Eurotin Inc.

September 01, 2011 18:01 ET

Early Stage Mini-Bulk Sampling Program at Eurotin's Santa Maria Prospect Confirms High Grade Expectations

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2011) - Eurotin Inc. ("Eurotin" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:TIN) is pleased to provide the following testwork results and update on its Santa Maria tin project, located 40kms north of the city of Caceres in central Spain.

Summary of Results from the Santa Maria Mini-Bulk Sampling Program for Tin (Sn)

  1. The weighted average grade of the -40mm size fraction was 844g/t Sn. This represents an estimated in situ grade of ~548-559g/t Sn. The Company believes this figure compares favourably* with most of the world's alluvial tin deposits.
  2. The results also confirmed the Santa Maria tin mineralisation is exceptionally coarse, mostly in the 0.25-8.0mm size range (~70%). As a result, the Company believes high recoveries will be achievable.
  3. The fine grained fraction, representing 27% of the colluvial material tested, contains only 2% of its tin content. This size fraction can be discarded by simple washing techniques with little economic loss.
  4. The vertical distribution of tin mineralisation was less variable than anticipated.

The results recently received from SGS Lakefield's laboratories at Wheal Jane in Cornwall, SW England, are summarised below:

Size Fraction Kgs Tin Grades (g/t) Tin Content (g) Tin Distribution Size Distribution
-40.0 to +31.5mm 2.2 645 1.41 0.04% 0.05%
-31.5 to +16.0mm 308.0 728 224.2 6.43% 7.45%
-16.0 to +8.0mm 463.2 608 281.7 8.08% 11.21%
-8.0 to + 3.35mm 505.8 629 317.9 9.12% 12.24%
-3.35 to + 1.00mm 534.3 2,147 1,147.1 32.91% 12.93%
-1.00 to +500µm 335.1 1,897 635.7 18.23% 8.11%
-500 to +250µm 275.3 1,203 331.1 9.50% 6.66%
-250 to +125µm 278.0 786 218.4 6.27% 6.73%
-125 to 75µm 184.5 805 148.5 4.26% 4.47%
-75 to 45 µm 133.5 730 97.5 2.80% 3.23%
-45 µm 1,111.6 74 82.5 2.37% 26.90%
Total: 4,131.4 844 3,488.1 100.00% 100.00%
Sample # Pit Location Measured Tin Grade (g/t) % Rejects as +40mm Adjusted**
Rejects %
Est. In Situ Tin Grade (g/t)
SMB-1 -2 to 0m 840 51% 41.2-42.7% 460-473
SMB-2 0 to 8m 800 36% 29.1-30.2% 589-599
SMB-3 8 to 16m 660 37% 29.9-31.0% 454-461
SMB-4 16 to 24m 1,130 46% 37.2-38.5% 695-710
Combined -2 to 24m 844 42% 33.8-35.0% 548-559

* The huge Malaysian tin fields for the most part had an average grade of ~200-300g/t and the Company believes Indonesia's large marine alluvial deposits are currently being mined at a tin grade of approximately 350-450g/t.

** Adjustments of: a) 9.2% to compensate for moisture content, and b) 7-10% for -40mm particles in the +40mm size range.

The principal objectives of the initial stage of the mini-bulk sampling program were:

  1. To help confirm the approximate overall tin grades in the 'Lower Colluvials' in the vicinity of the Santa Maria Main Pit, and
  2. To determine the size distribution of the cassiterite (SnO2) tin mineralisation. This information will be used to help optimise the pre-concentration process for a future commercial gravity recovery plant.

A total of 16.3 tonnes of colluvial material was extracted in four bulk samples from a vertical channel of 26 metres in the north wall of the Santa Maria Main Pit. This material was then dry-screened to reject all material of +40mm in size. The rejection rate was higher than anticipated because heavy rains had caused an increase in moisture content making the fine grained minerals sticky. Consequently, the +40mm material contained an estimated 7-10% of the finer -40mm material.

The second stage of this investigation has now been approved. Over the next few weeks, the balance of the screened material will be processed using conventional gravity separation equipment to determine likely tin recoveries in a commercial operation.

