RNS Number : 7254S
24 November 2011
XTIERRA COMMENCES DRILLING SOUTH OF BILBAO, MEXICO
Dublin, 24 November, 2011 - Minco Plc (London AIM | MIO), reports that associate, Xtierra Inc. (TSXV | XAG), yesterday reported that drilling previously planned to begin in September had commenced on November 19, 2011. The 2,500 metre drilling programme has been commissioned to follow up on high grade silver mineralisation previously encountered to the south of the Bilbao deposit. Due to difficulties in obtaining and scheduling a drill contractor as well as new environmental regulations in Mexico pertaining to development properties as opposed to exploration properties, significant delays were encountered in implementing the drill program.
In early Q3 2011, Xtierra announced results of a preliminary program of drilling in the southern part of Bilbao to investigate two types of silver-rich targets located immediately to the south of the main Bilbao deposit. The targets, all with high grade silver content, comprised high angle hydrothermal veins and brecciated limestone horizons. Six separate mineralized veins and/or fault-fillings were identified. The drilling was targeted to assist in determining the characteristics and continuity of the high grade silver veins previously found in drill-hole X26 at the southern margin of, and beneath, the main deposit. Two structural trends have been identified with the mineralisation. A NNW-SSE trend has strong base-metal association while a NNE-SSW trend contains silver values of up to 664g/t silver.
The holes were targeted to assist in determining the characteristics and continuity of the high grade silver veins previously found in drill-hole X26 at the southern margin of, and beneath, the main Bilbao deposit. The width of these structures varies, with veins averaging about 1m true thickness and fault-fillings up to 12m in thickness. The NNW-SSE structures typically contain higher base-metal values with combined zinc and lead values of 14.95% (4.85% lead and 10.10% zinc) including 0.31% copper and 97.9g/t silver over 4.65m in DDH X86-B; 21.39% combined zinc and lead (9.96% lead and 11.43% zinc) including 0.27% copper and 127.6g/t silver over 1.05m in DDH X86A; and in DDH X86B-1 there is an intersection of 12.10m with average grades of 9.08% combined zinc and lead (4.17% lead, 4.91% zinc) including 0.63% copper and 109.4g/t silver (refer earlier press releases).
The current programme will test a number of targets including, (a) the open-ended mineralisation encountered in veins and shear structures similar to that intersected in hole X40-1 (2.45 metres averaging 1,623g/t silver, including 3,340g/t silver over 0.60m). This hole was prematurely halted due to technical difficulties while still in mineralisation; (b) the projected extensions to brecciated silver-rich limestone horizons; and (c) a geophysical anomaly (magnetic) believed to be associated with massive, skarn-type sulphide mineralisation.
Meantime, Xtierra is progressing towards completion of a Feasibility Study on the Bilbao project. The high priority and critical path task to conclude the study is the oxide ore and sulphide ore metallurgical test work nearing completion at the SGS Laboratory in Lakefield, Ontario. Final tailings management design and the completion of the environmental impact study (EIS) require completion of the metallurgical test work to provide all the necessary input data. The Feasibility Study is expected to be completed by mid-2012.
Pinos District Exploration
The El Dorado gold project located in the Pinos district of south-eastern Zacatecas State is situated 7 kilometers northeast of the historic Pinos gold deposits where veins with reported bonanza grades of more than 200g/t gold were mined historically on northwest striking veins. Historic records suggest the average mined grade was 97 g/t silver and 58.26 g/t gold.
Xtierra completed a program of surface exploration during late Q3 2011 for epithermal gold mineralization in the El Centenario and Santa Patricia claims to the north-west of the El Dorado vein. The program included geological mapping, prospecting, geochemical soil sampling and trenching. A significant geochemically anomalous area of antimony and arsenic, both gold pathfinder elements, has been located coincident with pervasive kaolinitic alteration of rhyolitic tuffs within an acidic volcanic sequence. A hyperspectral study of the rock alteration signatures of the district as revealed by ASTER imagery is being undertaken to help identify areas requiring more detailed examination within the overall prospective zone. Meanwhile follow up soil sampling will be undertaken over the anomalous area to define targets for drilling planned for Q1 2012.
Mr. Terence N McKillen, B.A. (MOD), M.A., M.Sc., P.Geo, Chief Executive Officer, is the Qualified Person for the purposes of the AIM Guidance Note on Mining, Oil and Gas Companies dated March 2006. Mr. McKillen is a graduate in Natural Sciences (Geology) from Trinity College Dublin and holds a Master of Science degree in Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology from the University of Leicester. He has 40 years of exploration experience in Ireland and internationally.
Minco PLC is an AIM quoted precious and base metals exploration and development company, engaged in zinc-lead exploration in Ireland, in proximity to the Galmoy and Tara mines, and with investments in zinc--silver projects in Mexico through holding 30 million shares in Xtierra Inc. listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (Toronto) under the symbol "XAG". Minco also holds a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold property in Northern Ireland which is being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc. Minco currently holds US$20 million in cash and is evaluating a number of investment opportunities in the mineral industry in North America and Europe. There are 349,999,988 shares of Minco issued and outstanding.
For further information, www.minco.ie or
John Kearney: Executive Chairman +1 416 362 6686
Terence McKillen: Chief Executive +1 416 362 8243
+44 (0) 8452 606
Danesh Varma: CFO & Company Secretary 034
Minco - Ireland Contact: Peter McParland
| Maria Flood +353 (0)46 907-3709
John Frain/Fergal Meegan: (NOMAD) Davy +353 (0)1 6796363
Barry Gibb/ Saif Janjua: (Corporate Advisor +44 (0)20 7930
| Broker) Beaufort International 8222
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