Yamana Gold Reports Positive Initial Exploration Drill Results at Wasamac; Provides an Update on Its Generative Exploration Program, Which Continues to Show Significant Progress of Both Advanced and Early Stage Exploration Projects
SEP 13, 2021
Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results for Lavra Velha
Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results for Wasamac
Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results for Monument Bay
Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results for Borborema
Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results for Jacobina Norte
TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- YAMANA GOLD INC. (TSX:YRI; NYSE:AUY; LSE:AUY) (“Yamana” or “the Company”) today announced positive initial drill results at its Wasamac project in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region of Quebec, Canada, confirming the presence of the Wasa Shear zone to the west of the main Wasamac zone and expanding the down-dip continuity of the Wasa Shear in a secondary zone known as Wildcat. These initial results further align with the objective to sustain 200,000 ounces per year of production at Wasamac and achieve a strategic mine life of more than 15 years, which, in turn, aligns with the potential to increase the Company’s average annual production in Quebec to approximately 500,000 ounces by 2028 through 2041.
Consistent with the optimization strategy announced with the positive development decision on Wasamac on July 19, 2021, the Company is advancing an exploration program that focuses on expanding the current mineral resource envelopes to depths below the established mineral resource and testing for mineralization in poorly explored gaps between mineralized zones. In addition, the exploration program will target the broader Wasamac property, including the adjacent Francoeur, Arntfield and Lac Fortune gold deposits (“the Francoeur properties”), and include an infill program to better delineate mining areas expected to be developed in the first three years of production.
The Company today also provided an update on its generative exploration program, announcing the discovery of a high-grade gold-copper zone at the Lavra Velha project in Brazil and the expansion of massive sulphide copper, gold, and zinc mineralization over a greater than two-kilometre strike length at the Borborema project in Brazil.
The generative exploration program is a key component of Yamana’s overall organic growth strategy, designed to advance the Company’s most prospective properties and lay the foundation for the next generation of Yamana mines. The Company’s generative work is focused on its large land positions in mining-friendly jurisdictions in the Americas where Yamana already has producing mines and deep technical, geological, and operational expertise. This allows for the rapid advancement of the Company’s highest value projects while at the same time moving the most promising early-stage properties up the exploration pipeline. The generative exploration program thus complements and leverages from the low-capital organic growth strategy of the Company, which delivers returns on investment while providing for future production growth at the Company’s existing operations and advancing projects.
The main objectives of the generative program are to add new inferred mineral resources of at least 1.5 million ounces of gold equivalent and on a longer-term basis advance at least one project to a mineral inventory that is large enough to support a mine plan demonstrating positive economics with annual gold production of 150,000 ounces per year for at least eight years. Projects are categorized as Tier One, Tier Two, or Tier Three projects, which are defined as follows:
Tier One Projects with well-defined gold mineral resources and opportunities to grow to a potentially economic threshold in the next three years
Tier Two Projects that have achieved significant drill intercepts and whose geology along with other factors support rapid mineral resource growth
Tier Three Highly prospective projects with known mineralization defined with rock and soil geochemistry that warrant future drill testing
While the generative program continues to show significant progress, exploration activities only began to ramp up later in 2021 as a result of delays due to COVID-19 in 2020 and early 2021. While this delay may result in the deferral of the initial three-year timeline to achieve new inferred mineral resources of at least 1.5 million ounces of gold equivalent for some projects in the generative exploration program, the Company continues to prioritize projects that demonstrate the best potential for more rapid advancement to a standalone operation that meets the Company’s long-term objectives. Highlighted herein are those projects that have made the most substantive advances during the past year, including the introduction of two new projects to the program where ongoing surface exploration has shown promising results: the Falcon project, a Tier 2 project in Santa Cruz, Argentina; and Las Flechas, a Tier 3 project in San Juan, Argentina.
All projects in the generative program compete for exploration funding and, as noted above, the Company prioritizes projects that have the best chance of advancing rapidly to a development phase. The generative program currently includes Lavra Velha at a Tier 1 level. Lavra Velha is the most advanced project with an inferred mineral resource that contains significant oxide mineralization and a large land position, which indicate strong potential to advance towards development. The Company believes that Lavra Velha has the highest prospect of advancing quickly through the evaluation and development phases with lower capital costs. While Monument Bay is another Tier 1 project, it has not advanced as rapidly as Lavra Velha as a result of the above-mentioned delays although the Company continues to evaluate the long-term potential of Monument Bay as an open pit operation, as originally contemplated, relying on the existing mineral resources, although also as a higher-grade underground deposit with deeper drilling targeting high-grade mineralized shoots.
Wasamac (Quebec, Canada). The Company commenced an aggressive exploration drilling program early in 2021 to expand the mineral resource envelope and test exploration targets to depth in poorly tested areas of the Wasa Shear zone.
