• Drilling at Variscan’s historical San Jose mine returns up to 25% zinc in newly defined lower lens of mineralisation under the La Catedral stope
  • Drilling results will be added to upcoming resource estimate
  • Mine re-start study for San Jose expected in Q1 2024


Underground drilling at Variscan’s historical San Jose mine in Spain has returned high-grade zinc up to 25%, defining a new lower lens of mineralisation below the La Catedral stope.

Since maiden drilling in early 2021 confirmed that there’s much more zinc to be mined at San Jose, Variscan Mines (ASX:VAR) exploration activities have mapped out a path towards a potential mine restart.

The Phase 3 underground diamond drilling program is focused on testing prospective zones that have been identified from the development of the company’s 3D model and also expanding zones of mineralisation.

So far so good, with the latest assays returning a slew of outstanding results —including  3.8m at 24.58% zinc, 3.13% lead — which defines both a new lower lens beneath the La Catedral in the Central Zone.

It also expands the mineralisation footprint with continuity as the new lens links up with the La Caseta trend.

Importantly, the company says the consecutive sets of positive drilling results highlight the significant potential for the discovery of additional lower lenses within the San Jose Mine.


Multi-layered La Catedral deposit confirmed

Variscan says the new La Catedral lower lens further confirms the multi-layered deposit as multiple vertically stacked, laterally extensive, high grade mineralized lenses separated by intervals of dolostone.

Other notable results include:

  • 85m at 8.50% zinc, 0.38% lead, including 18.05m at 10.22% zinc, 0.46% lead (NDDT007B);
  • 35m at 7.09% zinc, 1.72% lead, including 11m at 11.58% zinc, 3.35% lead (NDDT007);
  • 55m at 5.81% zinc, 0.90% lead (NDDT014);
  • 30m at 5.09% zinc, 0.19% lead (NDDT012); and
  • 30m at 5.18% zinc, 0.13% lead (NDDT008)


“We are pleased to report this latest set of very strong assay results which continue to demonstrate the presence of thick, high-grade, zinc-rich lenses,” MD and CEO Stewart Dickson said.

“Further, our drilling continues to prove the potential for more high-grade discoveries beyond the historical mine workings,” he said.

“Our fresh yet methodical approach is yielding excellent results.

“Using our own portable rig and staff, we are able to conduct this program efficiently, cost effectively and with a high degree of flexibility.”


Variscan Mines
Pic: 3D model illustrating newly defined La Catedral Lower Lens, Central Zone, San Jose Mine. Source: VAR.


Maiden resource and mine re-start study

Drilling is continuing to the end of the 2023 calendar year, with these positive results to be included in the forthcoming mineral resource estimate.

Metallurgical testwork also continues, with the company confident of a clear pathway to development and for the mine restart study for the San Jose mine and the wider Novales-Udias project to be completed in the first quarter of calendar 2024.

“This drilling campaign will continue until the year end, as a minimum,” Dickson said.

“In-fill and step-out drilling will seek to test new prospective zones and expand identified zones of mineralisation.

“Our drilling continues to support our overarching objective to assess the re-start potential of the San Jose Mine.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Variscan Mines, 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.