Solvista Gold Corp. has received a summary-of-work document from Iamgold Corp., describing the work completed by Iamgold pursuant to its option to earn an interest in the company's Caramanta project in Colombia.
In 2014 Iamgold carried out a variety of programs that included: data review, compilation work, geological mapping, geochemical sampling, ground geophysics, drilling, social and environmental programs, and mineral tenure maintenance on the Caramanta project. The 2014 cost of the various programs, administration and making the December, 2014, option payment of $250,000 (U.S.) required by the agreement totalled $2,549,728 (U.S.). These expenditures were sufficient to meet the first-year expenditure requirements under the option agreement between the parties.
Iamgold has fulfilled its commitments and obligations under the agreement for the first year and has indicated to Solvista that, pending the receipt of permits, it plans to complete additional work on the Caramanta project during 2015. Those plans currently include core drilling programs at El Reten and Ajiaco Sur, provided permits to allow the drilling in the district of integrated management (DMI) are secured in a timely manner. Applications have been filed to secure these permits, and the work is planned to commence in the second quarter, provided the required permits are granted. Iamgold is continuing with social and environmental programs, as well as some additional surface sampling programs.
A complete summary of the terms of the agreement is available on SEDAR and on the company's website.
Commenting on the Iamgold plan for 2015 and the work completed by Iamgold to date, Solvista's president and chief executive officer, Bruce Durham, stated: "We look forward to another year working with Iamgold on the Caramanta project. Iamgold completed a lot of solid technical work in the first year of the agreement, and we look forward to them being able to build on the results of their work, as well as on our work, particularly at El Reten and Ajiaco Sur, where we had considerable success. They were not able to complete work in key parts of those areas in 2014 due to permitting issues in the DMI. If they are successful in permitting the planned drilling, I think we will see some significant results in those areas."
Diamond drilling completed by Iamgold tested targets initially defined and partially drill tested by Solvista, and also tested newly developed target areas in search of gold and copper mineralization within and peripheral to the company's Caramanta porphyry cluster (CPC).
A highlight from the 2014 Iamgold work was its first hole drilled at the Ajiaco Sur target in an area outside the DMI, where hole 15AS001 returned a near-surface copper-gold-silver intersection with average assays of 0.34 per cent copper, 3.21 grams per tonne silver and 0.46 g/t gold over a core interval of 207.5 metres. This hole is located in the area of the Solvista core hole CAD-12-15 intersection.
Summary items for 2014:
- Iamgold spent $2.54-million (U.S.) in the first year of the agreement.
- Iamgold has made the required payment to Solvista of $250,000 (U.S.).
- The agreement will remain in good standing through 2015 so long as Iamgold incurs expenditures of at least $1.5-million (U.S.) on the project prior to year-end.
- Due to DMI restrictions, no work was completed at El Reten, where Solvista discovered copper-gold mineralization in core holes that returned average assay values of up to 1.01 grams per tonne gold and 0.21 per cent copper over a core length of 456.7 metres in core hole CAD-12-18 (press release dated May 14, 2013).
- No work was competed at El Corral due to restrictions imposed in the DMI.
- Limited work was completed at the Ajiaco Sur area, where Solvista discovered copper-gold mineralization in core holes with assays of up to 0.46 g/t gold and 0.30 per cent copper over a core length of 357.8 metres in core hole CAD-12-15 (press release dated July 2, 2013).
- At the north end of the Ajiaco Sur area, one Iamgold core hole, 15AS001, returned a near-surface copper-gold-silver intersection with average assays of 0.34 per cent copper, 3.21 g/t silver and 0.46 g/t gold over a core interval of 207.5 metres. This hole is located in the area of the Solvista hole CAD-12-15 intersection.
Iamgold: Caramanta project 2014 annual report -- executive summary
Iamgold is continuing to work to secure permits to resume drilling within the DMI. Timing of receipt of the permit will dictate whether drilling will be completed during 2015, as well as the location, sequence and number of drill holes. The executive summary of the Iamgold work in 2014 states in part:
"In 2014 Iamgold Colombia carried out geologic mapping, geochemical sampling, ground geophysics, drilling, social and environmental programs, and mineral tenure maintenance on the Caramanta project, which when added to the $250,000 (U.S.) option payment to Solvista brought the year 1 expenditure total to $2,549,728 (U.S.).
