Los Amigos comprises Mariana’s Amigos I and Amigos II and Hochschild’s San Augustin tenements, totaling 13,455 hectares, in the western sector of the Deseado Massif in Santa Cruz Province.
Mariana and Hochschild have pooled their properties into the JV. A US$2M exploration budget over 3 years will be 40% paid by Mariana and 60% by Hochschild, to confirm interests of 49% and 51% respectively. Of this, US$500,000 is committed in the first year. Hochschild can earn a further 9% by funding 60% of the next US$3M in the next 2 years and a further 10% by either completing a Feasibility Study or, if requested by Mariana, by providing project financing, repaid out of 80% of Mariana’s share of cash flow. This could see Hochschild’s interest in the JV increase to 70% with Mariana 30%. IAMGOLD retains a 1.5% NSR.
The area contains well developed NW and NNW structures hosting vein breccias. Rock chip samples have returned anomalous precious metal values. Silicified lacustrine sediments indicate a palaeosurface and an intact epithermal system. Exploration potential therefore exists at depth for precious metal mineralization of low sulphidation epithermal type.
Previous exploration is limited. Five holes were drilled in 2005 by Minera Andes Inc. in the new JV area for a total of 1,440m which followed surface sampling and Induced Polarisation geophysics. The drilling did not intersect economic gold-silver mineralization, but abundant hydrothermal breccias with a banded chalcedonic quartz-pyrite matrix were reported.
Exploration by JV
Rock chip sampling has been carried out along a north-west mineralised trend at least 5.5 km long and up to 100 m wide. Approximately 100 rock chip samples have been taken, of which 25 returned highly anomalous values ranging from 0.1 g/t to 5 g/t Au and 5 g/t to 100 g/t Ag. The anomalous values are related to zones of silicification, quartz veins and sulphide vein breccias.
An airborne magnetic survey was flown on east-west lines spaced 200 m apart. Preliminary interpretation has identified several major magnetic trends in covered areas that have not been previously explored.
Three scout Reverse Circulation (‘RC’) holes drilled for a total of 900 m, tested one target area at the south-eastern extremity of the 5.5 km north-west trend. The holes were spaced approximately 150 m apart along a single ‘fence’. All intersected wide alteration zones and contained intervals between 1 and 10 m wide with quartz veinlets with a best assay of 2 m @ 1.15 g/t Au from 249 m in RC hole LFRC09-011.
The 2010 porgramme includes additional surface rock chip sampling, geological mapping, follow up of airborne magnetic lineaments, soil sampling, IP surveying as required and drilling of priority gold targets.