Explorer Variscan Mines picks up high-grade zinc, lead, silver and copper from grab sampling conducted around historical mine areas at its ‘Guarajaz’ project in central Spain.

While the flagship ‘Novales-Udias’ project remains Variscan’s (ASX:VAR) immediate and main focus, the explorer is putting carefully targeted efforts into proving up the prospectivity of other projects in its portfolio.

Prior to the current drill program commencing at the San Jose mine at Novales-Udias, the company took the opportunity to conduct some follow-up exploration work on nearby Guarajaz, where very little exploration has been conducted for nearly 40 years.

A grab sampling program identified significant zinc, lead, copper, and silver from historic mine workings, including:

  • 11.5% Zn, 4.6% Pb, 248ppm Ag
  • 7.8% Zn, 3.7% Pb, 0.9% Cu, 278ppm Ag
  • 7.5% Zn, 4.6% Pb, 115ppm Ag
  • 3.6% Zn, 4.1% Pb, 218ppm Ag, and
  • 3.0% Zn, 2.5% Pb, 81ppm Ag

“We are thrilled with the high-grade assay results coming out of grab samples taken during this geological fieldwork,” Variscan managing director and CEO Stewart Dickson says.

“It has provided us with multiple target areas to focus on in future drilling campaigns there.

“These Guarajaz assay results demonstrate excellent potential for the recently identified drill targets to have good depth extensions and to aggregate into substantial strike-extensive mineralised systems.”

Variscan believes that Guarajaz represents an excellent, de-risked brownfield polymetallic project, Dickson says.

“Aligning with this view, we have filed an application with the authorities in Castilla-La Mancha for a three-year extension of the current exploration licence over the Guarajaz tenement area.”

The Guarajaz Project

About 60km southwest of Madrid, the project is in the Iberian Massif, which ranks as one of the most mineralised geological units globally.

It is centred around seven mineral occurrences for future drilling including the former producing La Union underground mine, which together with the adjacent La Blanca and Manolita mines “form a large surrounding exploration opportunity”.

Production began at the La Union Mine in 1945 and ceased in the mid-1980s, with limited exploration since that time.

The mining complex is composed of a network of galleries and shafts extending to a depth of 380m. There are several kilometres of underground workings over 10 separate levels accessing ore.

Historical records indicate that the mineralisation was only partially exploited and remains open both along strike and at depth, Variscan says.

Going forward, the high-grade results confirm target areas for future exploration including further geological exploratory work, leading to scout-drilling and future drill-testing of confirmed targets.

Looking ahead at the flagship San Jose mine

Variscan’s immediate focus is progressing with underground drilling at the flagship San Jose “and returning results as soon as possible”.

Additionally, the company will be advancing several San Jose-related follow-up activities including:

  • A geophysical survey of surface drill targets over the ‘Buenahora’ licence area;
  • Delivery of a pending surface drilling application covering Buenahora;
  • A surface drilling campaign to test step out extensions in the vicinity of the San Jose Mine, and
  • In support of the above activities, the delivery of now work-in-progress environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives.




This article was developed in collaboration with Variscan, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.