History / Exploration
The La Venturosa silver mine was the site of underground mining operations for silver, lead and zinc from 1929–1936, 1948–1955 and 1990-2002. Mining was on a very small scale in the 1929-1936 period. More extensive mining took place in the latter two periods when both oxide and sulphide resources were exploited. Historically the mine produced 14.37moz silver, 32,550t lead (produced from 1.16mt mined oxide/sulphide material) and 43,530t zinc (from just sulphide material).
Mining has taken place over a strike length of just 1,250m and to a depth of only 250m (in places) and generally down to 100m. Mining ceased in 2002 due to flooding and low metal prices.
La Venturosa silver mine’s Princessa Shaft head frame and ore bin
The Company has control over the mineralized trend to the north and south of the old La Venturosa silver mine, where only reconnaissance exploration has previously been undertaken.
In 2010 an initial investigative geological program was undertaken as part of the due diligence process for the project acquisition. Large amounts of data on the historic workings were recovered, digitized, assessed and imported into 3D software to create models and long sections. The Company capitalized on the historical information available to jump start an aggressive exploration. Geophysics, consisting of ground magnetic and induced polarization, followed. These programs identified several high priority drill targets flagged along the mineralized trend to north and south of the La Venturosa silver mine. These included areas where mining is reported to depths of 100m and along strike in both directions from the existing mine workings.
Phase 1 diamond drilling was undertaken from May 2011 to June 2012. A total of 86 diamond holes for a total of 31,125 meters was drilled to delineate the deposit. The drilling confirmed the system consists of multiple veins including the Princesa, America, Esmeralda, Mexico, Megan, Antenna and NW Antenna. Assays have returned high values of silver, lead and zinc.