Special Report: Variscan Mines has released a fresh set of very high-grade historic underground drilling results from the flagship Novales-Udias zinc project in northern Spain.

At the mothballed Novales underground operation, miners were hitting large, high-grade ‘ore bags’ grading between 15 and 35 per cent zinc up until closure in 1997.

Anything above 12 per cent is generally considered high grade.

A historic drilling data set is currently proving crucial to Variscan’s early understanding of the mineralisation at Novales.

It will assist the explorer establish a geological model, develop an exploration target, and define some targets ahead of an all-important maiden drilling campaign this year.

Variscan’s goal is near-term production and cash flow.

A newly released set of 71 holes for 5,500m continues to illustrate just how high grade the mineralisation at Novales really is. Standout intercepts include:

– 12.9m at 25.11 per cent zinc, 16.1m from surface;

– 11m at 21.64 per cent zinc, 135.5m from surface;

– 9m at 21.6 per cent zinc, 147.5m from surface;

– 8.5m at 21.11 per cent zinc, 6m from surface;

– 6m at 25.63 per cent zinc, 65.5m from surface; and

– 6m at 22.44 per cent zinc, 6m from surface.

So far Variscan has identified over 250 underground drill-hole collars, of which 130 drill-holes for ~9,700m have recently been reported. Results from another ~67 drill-holes will be available soon.

“We have the former mine manager and former shift leader of the mining teams [at Novales] telling us that they were mining high-grade ‘ore bags’ in this deposit running at over 15 per cent zinc,” managing director Stewart Dickson told Stockhead recently.

“These historic intersections prove that those claims are not unfounded.

“They believe there are still some of those ore bags remaining, and that our job is to prove them up.”

Variscan is now working to determine how much of this high-grade mineralisation remains in the mine.

This requires digitising historic mining plans, investigating the underground mine ‘face to face’, and a planned laser survey of the underground workings.

This drilling data is proving invaluable to Variscan as a low-cost, high-impact exploration tool, Dickson says.

“The data contains a number of high-grade zinc intervals of potentially mineable widths,” he says.

“This is delivering momentum to our stated strategy of exploring the early production potential at the Novales mine as well as delineating a significant mineral resource over the wider, prospective land package which hosts multiple historic workings.

“These drilling results increase the size of our significant data-set which provides a head start for geological and resource modelling.

“Importantly it also informs better drill collar positioning for forthcoming drilling.”

This story was developed in collaboration with Variscan, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.