The junior miner, whose wholly-owned subsidiary signed the purchase agreement with an arm’s length private Bolivian corporation, said it will cover 100% of the future expenditures of exploration, mining, development and production activities.
The agreement has a term of 30 years and renewable for another 15 years without any payment and is subject to approval by Autoridad Jurisdiccional Administrativa Minera (AJAM) in Bolivia, according to a statement.
The Silverstrike project, at an elevation of 4,000 to 4,500 metres, is located about 140 kilometres southwest of La Paz or about 450 km northwest of New Pacific’s Silver Sand project. It consists of nine special temporary authorizations, with an area of approximately 13 square km, currently in the process of conversion to mining administrative contracts before AJAM. The private Bolivian company has also applied for exploration rights over areas surrounding the Silverstrike project as part of the transaction.
Geologically, the Silverstrike project is composed of Tertiary red sandstones and mudstone sequences (Mauri and Beren Formations) that were extruded by a Tertiary rhyolitic volcanic dome and associated pyroclastic sediments.
The project contains extensive silver mining dumps, the results of Spanish colonial mining activities which exploited near-surface polymetallic silver-gold-lead-zinc (Ag-Au-Pb-Zn) mineralized bodies.
Currently, there are no active mining activities on site. The Silverstrike project is divided into three areas, according to the styles of mineralization:
- Subvertical Ag-Pb-Zn mineralized fractures developed in sub-horizontal sandstones at Silverstrike North, where the mineralization seems to be related to bleached whitish sandstones by hydrothermal fluids. The style of silver mineralization is similar to that in the Silver Sand Project.
- Disseminated Ag-Au-Pb-Zn mineralization associated with rhyolitic volcanic dome or diatreme of 900m by 900m extent at the Silverstrike Central.
- Ag-Pb-Zn Mineralization in quartz and K-feldspar phenocryst rhyolite that intruded into red sandstone strata at Silverstrike South.
New Pacific Metals said that Rio Tinto Group (NYSE:RIO) extensively sampled the mining dumps in the project area and drilled four diamond drill holes at Silverstrike North, and four diamond holes and 12 RC holes in Silverstrike Central in 1995. Near-surface Ag-Au-Pb-Zn mineralization was identified in all three areas.
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