Mariana Resources Ltd.

Mariana Resources Ltd.

February 29, 2012 08:00 ET

Mariana Reports Remaining Phase IV Drilling Results at Sierra Blanca Project, Deseado Massif, Southern Argentina

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 29, 2012) - Mariana Resources Ltd ('Mariana' or 'the Company') (AIM:MARL)(PLUS:MARL)(TSX:MRY), the AIM and TSX quoted exploration and development company focused on Argentina and Chile, is pleased to report further assay results received from the remaining 18 holes of the 5,200m 26-hole Phase IV drilling campaign at the Sierra Blanca gold-silver project ('Sierra Blanca') in the Deseado Massif of southern Argentina. Mariana finalised the purchase of the outstanding interest in the project from IAMGOLD last week, to make the project 100% owned by Mariana (see announcement 24 February 2012).


  • Scout drilling confirms broad target areas at Vetarron, Lucila, Trafwe and Achen-Chala along a combined 8.9km strike
  • New target area Vetarron Norte has intersections of vein-breccias anomalous in gold and silver in VND122 and VND 123 following 4.5m @ 3.6 g/t Au & 159 g/t Ag from 85.5m in previously announced VND102
  • Two thirds of the 1.8km strike at Vetarron is untested with a possible 1.25km northerly extension under gravel cover
  • Further zones of strongly anomalous to low grade gold-silver intersected at the 1.8km Lucila vein target in several drill holes - intersections of NW structures along the EW Lucila trend identified as additional targets
  • Scout drilling along the 1.4 km gravel covered Trafwe magnetic low target between Lucila and Achen has intersected a structure hosting quartz-sulphides with elevated gold and silver values: 2.3m @ 0.6 g/t Au and 21 g/t Ag - TRD104 and 0.5m @ 0.5 g/t Au and 49 g/t Ag - TRD114
  • At Achen-Chala, silver mineralisation with anomalous gold was intersected in CHD115 with 1.6m @ 0.4 g/t Au 91 g/t Ag from 99.9m
  • Target areas to be advanced with structural/alteration mapping and detailed ground magnetics

Executive Chairman John Horsburgh said, "Broad target areas with a combined strike length of 8.9km (Vetarron, Lucila, Trafwe and Achen-Chala) have been identified. In particular, Vetarron Norte is shaping up as a priority target area, both in terms of strike length and depth potential. Also, two drill holes testing the 1.4km linear magnetic low between Lucila and Achen have located quartz-sulphides in structures with gold and silver mineralisation below thick gravel cover. These results underpin further exploration of the vein systems guided by structural and alteration mapping and detailed ground magnetics."

To view the figures referred to in this report click on the following link:

Vetarron Norte (Figure 3)

The target area comprises multiple quartz sulfide vein breccias over widths up to 25m along a 1.8 km N-S trend delineated by outcrops with rock chips up to 0.3 g/t Au and 23 g/t Ag, IP chargeability anomalies and magnetic lows. The host rocks are andesites and sediments.

Quartz-sulfide breccias/stockworks up to 50m wide and anomalous in gold (25m @ 0.3 g/t Au - VND100 and 6.5m @ 0.3 g/t Au - VND123) have been intersected by testing strong chargeablity anomalies below limited outcrop. Encouragingly, VND102 from the first batch, intersected 0.5m @ 12.1 g/t Au and 732 g/t Ag.

Two thirds of the 1.8km trend are untested to date. In the area drilled, chalcedonic quartz with high pathfinder elements (antimony and arsenic) indicate an intact high level epithermal system with potential at depth. Recently discovered outcrops of gold-anomalous quartz breccia in covered ground, 200m (coincident chargeability anomaly) and 1,250m north of the area drilled (prominent magnetic low) indicate a northerly extension of the system. (Figures 2 and 3)

Lucila Vein Zone (Figure 4)

The 1.8km E-W trending Lucila vein (up to 5m thick) coincides with a 5.3 km ENE trending magnetic low which includes the Trafwe target. Scout drilling (2008) intersected quartz-chalcedony veins, silicification (up to 30m wide) and low grade gold-silver. Recent results from LUD118 and 119 show silver-rich mineralisation persisting at depth (2m @ 0.3 g/t Au 53 g/t Ag from 119m - LUD118). Higher gold-silver values are related to the intersection of the main E-W main structure with NW secondary structures (Figure 4). Along the 1.4 km long Trafwe sector, two holes intercepted a quartz-sulphide rich structure: 2.3m @ 0.61 g/t Au and 21 g/t Ag - TRD104 and 0.5m @ 0.5 g/t Au and 49 g/t Ag - TRD114.

