I do love it when a plan starts coming together as well as Brigadier’s.
In this case, it’s Brigadier Gold’s (TSX-V:BRG) 5,000-meter, 40-hole drill campaign targeting four high-grade veins at its Picachos gold-silver project in Mexico.
This week, the company announced the first diamond drill (BRG-001) has intersected the San Agustín vein, 65 meters below historic gold workings at the San Agustín mine.
The second hole of the program is underway and is anticipated to intercept the San Agustín vein 25 meters below BRG-001.
The veins are open at depth and have never been diamond drill-tested – making San Agustín the primary focus of the current drill program.
Brigadier aims to prove the potential for multiple veins; the depth, strike length and continuity of the veins; and get an understanding the source of the vein-hosted mineralization, along with its potential relationship to copper porphyry mineralization identified on the property.
At the San Agustín mine, 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 2.5 m.
“Intercepting the San Agustín vein close to where we anticipated it would be, both assists in confirming our understanding of the continuity of the vein at depth and its geometry,”, says Michelle Robinson, Brigadier’s head geologist. “In addition, the use of a diamond drill with relatively large core size will yield previously unknown details of the geology and structure of the four different veins systems set to be tested during this drill campaign. These are very early impressions and much work is still to be done, but we are highly optimistic about the potential at Picachos.”
Robinson, P.Eng, is both the vendor of the project, having optioned it to Brigadier Gold, and was brought on as chief geo, handling exploration and drill planning.
She has detailed knowledge of the property, having assembled it herself years ago. A geologist with an extensive resume to her name, Robinson is a member of working groups organized by the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX), speaks fluent Spanish, and is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. There is arguably no-one better acquainted with these rocks than Robinson.
In an earlier interview with AOTH, Robinson explained how the first hole was sited underneath a 50-meter-deep “slot”, elongated along the structure of the vein, that was mined between 2009 and 2013. “We didn’t have a true sense of how wide the San Agustín vein was, but there were some very interesting areas,” she said, noting that the gold that they found responded well to recovery techniques.
“We think that by drilling there we’ll get a better sense of how wide the San Agustin vein really is and get a better understanding of the grade profile of both the gold and silver,” says Robinson.
According to Wednesday’s news release, the vein was intercepted between 75.2 and 81.5 meters downhole, at roughly 609m elevation. True width is estimated at 5m.
Field X-ray fluorescence (XRF) readings indicate that elevated silver occurs in quartz-carbonate veins and veinlets above and below the San Agustín vein between 65 and 94 meters deep; and above the vein 14-15m and 33-48m downhole.
High gold and silver values, 2.59 g/t Au and 22 g/t Ag across 2.5 meters, were also obtained where BRG-001 is collared, at the El Carrito adit. El Carrito is oriented easterly (azimuth 110 degrees) at an elevation of 673m and cross-cuts argillite in the hanging wall of the San Agustín vein.
Along with San Agustín, the first-ever diamond drill program at Picachos will zero in on the Mochomos vein, where a historic rock chip channel sample yielded 18.5 g/t Au and 570 g/t Ag over half a meter; the Los Tejones vein with values of 28.6 g/t Au and 114 g/t Ag across a meter; and the Fermin vein, which sampled 268 parts per million (ppm) Ag and 0.3 g/t Au over 1m.
“It’s got some interesting pyrite-silver-rich mineralization hosted down hole so that’s another vein that could be parallel to San Agustín with similar strike,” Robinson said, referring to Mochomos.
The campaign will also include 3 line-kilometers of trenching, across a number of historical sample sites where anomalies have been identified, and drill targets can be formalized. Most of the holes – ranging in length from 90m to 300m – are expected to be at San Agustín and Los Tejones, with a few at Mochomos and other prospects.
The 3,954-hectare property is centered over the historic “Viva Zapata” National Mineral Reserve due east of Mazatlán, in the municipality of El Rosario.
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.
Primary targets include under-explored gold veins at the past-producing San Agustín mine, and La Gloria, a historic mine with rock samples containing 21.1 grams per tonne gold and 6 g/t silver across 0.8m.
Comprising four mining concessions, Picachos hosts two precious metal vein systems and a large porphyry copper prospect. It overlaps part of the western foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental, one of the world’s largest silicic igneous provinces. Regional geochemical work at the turn of the millennium highlighted the reserve as one of the largest contiguous anomalies for gold and base metals.
It sits on one of the largest, most contiguous and highest amplitude anomalies for gold, silver and base metals in regional fine-fraction stream sediment samples in the Western Sierra Madre, with values up to 6,841 parts per billion (ppb) gold in fine-fraction, active channel stream sediments, according to the Mexican Geological Service (SGS), which staked and explored it in the 1980s.
El Placer discovery
Guided by historical work, Brigadier’s geological team completed six weeks of mapping/ sampling around the San Agustín mine site, resulting in the discovery of the El Placer vein system.
Derived from good old boots-on-the-ground prospecting, the team found up to 12 samples containing over 1 gram per tonne gold.
The El Placer vein system has been mapped on surface over a strike length of 4 kilometres. There are several near-parallel veins within the system over a trend width, ranging from 60 to 160 meters.
“The natural exposure of the El Placer vein you can actually see the Tatemales vein on the right and the other vein, La Botic, on the left, between them is all mineralized,” says Robinson. “The stronger mineralization is in the actual vein structures but there’s a lot of stockwork and disseminated mineralization between the veins so it’s really quite a spectacular showing.”
Sample assay results include 7.4 g/t over 3.2 meters; 12.8 g/t gold, 54 g/t silver, 0.1% copper, 7.7% lead and 6.73% zinc over 0.5m; and 101 g/t silver, 0.3% copper, 2% lead, 11.6% zinc over 1m.
Government stream sediment samples taken downstream from El Placer, define a 1,259-hectare area that includes ground east of the property. A maximum value of 2.6 parts per million (ppm) gold is reported. Government and company data sets both indicate very anomalous gold, strong base metals and subdued silver.
“The significance of these results cannot be overstated,” Robinson states, noting the Amalia discovery made by Radius Gold and optioned by Pan-American Silver, had values of just 0.06 ppm gold and silver.
The market appears to be responding well to BRG. Having only started trading in June, the stock is having a good month. From $0.22 on Oct. 5, Brigadier has gained 12.5 cents, bringing the market cap to $19.3 million. BRG closed at $0.33/sh Wednesday, up 4.76% on the news about hitting the San Agustín vein.
The drill core from the first hole has been shipped to Mazatlan and will be delivered to SGS’s assay lab in Durango for analysis. I expect more shareholder gains when the results are published.
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