Image credits: World Atlas: Sonora, Mexico
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News Article

Promising Gold Deposit in Sonora Might See Resource Grow

By Alejandro Ehrenberg | Mon, 06/08/2020 - 13:43

Sonoro Metals has updated its Project Development Report, highlighting improvements at its main project, Cerro Caliche, in Sonora. Even though the updated document is not a technical report as defined by NI 43-101, the information it brings forth is of high interest. First, the report references the near-surface potential to 75m depth for the identified vein zones within the concession. Second, it presents the potential for higher-grade bonanza-style mineralization at depth below the known shallow zone.

“The revised version of our Project Development Report is an improvement. Its principal conclusions remain the same as the original report. However, as a consequence of adding supporting data to the report’s various technical disclosures, together with additional language as required by the latest NI 43-101 regulations, there is considerably more useful detail in the updated report,” said John Darch, Chairman and Director of Sonoro Metals, to Mexico Business News.  Darch went on to explain that Sonoro Metals replaced the report’s original estimated gold resource target with the basic components used to calculate the estimate: potential tonnage and gold grades. The company’s technicians then increased the usefulness of these components by means of a potential heap leach operation recovery rate of 72 percent for gold to calculate the final values. 

The long-established low sulfidation epithermal gold mineralization model and the real-world data which Sonoro Metals has amassed are “a solid indication of the increased potential to materially grow the shallow gold resource while discovering and defining bonanza-grade gold veins deeper in the system,” Darch said. The report outlines potential for high-grade gold zones deeper in the epithermal system. Analysis of higher-grade chip samples show that Sonoro Metal’s concessions contain a gold enriched area of low sulfidation epithermal (LSE) gold mineralization, which is common for gold mines in the region. Darch notes that “the company has only drilled shallow holes, yet LSE gold deposits often have demonstrably higher gold grades in their deeper mineralized zones – most notably, bonanza grade deposits at the deeper portion of the favorable zone.”

Sonoro Metals plans to drill to evaluate Cerro Caliche’s deeper potential in its upcoming drill program. The updated report maps the location of Cerro Caliche LSE system’s favorable boiling zone, which suggests the possible locations for targeting bonanza gold grades within the deeper part of the system. Darch explained that “drilling totaling approximately 50,000m planned for 2020-2021 is designed in part to test the exploration target of between 75 million to 100 million tonnes with grades potentially between 0.3g/t to 0.5g/t gold equivalent, in addition to deeper drilling to test the potential for high-grade gold in the property’s vein systems.” Darch further notes that “should we intercept one or more high-grade gold veins, the bullish effect on our share price is clear.”  

Sonoro Metal’s project in Mexico has attracted international attention. The company decided to construct a heap leach pilot operation to avoid diluting its shareholders’ interest and to enable going into production and produce cash flow. The resource for supplying the pilot plant has already been identified. The pilot operation will be built by means of a financing arrangement with an engineering company. In this connection, Sonoro Metals has recruited New Tigers Consulting, a Chinese group. “They looked at our management and the project and identified Sonoro as a company that could secure support from a Chinese EPC company,” said Darch. “To date, we are in advanced discussions with four EPC companies for the development of our proposed pilot gold operation but, due to the COVID19 travel restrictions, the timing is problematic for now,” he added.

Until the pandemic lets up and fluid interactions with China are back on track, Sonoro Metals will focus on drilling the high-priority, deeper, high-grade gold targets it has identified. Gold is in a bull market, having reached levels not seen in seven years. The company has found a silver lining in the current COVID-19 disruption: expanding its resource at Cerro Caliche may result in a promising collaboration with Chinese top-players leading to a solid gold project in northwest Mexico.  

Alejandro Ehrenberg Alejandro Ehrenberg Journalist and Industry Analyst