Outcrop Gold Corp. (OCG:TSX.V; MRDDF:OTCPK; MRG1:DB) has had a busy year exploring its Santa Ana project in the Mariquita District of Colombia, where mining records go back to the 1500s. According to the company, "the Mariquita District is the highest-grade primary silver district in Colombia, with historical silver grades reported to be among the highest in Latin America from dozens of mines."
In the past year, Outcrop drilled 67 holes totaling 11,460 meters at Santa Ana and discovered five large shoots.
"We are five for five," Outcrop CEO Joe Hebert told Streetwise Reports. "We've generated five targets, all five targets have produced shoots, and they are exceptionally large for epithermal systems. These are 250 meters by 300 meters down dip, and they're all open. And they range from 0.8 to 1.8 meters true thickness."
This brings a total of seven parallel veins that Outcrop has discovered at Santa Ana, with a total cumulative strike length of 14 kilometers.
Hebert noted that the "flatter or lower angle veins tend to be thinner but higher grade, and the high angle veins tend to be a little thicker and clustered."
Drill intercepts at Santa Ana have returned values as high as 0.95 meters at 70 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 5,550 g/t silver, or 10.8 kg/tonne silver equivalent.
The five shoots discovered in 2020 and early 2021 are: La Ivana, Megapozo, Roberto Tovar, El Dorado and San Juan.
"Exploration success at Santa Ana continues to show numerous shoots with good internal grade distribution and physical continuity," Hebert stated. "Open strike and especially depth extensions to mineralization could potentially double the size of the existing shoots. More drilling is required to resolve whether Paraiso is another significant high-grade shoot between El Dorado and Megapozo."
"An additional high-grade intercept in the northern Paraiso, along with the recently discovered and blind San Juan shoot suggest that Santa Ana is a very target-rich environment, composed of a complex intersecting vein system with high shoot density," Hebert added.
Outcrop has set out to drill 12,000 meters this year and is aiming to find more. "We have about eight targets lined up," Hebert said. "The real push will be delivering the eight targets to get up to 10 or 12 high-grade large shoots discovered in total. Because of the size of these shoots and the grade, they start accumulating equivalent ounces very rapidly." The company expects to make a resource delineation drilling decision in 2021, and would aim to produce a compliant resource estimate in 18 months.
Hebert noted that people are always concerned about narrow veins, "but we've been doing some comparables with Vizsla as a pure explorer, and then Silvercorp as a significant producer. And all our metrics are better than even the Silvercorp veins and that company is a specialist in narrow vein mining, and it is mining at less than $7/ounce all-in silver equivalent."
At Outcrop's Mallama project, the company plans to initiate scout drilling prior to reaching a joint venture decision, Hebert indicated.
Apart from Santa Ana, Outcrop Gold follows the prospect generator business model. "We're working seriously, entering discussions on funding joint ventures with majors on two projects. I can't say for sure that they'll happen but we're certainly pursuing them aggressively and there seems to be a resurgence of interest to the majors once again in Colombia," Hebert said.
Outcrop Gold has approximately 109.5 million shares issued and outstanding, 170 million fully diluted. Major shareholders include Eric Sprott, who holds 19.9%, Sprott Asset Management, MMCap, Regal Funds, Terra Capital and Alpha North Asset Management. Management holds 25%. The company has just announced a $6 million bought-deal public offering of units that is expected to close by early March.
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