The Cuates gold-silver project is located on the north edge of the Parral mining district in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The property consists of three non-contiguous mineral claims, encompassing a total of 400 hectares. Cuates occurs in the highly prospective Mesa Central, which hosts several important deposits and historic gold-silver mining districts, including: the Parral silver district - 25 km to the southeast, and Levon Resources Cordero deposit -- 45 km to the northeast.
The Cuates project is situated within the Central Mexican Silver Belt, a 900 km long metallogenic province defined by several important silver-gold mining districts, including the Penasquito, Camino Rojo, Pitarrilla, Parral, and Naica mining camps.
Cuates occurs in the western portion of the Mesa Central, where fault bounded tectonic blocks of Mesozoic aged marine sedimentary and volcanic rocks form a series of northwest trending basins and mountain ranges. Immediately to the west is the Sierra Madre Occidental, a northwest trending belt of Cenozoic aged felsic volcanic rocks which form a mountain range extending for 1,500 km through northern Mexico. To the east of the Mesa Central are the fold-belt mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre Oriental, which are comprised of the same Mesozoic aged limestones, siliciclastic sediments, and volcanics that underlie the Mesa Central. Numerous deposits occur within the Oriental and Mesa Central geologic provinces; including the important epithermal ore systems at Fresnillo, Santa Barbera, and San Francisco del Oro, as well as the bulk-tonnage disseminated deposits at Pitarilla, Penasquito, Cordero, and Camino Rojo.
The geological setting at Cuates is characterized by a series of small dioritic intrusions and contact metamorphosed sedimentary rocks cut by east-west and locally north-northwest trending quartz veins and mineralized structures.
The Cuates project was originally acquired to cover portions of a strong, regional magnetic anomaly lying along a prominent southwest-northeast trending linear which extends northeast across Serengeti's nearby Cristobal property to Levon Resources' Cordero silver-gold-zinc-lead deposit. The Cordero deposit contains a large open-pitable, silver-gold-lead-zinc resource associated with a magnetic feature similar to that observed at Cuates.
Several old mine workings are visible throughout the Cuates property. These workings are thought to have exploited the widespread but relatively narrow gold-silver+/-antimony bearing structures and quartz veins. The observed gold, silver and antimony showings and mine workings occur within a range of host lithologies and geological settings. Past exploration efforts identified a central target area of focused gold-silver mineralization, thought to be indicative of a potentially significant epithermal system.
Geological mapping and collection of several hundred surface rock samples has outlined at least three locally high-grade, gold-silver bearing, deeply oxidized fault structures and quartz vein zones occurring within a 300 by 1100 meter area hosted in an altered diorite intrusion. The principal mineralized structure is defined by ninety samples averaging 2.5 g/t gold, 7 g/t silver collected from multiple, relatively narrow veins and structures occurring within a 600 meter long, 10 to 30 meter wide zone. Seventeen samples collected from this zone exceed 5.0 g/t gold and a grab sample from the eastern end assayed 20.6 g/t gold, 969 g/t silver (cut to 50 g/t silver for purposes of the average reported above). A second target, defined by 45 samples, averages 1.2 g/t gold, 13 g/t silver and 0.5% combined lead-zinc along 400 meters of strike, but does appear narrower than the main structure described above. Rock sampling results also indicate a third mineralized zone located between the two described above as well as additional gold-silver mineralized veins and structures to the west.
In addition to the geologic mapping and sampling, a helicopter airborne magnetic and radiometric survey was flown here and then followed up with an Induced Polarization (IP) geophysical survey completed in early 2012. This survey outlined a >25 mV/V IP chargeability anomaly associated with the outcropping mineralized structures. The IP chargeability anomaly has a strike length of at least 700 metres and is 200 to 400 metres wide.
The magnetic survey delineated a strong magnetic high about 2.5km across and this more detailed survey distinguishes some additional individual peaks around the periphery of the main magnetic high, which would be expected in a multi-phase intrusive complex.
A reverse circulation (RC) drilling program of nine drill holes totalling 987 metres was completed in 2012 and designed to test the continuity of the observed gold-silver mineralization in surface sampling and to test the significance of the roughly co-incident and potentially related IP chargeability anomaly. The results from this drilling at Cuates are shown in the table below.
|Cuates RC Drill Holes C01 to C09 results|
|Holes C02, C05 did not return any significant intervals|
Although several of the holes encountered gold-silver mineralization (eg. 1.06 g/t Au, 5.7 g/t Ag over 3.0 metres in C-03 and 2.20 g/t Au, 7.3 g/t Ag over 1.5 metres in C-07), the values were significantly lower and less continuous than those encountered in the surface sampling. This is likely attributable to gold enrichment in the near surface, weathered and oxidized material whereas the values in drilling are from unweathered sulphide bearing intervals which were also variably anomalous in pathfinder elements including lead, zinc, copper and arsenic.
Two of the holes at Cuates, C08, 09 tested an area of quartz-fluorite veining west of the surface gold-mineralized area and returned locally anomalous silver values.
While the results of this small first pass drill program did not locate gold values as strong as recorded from the surface samples, it did confirm that the mineralized zones do continue at depth. This drill program also only covered a small portion of the over-all property and that to only shallow depths. Ideally the property needs to be consolidated (with the adjacent ground) and tested in a more thorough manner to determine if there is a larger system of interest at depth that is driving this high level mineralization noted over an area of approximately 9 sq. Km. Potential target types would include a mineralized diatreme (such as Peñasquito), a stockwork zone related to one or various intrusive plugs and / or porphyry (such as San Agustin or Metates), or the productive parts of an epithermal system (such as any number of large deposits in Mexico). The key features here are the reasonable size of the mineralized system, the widely distributed mineralization, and the high level nature of that mineralization, leaving good potential for preserving an economic deposit.
Recommendations here would be to finalize the compilation of a quality geologic map that would distinguish the different intrusive phases, better identify the different styles of alteration, better describe the different types and extents of mineralization and evaluate those in light of the rock geochemistry zonation. Depending on the picture that emerged from the geologic compilation, an expanded program of I.P. should be considered to help define drill targets. Drilling should be considered to a minimum depth of 300m to better test this property.