All five drill holes were resource confirmation holes from West Ayawilca, and all intersected strong zinc mineralization. The company has now successfully completed its 11,000-metre drill program at Ayawilca which commenced midway through 2022. Two drill rigs were demobilized during May 2023, and independent mining consultants will complete an updated mineral resource estimate.
The 2022/2023 drill program has significantly improved the geological model of the mineralized zinc bodies at West and South Ayawilca and improved the confidence in the continuity of mineralization. One exploration hole at South Ayawilca has results pending. The next steps for the project include an updated resource estimate to be announced during Q3 2023 and the continuation of low-impact exploration.
Key highlights – drill hole results from West Ayawilca: Hole A23-216 returned 97.9 metres at 8.8% zinc and 16 g/t silver from 197.90 metres depth, including 35.8 metres at 19.0% zinc and 35 g/t silver from 260.0 metres depth, including 13.5 metres at 25.3% zinc and 44 g/t silver from 265.5 metres depth.
Hole A23-217 returned 71.9 metres at 5.5% zinc and 8 g/t silver from 186.1 metres depth, including 45.8 metres at 6.4% zinc and 10 g/t silver from 210.4 metres depth, including 4.85 metres at 15.2% zinc and 23 g/t silver from 210.4 metres depth.
Hole A23-213 30.4 metres at 6.0% zinc from 180.0 metres depth, including 1.2 metres at 37.2% zinc from 207.3 metres depth; 30.5 metres at 5.1% zinc from 260.0 metres depth.
Hole A22-211 returned 38.15 metres at 6.3% zinc, 1.1% lead and 28 g/t silver from 151.0 metres depth, including 6.6 metres at 9.2% zinc, 5.2% lead and 81 g/t silver from 182.55 metres depth.
Hole A22-214 returned 13.1 metres at 3.7% zinc from 243.9 metres depth.
True thicknesses of these intercepts are estimated to be at least 75% of the downhole thicknesses.
Dr. Graham Carman, president and CEO, stated: “The 2022-23 drill program has been one of the most successful drill programs since Tinka began exploring at Ayawilca. The latest results highlight the quality of the zinc mineralization at Ayawilca in terms of both grade and thickness and provide strong confidence in the geological resource.
“We have confirmed at West Ayawilca that two pipe-like sulphide bodies hosted by brecciated limestones extend through the 100-200-metre-thick limestones and are connected by massive sulphides at the base. At South Ayawilca, very high-grade massive sulphide zinc mineralization is concentrated in a folded limestone at shallower depth – this discovery has the potential to be a ‘starter mine’ which could provide early payback.
“Our contention that Ayawilca is one of the best zinc exploration and development projects in the Americas has been reinforced by the recent drill program. I wish to thank our staff, our stakeholders at the project and our drilling contractor for their hard work which has enabled this drill program to be successfully completed. We now look forward to the mineral resource update for the Ayawilca Zinc Zone and Tin Zone deposits, which will be released during Q3 2023. In the meantime, low impact exploration is continuing at Ayawilca and at our nearby Silvia copper-gold project.”
A total of 11,115 metres were drilled in 33 holes at Ayawilca during the 2022-23 drill program. Around 90% of the drill holes were focused at West and South Ayawilca for resource confirmation and definition purposes. Two holes were also drilled at Central Ayawilca for the dual purposes of exploration and a hydrological study.
The 2022-23 drill program has considerably improved our understanding of the geology of the Ayawilca Zinc Zone and improved the confidence in the geometry of the mineralized bodies at West and South. Two of the most important conclusions from the drilling include: at West Ayawilca, two pipe-like zinc sulphide bodies hosted by brecciated limestones extend through the 100- to 200-metre-thick limestone sequence along a northwest-southeast trend and are connected by massive sulphide mineralization at the base of the limestone and at South Ayawilca, very high-grade massive sulphide zinc mineralization is concentrated within a tightly folded limestone at relatively shallow depth. This discovery has the potential to be a ‘starter mine’ which could provide early payback of capital.
Tinka’s geologists have recently sampled manganese-altered outcrops at Ayawilca which are interpreted to be surface expressions of the Silver Zone discovery.
Tinka recently received approval for the extension of the environmental permit (EIAsd) at Ayawilca for three more years until May 2026. The modified and extended EIAsd has combined the two previous individual permits at Ayawilca and Colquipucro into one large permit which also incorporates several undrilled exploration targets as well as potential future mine components.
Tinka is an exploration and development company with its flagship property being the 100%-owned Ayawilca zinc-silver-tin project in central Peru. The Zinc Zone deposit has an estimated Indicated Mineral Resource of 19.0 Mt of 7.15% Zn, 16.8 g/t Ag and 0.2% Pb and Inferred Mineral Resource of 47.9 Mt of 5.4% Zn, 20.0 g/t Ag and 0.4% Pb. The Ayawilca Tin Zone has an estimated Inferred Mineral Resource of 8.4 Mt grading 1.0% Sn.