Vancouver – The first results from Argentex Mining‘s (ATX-V) ongoing drill program at the polymetallic Pinguino project in Argentina indicate high-grade, near surface silver mineralization as Argentex starts to build upon an initial resource estimate release in September.
The company has already completed five drill programs on the property, advancing Pinguino from a grassroots discovery to growing deposit. The deposit is home to two types of vein systems: the gold-silver-rich quartz veins that are typical of the Deseado Massif and another, atypical system of polymetallic, sulphide-rich veins that, along with lead and zinc, carry considerable indium.
The most recent wave of exploration, which started in December, will punch another 2,035 metres of drilling into the property. Out of the 37 drill holes completed in the program, six have been assayed and the results published. The company drilled the six shallow holes into the oxidized portion of Marta Norte, the most silver-rich zone discovered to date on Pinguino.
Hole 270 returned 6.6 metres carrying 457.7 grams silver per tonne and 0.28 gram gold per tonne, starting at just 12 metres depth and including 0.56 metres grading 3,042 grams silver and 0.77 gram gold. Hole 273 hit 22 metres averaging 205.2 grams silver and 0.42 gram gold, beginning 3 metres below surface and including 6 metres at 476.2 grams silver and 1.08 grams gold. Hole 278 intersected 15.9 metres grading 334.8 grams silver and 0.32 gram gold, again starting just under the surface at 3.4 metres and including 1.1 metres grading 1,238.1 grams silver and 1.75 grams gold.
The holes represent 249 metres of drill testing over a strike length of 470 metres in the northwest corner of Pinguino. Previous work has shown that native gold and silver are enriched in the oxidized portion of Marta Norte.
“Marta Norte is one of the most promising areas to increase our existing mineral resources with additional high-grade silver mineralization,” said Ken Hicks, president of Argentex. “Using detailed prospecting, geochemistry and trenching, we are finding indications of new parallel and conjugate vein targets in the Marta Norte area.”
Argentex based its initial resource estimate on 258 drill holes totaling 29,149 metres of core drilling and 55 surface trenches completed between 2004 and 2008. Indicated resources were pegged at 7.32 million tonnes grading 32.54 grams silver, 0.253 gram gold, 0.49% lead, 1.47% zinc, and 16.26 grams indium per tonne. Inferred resources added 35.4 million tonnes grading 22.47 grams silver, 0.21 gram gold, 0.4% lead, 1.09% zinc, and 8.89 grams indium.
The company is using soil sampling and excavator trenching in the latest exploration program as well, with over 600 soil samples collected so far. Argentex reports that soil geochemistry has proven to be an excellent indicator of blind veins hidden by a thin layer of overburden common in the area. Soil sampling has the added benefit of physically exposing more of the mineralized system and allows in situ rock sampling in preparation for drilling.
Mineralization at Pinguino is contained in multiple zones that remain open-ended along strike and depth. More than 47 veins, totaling more than 74 kilometers, have been mapped and 15 have been tested by drilling.
Argentex started the Pinguino project nearly from scratch in 2004 and still has full ownership of the property. The company reports that Pinguino is host to the largest known and undeveloped vein system in Santa Cruz province after the developed AngloGold Ashanti (AA-N, AAUL-L) Cerro Vanguadia mine. Both vein systems fall within the Tranquilo trend, a major northwest structural corridor in central Santa Cruz.
The property lies about 300 km southwest of Comodoro Rivadavia in Santa Cruz province, and is accessed by an established system of all-weather roads. It sits about 400 metres above sea level in low-relief terrain.
Argentex’s share price gained 6¢ in the day following the news to reach 84¢. The company’s 52-week share price range is between 34¢ and $1.12; it has 44 million shares outstanding.