|Soltera Mining Acquires Three More Past-Producing Gold Prospects|
By Eric Pratt
Soltera Mining Corp. (OTCBB:SLTA) has been busy acquiring properties during the first quarter of 2008. Unstable markets have been unable to dampen the resolve with which management goes about building shareholder value.
Three weeks ago, Soltera announced it had obtained two new Mexican gold properties through the acquisition of Aztek Mineral, S.A. de CV. One week after that, the vending in of the Eureka Copper-Gold property and joint venture with TNR Gold Corp. (TSX.V:TNR) was announced.
That brings to 4 the number of gold projects under development by Soltera, summarized as follows:
El Torno (Argentina, gold, mining rights 7,863 hectares) is located in the Andean Cordillera near the international border with Bolivia. The property contains a very large gold-bearing quartz vein that extends intermittently for at least 14 km long north-south. The vein is sub-vertical and the gold is concentrated in a 2 meter-thick breccia zone along its western flank.
Historically, El Torno was worked by the Incas and the Spanish over a long period and has more than 1,000 m of underground galleries. There is still a small-scale operation extracting gold from elluvial deposits on the east side of the vein. In 1997, Puma Minerals carried out 2,100 m of drilling on a 1 km length; and in 1999 Penoles Minerals (operators of the world’s richest silver mine and Mexico’s richest and largest gold mines) undertook surface sampling, geological mapping and an IP geophysical survey in the same area. The combined (non NI-43-101 compliant) results of this work showed:
a) El Torno is within a “gold province” that extends several hundred kilometers north-south through Argentina and Bolivia;
b) The strongly mineralized breccia zone on the west side of the vein carries up to 37 gpt gold in the tested area, and has potential for several million ounces along the length of the vein;
c) Samples of stockwork zones some distance from the main vein gave up 23 gpt and in one case 112 gpt gold;
d) There are several IP geophysical anomalies that could indicate mineralization, but have not yet been drilled.
Soltera holds almost all the 14 km length and commenced their exploration in late 2007 with a geochemical stream sediment survey combined with structural mapping designed to target specific parts of the vein and the surrounding area for more detailed investigation.
Soltera will now define drill targets using more detailed geochemical and geophysical surveys. Drilling is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2008 and, given success, this will lead immediately to a full feasibility study to commence before year’s end.
Real de Cananea, Mexico
The “Real de Cananea” (Mexico, gold, mining claims 1,030 hectares) is located in Sonora State 26 km from the Cananea copper mine owned by Penoles. It contains a gold-bearing fault zone up to 270 m wide and more than 400m long within Cretaceous volcanic rocks that are intensely altered and carry gold.
There is a small old mine in the center of the property that was probably first worked by the Mayas and certainly by the Spaniards, with several shafts reaching 100 m below surface. The hard wallrock was mined with enormous effort and this, together with the fact that water had to be transported 8 km, indicates the importance of the mineralisation. Gold is widespread on the property, with altered rocks showing up to 65 gpt.
Soltera’s target is a large-scale open-pit and the area is broad enough to accommodate well in excess of 1 million ounces. Geochemical, geological and geophysical surveys will be used to define drill targets and drilling is scheduled for the third quarter of 2008.
(Argentina, copper-gold, around 10,000 hectares) is located in northern Argentina near the Bolivian border and only 3 km from the El Torno project. The property contains ‘Red Bed’ type strata-bound copper mineralization within sedimentary sandstones, clays and conglomerates. The surface exposures are weathered and contain erratically distributed gold. Alluvial gold has been worked in the area since prior to the time of the Spanish arrival and there is an old mine with over 5 km of underground workings that exploited copper and gold on a small scale until 1987.
The deposit is similar in style to major copper deposits in the Bolivian part of the Tertiary Belt. A geological estimate in the late 1990’s (historic resources estimate which is not NI-43-101 compliant) was 50 to 60 million tons grading 1% copper. Only 70 meters of the 450 m deep formation has been explored to date which leaves extensive upside potential.
TNR Gold Corp. (“TNR”), a Vancouver based mining company listed on the TSX with extensive experience in Argentina, has entered into an option agreement with the option vendor to acquire a 75% interest in the property by spending a total of US$3,000,000 in exploration and option payments before April 20, 2010.
TNR will undertake detailed geological mapping, trenching, geochemical and geophysical surveys, sampling the historic underground workings and drilling. Soltera is not required to incur any expenditure on the project at the present time.
Casita Colorada, the Company’s other project in Mexico, is a large mineralized shear zone worked since the end of the 1800’s for gold. The mineralized zone was at least 400 m long and 150 m wide and there is potential for a substantial gold deposit, but the project is being held in reserve so that the company can concentrate on El Torno and Real de Cananea.
Be sure to keep a close eye on SLTA over the next couple months. Geochemical assay results are due any day now, and there’s plenty of news to be generated by exploration activity on all the properties.