Almaden’s Puebla Project Shows Further Veining PotentialBy Alejandro Ehrenberg | Tue, 12/01/2020 - 10:03
Almaden Minerals published results of initial surface sampling of veins discovered in the Southeast (SE) Alteration Zone of the company’s Ixtaca project, located in Puebla. “The presence of pathfinder elements in these samples is encouraging as it corroborates our view that the SE Alteration Zone could represent the higher levels of a potential underlying epithermal system. We look forward to continued mapping and eventually drilling in this area,” said Morgan Poliquin, President & CEO, in a press release.
Almaden Minerals explained that it discovered several areas of veining cropping out within the SE Alteration Zone of the Ixtaca project while mapping promising clay alteration in the area. Seventeen samples of the veining were collected and submitted for analysis to ALS Global in Zacatecas. All but one samples returned gold and silver results, reported Almaden minerals. Many of the samples also returned elevated values for epithermal pathfinder elements, which are commonly found in the higher parts of epithermal alteration zones.
Any mineralization found within the SE Alteration Zone would represent a new discovery, as this area lies outside the current Ixtaca deposit resource area, the company noted. This resource area was the focus of a feasibility study announced in 2018 and a 2019 environmental permit application.
The Ixtaca deposit is one of several exploration targets on Almaden Mineral’s mineral claims, which cover an area of high-level epithermal clay alteration. The company believes that the other altered and geochemically anomalous areas could represent additional zones of underlying quartz-carbonate epithermal veining like the Ixtaca zone. The potential quantity and grade of these exploration targets is conceptual in nature but if strong explorations results are eventually obtained, the project’s financing profile would become enhanced.
“We have already invested approximately US$40 million, which accounts for previous years of exploration, engineering and community work. To advance the project through its development stage and towards its production start date, we need approximately US$200 million, which will include all necessary construction. The capital will come once we obtain all permits. Our permitting process, which includes the filing of our environmental impact report, has passed the evaluation phase but it is currently unresolved, pending a judicial resolution,” Daniel Santamaría, Vice President of Almaden Minerals’ subsidiary in Mexico, said during an interview with MBN. Ixtaca’s permitting process recently achieved an encouraging milestone and seems to be moving forward.
Almaden Minerals is renowned for its innovative practices for obtaining the social license to operate. During a 2019 interview with MBN, Poliquin explained that Ixtaca is a leading-edge project with strong documented community support and will include modern dry-stack tailings with no tailings dam. It will also provide a new permanent fresh water dam and reservoir for both the mine and community to use, which will be handed over to local communities at closure. “Almaden Minerals takes social licenses very seriously and in the last 10 years has carried out consultations through more than 20,000 interactions in over 35 communities. It has monthly technical meetings in the community providing community members access to outside technical experts and has provided mine tours for around 500 community members to see operating mines elsewhere in Mexico as part of the company’s informed consent initiatives,” Poliquin added.