Heliostar Metals drills 11 g/t gold over 53.2 metres at Ana Paula, Mexico
Heliostar Metals Ltd. [HSTR-TSXV; HSTXF-OTCQX; RGG1-FSE] reported its first drill results from the Ana Paula project in Mexico. These two holes are the first drilled into the property by Heliostar, with the continuing drill program targeting the high-grade panel at the core of Ana Paula that Heliostar believes has the potential to host a high-margin, underground gold mine development opportunity.
Highlights: Hole AP-23-292 returned 101.1 metres at 8.3 g/t gold, including 53.2 metres at 11.0 g/t gold;. Hole AP-23-291 returned 118.5 metres at 5.4 g/t gold, including 44.5 metres at 11.0 g/t gold, including 4.0 metres at 48.5 g/t gold.
These first drill results confirm the company’s drilling thesis, which it believes will lead to a larger and higher grade core within the Ana Paula deposit.
Charles Funk, CEO, commented: “We are thrilled with the first holes at Ana Paula. Drill results like this are rare anywhere in the world. Ana Paula’s high-grade and consistently wide intervals of gold mineralization demonstrate the underground mine potential. Heliostar will continue the 16- to 24-hole program designed to increase the Ana Paula resource, with a focus on infill and expansion of the high-grade panel. Both holes exceeded expectations based on the current resource model. Hole AP-23-291 is particularly encouraging as it returned a 30-per-cent increase relative to the current resource model, at an over five g/t cut-off grade. This builds confidence that infill drilling can increase ounces and potentially lift the overall grade of the deposit.”
Ana Paula is an advanced gold project with an open-pit mine permit, a prefeasibility study1 and over US$75-million in recent exploration and development expenditures. These results are the first in a rescoping of the asset with a view to underground mining. The rescoping program includes drilling, underground mine design, geometallurgical optimization studies and a resource update, all of which will be delivered in 2023. The company believes this program will deliver a technically simpler and materially improved net present value (NPV) for the project.
The company’s drill program centres on resource and reserve growth, a key priority of the effort to re-evaluate the project as a high-grade underground mine. The company expects the drilling data will improve resource estimation and allow the company to evaluate potential expansion of the high-grade panel. In addition, the drilling also generates the geotechnical data required for engineering evaluations and metallurgical test work for flow sheet optimization.
Presently, the high-grade panel is approximately 250 metres long by 100 metres high by 60 metres thick. It begins at surface and plunges 40 to 45 degrees to the west. Previous operators’ drill holes across the panel returned intercepts including 63.4 metres at 15.3 g/t gold and 57.6 metres at 18.6 g/t gold.
The company is focused on developing the 100%-owned Ana Paula project in Guerrero, Mexico. In addition, Heliostar is working with the Mexican federal and local government to permit the San Antonio gold project in Baja Sur, Mexico. The company continues efforts to explore the Unga gold project in Alaska.
The Ana Paula project deposit contains proven and probable mineral reserves of 1,081,000 ounces of gold at 2.38 g/t gold and 2,547,000 ounces of silver at 5.61 g/t silver. Ana Paula hosts measured and indicated resources of 1,468,800 ounces of gold at 2.16 g/t gold and 3,600,000 ounces of silver at 5.3 g/t silver. The asset is permitted for open-pit mining and contains significant existing infrastructure including a portal and a 412-metre-long decline.