The Buriticá project is 100% owned and fully permitted, and encompasses an aggregate area of 75,684 hectares in the Antioquia Department in north-western Colombia. The project area is comprised of 23 concessions covering 29,465 hectares and 60 concession applications totalling 46,219 hectares. Buriticá is located in the middle Cauca belt and is approximately a two-hour drive on the paved Pan-American highway from Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city. On February 24, 2016, the Company announced the results of an independent Feasibility Study for the project, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101. The Feasibility Study was authored by JDS Energy and Mining Inc., and M3 Engineering & Technology Corp. was responsible for designing the processing facilities and related surface infrastructure. The Feasibility Study indicates that the Buriticá project will be host to an economically robust, high-grade underground gold mine. The Feasibility Study is set out in the technical report entitled “Buriticá Project NI 43-101 Technical Report Feasibility Study Antioquia, Colombia” dated March 29, 2016 with an effective date of February 24, 2016. A copy of the technical report can be accessed under the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com or on this website.
See Mineral Reserves & Resources for complete details.
The project’s Mineral Resource estimate, covering both the Yaraguá and Veta Sur vein systems, is based on 271,003 metres of drilling and 7,215 metres of underground sampling (as at May 11, 2015) and include:
See Mineral Reserves & Resources for complete details.
Within the Buriticá project, there are several exploration targets (within a 22 square kilometre-area of interest) that have been generated by geophysics and systematic soil geochemistry. The area of interest includes high-grade carbonate base metal gold vein deposits (“CBM”) feeding off of andesitic/microdioritic porphyries at depth. The combined mineral resources and combined mineral reserves estimates are derived solely from the Yaraguá and Veta Sur vein systems and both remain open along strike and at depth.
The current mineral resource estimate excluded a number of veins in these systems for which there was limited drilling as of May 11, 2015. The average domain dimensions used in the mineral resource estimate versus actual dimensions (strike length x vertical metres) are as follows:
The Buriticá project is located in mountainous terrain with a peak elevation of approximately 2,000 metres above sea level. The focus area of the project is a mountain slope which is approximately 900 vertical metres in length and is adjacent to the flat-lying Higabra Valley, 1,000 metres above sea level.
A two-lane paved road traverses the property at the top of the mountainside leading to the town of Buriticá. The Buriticá project has abundant water and power. Recently, the Company was granted an environmental license approving the construction of a 110Kv electrical transmission line to provide power for its proposed large-scale underground mine. The Company also received approval to construct a six-kilometre access road from the existing two-lane paved road at the top of the mountainside to the Higabra Valley, which will be the future infrastructure site of milling operations.
Mineralization at Buriticá is a porphyry-related, carbonate base metal (CBM) gold vein/breccia system. High-grade precious metal mineralization in CBM systems may occur over substantial vertical intervals, to well in excess of one kilometre, from the porphyry level to below the shallow epithermal range. Compared to low-sulfidation epithermal styles, CBM mineralization is sulphide-rich, with abundant pyrite +/- pyrrhotite plus sphalerite and galena along with minor sulfosalts and chalcopyrite and with quartz-carbonate gangue mineralogy. Mineralization in CBM systems typically comprises sheeted veins, stockworks and mineralogically similar breccias with some fracture-related disseminations in wall-rocks.
CBM systems are widespread in circum-Pacific magmatic arcs and include the supergiant Peñasquito deposit (Goldcorp: >25 million ounces of gold) and the Porgera deposits in Papua New Guinea (Barrick/Zinjin Mining Group: >25 million ounces of gold, previous production plus remaining reserves and resources) and the Kelian deposits (7 million ounces of gold produced + resources) in Indonesia. Gold mineralization at Porgera has been mined over a vertical range of approximately 1,000 metres.
As at Porgera, precious metal mineralization in Yaraguá and Veta Sur appears to be related to two main depositional stages. “Stage I” is represented by banded base-metal (iron, zinc and lead) sulphide-rich mineralization with variable amounts of quartz-carbonate gangue and bands. “Stage II” mineralization is texturally and chemically distinctive high-grade gold mineralization that locally cross-cuts and overprints Stage I mineralization as veins and breccia veins. Stage II mineralization is characterized by abundant free (and commonly visible) gold in siliceous and carbonate gangue, associated with arsenical pyrite and with low zinc and lead contents.
The project area is comprised of 23 concessions covering 29,465 hectares and 60 concession applications totalling 45,558 hectares. As in the case of all the Company’s properties, concession applications in process give the Company priority on the properties in question during the application process; however, there is no guarantee that the Company will be granted the pending concession applications.
The Company has operated a small maximum capacity 30 tpd small-scale operating mine at Buriticá for over 20 years and is one of the largest employers in north-western Antioquia, employing over 300 members of the local community. To date, over 10 kilometres of horizontal development over 200 vertical metres has been completed in the Yaraguá vein system.
The small-scale operating mine has historically developed along individual veins in competent andesite rock. With over 10 kilometres of underground development, the Company has been able to perform underground channel sampling, cross-cutting and drilling. Results from this underground work have demonstrated the continuity of high grades over potential mining widths along substantial strike lengths and have resulted in grades that are generally higher than the drilling-based assay results in comparable regions of the current mineral resource model.
Donald Gray, BSc. Mining Engineering and MSc. Civil Engineering, Chief Operating Officer of the Company and a QP, has reviewed and approved the technical information above.
The Company utilizes a rigorous, industry-standard QA/QC program. Core is sawn in half with one-half shipped to a sample preparation lab in Medellín run by ALS Colombia Limited (“ALS”) in Colombia. Samples are then shipped for analysis to an ALS-certified assay laboratory in Lima, Peru. The remainder of the core is stored in a secured storage facility for future assay verification. Blanks, duplicates and certified reference standards are inserted into the sample stream to monitor laboratory performance and a portion of the samples are periodically check assayed at SGS Colombia S.A., a certified assay laboratory in Medellín, Colombia.
A review of data generated to date and the QA/QC program is presented in an independent technical report prepared by JDS Energy & Mining, Inc. The technical report, dated March 29, 2016, with an effective date of February 24, 2016, is posted on this website as well as under the Company’s profile on SEDAR.