New targets have been identified northwest of Lucila post-drilling, including an untested magnetic low and a 500m N-S trending area of chalcedonic quartz float with associated clay alteration.

Achen-Chala (Figure 5)

Silver mineralisation with anomalous gold was intersected from 99.9m in CHD115 with 1.6m @ 0.4 g/t Au 91 g/t Ag. Best intersections announced in the initial batch were: 1.0m @ 0.3 g/t Au 206 g/t Ag - CHD93 and 0.6m @ 4.1 g/t Au 549 g/t Ag - CHD95. A drill plan and an updated assay x width longitudinal section are shown for Achen-Chala (Figure 6). The vein system has been tested to approximately 150m to 200m below surface.

Table: Results summary
Az dip Total
CHD93 190.0 191.0 180 50 240 1.0 0.32 206.0 Achen vein zone
CHD95 24.5 29.4 180 50 153 4.9 0.05 16.5 Achen vein zone
and 80.6 81.2 0.6 4.08 549.0 Achen vein zone
* CHD107 120.0 121.0 180 50 180 1.0 0.21 37.8 Chala Central
* CHD108 238.0 239.7 180 60 261 1.7 0.38 19.6 Chala Central
* CHD115 99.9 101.5 40 50 140.8 1.6 0.35 91.0 Chala Splay
and 101.0 101.5 0.5 0.28 134.0 Chala Splay
LUD103 115.7 116.2 220 60 237 0.5 0.10 228.0 Lucila
and 159.5 164.9 5.3 0.03 11.4 Lucila
and 196.4 227.0 30.6 0.10 20.0 Lucila
* LUD106 56.5 63.0 170 60 161.4 6.5 0.06 27.9 Lucila
and 88.6 110.5 21.9 0.07 14.5 Lucila
* LUD111 55.8 56.3 210 60 201 0.5 0.55 13.3 Lucila
* LUD112 142.0 142.6 210 60 174 0.6 1.77 6.3 Lucila
and 156.7 158.2 1.2 1.61 18.8 Lucila
Incl. 157.5 158.2 0.5 2.65 28.5 Lucila
* LUD118 119.0 121.3 200 60 201 2.0 0.27 53.2 Lucila
* LUD119 181.0 183.0 200 60 201 2.0 0.12 47.3 Lucila
LUD120 153.0 154.0 200 60 201 1.0 0.24 8.5 Lucila
* TRD104 147.0 149.3 165 60 219 2.3 0.61 20.8 Trafwe
TRD114 110.5 111.0 345 50 129 0.5 0.48 49.0 Trafwe
* TRD121 102.0 104.0 345 50 132 2.0 0.15 13.2 Trafwe
VND96 61.5 68.5 240 60 147 7.0 0.10 5.3 Vetarron Norte
VND100 148.0 149.0 240 60 207 1.0 1.23 76.6 Vetarron Norte
VND101 107.5 109.5 260 60 183 2.0 0.59 0.5 Vetarron Norte
VND102 85.5 90.0 260 50 171 4.5 3.57 159.4 Vetarron Norte
Incl. 87.0 87.5 0.5 12.10 732.0 Vetarron Norte
* VND122 187.2 193.8 260 50 201 6.6 0.22 2.7 Vetarron Norte
Incl. 189.7 190.4 0.7 0.58 5.1 Vetarron Norte
* VND123 37.5 38.2 260 50 153 0.6 0.72 19.3 Vetarron Norte
and 39.0 40.0 1.0 0.81 9.5 Vetarron Norte
and 119.5 120.0 0.5 0.48 42.4 Vetarron Norte
and 137.0 137.7 0.7 0.50 28.0 Vetarron Norte
* Second batch assays
No significant values: 108, 109, 110, 113, 114, 116, 117.

Gold equivalent grade is calculated by dividing silver assays by 60 and adding to the gold value and this assumes 100% metallurgical recovery. True widths are estimated to be 85-90% of the stated interval.

Follow-up Exploration

Taking into account the recent drill results and indications of strike extensions to the north under cover, the extensive Vetarron area requires further target definition in the form of detailed ground magnetics and mapping. Ongoing work at Lucila, Trafwe and Achen-Chala will include structural/alteration mapping and detailed magnetic surveying to identify favourable structural controls on mineralisation such as NW trending cross structures which could lead to higher grade mineralisation.

