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Saturday, May 12, 2018

SolGold - Aguinaga - an initial review


At last, some drilling away from Alpala (link)! SolGold have finished the first hole at Aguinaga (link). Unfortunately, I don't think the results will be very special, I'm guessing that they come in around the 0.4-0.6% CuEq level.

This is what we are told about the first hole:

Translation - feck, we hope it gets better at depth

It is very early days (1 hole), but the concern is that the Aguinaga Porphyry appears to be small and low grade. We see that the 'strongly mineralized porphyry' was intersected ~300m vertically below the discover which limits its extent to the NW and being just ~250m wide (horizontally) limits is potential to become huge. Bollocks!

The core photos from hole 01 look a bit anemic. They look similar to the low grade holes at Alpala, that typically ran around 0.5% CuEq (typically 0.3% Cu and 0.1-0.2 g/t Au)

At Alpala, if a drill hole was bulging with copper sulfides, Sol Gold would rush out an early release with partial results. They haven't done the same here, we get some confirmation of lack of optimism in the hole by the company in this statement.

i.e. the core looks crap, we're leaving the rigs to drill the good stuff

However, if we work back we know that the drilling would have passed through the 'well mineralized' porphyry around the start of April, so we should expect the results to be released before the end of the month if they are good enough to stand on their own. If they are below expectations, they'll be buried in a PR with a load of intercepts from Alpala.

I've created a separate Leapfrog project for Aguinaga, you can get the viewer file from here (link)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Eldorado's Aura

I've found it, after centuries of searching, battling Nimbys, indigineous communities and shareholders, the source of the immense wealth of the Incas, but it is here (link) in Brasil.

Sweet mother of god, that is 168Moz Au, it is bigger than some inadequate deposits like:
  • Olympic Dam
  • Pebble
  • Grasberg
All of that in a company worth ~CND$65M, that is the bargain of the century...


ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuukkkkkkkkk, damn typos. just a bit further down the page......

only a 1000 fold error, good job no-one reads mining company websites.....

Monday, May 7, 2018

Almadex - annual return

I've received some comments on a post I wrote back in Jan 2017 on El Cobre (link). I haven't been following them but I was intrigued on why Newcrest were so interested (link). What has changed since my last post?

We've had some reasonable intercepts (link, link and link) over last year, so I thought, time to do an update as this project is ripe for an initial resource estimate. So here is my officially bad guesstimate:

Some gold, not much copper
So using a >0.4 g/t Au and >0.15% Cu cut-offs we get:
  • ~92Mt @ 0.68 g/t Au and 0.25% Cu or 1.08 g/t AuEq (or 0.68% CuEq).
  • or 2.03Moz Au and 160Kt Cu
Despite its name, El Cobre is in reality a gold deposit, but with ~2Moz @ ~0.7 g/t Au, is it good enough, especially when we have several, much larger deposits at a similar grade that are still sitting in the ground?

I want to look at the summary assay data in more detail, focusing on: 
  1. Current mineralization
  2. Expansion potential
  3. Potential problems
I'm ignoring any socio-political issues and just looking at the summary assay data. As always, you can download the Leapfrog viewer file from here (link).

Current Mineralization and exploration potential

Here is a plan map showing the 4 areas that have been drilled by Almadex.

Plan Map
Here are a couple of pseudo-long sections (looking Northwest)



You can clearly see that the highest grade and thickest (i.e. the 'best') intercepts are from Norte, with a bit of copper at Villa Rica/Raya Tembrillo and some bits 'n' bobs in the other areas.

An interesting observation, when we compare the known targets against the soil geochemistry.

Au - left; Cu - right
We can see that the best area drilled at El Cobre, the Norte Zone has a minimal associated geochem anomalies, just a single line (Line 75800 - page 37 in the technical report), with some robust Au, Cu and Mo anomalies. I would love to see a regional map of soil Mo data as there could be a few other targets that could be interesting but where the Cu in the soils has been leached away.

Norte Zone

The Norte zone has received the bulk of the drilling and given the best results so far.

Au - far left = plan map with section lines, center = section A-A'; right = Section B-B'

Cu - far left = plan map with section lines, center = section A-A'; right = Section B-B'

We can see that Norte has been well drilled, the Au-Cu mineralization is well defined, with some >1 g/t Au zones in the core of the deposit and grading out into a lower grade (>0.25 g/t) halo. The mineralization is well drilled with most continuation to the mineralization closed off. However, the Au in hole EC-17-026 is still open to surface and to depth and would represent a good area to put a couple of holes as this could expand the 'resources' by up to 25%.

El Porvenir

Another regional target that has seen limited drilling. The standout hole has been DDH-04CB1 (drilled in 2004) that intersected 298m @ 0.38 g/t Au and 0.16% Cu.

