Results from 40 drill holes continue to intersect high-grade silver mineralization along strike to the east and at depth below the current resource, the company said in a press release. The company said six diamond drill rigs are investigating the eastern and western strikes, as well as the exploration target zone from below the mine to the granite contact.
Drillling highlights include 2,728 g/t silver over 6.0 metres in hole ZG-SF-20-25.
Aya Gold shares fell slightly on the news, dropping 2.2% or 13 cents to $5.78. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $6.14 and $1.07.
Aya operates mining and milling facilities at its Zgounder Silver Mine, an 85%/15% joint venture between an Aya subsidiary and the Office National de Hydrocarbures et des Mines of the Kingdom of Morocco (ONHYM).
The company’s mining portfolio also includes the Boumadine polymetallic deposit, which is located in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Eastern Morocco. This project is also held in a joint venture with ONHYM, with Aya retaining an 85% ownership stake.
In 2020, Aya reported record silver production of 726,319 ounces, marking an increase of 61% from 452,416 ounces in 2019.
According to an updated estimate, Zgounder hosts a measured and indicated resource of 44.4 million oz silver in 4.9 million tonnes of 282 g/t silver, an increase of 340% from an earlier estimate.
In mid-July, 2020, Aya announced a 15,000-metre drilling program. The aim was to increase and further define resources within the east zone and confirm and define mineralization below the underground mine.
Given the initial exploration results, the program was expanded to 19,000 metres. This year, Aya plans to drill 41,000 metres, including 35,000 metres on the mine permit and 6,000 metres regionally.
Six diamond drils, four at surface and two underground, were mobilized in Q1 2021. A third underground electric diamond rig will arrive shortly. Aya has completed 7,810 metres of exploration drilling so far this year.
“These initial 2021 drill results increase the number of intersections within the 20-60-million-ounce exploration target area established outside the formal resource envelope at depth, and laterally toward the east,” said Aya President and CEO Benoit La Salle. “Our exploration efforts continue to extend the high-grade strike to the east and confirm continuity and high-grade mineralization at depth.”