Reserves Commission (PQR. CBRR). He has held positions with ECI Exploration & Mining, Yamana Gold, Meridian Mining and Cerrado Gold on Gold, Copper, Tin and industrial mineral projects. Erich will assume responsibilities as Qualified Person. He joins existing senior staff members, Frederic Vanderoost, and Antonio José de Almeida to strengthen the Company's capacity in the execution of resource definition, and near mine and regional exploration.
2 Meridian Mining News Release of January 10, 2023
3 Meridian Mining News Releases of June 21, 2022 and July 12, 2022
Meridian Mining UK S is focused on:
- The development and exploration of the advanced stage Cabaçal VMS gold‐copper project;
- Regional scale exploration of the Cabaçal VMS belt;
- Exploration in the Jaurú & Araputanga Greenstone belts (the above all located in the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil); and
- Exploring the Espigão polymetallic project in the State of Rondônia, Brazil.
Cabaçal is a gold-copper-silver rich VMS deposit with the potential to be a standalone mine within the 50km VMS belt. Cabaçal's base and precious metal-rich mineralization is hosted by volcanogenic type, massive, semi-massive, stringer, and disseminated sulphides within deformed metavolcanic-sedimentary rocks. A later-stage sub-vertical gold overprint event has emplaced high-grade gold mineralization cross-cutting the dipping VMS layers.
The Cabaçal Mineral Resource estimate consists of Indicated resources of 52.9 million tonnes at 0.6g/t gold, 0.3% copper and 1.4g/t silver and Inferred resources of 10.3 million tonnes at 0.7g/t gold, 0.2% copper & 1.1g/t silver (at a 0.3 g/t gold equivalent cut-off grade), including a higher-grade near-surface zone supporting a starter pit. Gold equivalents are calculated as: AuEq(g/t) = (Au(g/t) * %Recovery) + (1.492*(Cu% * %Recovery)) + (0.013*(Ag(g/t) * %Recovery)), where Au_recovery_ppm = 5.4368 ln (Au_Grade_ppm) + 88.856; Cu_recovery_pct = 2.0006 ln (Cu_Grade_pct) + 94.686; Ag_recovery_ppm = 13.342 ln (Ag_Grade_ppm) + 71.037. Recoveries are based on metallurgical testwork on core submitted to SGS Lakefield in 2022.
The Preliminary Economic Assessment technical report (the "PEA Technical Report") dated March 30, 2023, entitled: "Cabaçal Gold-Copper Project NI 43-101 Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment, Mato Grosso, Brazil" outlines a base case after-tax NPV5 of USD 573 million and 58.4% IRR from a pre-production capital cost of USD 180 million, leading to capital repayment in 10.6 months (assuming metals price scenario of USD 1,650 per ounces of gold, USD 3.59 per pound of copper, and USD 21.35 per ounce of silver). Cabaçal has a low All-in-Sustaining-Cost of USD 671 per ounce gold equivalent for the first five years, driven by high metallurgical recovery, a low life-of-mine strip ratio of 2.1:1, and the low operating cost environment of Brazil (see press release dated March 6, 2023).
Readers are encouraged to read the PEA Technical Report in its entirety. The PEA Technical Report may be found on the Company's website at www.meridianminig.co and under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The qualified persons for the PEA Technical Report are: Robert Raponi (P. Eng), Principal Metallurgist with Ausenco Engineering), Scott Elfen (P. E.), Global Lead Geotechnical and Civil Services with Ausenco Engineering), Simon Tear (PGeo, EurGeol), Principal Geological Consultant of H&SC, Marcelo Batelochi, (MAusIMM, CP Geo), Geological Consultant of MB Geologia Ltda, Joseph Keane (Mineral Processing Engineer; P.E), of SGS, and Guilherme Gomides Ferreira (Mine Engineer MAIG) of GE21 Consultoria Mineral.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Meridian Mining UK S
Dr. Adrian McArthur
CEO and Director
Meridian Mining UK S
Ph: +1 (778) 715-6410 (PST)
Mr Erich Marques, B.Sc., MAIG, Chief Geologist of Meridian Mining and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and verified the technical information in this news release.
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Further information can be found at: www.meridianmining.co
Some statements in this news release contain forward-looking information or forward-looking statements for the purposes of applicable securities laws. These statements address future events and conditions and so involve inherent risks and uncertainties, as disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in under the heading "Risk Factors" in Meridian's most recent Annual Information Form filed on www.sedar.com. While these factors and assumptions are considered reasonable by Meridian, in light of management's experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, Meridian can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, Meridian disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or results or otherwise.
SOURCE: Meridian Mining UK S
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