Introduction to the Santa Maria Project

Santa Maria is an early stage exploration project, which the Company's geologists believe has the potential to host substantial amounts of colluvial and alluvial tin mineralisation.

Studies by IGME (the Spanish Geological Survey) have revealed a period of severe tectonic events (earthquakes and crustal tilting) ~12MY years ago in the region of Santa Maria. These movements 'activated' thick lake bottom sediments, located adjacent to a ~5.0km2 tin-bearing granite outcrop, ~2kms south of the Santa Maria Main Pit. This 'activation' resulted in the formation of the Santa Maria colluvial tin deposits, which consist of a thick sequence of mud slide/avalanche material. Individual beds in this sequence are rarely more than 1-2 metres thick.

Mapping by both IGME and the Company has indicated the colluvial deposits outcrop over a strike length of approximately 3,000 metres. These colluvial deposits have been measured in the vicinity of the Santa Maria pits to be approximately 150 metres thick. The Company recently re-evaluated previous drilling undertaken in the 1970s and 1980s by three major mining companies. Although this information is incomplete, it clearly indicates elevated tin values in the bottom section of the colluvials – the 'Lower Colluvials'.

From the limited information currently available, the Company estimates that, in the vicinity of the Santa Maria Pit, the colluvials have the following approximate true thickness and in situ tin grades:

'Upper Colluvials': 75-90 metres 150-225g/t Sn
'Lower Colluvials': 60-75 metres 525-625g/t Sn

A small amount of mining was undertaken at Santa Maria in the 1970s and early 1980s. The Main Pit mined the 'Lower Colluvials' and is located in a small wedge shape between two faults. The North Pit mostly mined the 'Upper Colluvials'; it is not known if any of this material was processed for tin recovery, as it appears to have been all, or mostly, stockpiled.

To view the first map accompanying this press release, please click on the following link:

To view the second map accompanying this press release, please click on the following link:

As shown previously, the colluvials dip northwards at an approximate angle of 25-30°; the topography dips in a similar direction at an angle of 10-15°.

Despite the colluvials' obvious potential, the Company's principal targets at Santa Maria are its unexplored alluvial tin deposits. These were derived from the total erosion of approximately 10km2 of colluvials, which once existed south of the Santa Maria Fault. These alluvial tin deposit targets (see ensuing map) will be drilled for the first time later this year. Typically, the creation of new alluvial deposits is a concentrating process, which can result in significantly higher metal grades than those found in the original tin (or gold) source.

To view the third map accompanying this press release, please click on the following link:

Santa Maria Project – Historic Information

1. Historic Santa Maria Pit Production

The Junta de Extremadura has reported the Santa Maria Mine produced 400 tonnes of tin concentrate containing 280 tonnes of tin metal.

The Company estimates the amount of colluvial material mined from the Main Pit as being:

Length: ~225m Width: ~40m Estimated Tonnes Mined: 450,000
Depth: ~26m Specific Gravity: ~2.0
Estimated Recovered Tin Grade: 598g/t
Estimate Original In Situ Tin Grade: 704g/t – 85% recovery assumed

Caution 1: The tin production statistics given above have not been independently confirmed, however they are believed to have come from a reliable source.

Caution 2: Approximately 300,000 tonnes was mined from the lower grade North Pit; all or most of this mostly 'Upper Colluvial' material was stockpiled. However, it is possible some of this material was also processed; if so, then the grades estimated here for the Santa Maria Main Pit may be overstated.

2. Santa Maria Pit – Channel Sampling by the Company

Assay 1
(g/t Sn)
Assay 2
(g/t Sn)
Assay 3
(g/t Sn)
Assay 4
(g/t Sn)
(g/t Sn)
SV09-0065-1 281 560 293 491 406
SV09-0065-2 465 196 554 482 424
SV09-0065-3 1,335 2,180 1,400 1,200 1,529
SV09-0065-4 235 291 307 496 332
SV09-0065-5 182 217 214 184 199
SV09-0065-6 783 587 725 1,140 809
SV09-0065-7 1,630 783 1,520 1,430 1,341
SV09-0065-8 2,230 2,080 2,140 3,080 2,383
SV09-0065-9* 182 147 105 397 208
Average: 814 782 806 989 848
Est. Reject** 30% 30% 30% 30% 30%
Adj. Grade 570 547 564 692 594

* This sample was probably contaminated with barren soil.
** A reject rate of 30% for coarse +12.5mm material was assumed for calculating the in situ tin grade.
*** The channel samples were taken at 20 metre intervals (west to east) from the north wall of the Santa Maria Main Pit.