Au - far left = plan map with section lines, Center = section A-A' - Au; right = Section A-A' - Cu
 The follow-up drilling isn't as special, intersecting several thick low-grade (<0.25% Cu) copper mineralization with a few narrow higher grade Cu-Au zones (dykes?). There may be some potential to the SW (left), but overall the grades are low and for gold discontinuous.

Villa Rica/Raya Tembrillo

We've only had a few holes drilled into Villa Rica, so it is hard to have a definitive opinion.

Au - far left = plan map with section lines, Center = section A-A' - Au; right = Section A-A' - Cu
Form the drilling so far, we can see that Villa Rica is more copper rich, with thick low grade intercepts (<0.25% Cu) with higher grade Cu and Au mineralization restricted to narrow zones - better mineralized dykes or breccias? It was also interesting to see high-grade copper at/close to surface - are we seeing some supergene enrichment?

I feel that the drilling to date shows that the potential at Villa Rica is limited. The geochem data shows a large target, but this may be an erosion anomaly (i.e. copper weathering down-slope towards the streams to the east and south).


This is the area where Almadex hit a high-grade gold vein in hole EC-16-008.

Top left = plan map; top right - section A-A' - Au; bottom right = section A-A' - Cu

Again, we see generally thin, scattered intercepts, but hole EC-17-025 did intersect a thick zone of low grade (<0.25%) copper mineralization that could be peripheral to a larger system to the East (right).

Potential Problems

The most obvious problem could be the metallurgy. I haven't seen any mention in in the technical report about any basic met-work. It would be nice to know the distribution and style of mineralization (e.g. is the gold all in sulfides, or is there a thick oxide zone etc..) as this could have a big impact on the processing (dump leach vs milling) and recoveries. If you're interesting here is a link to a decent paper on the subject (link).


Overall, outside of the Norte zone, most of the economic Au-Cu mineralization appears to be restricted to narrow scattered intercepts. There may be potential to the east in Encinal, but nothing that is indicative of a large, well mineralized porphyry system.

For me, I can't see where the project could be expanded to >5Moz Au that could lead to development, and the regional targets don't appear to offer any upside.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Advance Gold - A special kind of company

Some companies are special, Advance Gold is a very junior exploration company focused on Mexico.  They have assembled a highly talented team - the same dudes that were involved with Alset Lithium, so a "quality" company in all departments.

I was blown away by the hugely impressive PR on the Tesbasquena project (link). In the 200 days since the project was acquired, they've been sprinting out of the blocks and collected an almost unbelievable 18 samples. That exploration office mush be a hive of activity, especially now that they'll be drilling a humongous phase 1 drill program (2 holes for 500m) on their FULLY PERMITTED MINE.

We all know, it is important to take baby steps and not rush into things, quality over quantity. Like fine wine, we all know that you can't rush exploration. I mean, look at those amateurs at Silvercrest, rushing around being vampire-like (sampling all veins), drilling and all of that useless crap, I mean where where did it get them (link).

Ohh, but they don't have a FULLY PERMITTED MINE! So screw you Eric..

As Alain Benule Laputain tells us:

Yeah, the deepest samples were the best....bitches, none of that high-grade near surface crap.

Location, hmmm, that number refers to the level and normally uses the elevation (in meters - metric yards for the Yanks) above sea-level, so a bigger number is higher....

So, the half-kilo stuff is at the surface, but the (3) samples from the lowest working, the 2050 and 2059 levels did return some >200 g/t samples, so that's ok, but when you look at the number of samples/level, typically 2-3, you suddenly see that they mine is probably very small (90m vertical extent and probably something similar horizontally), but that doesn't matter as it is FULLY PERMITTED!!!

So all historic exploration has focused on the oxide zone? Just doing a quick literature search found thisI can across this (link)

That is quite a bit of info and 15 holes have been drilled, I would expect that a couple would have explored below the oxide zone, maybe you should ask PeƱoles for the drilling data?

I do have to applaud you for supporting local assay labs, trudging those 18 samples the arduous ~130km to the Laboratorio Metalurgico Courtade, in San Luis Potosi, when you could have just dropped them off at either of the two international ISO 9001 certified prep labs that are just 40km away in the city Zacatecas?

Why do things the easy way....
I wait, with baited breath the result from the drilling, 500m will only take 3-4 weeks to complete the assays about the same amount of time, so I'm looking forward to the end of May.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pretium - an exercise for you

This is just a quick response to a comment by Tom. I originally created this Leapfrog viewer file for a previous post on Brucejack, focusing on a small area of the mine that I have put into Leapfrog.

