SilverCrest Mines (CVE:SVL)(OTCQX:STVZF) said Thursday that it continues to validate the results of 56 historic core holes drilled on its La Joya property in Mexico between 1979 and 2003 by previous operators, with the Coloradito target showing potential for bulk tonnage.
The historic holes included 37 holes on the Main Mineralized Trend, six holes on the adjacent Coloradito target and four and one on each of the Santo Nino and Esperanza targets respectively, and eight holes outside of target areas.
Archived core is available and being split for geochemical analysis for the entire length of the drill holes at Coloradito.
SilverCrest's chief operating officer Eric Fier said: "Coloradito could possibly be the next discovery at La Joya and serves to re-emphasize the growing potential of the La Joya property with a current initial Inferred Resource of over 100 million ounces silver equivalent in the Main Mineralized Trend discovered to date.
"The Coloradito area shows potential for a large bulk tonnage Molybdenum (Mo), Tungsten (W), Silver (Ag) and Gold (Au) system with Cu-Pb-Zn credits. Planned Phase II drilling during 2012 will further test the extent of mineralization in the Coloradito area."
The estimate for the La Joya Property in Durango, Mexico is an inferred resource within the phase I area of 57.9 million tonnes grading 28 grams per tonne (gpt) silver, 0.18 gpt gold, and 0.21% copper.
Initial resources contain approximately 51.3 million ounces of silver, 333,400 ounces of gold and 270.3 million pounds of copper for a total of 101.9 million ounces silver equivalent.
Due to low metals prices at the time of the historical drilling, only sections of potentially high grade mineralization were of interest and assayed, while large lower grade intercepts were ignored and not assayed.
The company's drilling on the Main Mineralized Trend to date has demonstrated intercepts of potentially economic mineralization over widths up to 230 metres, it said.
In addition, assay validation and complete sampling of core from the four historic holes has been completed on the "Coloradito" target. From surface mapping, sampling and limited historic drilling, an area with near surface potentially large bulk tonnage molybdenum-tungsten-silver-gold mineralization has been defined that is approximately 500 metres long by 200 metres wide, and 100 to 200 metres in depth.
The Coloradito weighted average grades of 0.051% Mo and 0.044% WO3 plus 15.9 gpt silver and 0.11 gpt gold are similar to current economic or potentially economic near-surface bulk tonnage deposits such as Thompson Creek Mine, Idago (0.046 to 0.081% Mo), Endako, B.C. (0.030 to 0.046% Mo), Sisson, NB (0.031% Mo, 0.094% WO3) and El Creston, Mexico (0.071% Mo, 0.06% Cu), SilverCrest said.
The Coloradito target is one of three targets adjacent to the Main Mineralized Trend for which the company reported an initial inferred resource of over 100 million ounces of silver equivalent.
The highest grade sample taken to date on the La Joya property is a surface sample from the Coloradito area, with a grade of 5,318.8 gpt silver, 54.7 gpt gold and 6.3% lead over 2 metres. This historic sample was collected by Boliden/Luismin JV in 1999.
This area is currently being mapped and sampled and will be drilled during the company's ongoing phase II program this year.
The Coloradito mineralization consists of a Contact Zone with stockwork veining. This Contact Zone is similar to that identified in adjacent Main Mineralized Trend, the company said.
Molybdenum values appear to be higher (up to 0.6% Mo) at Coloradito compared to La Joya, where copper values are higher (up to 15% Cu), which implies a different intrusive or a subsequent intrusive event with different mineralized solutions.
Coloradito core also contains anomalous copper, lead and zinc. The phase II drill program is expected to further test the known mineralization at Coloradito with 8 to 10 drill holes.
The phase II 80 hole drill program is also expected to test approximately 2.5 kilometres of the Main Mineralized Trend (MMT).
Based on the encouraging results to date, two additional drill rigs are being mobilized to accelerate this phase II exploration program.
Drilling on the southern extension of the Trend is anticipated to start in late February.
Fourteen holes in phase II have been drilled to date with assays being received and compiled for release.
SilverCrest Mines is a Mexican precious metals producer with headquarters based in Vancouver. Its flagship property is the 100%-owned Santa Elena Mine, which is located 150 kilometres northeast of Hermosillo, near Banamichi in Sonora State, Mexico.
The mine is a high-grade, epithermal gold and silver producer, with an estimated life of mine cash cost of $8 per ounce of silver equivalent. SilverCrest anticipates that the 2,500 tonnes per day facility should recover approximately 4,805,000 ounces of silver and 179,000 ounces of gold over the 6.5 year life of the open pit phase of the Santa Elena Mine.
A three year expansion plan is underway to double metals production at the Santa Elena Mine and exploration programs are rapidly advancing the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango State, Mexico.
Thursday afternoon, shares were up 1.6 percent to $2.54.