New Pacific Metals Corp. (TSX: NUAG) (NYSE American: NEWP) recently published an updated NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate for the Silver Sand Project, located in the Department of Potosi, Southwest of Bolivia (Figure 1). The total Measured and Indicated resource has increased by 30.0% to 201.77 million ounces of silver at an average grade of 116 g/t Ag, with much of this upgrade coming from the conversion of Inferred resource ounces to Indicated. The Inferred resource now stands at 12.95 million ounces of silver at a grade of 88 g/t Ag.
Figure 1 The Location of the Silver Sand Project
Source: New Pacific Metals Corp.
The growth in Measured and Indicated ounces, now representing 94% of Silver Sand’s total estimate, not only de-risks the resource base for future development but also increases the inherent value of the project, as Measured and Indicated ounces have a higher-value placed on them by both investors and potential acquirers of a project.
The larger Measured and Indicated Resources base will also have positive implications for future economic studies, allowing a larger resource base to be used in the feasibility studies, improving the economics of the project, and allowing New Pacific to produce its maiden Reserve Estimate for the project.
New Pacific is continuing work on the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Silver Sand Project, and this increased resource base is anticipated to form an important component of the study. The PEA remains on track for completion before the end of the year, and this is likely to be another important de-risking event and value driver for the project.
The silver mineralization at Silver Sand remains open on strike both to the north and south of the existing resource model, as well as remaining open at depth below the resource base with 95% of the resources within 200 metres of the surface. Currently, one drill rig is testing satellite opportunities in the 2.25 km2 North Block.
Silver Sand is one of the most significant new global primary silver discoveries in the last decade and further drilling is likely to continue to expand the area of defined mineralization. While no feeder zones or source intrusions have been discovered to date, there remains significant potential for further discovery as the project advances.
New Pacific Minerals has now made three significant discoveries in Bolivia, Silver Sand, Carangas and Silverstrike, which is exceptional for one company. These discoveries are a result of the combination of the excellent geological potential of Bolivia and New Pacific’s ability to identify and acquire highly-prospective projects, then advance them through the exploration value chain in a cost effective manner.
Prepared by Dr Ryan D. Long, CEO of Mining and Metals Research Corporation Ltd.