Drill testing in the second quarter of 2021 confirmed the presence of the Wasa Shear zone west towards the Horne Creek fault. Further drill testing is ongoing.
Initial exploratory step out drilling in the Wildcat zone, a historic shaft and area of past exploration located approximately 300 metres south of the Wasa Shear, expanded the down-dip continuity of the known historic zones that are not included in the current mineral reserve or mineral resource, underscoring the potential for zones with higher grades to increase future production and extend mine life.
Preliminary results from the Wildcat zone include the following estimated true width intercepts: 3.84 grams per tonne (“g/t”) of gold over 13.25 metres, including 6.40 g/t of gold over 7.10 metres (WS-21-508); 13.03 g/t of gold over 3.16 metres(WS-21-509); and 5.02 g/t of gold over 11.02 metres, including 10.93 g/t of gold over 2.20 metres, and including 4.47 g/t of gold over 6.57 metres (WS-21-511).
Within the greater Wasamac–Francoeur properties, compilation work is underway to develop and rank new targets. Supporting activity includes the merging and interpretation of high-resolution airborne magnetics that now cover the entire property package.
Yamana has received the required permits to begin an extensive infill and exploration program on the main Wasamac orebodies. Infill drilling will begin this month and accelerate with additional drills being added over the next two months.
The initial drilling results reinforce the Company’s vision for a 200,000-ounce-plus per year operation with a mine life of at least 15 years.
Highlights, Generative Program
Lavra Velha (Bahia, Brazil). Exploratory drilling below Lavra Velha recently identified zones of high-grade gold-copper mineralization associated with potassic alteration below the near surface mineralized zones.
Drilling highlights include the following estimated true width intercepts: 5.49 g/t of gold and 2.49% of copper over 7.85 metres, and 4.56 g/t of gold over 1.02 metres within a wider, 13.50 metre interval, grading 1.89 g/t of gold (FSW00025). Drilling of both the deeper sulphide mineralization and further near surface oxide targets is ongoing.
Significant new property acquisitions in 2021 have expanded the property to the southwest, with excellent surface geochemical results for copper and gold, generating new drill targets in this extensive mineralized district.
Monument Bay (Manitoba, Canada). Drilling in 2021 has successfully intercepted the mineralized zone at depth with promising results from the Camp and Lake shoots.
Results include estimated true width intercepts: 2.27 metres grading 7.48 g/t of gold, with 0.39 metres at 29.00 g/t of gold (TL-21-727B); and 6.52 g/t gold over 2.22 metres, within a wider true width interval of 9.73 metres grading 2.34 g/t of gold (TL 21-732).
Borborema (Pernambuco, Brazil). Drilling completed on the high-grade São Francisco target returned further positive results defining a mineralized corridor 2.3 kilometres in length.
Drilling highlights include the following core length intercepts: 0.26% of copper over 40.15 metres, including 1.02% of copper over 5.16 metres (SF-026); and 0.20 g/t of gold, 1.81% of copper and 0.19% of zinc over 5.00 metres (SF-020).
Drill holes SF-020 and SF-026 are located approximately 1.5 kilometres apart along strike, with the intervening strike length untested. A planned high-resolution airborne geophysical survey and further geochemical sampling in the current year are expected to significantly advance existing targets and identify new gold and polymetallic targets for drill testing on this highly prospective property.
Jacobina Norte (Bahia, Brazil). Drilling is limited to date but extensive surface work has defined six-kilometre-long sector of conglomerates that contain significant surface gold mineralization over 1.00 g/t gold, suggesting excellent potential for the discovery of a standalone Jacobina-type system.
Falcon (Santa Cruz, Argentina). Previous drilling intercepted significant low-grade mineralization over wide widths from surface, and ongoing surface work has defined a gold-in-soil anomaly (more than 25 parts per billion gold) over 1,300-by-500 metres as well as a second parallel zone that has returned significant gold-in-rock samples along a 1.2 kilometre trend. The property, located near the Company’s Cerro Moro operation, demonstrates significant geological potential.
Las Flechas (San Juan, Argentina). Located along the Central Andean Miocene volcanic belt of Chile-Argentina, one of the most prolific geological environments globally for large gold and copper systems, and host to several major gold and gold-copper mines and deposits. The style of mineralization evident at Las Flechas is consistent with a large Miocene epithermal to porphyry gold copper system. Ongoing work has identified new potential sectors with good surface results for gold-in-rock and soil sampling, defining new drill targets.
Colider (Mato Grosso, Brazil). Preliminary results at Colider are supportive of a fertile geological system with the potential to host epithermal and porphyry type deposits. Surface work has been completed and preliminary drill testing will be completed before year-end 2021.
Figure 1: Project Location Map.
Wasamac is a development-stage underground gold project located 15 kilometres..
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