- Philadelphia project looks exciting because it is near-surface and high grade
- Projects are situated in mining-friendly US state of Arizona
- Experienced and committed management
What Arizona Silver does:
Arizona Silver Exploration (CVE:AZS) (OTCMKTS:AZASF) is an explorer focused on the US state of the same name. After encouraging drill results, the focus of late has been on its Philadelphia property in Mohave county.
Philadelphia was discovered in the late 1800s and operated intermittently, mainly between 1917 and 1935, as a 50-tonne-per-day underground mine. Past production ranged from 10 to 27 grams per tonne gold, according to Arizona Silver, with historic silver grades in the production shaft averaging 420 grams per tonne silver.
The Vancouver-headquartered group also owns 100% of the Sycamore Canyon project, where values up to 15.45 grams per ton (g/t) gold, and 396 g/t silver have previously been collected from a 1-metre wide channel in a prospect pit, from a total of 42 samples.
The average value of the 42 samples was 0.893 g/t gold and 82 g/t silver. The property lies 25 miles from Safford, which serves the large copper mines of mining major Freeport McMoran (NYSE:FCX). The firm continues to progress permitting with the US Forest Service (USFS) and the plan is to drill three initial holes.
The company's third project, Ramsey, lies two hours west of the city of Phoenix, and boasts historic high-grade production of 1370 g/t of silver, with 41 existing 1960s underground drill holes. Arizona aims to sink four holes into the strong silver-lead-zinc-barium geochemical anomaly at the property.
How is it doing:
The Philadelphia project lies in the Oatman district which has produced over 2 million ounces of gold from high-grade veins from underground mining. Northern Vertex Mining Corp's (CVE:NEE) Moss Mine open pit heap leach operation is six miles away and ramping up to full production. Arizona says Northern Vertex is about to begin exploration looking for additional feed to process.
At Philadelphia, Greg Hahn, now vice-president of exploration at Arizona, has said: "It's been 30/40 years since I've been able to drill a gold, silver system this close to the surface". It's chief executive and president Mike Stark has said he reckons the firm could be sitting on a target of up to 1 million ounces. So far early signs are promising.
In May this year, the company reported results from the first three holes of an initial six-hole program. All six hit the host vein gold and silver mineralization. Highlight assays included 10 feet at 0.46 ounces per ton (opt) of gold and 2.62 opt of silver from 25-35 feet in one hole. Another showed 13.7 metres grading 1.14 g/t gold and 41.1 g/t silver.
Notably, drilling also identified the rare earth element beryllium, which, thanks to its rigidity and thermal stability, is often used in aerospace manufacturing. The firm said it would be tracked and modelled as an accompanying metal to gold and silver at Philadelphia.
In July, the group received the go-ahead from authorities to drill the next 24 holes at Philadelphia to cover the northward strike extension along 500 feet (150 metres) of strike and 300 feet (100 metres) of shallow dip extensions to the above assays.
In September, Arizona Mining announced that it was aiming to raise C$700,000 through a non-brokered private placing for further exploration, while in October it said the first two drill holes of the latest program had pointed to the high-grade gold zone extending north of previous intercepts.
Both holes hit the targeted vein in a zone consisting of strong quartz-calcite veins in a highly mineralized area, the firm said.
- More drill results from Philadelphia
- Permitting progress at Sycamore Canyon
- News from Ramsey project
What the boss says:
On October 10 this year, at the time of latest drill finds at the Philadelphia project, chief executive Mike Stark told Proactive: "I'm really proud to say with the announcement today we have hit the vein again. The grades will be determined at the lab but I'm excited for a couple of reasons. One, each time you step out you really don't know because of the alluvial cover, what you're going to find and it's tremendous that Greg has done a great job once again. We've got the vein in two locations. It will be core so it will give us a better understanding of what's going on down there, and hopefully as I've said before, if it's our sweet spot, we're going down at that level."