• Variscan Mines defines maiden resource of 1.1Mt at 9% zinc and 1.2% lead for San Jose mine
  • Higher confidence Indicated resource makes up 45% of this total with a grade of 10% zinc
  • Deposit considered to have “reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction”
  • Mineralisation remains open along strike and at depth


Special Report: Variscan Mines has unveiled a rich maiden resource of 1.1Mt grading 9% zinc and 1.2% lead for the historically producing San Jose mine in northern Spain, which remains open along strike and at depth.

The definition of a resource is a key step in Variscan Mines’ (ASX:VAR) goal of restarting the mine which closed in 1999.

Drilling has since confirmed there’s more zinc to be mined at the project while a review of historical data combined with data from its own drilling has also extended mineralisation along strike to the southwest beyond the immediate workings at San Jose and onto the wider 9km Novales-Udias Trend.

Notably, diamond drilling results, including 10.90m at 12.01% zinc and 0.62% lead, and 14.85m at 8.17% zinc and 0.64% lead, over largely unmined areas indicate a linkage over 1.4km between the San Jose mine and the far more extensive Udias workings.


‘Reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction’

VAR’s maiden resource – one of the highest-grade zinc resources currently owned by an ASX-listed company – clearly indicates that the San Jose deposit is of “sufficient grade, quantity, and continuity to have reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction”.

Variscan Mines (ASX:VAR)
Resource for the San Jose Mine and north-eastern Udías by deposit.
Pic via Variscan Mines

Adding further interest, higher confidence indicated resources make up a hefty 45% of the overall resource.

This features higher grades – of about 10% zinc – to the inferred resource (8.2% zinc), providing potential for significant grade and tonnage increases with infill drilling.

Indicated resources have enough certainty for mine planning, which is of course exactly what the doctor ordered as the company progress towards a restart.

It has also estimated a new exploration target of 3-6Mt with a grade range of between 7% and 11% zinc for San Jose, which indicates the potential for resource growth in and around the San Jose Mine.

The mineral resource and the new exploration target for the San Jose Mine are supplemental to the existing exploration target of 6.5- 34Mt at grades of 6.3% to 9.1% zinc over the entire Novales-Udias Project.

Plenty of room for the project to increase its resources.

“This maiden mineral resource estimate for the San Jose mine is a significant milestone for the company. It validates the success of our exploration activities to date and establishes a platform upon which we can continue to build a resource inventory as well as advance mine re-start assessments,” Managing Director Stewart Dickson said.

“We are particularly pleased that the MRE is very high grade with significant tonnage upside growth in the order of 3 – 6 times based on the exploration target published simultaneously.

“Mineralisation remains open along strike and to depth, which presents the company with a path to potential resource inventory growth through additional exploration drilling as much of the 9km Novales Trend has yet to be incorporated into a formal resource.”


Upcoming activity

VAR is currently awaiting results of metallurgical studies undertaken on San Jose mineralisation.

It noted that based on extensive past experience of similar projects – low formation temperature Mississippi Valley-type zinc-lead – and that ore mineralogy at San Jose is strongly dominated by zinc sulphide, ore beneficiation will be straightforward and produce a high-grade zinc concentrate.



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.