Brigadier Gold (TSXV:BRG, USA:BGADF, FSE:B7LM) has released results from the first three holes of the 2020 drill program at the company’s Picachos high-grade gold-silver project in Sinaloa state, Mexico.
The junior market is always edgy this time of year and the drop in the gold price – about $150 over the past month — has investors even more nervous. A lot is riding on these results for Brigadier, as the company aims to prove the potential for multiple veins; the depth, strike length and continuity of the veins; and to understand the source of the vein-hosted mineralization, along with its potential relationship to copper-porphyry mineralization identified on the property.
The veins are open at depth and have never been diamond drill-tested – until now – making San Agustín the primary focus of the current drill program.
In October, the company announced the first diamond drill (BRG-001) intersected the San Agustín vein, 65 meters below historic gold workings at the San Agustín mine, where about 665 meters of underground development has been completed. Historic workings range from shallow pits a few meters across, to tunnels hundreds of meters long, driven at several levels on some of the larger vein systems.
Underground channel sampling by a previous operator returned an average 81.22 g/t Au and 73.36 Ag across 1.2m. Values from the bottom of a 45-meter-deep production shaft were 185 g/t Au. In 2014, Vane Minerals test-mined three rounds from the south face. Average assay values were 15.8 g/t Au and 63 g/t Ag across a width of 2.5m.
In November, diamond drill results from Picachos were released to the market for the first time. According to Brigadier Gold, All three holes intercepted the mineralized fault, in particular the contact between thickly laminated graphitic and pyritic argillite in the hanging wall and intermediate pyroclastic rocks correlated to the Tarahumara Formation in the footwall. Mineralized portions of the fault are brecciated, and higher precious metal grades are evident in cockade quartz breccias and crustiform quartz veinlets that occur both in argillite and in the volcanic rocks.
The objective of this fence of holes was to tightly constrain the orientation of the structure for exploration along strike and down-dip outside the immediate mine area. Collectively, the drill holes tested up to 170 meters below surface.
The highlight was hole BRG-001, which returned 7 meters of 7.45 g/t gold and 51 g/t silver, including 2.5m of 20.58 g/t Au + 68 g/t Ag, and 1m of 45.63 g/t Au + 82 g/t Ag. The identified core was shallow — around 75m below ground. Trench highlights include 0.39 g/t Au and 53 g/t Ag across 7 meters for trench BRG-93958, which according to Brigadier, clearly implies the presence of a major structure below surface.
Regarding hole BRG-001, Brigadier’s head geologist Michelle Robinson admits in the news release that the drill appears to have cut through old underground workings reducing the potential reported overall width of mineralized material.
In other words, it encountered older, mined-out areas that reduced the width of the intersection.
However, hole BRG-001 still managed to hit a significant intercept.
Let’s take a closer look at this intercept:
In underground mining, the grades and the value of the rock are important, but what is even more important, are the widths of the intersections. This is especially the case in Mexico, famous for its high-grade, but narrow veins.
Narrow veins are an important source of metals throughout the world, but they are technically challenging to mine. Like a human artery, they swell in some places and pinch in others, and the grades are never uniform throughout.
Logistics of mobilizing trackless equipment underground to mine a narrow vein requires a minimum 3m – 4m drift width. Tracked equipment requires 2m (but its tight), I’ve heard of it being done at 1.5 meters but you need to have cut-outs in the side of the tunnel so workers can step off to safety when a train passes.
Luckily dilution happens only on drift development costs. Miners match drift width to type of mining, they drive the drift under the vein dropping ore out of the stope above, Long-Hole can be used to mine 20 feet into the stope.
Brigader Gold’s hole BRG-001:
The one meter of 45.63g/t gold and 82g/t silver is significant but so is the 2.5m of 20.58g/t gold and 68g/t silver. It’s because if you read the table closely the 1m is within the 2.5 meters.
That one meter of rock’s insitu value is over US$2,700.00t, the 2.5 meters is worth, in the ground, US$1,268.78t. Whichever mining methods are used – tracked, trackless, long-hole or short hole – both intercepts are significant interceptions.
Hole BRG-002 and Hole BRG-003 both show continuity of the vein. I wouldn’t want to try and build a mine out of continuing numbers like that, but once you have your mine you would definitely include them in your mining plan.
The main point is, just three holes into the drill program, Brigadier has already established that the widths it is hitting at the San Agustín vein are, imo, comfortably mineable, both economically and logistically. Also consider that hole BRG-001 unintentionally drilled through an adit (ie. A mined-out area) If the adit hadn’t been there, the widths could potentially have been better. (Brigadier estimates the true width of BRG-001 at 5.3m, which is fine for underground mining)
Having only just acquired (by option agreement) the Picachos gold-silver property, Brigadier Gold has made excellent progress.
“Since commencing exploration and diamond drilling activities at Picachos in August, we’ve identified several high priority targets for follow up work and have gained a significant understanding of the mineralized gold- silver vein, and copper-molybdenum porphyry systems traversing the property,” President and CEO Ranjeet Sundher stated in a Dec. 9 exploration update. “As we await further assays from the ongoing 40-hole, 5,000-meter drill program, targeting veins below and surrounding the historic San Agustín gold mine, we are excited to move into 2021 with a solid blueprint to advance Picachos.”
Milestones completed so far include:
According to the company, hole BRG-001 supports the thesis that San Agustín is a gold-bearing structure of significant width that merits further exploration to develop its commercial gold potential.
Other exploration highlights:
Unfortunately, the nature of gold vein exploration is inconsistency. Chasing underground veins can be rewarded with high-grade assays, but sometimes, the grade doesn’t carry. The main objective is to build ounces within mineable widths. And in that respect, Brigadier Gold has done well, just three holes into its 40-hole, 5,000-meter program. While the grades at hole BRG-001 aren’t spectacular, they clearly show the San Agustín vein is mineralized, @ decent grades and widths.
The fact that gold prices have temporarily fallen of late, due to news of three covid-19 vaccines that appear to be effective, has made it tougher to get drill results onto the radar of resource investors. Especially during tax-loss season.
However, none of that changes our expectations of big things to come from Brigadier Gold at Picachos. The project features over 150 historic mines and underground workings, high-grade veins open at depth, and it is road accessible, with drill permits and agreements with the local community already in place.
The coming deluge of fiat (paper money) printing by the world’s central banks to finance black top/electrification/5G infrastructure projects to lead the world out of the covid-19 induced economic disaster, is leading us into a highly inflationary environment. The US, owner of the world’s reserve currency, is going to print trillions and trillions more dollars.
High inflation leading to possible hyperinflation, minus interest rates that have to be held close to zero because of unbelievable global debt levels means real interest rates soar. That is an environment wherein precious metals do very well.
At AOTH we believe patience in gold, silver and Brigadier Gold’s continuing Picachos drill program, will be rewarded.
TSXV:BRG, USA:BGADF, FSE:B7LM
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Richard (Rick) Mills
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