The results shown above highlight the problems of achieving accuracy in assaying relatively small, low grade, tin samples. Two separate assay laboratories were used for assaying – the accuracy problem is partially resolved by finer grinding of the samples.

It is also clear that the larger the sample, the more accurate will be the assay result. In reality, the only truly accurate method for assaying alluvial, or colluvial, material is to treat a bulk sample in a commercial gravity plant.

3. Other Sampling by the Company

3.1. Channel Sampling of the road cut – Top section of the low grade 'Upper Colluvials'.

A total of 16 vertical channel samples were taken over a 100 metre length in the road cut 1.0km west of the Santa Maria pits. The assay results averaged 264g/t Sn, giving an adjusted (estimated 30% rejects) grade of 185g/t Sn.

3.2. 3 x 50kg Channel Samples in the Santa Maria Main Pit

Sample Number Sample Size Tin Grade (g/t Sn) Adjusted Tin Grade*
SM-MP-A 53.1kgs 877 614
SM-MP-B 50.6kgs 1,155 808
SM-MP-C 50.6kgs 869 608

* A reject rate of 30% for coarse +12.5mm material was assumed for calculating the in situ tin grade.

These three samples were separated into eight size fractions by dry screening and then subjected to multi-element analysis. Tin was found to be the only potentially economic metal present.

3.3. Pit Sampling of Colluvials' Extension 1.5kms West of the Santa Maria Pits

Sample Number Tin Grade (g/t Sn) Adjusted Tin Grade* Interpretation
SM-MP-A 1,000 700 'Lower Colluvials'
SM-MP-B 280 196 'Upper Colluvials'
SM-MP-C 320 224 'Upper Colluvials'

* A reject rate of 30% for coarse+12mm material was assumed for calculating the in situ tin grade.

The three above pit samples were taken from the eastern side of a hill ~1.5kms long, 120 metres high. The Santa Maria Fault is found running along the crest of this hill and represents the boundary between tin-bearing colluvials to the north and barren schists to the south.

4. Historic Santa Maria Resource

In the early 1980s, Phelps Dodge produced the following internal resource estimate for the area in the immediate vicinity of the Santa Maria Main Pit.

Tonnes (M) Tin Grade (g/t)* Est. In Situ Tin Grade (g/t) Contained Tin Metal (t)
8.02 461 573 3,694

* Defined as a 'recoverable grade', representing 80.5% of the estimated in situ grade. Phelps Dodge internal documents commented that tin grades were probably understated by 20-30% due to the down-the-hole hammer method of drilling used and consequential sliming of the tin mineral cassiterite.

It should be noted that a Qualified Person, as defined under NI 43-101, has not done sufficient work to classify this historical estimate as a current mineral resource or mineral reserve. Eurotin is not treating these historical estimates as either current mineral resources or mineral reserves, as defined by NI 43-101, and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.

Summary & Conclusion

As already indicated, Santa Maria is an early stage exploration project, which may have the potential to be a major colluvial and alluvial tin system.

Peter Miller, President & CEO of Eurotin, comments: "We are pleased our initial testwork has produced such positive results. We clearly have a significant colluvial tin deposit. Our next priority is to find the current whereabouts of the tin once contained in the estimated 2-3 billion tonnes of colluvials eroded away over the last 10-15 million years. It is our belief these colluvials have been re-concentrated and re-deposited as higher grade alluvial deposits to the north west of the Santa Maria pits. We shall shortly begin drill testing this theory.

Finally, it is interesting to note that tin is a unique metal in that roughly 40-60% of its global annual production has historically been derived from alluvial sources."

