Astra Exploration Inc. [ASTR-TSXV] reported results from the first 11 of 30 completed drill holes at the Pampa Paciencia gold-silver project in northern Chile. Astra owns 80% of Pampa Paciencia in a joint venture with Sociedad Quimica y Minera [SQM-NYSE].
Drill Highlights include drill hole PPRC-22-12 that returned 14.48 g/t gold and 39.7 g/t silver over 3 metres downhole (mDH) within a broader zone of 2.71 g/t gold and 10.8 g/t silver over 21 mDH. PPRC-22-13 returned 3.28 g/t gold and 58.3 g/t silver over 6 mDH within a broader zone of 1.6 g/t gold and 21.3 g/t silver over 22 mDH. PPRC-22-14 returned 4.09 g/t gold and 45.22 g/t silver over 4 mDH within a broader zone of 1.39 g/t gold and 17.1 g/t silver over 17 mDH.
Brian Miller, CEO, commented: “These first drill results in Astra’s brief history are exciting as they define a wide shoot of mineralization near surface that is open along strike and to depth. Company geologists interpret that these holes are only at the top of the gold rich zone with significant room for expansion. The company’s maiden drill program has tested five target areas with veins intercepted in 29 of 30 holes. Assays remain outstanding for 18 more drillholes at the project.”
Pampa Paciencia is a road-accessible, low-sulphidation epithermal (LSE) gold-silver project located within an active mining district less than 15 km from two major copper mines (Sierra Gorda and Spence) and 5 km from the Faride LSE mine.
Astra has completed property wide mapping and sampling, geophysical surveys, and localized trenching and in doing so, has defined a vein boulder field over approximately 75% of the project area. The veins do not outcrop as the majority of the project area is covered by a thin layer of gravels and caliche but the vein float can be used to identify areas of high prospectivity.
Reverse circulation drilling commenced on veins within the interpreted five km long North Zone vein corridor. The holes reported herein targeted the Paciencia Vein within that corridor along a strike length of 400 meters. All holes intercepted the vein, with several intercepting a sub parallel footwall splay.
Historical drill holes were widely spaced leaving significant strike and dip length to expand the historical drill intercepts into larger bodies of mineralization. These first results strongly support this interpretation with holes PPRC-22-12, PPRC-22-13 and PPRC22-14 expanding mineralization to the east where it remains open along strike and at depth.
Drill assays are pending for the remaining 18 holes and are expected in May. The remaining drill holes were completed as follows: one in the Paciencia Vein; 10 in Paciencia Oeste; three in Paciencia Este; three in the Central Zone; and one in a North Zone geophysical target.
The Paciencia Vein consists of vein breccias, hydrothermal breccias, quartz stockworks and late limonitic breccias with vein clasts that form a WNW-ESE oriented mineralized structure with a true thickness of 10 to 20 metres. The vein has a general north-dip that gradually changes from 75degree NNE in the west portion of the vein, to 85degree to sub-vertical in the east. The current geologic interpretation has identified two to three main branches of the Paciencia Vein, with higher grades located in the more vertical portion of the vein.
Geochemical results confirm the gold-rich nature of the Paciencia Vein, with an average silver to gold ratio of 16 in the higher grade portions of the vein, and increasing to 48 when in the wider low grade zones.
A total of 2,981 metres of RC drilling were completed in 30 holes between February and March 2022 at Pampa Paciencia. These mostly concentrated on defining the strike and depth continuity of the Paciencia Vein system in the North Zone. Three holes were drilled to test veins at depth in the Central Zone and two holes tested geophysical targets in the North Zone. A total of 1,233 samples, including blanks, duplicates and standards, were sampled and sent to ALS lab in Santiago, Chile.
The drill program was completed for ~C$650,000 of all-in costs highlighting the ability to complete cost-effective exploration at low elevations in Chile.