"The focus to the 2014 program was on the CPC, although significant mapping and sampling programs were carried out over other parts of the property package. Prior to drilling the CPC, 1-to-5,000-scale mapping was completed, 899 infill MMI [mobile metal ion] and 189 rock channel samples were collected, and 14.7 kilometres of ground magnetics and 6.6 km of pole-dipole IP [induced polarization] (a equals 50 metres) carried out. With access to the DMI, limited work was mainly carried out outside the DMI in the northern half of the CPC.
"Solvista's extensive targeting work on the CPC had already highlighted several target areas, Malabrigo, Casa Verde and Ajiaco Norte, all of which lie north of the Ajiaco Sur discovery and outside of the DMI. Solvista's four holes at Malabrigo and one hole at Casa Verde encountered extensive alteration, and short intervals of elevated gold and copper values, but produced no clear discovery. The mapping, MMI sampling and geophysical work carried out in the 2014 program refined the targets at Malabrigo and Casa Verde, providing evidence that the best potential had not been tested. At Malabrigo, Solvista's four-hole cluster failed to test a strong MMI gold anomaly, which is located to the south and west of the cluster. The holes also failed to test strong sheeted vein zones with plus 0.5 g/t Au, located to the west and north. The much larger Casa Verde area, north and east of Malabrigo, produced strong rock chip anomalies in Quebrada Ajiaco, and a broad MMI copper anomaly (and weaker gold anomaly) over a zone 1.5 km long north to south and 500 metres wide. With only one Solvista drill hole in Casa Verde, this large area required substantial additional drilling. Lastly, the ground magnetic survey returned a strong magnetic high anomaly extending from the east edge of Malabrigo eastward across the northern limit of Ajiaco Sur. The anomaly lies within an area mapped as clastic sedimentary rocks that could not possibly account for the anomaly.
"One of the objectives of the 2014 drill program was to continue delineation of Solvista's El Reten and Ajiaco Sur discoveries. However, with the exception of the northern margin of Ajiaco Sur, neither of these zones could be drilled without receipt of a permit from Corantioquia to allow drilling inside the DMI. The original environmental report was filed with Corantioquia in late February, but it became apparent by July that a permit was not going to get issued in time to allow a drill program on these two zones to be carried out in 2014. The decision was taken to focus drilling on the northern CPC targets of Malabrigo and Casa Verde with only limited drilling to address the northern margin of Ajiaco Sur.
"Drilling started on Aug. 4 and continued through Dec. 12 with 3,840 m drilled in 14 diamond drill holes. Highlights from the program are provided in an attached table, with the only potentially economic grade over minable widths coming from the two holes in Ajiaco Sur. Every hole encountered strong potassic alteration, and a stockwork of some combination of quartz, magnetite, pyrite, actinolite, biotite or chlorite. Unfortunately, despite the impressive alteration and veining, gold and copper grades are largely low. Malabrigo again failed to produce a significant intercept in the five holes drilled. The Malabrigo holes show early intramineral andesite porphyries (HPA_ei1 and HPA_ei2) cutting a premineral porphyry body. While overall mineralization is weak, the HPA_ei1 porphyry has the strongest potassic alteration, a higher density of veins, and better Au and Cu values. While potential at Malabrigo has been greatly reduced, the area to the east and northeast remains to be tested."