A small drilling program is currently underway to test the thickness of the colluvials at various points along its ~3.0km strike length. An initial program of five holes to test the alluvial targets is expected to begin early next month.

Caution: All figures and estimates shown in this press release should be considered indicative and not definitive. Although believed accurate and derived either from sources believed to be reliable, or the Company's own work, they are provided for information and guidance purposes only, and should not be relied upon.

Assay and QA/QC Methodology for Santa Maria Colluvial Material

The four mini-bulk samples, referred to at the beginning of this release, were taken from the north wall of the Santa Maria Main Pit under the supervision of Qualified Person Victor Guerrero Merino, Euro.Geol. The material produced was then dry screened through a vibrating industrial screen, which is designed to reject any +40mm material.

The resulting material in each mini-bulk sample was then split into four quadrants. Two opposite quadrants were then taken for wet screening.

The 9,340kgs of -40mm screened material was then sent in 34 sealed drums by secure transport to SGS Lakefield's laboratory at Wheal Jane in SW England. The screened material for each sample was then dried, before being 'coned and quartered'. Approximately half of the sample was put aside for future metallurgical testwork. The balance of 4,131.4kgs was processed to obtain a head grade assay. The 4,131.4kg sample was first wet screened into different size fractions. These size fractions were: +40mm, -40 to +31.5mm, -315mm to +16.0mm, -16.0 to -8.0mm, -8.0 to – 3.35mm, -3.35 to 1.00mm, -1.00 to 500µm, -500 to 250µm, -250 to 125µm, 125 to 75µm, -75 to 45µm, and -45µm. The tin head grade of each size fraction was then back calculated using the tin content of each size fraction. The tin grades were determined by the XRF assay method.

'Other Sampling by the Company' found in Section 3 of this release refers to samples taken in 2009 under the supervision of Peter Miller, Qualified Person, a director and insider of the Company. These samples were photographed, given an identification number, sealed in thick plastic sample bags and taken by secure transport to ALS Chemex's sample preparation facility in Seville in southern Spain.

At the ALS Chemex facility, the samples were logged into the in house LIMS tracking system, after which each sample is prepared using procedure code 'Prep 31'. This procedure involves the drying, weighing and fine crushing to 70% passing -2mm. A 250g split of the crushed material is then pulverised to greater than 85% passing 75 microns. Samples are then shipped by bonded courier to Vancouver for analysis.

In Vancouver, ALS Chemex procedure XRF05 is used for tin analysis. The XRF05 procedure uses a finely ground sample powder (20g minimum), which is mixed with a few drops of liquid binder, compressed in a pellet press then analysed by XRF spectrometry.

ALS Chemex analyses its own standard samples and blanks, plus duplicates, within each set of samples provided by the Company. All mini-bulk pulp samples and splits for Santa Maria are kept at SGS Lakefield's laboratory at Wheal Jane in SW England in secure containers.

Mr Victor Guerrero Merino, an independent geological consultant and a Qualified Person pursuant to NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information in this news release on behalf of the Company.

Forward-Looking Statements

Results presented in this press release are exploratory in nature. Historical data, if mentioned, should not be relied upon, as they are not admissible under NI 43-101 rules and the Company has not conducted sufficient testing to verify this type of information. In addition, this press release includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Canadian securities laws that are based on expectations, estimates and projections as of the date of this press release. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate, and actual results and developments are likely to differ, in some case materially, from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Readers of this press release are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including, but not limited to: timely implementation of anticipated drilling and exploration programs; the successful completion of new development projects, planned expansions or other projects within the timelines anticipated and at anticipated production levels; the accuracy of reserve and resource estimates, grades, mine life and cash cost estimates; whether mineral resources can be developed; title to mineral properties; financing requirements, general market conditions, and the uncertainty of access to additional capital; changes in the world-wide price of mineral commodities; general economic conditions; and changes in laws, rules and regulations applicable to the Company. In addition to being subject to a number of assumptions, forward-looking statements in this press release involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results and developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The Company has no intention or obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Eurotin Inc.
    David Danziger
    (416) 626-6000