Mariana Resources (LON:MARL), the AIM quoted mineral exploration group, this morning said that work was under way to fast track development work at its wholly owned Las Calandrias gold-silver project in the prospective Deseado Massif gold district of southern Argentina. The move follows Mariana’s £6.75m capital raising last week, which will fund a 10,000m drilling programme starting in September 2010. That programme will focus on the Calandria Norte bonanza gold-silver discovery, the south-western untested area of the Calandria Sur disseminated gold discovery, the El Nido Norte prospect and other El Nido targets.
Ahead of drilling, Mariana said it had launched intensive exploration of the highly prospective Las Calandrias rhyolite dome field with ground magnetics and lag/trench sampling, with a 3D Induced Polarisation (IP) survey due to start shortly.
Mariana’s managing director, John Sutcliffe, said: “Our recent drilling campaign has demonstrated Las Calandrias' prospectivity to host a major mineralised system with bulk tonnage and high grade gold potential. Following the recent successful fundraising of £6.75m, we now are ideally positioned to fast-track Las Calandrias with a mix of exploration and resource definition drilling to further define the project's economic potential and in turn realise value for shareholders.”
He added: “This next stage of development at Las Calandrias is an exciting phase for Mariana, with ground magnetics of the whole project area in progress, 3D IP coverage of the extensive El Nido area due to commence and a 10,000m drilling programme planned for September 2010. Step out drilling around the exceptional bonanza intersections at Calandria Norte is a top priority and we have also identified El Nido Norte as a prime target. The 10 sq km Calandrias dome field has so far yielded two impressive discoveries and we believe the 3D IP geophysics will result in yet more targets to further expand the project's potential.”
Las Calandrias, which is 100% owned by Mariana, comprises multiple zones of gold mineralisation hosted by a series of rhyolite domes which occur over a 10.5 sq km area. In 2009, an initial drill programme of 16 shallow holes totalling 1,763m was designed to test two of the initial dome targets, Calandria Norte vein breccia and Calandria Sur dome breccia targets. Significant gold mineralisation was intersected at Calandria Sur. The 2010 diamond drill programme consisted of 4,400m in 37 holes and tested four main targets: Calandria Sur; Calandria Norte, together with the recently discovered targets, El Nido Este and El Nido Norte.