VANCOUVER — For emerging producer Impact Silver (TSXV: IPT) short-term exploration success remains an integral ingredient in its business strategy. The company currently operates the 500-tonnes-per-day Guadalupe production centre in the Royal Mines of Zacualpan silver-gold district of central Mexico, which requires the ongoing expansion of vein systems to provide mill feed. And Impact’s latest target — namely its San Juan project — looks to be producing the high-grade intercepts the company needs to keep its flagship operation humming along.
San Juan lies 4 km southwest of Guadalupe and hosts a spider web of historic mine workings that run across multiple underground levels around 150 metres north of the company's Noche Buena mine. Previous mining focused on the gold-rich Carlos Pacheco vein within the Valle de Oro sub-district. As mine development has progressed, Impact has focused its drills on the under-explored northern extensions of the Noche Buena and Carlos Pacheco veins.
The company's initial results were released on Oct. 30, and resulted in the discovery of high-grade gold and silver directly adjacent to its Noche Buena operation. Results were highlighted by hole Z13-44, which cut 1,410 grams silver per tonne over 2.07 metres true width from 11 metres down hole along the Noche Buena vein. The intercept was significant since it lay along the far northern projection of the vein, which had previously been unexplored.
Meanwhile, high-grade gold was also intersected at Carlos Pacheco, where the company cut 9.35 grams gold per tonne over 3.78 metres true width from 169 metres depth in hole Z13-45. The success prompted Impact to continue its tight step-out drill program — along 25-metre centres at Noche Buena and 50-metre centres at Carlos Pacheco — in anticipation of integrating the San Jose discoveries with the existing Noche Buena workings.
Impact released results from its second phase of drilling at San Juan on Jan. 7, which continue to demonstrate encouraging grades that the company intends to incorporate directly into its mine plan. At Noche Buena hole Z13-60 cut 1,588 grams silver over 1.72 metres true width from 17 metres depth, while hole Z13-62 intersected 416 grams silver over 1.5 metres true width from 65 metres down hole.
Impact also reported the discovery of a number of new silver-gold-lead-zinc structures, including: the Tiburón and Delfin breccias, the Cangrejo, La Jaiba and Langostino veins, plus a significant extension to its Abulón Vein. The company's discoveries were all encountered during near-surface drilling aimed at the deeper portions of Carlos Pacheco.
Intersections at Tiburón are highlighted by 179.4 grams silver over 5.1 metres true width from 17 metres depth in hole Z13-59, and 160 grams silver over 3.62 metres true width from 24 metres depth in hole Z13-67. Meanwhile, hole Z13-65 cut 106 grams silver over 3.27 metres true width at Abulon.
Impact reported that its operations at Noche Buena have now integrated with the San José underground workings, which provides access to the Noche Buena vein near the company's current drilll targets. A crosscut decline has also been started to access Carlos Pacheco in the area.
Impact reported US$6.7 million in cash and working capital at the end of September, and recently commissioned a second production centre at its Capire operation roughly 16 km southwest from Guadalupe. The company produced 177,366 oz. of silver during the third quarter, and recorded revenues of US$3.1 million.
Impact has traded within a 52-week range of 44¢ and $1.22 per share, the company closed up 3.5% following its San Juan results en route to a 59¢ close at the time of writing. Impact maintains 68 million shares outstanding for a $40 million press-time market capitalization.
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