South American Silver Corp. (TSX:SAC) is a mineral exploration company focused on the exploration and development of the Escalones copper-gold project in Chile. Escalones is a large-scale porphyry system with a current Inferred resource of 3.8 billion pounds of copper, 610,000 ounces of gold and 16.8 million ounces silver. Management has extensive experience in the global exploration and mining industry including the discovery and advancement of large projects, sustainable development and community relations.
- Large-scale deposit at Escalones: high potential copper-gold-silver deposit with an Inferred resource of 3.8 billion lbs Cu and 610,000 ozs Au and 16.8 million ozs Ag
- Project in world-class mining district of Chile’s Andes Mountains near the world’s largest underground copper mine
- Experienced management team with track record of successful project development and value creation
- Excellent financial position with $29.5 million in treasury
Escalones Copper-Gold Project, Santiago, Chile
The Escalones Copper-Gold Project is located 97 km southeast of Santiago,Chile in a world-class mining district in the Andes Mountains. The project lies 35 km due east of the world’s largest underground copper mine, El Teniente. South American Silver Corp. holds a 100 percent interest in the 6,889 hectare property which has excellent infrastructure including road access and a gas pipeline that crosses the property.
Escalones is a classic porphery with a skarn overlay. The project area also includes a four-square-kilometer area of hydrothermal alteration with coincident geophysical anomalies demonstrating significant grades of copper, gold and silver.
In December 2011, the Company released a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate on the property showing a defined Inferred Resource of 420 million tonnes of mineralized material containing 3.8 billion pounds of copper, 56.9 million pounds of molybdenum, 610,000 ounces of gold and 16.8 million ounces of silver at a grade of 0.41% copper, 0.05 g/t gold, 1.24 g/t silver and 61 ppm molybdenum using a 0.2% copper equivalent (CuEq) cut-off grade. A NI 43-101 Technical Report was released in February of 2012 available on SEDAR and the Company’s website. The deposit remains open to expansion down dip and laterally.
The 2012 exploration program at Escalones included five diamond drill holes totaling 3,205 metres and ZTEM conductivity and magnetic geophysical surveys. Diamond drill hole ES -35, located 300 metres east of ES-24, intersected 71 metres of near surface, oxide copper mineralization averaging 0.64% CuEq. This near surface mineralization correlates with a ZTEM conductivity anomaly which is approximately 500 metres wide and at least one km long. The near surface copper oxide mineralization is important because it is potentially heap-leachable.
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Diamond drill hole ES-35 also intersected high grade skarn mineralization at 456 metres intercepting 4.5 metres of copper mineralization averaging 4.32% CuEq within a 9.25 metres zone averaging 2.39% CuEq. The high-grade deep skarn intercept indicates a potentially huge column of copper mineralization.
Metallurgical testwork, including flotation and leach testwork, completed at SGS Laboratories in Ontario has shown positive results. The standard sulphuric acid leach test achieved average copper extraction of 77% from mixed copper oxide/sulphide mineralization. Copper flotation is also proving successful and rougher/cleaner flotation testing of the porphyry material achieved 25%-34% copper concentrate grades at high recovery.
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In December 2012, South American Silver Corp. commenced a planned 10,000 metre diamond drill program which is expected to continue through March-April 2013. The program’s focus is building out the resource model in order to expand resources and to test part of the large magnetic anomaly identified by the 2011 geophysical surveys.
Preliminary results (see January 21 2013 news release) from the current drill campaign indicate excellent grade and similar porphyry style mineralization from which the previously mentioned 25%-34% copper concentrate grades were produced.
- The best 2 metres average 3.04% copper with 0.13 g/t gold
- 0.99% copper with 0.15 g/t gold and 2 g/t silver over 27 metres
- 2.23% copper with 0.14 g/t gold and 1.4 g/t silver over 6 metres
Further metallurgical testing and environmental reviews are both underway. The Company plans to complete a newly updated resource estimate on the Escalones property in mid 2013.
South American Silver Corp. is a mineral exploration company whose experienced management team has a proven track record of advancing large projects. The Company’s main focus is the exploration and development of the Escalones copper-gold project in the world-class mining region of Chile. Escalones is a large-scale porphyry system with a current inferred resource of 3.8 billion pounds of copper and 610,000 ounces of gold and 16.8 million ounces silver.
The 2013 diamond drill program is underway with a focus on building out the resource model in order to expand resources. The Company plans to complete a newly updated resource estimate on the Escalones property in mid 2013.
Phillip Brodie-Hall – Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Brodie-Hall is a professional engineer with more than 35 years of experience in the mining and mineral processing industries. He brings extensive mining project development experience to the Company, from a career that has covered every aspect of evaluation, feasibility study, development and operation. He has had first-hand experience with projects inAustralia, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle-East, Eurasia, and North andSouth America.
Mr. Brodie-Hall has been South American Silver’s Chief Operating Officer since November 2011, before which he was a key member of the project development team on a consulting basis. Mr. Brodie-Hall holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, from Curtin University in Australia, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Western Australia.
Matias Herrero – Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Herrero brings extensive experience serving in senior finance positions in Canadian publicly-listed mining companies with operations in South America and Africa. He most recently served as the CFO of a gold producer in South America. Mr. Herrero’s experience includes international arbitration, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings and overseeing the financial reporting and regulatory compliance of international mining companies.
Mr. Herrero holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is a Canadian Chartered Accountant and a U.S. Certified Public Accountant. He articled at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked with several Canadian and U.S. publicly-listed mining companies in the audit practice inVancouver.
Felipe Malbran – Vice President of Exploration
Mr. Malbran brings more than 25 years of exploration industry experience to the Company and has served as Vice President of Exploration for South American Silver Corp. since its IPO in 2007. Mr. Malbran was involved in a number of major mineral discoveries including Malku Khota, Escalones and Vizcachitas. His career has included exploration for precious and base metal deposits throughout Latin America with groups including Teck Cominco, General Minerals and Geoestudios Consultants. Mr. Malbran received his Degree in Geology from the University of Chile in 1983 and is a qualified person for the Company.
Dr. David Dreisinger – Vice President of Metallurgy
Dr. Dreisinger has been working as a metallurgical consultant with the Company since May, 2006. In addition, he currently holds the position of Professor and Chairholder of the Industrial Research Chair in Hydrometallurgy at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Dreisinger, with co-workers, has been actively involved in developing and commercializing hydrometallurgical technology such as the Mt.Gordon and Sepon copper processes in Australia and Laos. Through the Industrial Research Chair in Hydrometallurgy, Dr. Dreisinger is engaged in research and in teaching technical short courses to the global metallurgical industry. He is a director of PolyMet Mining Corp. and International Nickel Ventures Corporation.
James Mallory – Vice President of Operations and Social Responsibility
Mr. Mallory brings more than 33 years of mining industry experience in large-scale mine management, operations and construction in North and South America. Most recently, Mr. Mallory was Vice President at Silver Standard Resources working with its start-up Pirquitas silver mine in Argentina, as well as at its advanced development projects in Peru and Mexico. Prior to that Mr. Mallory held management positions in operations and sustainable development with Barrick Gold (Placer Dome), Silver Standard and NovaGold.
Andrew Clark – Manager of Project Implementation
Mr. Clark has more than 30 years of experience in the design and management of industrial, mining, materials handling, chemical and petrochemical projects. These projects have ranged from feasibility studies through to commissioning and handover of completed facilities. He has held a number of senior management roles during his career and has extensive international experience as a project manager, having worked on projects in Africa, Australia, the Middle East, Eurasia, and North and South America.