Sierra Blanca Background

The 7,000 Ha Sierra Blanca Project is 50km NW of AngloGold Ashanti's Cerro Vanguardia mine along the Tranquilo regional fault system and adjacent to TSX quoted Argentex Mining's Pinguino epithermal gold-silver/polymetallic discovery (Figure 1). Sierra Blanca owns 100% of the Project.

Mariana discovered epithermal gold-silver mineralisation at Veta Chala in 2008. Reverse circulation and diamond holes (1,750m), targeted veins and breccias exposed in trenches with bonanza and high grade channel sampling assays (see news release 02/04/08). Several holes were ineffective with poor core recovery or high water flow in RC holes. 3-D IP, LAG sampling and ground magnetic surveys preceded the recent programme. There are several epithermal gold-silver prospects and numerous under-explored veins located within the property. Sierra Blanca has both low and intermediate style sulphidation epithermal mineralisation. Best intersections to date are 30.1m @ 2.2 g/t Au 101 g/t Ag & 2.1m @ 15.9 g/t Au 39 g/t Ag (Chala Central) and 11.0m @ 3.4 g/t Au 385 g/t Ag (Chala Splay).

Additional information

The Phase IV drilling programme was undertaken by ECOMINERA. The Company's Vice-President Exploration, Dr Gustavo Rodriguez (MAIG) directed the drill programme under the supervision of Executive Chairman Mr John Horsburgh. Exploration information in this announcement has been compiled by John Horsburgh who is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Horsburgh has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralization and types of gold deposit under consideration and to the activity that he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code. Mr. Horsburgh is a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.

Quality Assurance/Quality Control

All technical information for the Company's Argentina projects is obtained and reported under a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program. All samples are collected under the supervision of the Company geologists and dispatched via commercial transport to ALS Chemex laboratories in Mendoza, Argentina, and assayed in Chile. ALS Chemex's quality system complies with the requirements for the International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025: 1999. Samples returning greater than 10 g/t gold and/or greater than 100 g/t silver are assayed using gravimetric analyses.

Systematic assaying of sample duplicates and commercially prepared standards and blanks is performed for analytical reliability.

For further information please visit website at

About Mariana Resources

Mariana Resources Ltd is an AIM and TSX quoted exploration and development company with an extensive portfolio of gold, silver and copper projects in Argentina and Chile. In southern Argentina, in addition to the advanced Las Calandrias gold-silver project, the Company has the Sierra Blanca silver-gold project (100%); the Los Amigos joint venture (49%) with Hochschild Mining and staked a 215,000 Ha land package (100%) . All of these projects are located in the Deseado Massif epithermal gold-silver district in mining-friendly Santa Cruz province of southern Argentina, which hosts four mines and several advanced projects. In Chile, Mariana has a joint venture with US based international mining and natural resources company Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., to explore for iron oxide-copper-gold deposits ('IOCG') in a 92,000 km² area ("SCM Mariana Area") in north-central Chile along the highly prospective Atacama Fault Zone. The SCM Mariana Area includes the 44km² Buenaventura and 46km² Perro Chico IOCG projects. Mariana is also evaluating a number of gold-silver and copper-gold opportunities independent of and outside the Cliffs JV area.

Safe Harbour

This press release presents "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation that involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the future price of gold and other minerals and metals, the estimation of mineral resources, the capital expenditures, costs and timing of the resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the capital expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, permitting time lines, currency exchange rate fluctuations, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved".

Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Mariana to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements, including but not limited to: risks related to international operations, actual results of current exploration activities; actual results of current or future reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold and other minerals and metals; possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; and delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities. Although the management of Mariana believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions and have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Mariana Resources does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are incorporated by reference herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.


Contact Information

  • In Australia:
    Mariana Resources Ltd
    John Horsburgh (Chairman)
    +61 2 94374588

    Mariana Resources Ltd
    Glen Parsons (CFO)
    +612 94374588

    RFC Corporate Finance Limited (Nomad)
    Rob Adamson
    +61 2 9250 0041

    RFC Corporate Finance Limited (Nomad)
    Will Souter
    +61 2 9250 0050

    In U.K.
    Fox Davies Capital (Co UK Broker)
    Jonathan Evans
    +44 20 3463 5000

    St Brides Media and Finance Ltd (PR)
    Felicity Edwards
    +44 20 7236 1177

    In Canada:
    Mariana Resources Ltd (Vancouver Office)
    Kathryn Witter
    +1 604 669 9336

    Renmark Financial Communications (PR)
    Arash Shahi
    +1 514 939 3989

    Renmark Financial Communications (PR)
    Maurice Dagenais
    +1 416 644 2020