DRILL HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2014 DRILL PROGRAM ON THE CPC Target Hole ID FromToLengthCu % Ag g/t Au g/t Ajiaco Sur15AS001 incl.63.2 270.7 207.50.34 3.21 0.46 182.5 220.738.20.68 5.42 1.01 15AS002 incl.66.0 207.6141.580.23 2.33 0.25 106.6 158.0 51.450.28 1.88 0.34 Casa Verde 15CV001156.0 175.0190.15 2.41 0.23 15CV0029.1 114.5105.450.14 2.92 0.30 216.1 224.0 7.90.20 9.04 1.05 298.0 308.510.50.38 2.43 0.58 15CV007 57.0 131.0740.10 5.02 0.29 65.075.0100.1210.68 0.43 119.8 123.53.750.1824.70 0.47
"The drill section(s) through the coarse-grained intermediate diorite intrusive (IDI) were consistently anomalous in gold and copper. This is the same unit that hosts most of the mineralization in Ajiaco Sur. The lone hole drilled into the newly identified magnetic high, 15CV001, produced an anomalous intercept but failed to encounter a porphyry body that could account for the magnetic anomaly. It and other holes drilled to the east from the east side of Casa Verde encountered a volcano-sedimentary clastic sequence with all these east-directed holes showing strong potassic alteration and stockwork veining diminishing to the east. The holes also confirm that the large diatreme breccia mapped by Solvista is for the most part really a sedimentary unit with true breccias limited to the northern portion of the previously mapped body.
"Drilling at Ajiaco Sur target has confirmed the presence of an Au-Cu (plus minor molybdenum) porphyry system. The best values are associated with a dense stockwork of early veins and intense potassic alteration in the IDI, and four early intramineral porphyries and breccias (HPA_ei1 to HPA_ei4). Hole 15AS001, drilled from north to south across Ajiaco Sur, produced a long intercept with similar grade to the intercepts returned in Solvista's drill program (for example, CAD-12-15 with 357.8 m of 0.46 g/t Au, 5.0 g/t Ag and 0.30 per cent Cu). The zone appears to have a northeast-trending long axis with a strike of nearly 400 m and a width of up to 300 m, and remains to be fully delineated.
"Mapping and sampling outside the CPC failed to identify new porphyry centres beyond the Don Carlos and El Cardenal zones identified previously by Solvista. Limited additional work was done on the Don Carlos zone, owing to its location within one km of the town of Caramanta. Significant additional mapping and sampling were carried out at El Cardenal, located adjacent to Colombian Mines' Yarumalito project between Caramanta and Valpariso. The El Cardenal work confirms the presence of a porphyry system but indicates it is weak or a distal part of the Yarumalito system. Iamgold's conclusion is that the potential of El Cardenal does not merit a drill program."
The scientific and technical information contained in this press release has been reviewed by the company's president and chief executive officer, Bruce Durham, PGeo, who is a qualified person as such term is defined under National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
About the project
The project is located at the centre of the Middle Cauca belt, one of the most prolific gold districts in Colombia, with production dating back to precolonial times. The Middle Cauca belt has been the focus of intense exploration over the past five years, with a number of new discoveries including La Colosa (Anglogold Ashanti), a porphyry-gold deposit with a Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant inferred resource of 24.15 million ounces Au at 0.94 g/t Au. Directly south of the project is Gran Colombia Gold's Marmato project with NI 43-101-compliant measured and indicated resources of 11.8 million ounces Au at 0.9 g/t Au and 80 million ounces Ag at 6.1 g/t Ag, and inferred resources of 2.6 million ounces Au at 1.02 g/t Au and nine million ounces Ag at 3.7 g/t Ag. To the north of the project is Sunward Resources' Titiribi deposit, where an NI 43-101-compliant measured and indicated resource of 6.2 million ounces Au equivalent, and an inferred resource of 6.5 million ounces AuEq have been announced (based on information from public sources).
District of integrated management
Three of the Caramanta projects' multiple targets (El Reten, El Corral and Ajiaco Sur) are located within a regional environmental designation referred to as a district of integrated management. Under the terms of the DMI, there is currently a prohibition against open-pit mining within the DMI. Iamgold has filed an application with the regional environmental authority, Corantioquia, requesting permission to carry out drilling within the DMI. It is uncertain when permission will be granted or whether Corantioquia will request further environmental studies prior to further considering the application. At this time, the original effort by Solvista to remove the DMI designation has been stopped. That effort will not be restarted until more is known about the ultimate potential footprint of a development in the CPC.
Under the agreement, Iamgold had the right to declare force majeure on the first anniversary date, should it not have received permission to drill within the DMI. The parties agreed to terms for an amendment, now in preparation, that allows Iamgold to continue exploration activities on the project and delay a decision to declare force majeure. The principal terms halve the year 2 minimum work expenditure to $1.5-million (U.S.) and extend the term of the first option by a year to six years.