Original post here - link

Download the Leapfrog viewer file from here (link)

The key slides are:

Slide 2 - The PR grades (i.e. the smeared grades) - nice juicy think gold intercepts

Gold fecking everywhere!

Slide 5 - Split grades (i.e. high-grade intervals removed and background grades back calculated) - now more of a needle in a haystack gold hits.

Oh no, its all gone!
Your job is to join the pink bits. Have fun!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Defiance Silver - I couldn't release the San Acacio drill results as.....

“Ahh, I thought it was in my bag, but it looks like I’ve left it at home by accident!”

“My computer crashed and I didn’t save my work!”

“I’ve been busy with extra-curricular activities and volunteering work”

“I’ve been so ill over the past few days, so I haven’t been able to look at the drill results”

"My mom CEO and dad CFO got in a huge fight last night"

"I tried writing the release, but I failed to understand the results"

"I was in a hurry, so I mistakenly left my laptop in my wife’s car, and now she’s in the office across town"

Or the least likely option - tell the truth:

"We don't want release the results, because they are shit. We hit nothing, the structure wasn't mineralized and we don't want to tell you as you'll abandon us like rats leaving a sinking shit ship"

Quick San Acacio Time line:
  • 31st October 2017 - commencement of 5,000m drill program (link)
  • 28th Feb, 2018 - Identifies a Large target (link) - PDAC promo PR
    • Prelim results from first 2000m of drilling - hit anomalous silver (i.e. nothing).
  • Here we sit 174 days later, no results....
By my estimates, Defiance should have drilled ~3000m by now, so 60% of the program done, and no assays reported, might as well wait until the end of the program, and release a phase 1 summary PR....

Evrim - a more detailed view

So I've compiled the data from the Cuale trenches, the Leapfrog viewer file is here (link)

left = trenches colored by number; right = trench Au assays

I've drawn on a guesstimate >1 g/t Au contour. We can see that this zone has approximate dimensions of 250m x 125m.

Why don't we focus on the very high-grade part of trench 4

Welcome to the nugget effect!

We can see that the ultra-high grade assays in trench 4 aren't repeated in the corresponding/adjacent samples in Trench 1. We can also see that they are less than 5m apart and that ultra-high grade zone is very small (6m x 6m).

We can also see that there are only 4-5 samples containing >30 g/t Au, and in the last post we saw the dramatic effect they had on the overall average grade for Trench 4. If this was drilling data, we would expect a top cut to been applied (here is a great presentation on cutting/capping high-grade samples - link)

Here is a semi-log graph of the assays - basically we're looking at how many samples (y-axis is frequency) occur within a certain assay range.

For example: In the chart below, the highest bar tells us that 38 samples returned assays between 1.5 and 2 g/t Au.

We seem to have 2 populations of samples, one centered ~1.5 g/t Au (red dashed curve) and a second at 0.1 g/t Au (blue dashed line).

So, we can see that we have very few (only 4) above 30 g/t Au, so maybe a 30 g/t top-cut could have been applied. If we do so, this is the impact:

  • Trench 4 now returns 106.2m @ 3.74 g/t Au - still good, but a >70% hair-cut

What else can we see? Look at the orientation of the trenches. They have 2 main directions:
  1. Trench 1 - NE-SW orientation
  2. Trenches 2, 3, and 4 - NW-SE orientation

Why did Evrim choose those orientations? Are there any clues?

streams = blue dashed lines
Have a look at the streams.

red and blue dashed lines = possible structural trends
Are there any other clues? Here is the Mexican Geological Survey's (SGM) map of the area (link). We can see that Cuale is in the La Gloria district.

Have a look at the San Juan Prospect (which I think is within the Evrim mineral concessions). The SGM have mapped an almost vertical NW-SE (125 strike) trending vein, and in the accompanying geological report (link - in Spanish), we also have a photo

vein - brown thingy next to the dude, probably a geologist as he is incredibly brave and handsome
I'm not saying that the mineralization at Cuale (Cerro la Gloria on the SGM map) is exactly the same as in the adjacent San Juan mine, but it gives us some additional information to make a basic, but useful interpretation from the data.

Now we can see that trenches 2, 3 and 4 are highly likely to have been excavated along some structures.

If you want to have some more fun, you can do some indicator kriging back of the envelope calculations to have a high quality resource calculation guess at contained gold.

  • Dimensions > 1 g/t Zone = 200m x 120m x 100m (depth extent)
  • Specific gravity - 2.8 tonnes/m3
  • Average grade = 1.5 g/t Au
Tonnage = 200 x 120 x 100 x 3 ~ 7.2Mt
Contained gold = 7,200,000 x (1.5/31.1) ~ 350Koz Au

These numbers are complete BS, but can be an interesting guide to potential size. Fingers crossed that they get massive thick intercepts of >1 g/t Au!